The Story of Apt613’s New Site – Partnering with OAK Computing

There Once was an Apartment and an OAK

Back in 2011, at a networking event in town, Apt613’s François Levesque made an open request asking for help with an improved calendar for their site.  OAK’s Manu Sharma, ever present at such events and a huge fan of Apt613 (as we all are at OAK) stepped up instantly, recognizing that this partnership would bring good things to Ottawa’s community engagement.

From Calander to Full Redesign

As with any good design process, it all starts with some lengthy (sometimes coffee accompanied, sometimes beer accompanied) conversations.  What’s working?  What’s not?  What’s your goal?  How do you want to scale?   All of these have to be answered.

And what the conversations illuminated was that Apt613, with its thousands of daily readers, had outgrown its present template WordPress solution.  They now needed a custom WordPress solution to suit their new needs:  look fantastic, flexibility to highlight specific content, spotlight events, advanced search, maximize automation and minimize required training.

With great attention to detail, the OAK & Apt613 teams went through multiple stages:  usability studies that led to information re-organization, wireframe designs, development, testing, training, and today’s launch.  What you see today is the fruits of all of our hard work.

What we love

We love the elegant look & feel, the white space, the advanced search capabilities, the beautiful pics that automatically resize from large banners to tiny thumbnails, the newly simplified and now image enhanced navigation bars, the  news ticker… And let’s not forget the pièce de résistance, the Apt613 events calendar.  With its ability to highlight upcoming events, incorporate advanced search,  integrate social media, and be very easy to navigate – its just beautiful (if we do say so ourselves).

And they lived happily ever after

But really this is just the beginning.  We are extremely excited to see the possibilities an Apt613 & OAK partnership can bring to community and neighborhood engagement, and we’re just getting started!

Local Organization looking for a Technology Partner? 

OAK is an Ottawa based software development firm with a strong commitment to community.  Every year we seek to help 4-5 community organizations with their web/technology projects.  If you are an Ottawa based community organization with a strong focus on grass-roots change and you have a strong desire to see how technology can help you further your change footprint, then please get in touch with us.  We are always happy to hear your vision and how you feel we can work together to make our wonderful Ottawa community stronger and better connected.




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