Winnipeg Airports Authority (WAA) is made up of three subsidiaries, including YWG Inc., which operates Winnipeg Richardson International Airport (YWG). Located at the centre of North America, YWG is an important part of Canada’s passenger and cargo activity, and a key economic driver for Manitoba.
When customers tell us that their audience is “everyone”, we’re never convinced. Until now. YWG and WAA collectively have a very broad audience of people relying on up-to-the-minute information. Passengers alone represent multiple audience segments, but they're also speaking to transportation and cargo providers, the local community and partners, employees, vendors, contractors, and the media. Their audience is everyone who lives in Manitoba or is travelling through it.
We segmented the website to focus content for distinctly different audience types. Passengers speaks to everyone travelling through YWG. Corporate is about the people and structure behind WAA, plus information on advertising and partnership opportunities, air and cargo networks, facility safety and security, and noise and environmental policies. Working at WAA is a section for employees, vendors, and contractors, including job postings and processes for gaining airport access. The Newsroom allows WAA to communicate and share stories with all audiences on behalf of their subsidiaries.
YWG is required to serve customers in both English and French, so all website content is available in both languages. This includes menus, page content, data, email and text notifications, alt text, everything. We build websites to be multilingual at their core, aiming to ensure long-term consistency across all content and languages. Translation is considered at every stage of data management, programming, design, and content.
Site administrators can see every piece of content in all languages, filter for items that are missing updated translations, and export an excel document for translation. When the document is updated, the system will auto-fill every piece of translation to the appropriate spot.
People travelling rely heavily on their phones. So it’s no surprise that over 70% of WAA’s web traffic is mobile. It was important that every part of this site looked good and worked well on mobile devices. We design, test, and build websites for mobile, tablet, and desktop concurrently to ensure the content and design isn’t limited or constrained by screen size.
Making websites accessible for everyone is a proper choice. For WAA it’s also a requirement. They’re subject to the Canadian Transportation Agency’s Accessible Transportation for Persons with Disabilities Regulations. The regulations enforce accessibility both at the airport and across all communication channels, including their website.
Across content, design, and programming, we aimed to exceed AA level of Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1. We worked with an external consultant to get an assessment of accessibility and usability of the website. We implemented all of the recommendations in that assessment to improve the level of accessibility across the entire website.
The Newsroom keeps all audiences informed with what’s happening at WAA and YWG. It speaks for all WAA subsidiaries. Passengers and community can read local stories and updates, while articles about innovation and airport services uphold WAA’s reputation as a leader in the aviation industry. You can browse the latest news or search for stories by category and date.
For news media wanting information, interviews, or access to the airport, we’ve made that content easy to find.
WAA wanted a way to share select photography and videos of their facilities and current events. A place where media or stakeholders can access visual files for news stories or presentations. We built a media gallery that allows people to browse by gallery and download high resolution files.
Parking is one of the top reasons people visit waa.ca. For people who are in a rush and en route to the airport, key parking information is highly visible and concise. At a glance, people can see how to book parking, where the parking lots are located, and how much space is available in each lot. Then, we offer details for people wanting more information about their parking options.
Visitors are encouraged to reserve parking online to save money and peace of mind. The website has an online integration with Chauntry, the booking system WAA uses for parking.
Parking status bars let people know how much space is available in each parking lot. It’s based on real-time data, so you can view parking capacity on your way to the airport.
We developed two custom interfaces built on top of google maps, tied directly to the website's data management tool. The interactive venue map is designed to help people quickly connect with the services, facilities, shops, and food vendors they need. On the map, passengers can browse each floor, search, or filter by category. Selecting an item will show the description, location, hours of operation, and contact information for each location.
We also created a destinations map for people planning their next trip. It shows all direct flights from Winnipeg, indicating year-round or seasonal flights by each airline, and presents airport data for each destination.
Flight information is a big deal for travellers, and for people getting passengers to and from the airport. From the homepage, you can search for flights by airline, flight number, or city. The flight browser shows all arrivals or departures for yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Flights are displayed in order of scheduled time, with coloured status indicators. To acheive this, we developed a system to connect to the airport's data center to ensure the website has up to date flight information.
Selecting a flight in the browser opens a new page with flight details, airline information, and the option to sign up for flight notifications. The flight details page makes it easy for people to bookmark, save, or share their flight information.
From the flight details page, you can sign up for flight updates by text or email. When you sign up, you’ll immediately receive a confirmation so you know the system is working properly. Then, you’ll be notified of any updates or changes in your flight status.
When the design team at WAA was short-staffed, we stepped in to supplement their team and keep projects moving. Our designers worked on-demand to help produce a variety of print and digital advertisements as needed.
YWG wanted a series of banner ads displayed at Canada Life Centre, home to the Winnipeg Jets. The designs required huge image files with unusual aspect ratios. It was important to maintain brand consistency across the range of spaces and size constraints, and still be eye-catching in the busy arena.
This short video advertisement played for fans of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers during breaks in play at Investors Group Field. We worked with them to develop the script, define the look, record the audio with a voiceover artist at a local studio, and edit the final product.
The marketing team at YWG works to promote the airport, as well as the range of shops and food vendors on site. We created a variety of print advertisements to fit their unique advertising spaces, at the airport and around the city.
Building a website with so many custom features and integrations is a collaborative effort. We work closely with multiple teams at WAA to ensure this website doesn’t leave anyone stranded. Long-term support for websites is a combination of warranty (a promise it will work for you) and insurance (a promise we’ll be there if it doesn’t, because things happen).