Port of Tacoma
Helping a large port authority meet the competing needs of diverse audiences and better respond to competitive challenges
Economic activity generated by the port
Pages of content migrated by I.F.
Mapped acres of port real estate
3rd Party Integrations
Bulk File Upload
The Port of Tacoma (Washington) is one of North America’s largest maritime ports, providing vital connections to transport food, clothing, cars, and other cargo to destinations around the globe. The public agency serves a variety of distinct audiences, ranging from customers and business partners to local governments and community members, and the organization struggled to balance the digital needs of its diverse user groups. Additionally, the port industry was growing increasingly competitive, and the Port was looking to better market its services and capabilities to bring more jobs and investment to its community. After launching a new brand identity and adopting a strategic plan, the Port partnered with I.F. in 2014 to build a robust, customer-focused website that would help it better compete in a competitive market and meet the needs of its diverse user base. In 2020, we partnered again for an updated design that reliagned their navigation and simplified content entry and maintenance for Web editors.
Data-driven design and custom integrations to better serve users
I.F.’s Voice of CitizenⓇ provided deep insights into what the Port’s various audiences expected to find and needed from the website, while usability testing guided the design of the user experience. The resulting website featured a clean, simple design that highlighted the Port’s competitive advantages and followed the new brand guidelines, and a streamlined navigation to quickly guide the diverse user groups to the right information.
The project also involved integrating several external data feeds and technologies to replace previously manual processes and provide enhanced functionality. These included the Port’s GIS (mapping) system to create interactive maps to market Port properties for sale or lease and highlight public access sites, as well as the vessel location system to populate the searchable vessel schedule. A custom procurement page simplified the process to advertise and manage procurements, while searchable databases gave customers access to resources that were previously only available as printed materials.
Aligning brand, navigation, and emerging technologies
Community needs, government technology, and website best practices evolve over time. Our continual Voice of CitizenⓇ research revealed the Port had increased traffic around Real Estate and Contracting. The information architecture needed a refresh, and a new approach to managing content for their growing content management team. In 2021 we completed a redesign and upgrade of their site from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8.
Because of our long-term partnership and familiarity with their brand, we were able to engage deeply on design ideas, accessibility, and how to fine-tune their navigation. The new site gives their team full control over all content types, media assets, and custom blocks. Plus, we provided extensive tools and training to sustain their quality content over the lifecycle of their new site. With even more custom integrations and an advanced search, the Port’s modernized digital experience allows all types of users to accomplish tasks quickly and easily
- Custom integrations with several external data feeds and technologies
- Relevant, accurate search that includes autocorrect, suggestions, and the ability to search within documents
- Accessible, responsive design and functionality
- Easy to understand, user-focused navigation