City of Edmonton

We helped establish Edmonton as a leader in citizen digital experience.

Our partnership

How it began

Yellow Pencil and the City of Edmonton are old friends. We go back to 2008, when we were first selected to bring our expertise in creating complete design systems to the reinvention of

We helped Edmonton tackle the tough (and often conflicting) problems of increasing brand recognition, while also improving citizens' access to digital information and services. Our design concepts were unanimously accepted by everyone - from the mayor to city clerks - and helped Edmonton leap forward in both web traffic and citizen approval ratings.

Later that year, Edmonton began the search for a new content management platform. We responded with our colleagues at OpenText, and were selected to build and launch our own designs on the OpenText WSM platform. But Edmonton didn't just want us to build the site, they wanted a complete hosting and support program so that they could focus on what was important to them: sharing information and delivering services. Our team responded, building a managed services model to fit the city's needs.

Since then

Since 2008, we have continued to support and host and the OneCity Intranet. We've provided almost 100% continuous uptime, and helped to become the #1 service delivery platform for the City of Edmonton. While we managed the digital platform, the city could focus on enabling their 400+ content authors, releasing a globally recognized open data program, and completing the move to Google Apps.

Since 2008, the city's site has seen an increase in traffic of nearly 2000%, with satisfaction surveys showing a 95%+ approval rating from citizens - making one of the best-used city websites in Canada

Yellow Pencil has continued to help Edmonton develop their digital communications, releasing improvements each year in design, content, and technology. In collaboration with the Edmonton Web Team, we've re-launched the OneCity Intranet with enhanced information architecture, improved the delivery of recreation information to citizens, and released new social content and engagement tools on

In 2015, Edmonton demonstrated their trust in our team by giving us the responsibility to create a fully refreshed design system, along with an implementation of Apache Solr search. This new design and search system will launch in the Fall of 2016, and we believe that it is going to set a new bar for city web design and search. Early results from user testing show unanimous support across a wide variety of user groups; indicating that we're on pace to meet the complex and competing needs of multiple stakeholders within this thriving and growing city.

By 2015, the way citizens were using had evolved: of the more than one million visitors to the site each month, over 50% were using a mobile device. The city demonstrated their trust in the YP by partnering with us once again to create an updated site that's responsive, accessible, and citizen-driven; to provide content creators with more flexible, modular content design and a simplified authoring experience; and to implement a custom Apache Solr in-site search tool.

The new launches in the Fall of 2016 - and we believe it's going to re-establish the city as a leader in citizen digital experience.

Edmonton in a nutshell

  • Incorporated in February of 1892 with a population of 700
  • Second largest city in AB
  • Edmonton is Alberta’s capital city and Canada’s fifth largest city.
  • Edmonton is the northernmost city in North America with a population of over 1 million.
  • Edmonton is the second fastest-growing city in the country, acquiring an average of 82 people each day.
  • Edmonton is one of the youngest of Canada’s major cities, with 40% of its population between the ages of 20 and 44 (5% more than the national average).
  • Edmonton has the highest per capita area of parkland of any Canadian city.

We helped establish Edmonton as a leader in citizen digital experience.

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