The site is laden with obviously purchased stock imagery from old catalogs. It looks like it was lifted from PowerPoint. It is void of any social media connectivity and flies in the face of the principals of effective information design.
Overall the site is uninteresting, ineffective and insulting to display outwards in hopes of attracting/retaining business.
I shudder to think of the total amount of tax dollars that were spent on this.Listen to the marketing-speak on the landing page : Aurora is a “fast growing” centre just “30 minutes” north of the City of Toronto. Honestly, how can anyone support the claim that Aurora is “fast growing”. Has anyone conducted a study to determine the number of businesses we have lost over the last couple years? If we did I think we would find some shrinkage. And can anyone honestly say that we live “30 minutes” north of Toronto. I think it would be an out-right lie to claim a figure of 30 minutes even by Go-Train. Don’t even get me started on the claim “Our supportive municipal government…” please. It was very interesting to see “Interactive Media” under the heading of “Target Sectors” : http://businessaurora.ca/interactivemediac18.php It goes on to say “The GTA is one of Canada’s most significant interactive media hubs” which is true, however Aurora is not in any way close to claiming they are a vibrant contributor to this, as a city proxy is not enough to flaunt, you actually have to be an active participant in this sector. I noticed the interesting choice of wording “companies with interests in the interactive media sector” which of course fails to mention any of the companies by name or any local successes. Toronto, Ottawa, Oakville, Burlington are all active and globally recognized interactive media hubs. Waterloo was just recently recognized as “the” Digital Media Hub for Ontario, receiving $26 Million in funding:
http://www.interactiveontario.com/news/view/496 As a citizen having spent my entire career in Interactive Media and working through all of these cities I can safely say Aurora is not on the radar in this sector and it is blatant false advertising to say otherwise. You’d think if we were an “interactive media hub” as so claimed that the town could have hired someone within that hub to design the website. Aurora may have aspirations of being in this group but this site reinforces how clueless the town is as to how to get there. At the bottom of the site there is some logo that reads “ED Tools”. I don’t know who Ed is, nor do I even want to click on a link to his “tools” but if you’re brave enough it links to McSweeney & Associates : http://18.104.22.168/index.php If they are in “any way” responsible for the design of this website (or their own) they should be fired, along with anyone on the town of Aurora’s Economic Development committee that approved this abomination. Business will not chose to locate themselves in our town through such a thin marketing veneer of placing rhetoric over reality. Nor will the skilled labor force that we flaunt at every turn chose to stay here if the town chooses to market itself in this manner. Anyone from a technical or emerging sector would not spend more than two minutes on this site. If it has any chance of being recognized for anything it will be from being nominated to WebPagesThatSuck .com : http://www.webpagesthatsuck.com/