The Official OpenRoad Blog


OpenShift: Making Agile Development a Reality for Government Projects

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How and why we used a Platform as Service (PaaS) to help the Ministry of the Attorney General build capacity and improve citizen access to justice.

Burdened by a high rejection rate for uncontested divorce filings, the Ministry of the Attorney General set out to simplify the process for citizens. Their primary objective was to improve access to justice for British Columbians filing for uncontested divorces without a lawyer. In this case, access to justice meant making the filing experience more empathetic, more affordable, and less error-prone. Using service design and Agile development, our teams created the Online Divorce Assistant Application.


Navigating the PIA process in the BC Provincial Government

Service Designer Kevin Ehman reflects on his experience working with the BC Government and offers six tips to make your privacy impact assessment process easier to navigate.

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Privacy Impact Assessments (PIA)—the process of identifying, evaluating, and managing privacy risks—can be one the most challenging aspects of getting started on projects in (and with) the BC Provincial Government. A poorly executed PIA can pose project risk through delays, confusion, and misalignment. As providers of design research, service design, and application development work in government, we have to do a lot of PIA’s. Some go well, others not so much.


OpenRoad Clients Named Best of News and Manufacturing by the Web Awards

UBC News and Honeywell Smartline Application Validation Tool win Best Website at the Web Awards.

ubc news website redesign examples on MacBook Pro, iPad, and iPhone

We’re thrilled to be recognized by the Web Marketing Association’s 2018 Web Awards. For 21 years the Web Awards have recognized the best and most effective websites in the world. A committee of industry leaders volunteer to judge and score submissions. The Web Awards recognize websites that meet the highest global standards and set industry benchmarks by.


Four Easy Tests to Determine if Your Website is Accessible

Software QA Engineer and OpenRoad’s web accessibility expert Sophie Repussard shares four simple tests to help you evaluate your website’s accessibility.

web accessibility image test error

Over the years I’ve spent a lot of time playing tech support for my family. For the most part this has meant helping my mother access her bills online. These long distance calls are always long and tedious, and at times frustrating. This led me down a path of considering varying levels of digital literacy and how different people experience the internet. As I started to think more about designing websites for users like my mother, I started to learn more about the principles of inclusive design, and eventually web accessibility. It was frustrating to see that people with disabilities were excluded by design, and I developed a real passion for web accessibility.

Web accessibility is the practice of ensuring equal access to digital services. As per the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, web accessibility is a basic human right. A website is considered accessible when it can be used by people regardless of their visual, auditory, cognitive, or motor abilities.


Gratitude in the Workplace

Can a simple thanks lead to greater happiness and engagement at work? Jacqueline Antalik, our Director of User Experience, explores the question.

Science shows that both expressing and receiving gratitude in the workplace makes people feel happier and more fulfilled. It can be a low cost way to increase employee engagement and can foster a feeling of trust among colleagues. Despite this, only 30% of people express thanks to their coworkers. This can be an expensive problem for organizations as studies on employee engagement link lack of appreciation with people leaving their jobs.


OpenRoad Wins Excellence Award at the 22nd Annual Videographer Awards

OpenRoad’s “Creative That Goes Deep” campaign receives the Excellence Award

The OpenRoad team is proud to be recognized by the Videographer Awards for our Creative That Goes Deep campaign. This video campaign won the Excellence Award—the highest distinction from the awards organization. For 22 years the Videographer Awards have evaluated submissions from around the world and across industries, with this year’s submissions spanning 65 categories. Other winners include Microsoft, BCIT, No Kid Hungry, and more.


Illustration: The Overlooked Design Principle

How can illustration help improve the way users experience your product? Designer Josh Herlihey explores the question.


Like most people, my usual goal setting pattern goes something like this: 1. Set goal (“I’m going to run twice a week.”), 2. Follow through on goal for about two to three weeks, 3. Come up with excuses so I don’t have to run anymore (“My ankle kinda hurts and Netflix is particularly great lately.”), and 4. Forget about goal.


Design for Policy: Bringing a Design Thinking Approach to TransLink’s Fare Review Process

TransLink partners with OpenRoad’s Service Design team to understand customer experiences during their Transit Fare Review.

TransLink Prototype Testing

If you’re in Vancouver, you have likely been hearing a lot about TransLink’s Transit Fare Review. TransLink’s three-zone fare structure was largely unchanged for over 30 years. In that same time, the region grew by over one million people. Regional growth, the launch of the Compass fare technology, and general public dissatisfaction with the current fare system meant that it was time to take a fresh look at fare policy. Could TransLink make fare policy changes that would increase ridership, provide a better customer experience, and improve system efficiency?


OpenRoad Communications Wins Three Summit Creative Awards

OpenRoad’s print, web, and illustration work wins three Silver Summit Creative Awards.

We’re thrilled to have our creative work recognized by the Summit Creative Awards. The OpenRoad team won three awards at the 2018 show, which received more than 5,000 submissions. For more than two decades, the Summit Awards have been arbiters of creative excellence. This year we submitted a series of branded icon illustrations, a printed holiday greeting card, and a website landing page. We’re proud to work on such a wide range of projects, and happy to have our work recognized.


UBC Innovation: Overcoming the Complicated with Collaboration

How OpenRoad helped UBC bring innovation to life with a flexible approach to client work.

UBC Innovation initiative

The OpenRoad team recently created a new stand-alone site for the University of British Columbia’s Innovation initiative. The UBC Innovation network helps transform research, and entrepreneurial drive into new products, policies and practices that improve lives around the world. A key purpose of the site is to articulate the scope of support services available across disciplines, under the “Innovation” umbrella. Secondly, the initiative aims to celebrate and highlight UBC’s success in creating and supporting such partnerships.