DowntownNY.com Wins Best In Class Award in 2011 Interactive Media Awards
The Alliance for Downtown New York’s website, www.DowntownNY.com, was awarded the 2011 Best In Class Award in the Reference category by the Interactive Media Council, Inc. The website, created by I-SITE, an interactive design and marketing firm, was launched in the Spring of 2011 as a new, map-based website designed as a Lower Manhattan information portal for visitors, residents and workers in the district.
“The Downtown Alliance is the source for everything you want to know about in Lower Manhattan,” said Elizabeth H. Berger, President of the Downtown Alliance, which manages the Lower Manhattan Business Improvement District. “This award is a great acknowledgment of the hard work we put into the website. We’re excited that we could create a great resource where our workers, visitors and residents can learn about everything that is Lower Manhattan.”
Since the redesign, the Downtown Alliance’s website has seen an almost 18% increase in visits over the same time last year. The site was designed to meet the needs of Lower Manhattan’s 309,000 workers, 56,000 residents and 9 million annual visitors.
The Interactive Media Awards, presented by the Interactive Media Council, have been handed out since 2006 as a method of providing accomplished and talented web professionals with the endorsements and tool necessary to be recognized in the marketplace as leading providers of top-tier services.
“The Downtown Alliance had such incredible content and a very clear strategic direction of where they wanted to go online,” said Ian Cross, CEO of I-SITE, the Philadelphia-based company that produced DowntownNY.com. “We really enjoyed working with their team to bring their ideas and extensive data to life on the website.”
All websites are judged on the following criteria; Design, Content, Feature Functionality, Usability, and Standards Compliance and Cross-Browser Compatibility. Each site is reviewed by at least three judges and if the overall score is between 460-479 points, they receive Outstanding Achievement, but if the website scores a near-perfect or perfect score (between 480-500), then they receive the Best in Class Award, which is what DowntownNY.com earned in the Reference category. Other Best In Class winners in 2011 are the American Cancer Society, Revlon, and Jay-Z The Hits Collection.
Some of the new features on the DowntownNY.com website that made it Best in Class include the Interactive Map, including all shopping and dining and visitor resources, Events Calendar, integration with the Alliance’s social media network, an Incentives Calculator, and extraordinary research reports and statistics on Lower Manhattan.
While the site is designed chiefly as a guide to Lower Manhattan, information about Downtown Alliance initiatives, such as the free Wi-Fi hotspots and Downtown Connection bus system, the Hive at 55 coworking facility, the Re:Construction public-art program, and community planting events, is more easily searchable than before. The site also prominently displays the Alliance’s research. For example, a new statistic—say, the number of firms that have relocated to Lower Manhattan or the number of residential buildings in the district—appears on the homepage each time it’s loaded, and the organization’s research reports are more accessible and better-organized. Plus, a new Facts and Figures section distills many of the Research Department’s most salient findings onto one page.