Powering Cameco’s Digital Transformation
In September 2014, Cameco and zu launched Cameco-5 – the fifth iteration of the company’s corporate website since 1997. The previous design, launched in 2009, reflected a corporate strategy that has long since changed. A complete reengineering was needed to overhaul the dated design, replace the costly pre-CMS approach to content management, and most importantly, cure the lack of mobile-optimized content.
Design for the Future
Collectively, we inventoried the sprawling website styles and design elements that differed section by section and page by page. Our design strategist led exercises to explore trends and illustrate best practices in corporate and investor relations design. These findings were used as benchmarks to develop concepts for the new Cameco website. With an evolved communications strategy that emphasizes Cameco’s community involvement, career opportunities, industry-leading uranium production and strong financial performance, the new design accomplishes the goal of uniquely showcasing these company strengths, while maintaining a cohesive brand experience.
Develop for Growth
At each phase of the 11-month project, considerable thought was given to the long-term growth and optimization of the website. Building the website on a robust open source content management system was key to achieving sustained business value through in-house administration of content and corporate reporting. From design through to development, custom features and information architecture had to pass the administrative litmus test to ensure a powerful experience would be delivered to the site visitor, while remaining manageable for the Cameco webmaster via the CMS. Understanding the tipping point where customization thwarts administrator usability was key to this project. The balancing of high touch design with practical maintainability proved successful as Cameco administrators swiftly became comfortable with tasks previously accomplished by off-site webteams. The Cameco webmaster team’s confidence continues to expand as they explore additional ways to add value to content through their new CMS.
Features and highlights
- Responsive design
- Expression Engine CMS
- Custom built Reserves and Resources table and charting
- Custom built Business Overview
- Custom designed infographics
- Advanced Google Analytics configuration
- Google Maps integration
- HighStock Stock Chart integration
Optimize for Mobile
Year after year we watched as mobile traffic grew exponentially on the old Cameco website. Drawing from this observation, we concluded that the new version of the corporate website would need to be optimized for mobile, so we put our experience in responsive web design and mobile app development to work. To accomplish this, we first designed custom features and traditional content for the more challenging mobile devices, and then expanded to desktop aspect ratios to ensure optimization across devices. Our cross-functional teams utilized the device test lab to validate quality controls on modern browsers and various operating systems at each deployment.
We had incredibly high goals for the new cameco.com. We made huge changes both aesthetically and functionally, while responding to our ever-increasing number of mobile users. I’m very proud of what Cameco and zu achieved together, it was an intense and rewarding experience that built an excellent website.Jennifer Skinner, Manager Communication Projects
Launching the website in the fall of 2014 was truly a proud moment in the relationship that zu and Cameco have cultivated together since 1996. As digital technologies have advanced and third party tools have proliferated, the nature of our role has evolved from being the uranium miner’s web development arm to being a digital strategic advisor for continued transformation. As we move forward with a fresh design and technical approach, our team-based relationship continues to draw upon each organization’s unique approaches to communications, as well as the technical challenges inherent in our respective industries. The digital ecosystem is growing and evolving faster than ever before, and together we will navigate trends and capitalize on opportunities to continue the transformation of Cameco’s digital experience.