Organization: Canadian Olympic Committee
Project
: New corporate website for 2002 Winter Olympiad
Year: 2001-2002
Position: Webmaster

CHALLENGE

The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) were completely re-platforming and re-designing their corporate site in preparation for the 2002 Winter Olympiad in Salt Lake City.

The site was going to be supported by a content management system for the first time, and was going to include dynamic features such as real time updates of medal results.

PLANNING

Our team of two (including me) worked with an external vendor to project manage, build requirements, create a look and feel, test and implement the site.

We conducted meetings with all areas of the COC, including marketing, licensing, education and funding in order to understand the scope of the business and content requirements.

INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE

The new site would have a larger amount of information about the COC as an organization, about the programs and funds it provides and profiles of Canadian athletes competing in the games as well as a quick summary of the sport they were participating in.

This larger scope of content required engaging all areas of the organization as well as external stakeholders. We had to understand what information needed to be included, how it would be updated during the games and building capacity for key publishers in program areas to use the content management system .

MOCK-UPS AND USER TESTING

The marketing department of the COC would regularly use focus groups to test brand awareness as well as print, radio and TV advertising. We worked with the marketing team to use these focus groups to test high fidelity mock ups of the site. By doing this, we were able to understand what features were seen as valuable and which ones weren’t.

Based on the feedback of these groups, we made alterations to the mock ups and gained approval from senior management within the COC.

MEASUREMENT

The COC had never used web metrics before. They wanted to increase viewership of their site during and try to sustain viewership after the Olympic games, however no specific viewership targets were set.

Metrics were provided by the vendor on a daily basis during the games and on a weekly basis to show how many viewers the site had, and what areas of the site were most used.

OUTCOME

The site launched just ahead of the Winter Games and was a great success for the Olympic Team and the Olympic Committee.

Feedback from focus groups that were using the site during the games reported that the site was easy to use, reflected real-time results from the games, and helpful in getting to know the athletes who were representing Canada by reading athlete profiles.