Camp 6 and Camp 18 are the local organizations that administer The Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer in Edmonton and Calgary, respectively.
The ceremony is an almost 100-year Canadian tradition that presents Iron Rings to graduating and practicing engineers, reminding them of their ethical obligations to live and work to a high standard of professional conduct and public service.
Instructions from the top
The Camps’ parent organization—The Corporation of the Seven Wardens—underwent a branding process and requested each Camp follow the basic branding guidelines they sent out. They were given a basic branding guide (typeface, colours, and logo details) along with various other materials such as letterhead and slide templates, but it was up to them to update their website (and in Camp 18’s case, create a website where none had existed before).
Let’s talk about goals
Providing only typefaces, colours, and logos leaves a lot of room for aesthetic interpretation, with the potential for the designs to be completely different. Both Camps preferred this, and I set out to design two completely different websites. Because each Camp had varying content and goals—and a different preference for website organization and hierarchy—this made complete sense.
For Camp 18, one of the most important things was the ability to facilitate Iron Ring replacements from the website—more automatically—instead of more manually through email. Their second priority was making information about the rings and ceremonies readily available, and providing attendees the ability to register for ceremonies through the website.
Camp 6 felt similarly about the Ring Replacements—having an automated system (that could take online payments) would be more efficient both for the volunteers that run each Camp and for the engineers requesting the rings.
Some important design details
Based on their goals, there were three areas in which good design would contribute to the overall success of the websites:
1 — Forms
Requesting a replacement ring and registering for a ceremony all comes down to using forms. The form design needed to be friendly, familiar, and easy—this wasn’t the time to get ultra creative with how forms look or work.
2 — Displaying instructions and information about processes
Ceremony registrations are not as simple as they may sound. A lot of information has to be displayed—which ceremonies are for which type of engineer, what makes someone a practicing engineer, who can participate, etc—and there are a lot of extra details to share. Add payments on top of that and it becomes very important for the Camps to be able to clearly communicate instructions and information.
I designed a Frequently Asked Question component for Camp 18 that they could stick on any page in almost any location throughout the content, giving them the ability to provide contextual answers to questions they anticipated visitors to have.
For Camp 6, it was enough to simply make sure their list styling stood out a little bit from the rest of the content on the page; to draw visitors’ attentions as if to say “Hey! Numbered instructions this way!”.
3 — Sharing upcoming ceremony details
One of the most important pieces of information to know is when the next ceremony will be happening.
I designed a versatile area in Camp 18’s header that allows them to share whatever information they feel is most pertinent at any given time, with the ability to include a link. For example, this information could be the date of the next ceremony, details about the Camp, or an announcement that registration is open for the next ceremony.
The system created for Camp 6 was a little more specific. While they do have the ability to share information on an optional info bar across the top of the website, I also designed a section for the Ceremonies page that displays the upcoming ceremonies of each type (graduating and practicing, which are often separate). It was built so Camp 6 could input all the upcoming ceremony dates as they were confirmed, and categorize them. On any given page, they have the ability to pull and display all the ceremonies, or only those of a specific category.