The Official OpenRoad Blog


Social Logins: Are You Trading Privacy for Convenience?

Have you ever tried to add a comment on a blog post and BAM, you’re hit with a login wall? Just the other day I was reading an article on Medium, an online community blogging platform, and was prompted to login as soon as I clicked in the comment box. This barrier didn’t always exist. I remember a time where anyone could freely comment without the need for an account. However, bots, spammers, and trolls have taken advantage of this anonymity and as a result, account verification became a requirement in order to contribute. In some cases, comments sections have been completely removed.

I hadn’t commented on a Medium post in quite awhile, so as the registration form stared me in the face, several questions floated through my head. I thought to myself, do I even have an account? If I don’t, is it worth creating one just to use this service? If I did have an account, what email address would I have used? Was it my personal email or my work email? What password did I use? I guess I’ll just reset my password and see which email address it accepts… (more…)

A day in the life of a Software Developer Co-op at OpenRoad

What does it take to be a software developer at one of the largest digital agencies in Vancouver? Charles Shin got to find out first hand during his co-op at OpenRoad. Over the last seven months, Charles worked with a team of talented developers on a variety of projects. As he returns to school to finish the last semester of his Computing Science degree at Simon Fraser University, here is what he had to say about his internship at OpenRoad.


What was your co-op term like at OpenRoad?

My co-op at OpenRoad was a great experience. The developers I worked with have years (and some even decades) of experience and were really great in passing down their knowledge. I have done a few other co-ops but what made this work term stand out for me was the opportunity to be involved in real client-based projects. OpenRoad has some big name clients, so to work on websites for companies that are widely known was really exciting. Compared to previous co-op terms, the projects were larger in terms of people involved, size of codebase, complexity, and number of users using the end product. So I was exposed to a variety of problems that helped me gain a lot of experience.

What did you learn?

Something really valuable I learned throughout my co-op was the process of translating design into code. Based on loose guidelines I was able to create a step-by-step process that converts the designer’s wireframe onto our client’s website. I had the opportunity to practice this process for a number of different projects throughout the last seven months. This was valuable to learn because while future projects will differ in nature, I will be able to bring this process with me and use it render any design onto a software interface.

Any words of advice to other co-op students considering working at OpenRoad?


Thinking Ahead: Goodbye to the Internet, hello to connected customer journeys

customer_journey_blog (1)

The world is forever changing on June 1, 2016: the word ‘internet’ will no longer be capitalized (we’re starting early, because we’re forward thinking like that). Whether you agree or disagree with this long-debated grammar rule, it’s an interesting reflection on the state of society and our relationship with the internet. It is no longer ‘the Internet’, it’s just the internet. It’s truly ubiquitous. It doesn’t replace offline interactions, but it’s definitely integrated into everything we do. And this is changing the way we, at OpenRoad, and the way our clients, do business.

Today, Jessica Evans and I share our views about how the omnipresent internet is changing technology projects, and what project sponsors can do to create more value for their customers. (more…)

Teaching the Next Generation of Digital Leaders

Deb and students

Growing our city’s digital talent is essential for Vancouver companies to push innovative boundaries and compete globally. Understanding our local economy’s need for digital leadership, SFU, UBC, BCIT, and Emily Carr University teamed up to create Canada’s first professional graduate program in Digital Media. We were pleased to welcome one of their early graduates, Deborah Mackenzie, to our User Experience team. Deborah’s ability to translate business goals into valuable user experiences earns her high praise from our clients is a testament to the program’s success. Now, Deborah is headed back to the Centre for Digital Media as a teacher—helping the next generation of digital leaders master the fundamentals of User Experience. (more…)

BCTIA 2016 Technology Impact Award Finalists

We’re thrilled to announce OpenRoad, in partnership with our client, Honeywell Process Solutions, have been selected as finalists for the BC Technology Industry Association’s (BCTIA) 2016 Technology Impact Award.

The Adoption of Technology award recognizes the installation of a product or solution that has significantly improved the productivity, competitiveness, or profitability of the customers company. Our SmartLine Level Transmitter Application differentiates Honeywell’s product with a best-in-class user experience and an ordering process that’s 3.6x faster.


About the BCTIA Awards

The BCTIA Awards are the longest running and largest technology awards program in the province. It’s an honour to be competing with some of the most innovative companies that are driving BC’s tech sector forward. BCTIA CEO Bill Tam explains the impact of the awards: “Our finalists represent the very best in their categories, exemplifying the leadership that many BC Tech companies have achieved in delivering solutions to customers and partners around the globe. The TIAs celebrate excellence in every respect and demonstrate the incredible people, innovation and growth that make BC the best place to grow a tech company.” (read the full press release from BCTIA).

We were also the proud recipients of this award in 2013 with our partners Transportation Investment Corporation for our work on

Vote for us in the People’s Choice Category

Winners will be announced on June 7 at the Technology Impact Awards gala to an audience of over 1000 members of BC’s tech community. Congratulations to the Honeywell team, as well as the other award finalists. Cross your fingers for us and take a minute to cast your vote in the People’s Choice Award!

Vote Now

The Emily Carr Website is an Official Webby Award Honoree

We’re excited to announce Emily Carr University’s website, designed and built by OpenRoad, is an Official Webby Award Honoree in the Web: School/University category.


Emily Carr University of Art + Design is one of Canada’s premier post secondary institutions, devoted to excellence and innovation in visual arts, media arts, and design. They came to OpenRoad because they needed a site that was as vibrant and diverse as the university itself to attract the best and brightest students.

We are thrilled to have been involved with this project. A big congratulations to Emily Carr University on their award winning website.

Emily Carr University of Art + Design Website Homepage

Visit their website to see it for yourself.

Onward to the website



Thinking Ahead: The evolution of content management—the Decoupled CMS


Over the next few weeks we’ll be looking at some strategies, trends, and technologies that can help organizations succeed in 2016. This week, we’re getting our geek on, and looking at decoupled content management system (CMS) architectures.

No, no, don’t run. Just stick with us. It’ll be worth it! (more…)

OpenRoad just expanded by three! Meet the new co-ops.

What does it take to do your co-op at one of Vancouver’s largest digital agencies? Just ask one of our three new, fantastic co-op students.


Valeriya Korotchenko, Software Developer Co-op

Valeriya Korotchenko is a third year, Physics and Computer Science student from the University of British Columbia (UBC). As a member of the UBC Orbit Club, her and 35 other students are in the process of building a small satellite that will be used to detect forest fires. Valeriya’s contribution to the project is to write algorithms that are used by the satellite to detect smoke. (Our developers were pretty impressed in the interview).

Celebrating User Experience in Vancouver


OpenRoad has been advocating for the importance of user experience in Vancouver for over a decade. Darren, Gord, and a handful of other UX practitioners originally formed the Vancouver User Experience Group in 2003, with the goal of building and nurturing a strong community of talented UX designers’. We’re thrilled to see how the community has thrived. On November 25, we co-hosted the second annual Vancouver User Experience Awards that recognized industry-leading work created right here in our own city. (more…)

Awesome work Mo’ Bros and Sistas


You may have noticed some extra dapper style around the OpenRoad office in November. We’re proud to announce that our own Mo’ Bros and Mo’ Sistas raised a total of $3,624 for men’s health in November. We ranked #604 in Canada (seems appropriate for a Vancouver-based company). Well done team! (more…)