Nearshore Americas

CINDE’s Website Transformation Offers Case Example of Why Robust Web Presence is So Critical

A clear vision and detailed knowledge of your audience are core to creating a website that resonates with users and communicates your brand vision – so says CINDE’s Marketing Manager, Karin Lachner. She should know. As part of the team to drive the redesign of what was already an award-winning website and the first such site to leverage the new Essential Costa Rica country brand, Lachner has key insight in how to do it right.

The Costa Rican Investment Promotion Agency (CINDE) wanted to better leverage the digital tools available and create a more robust user experience. At the forefront of this was the need to showcase what Costa Rican talent can do. “The website is a reflection of that, built by Costa Rican talent and highlighting what we have to offer as a country,” said Lachner. The site conforms to all international standards of web design.

The new CINDE website takes a visual approach that reflects the new Costa Rica Essentials country brand
The new CINDE website takes a visual approach that reflects the new Costa Rica Essentials country brand

Understanding the audience for the website was crucial. “Key to this was ensuring that we understood how our visitors were using the site. We had been tracking the interactions that our clients had with our website, with a view to providing a more robust experience for investors. We examined and mapped key interactions and even created personas for each type of visitor,” Lachner said. This provided a detailed picture of the types of visitors to the site and their specific needs.

CINDE's former website took a more traditional approach.
CINDE’s former website took a more traditional approach.

Andrea Centeno, Communications Director of CINDE, added: “We analyzed not only the rational side of the investor, but also how they would like to experience the digital tools, what would make them feel satisfied with the answers and tools, and confident in the information; we looked at the emotional side.”

The new site, launched on 31 October last year, reflects the new Costa Rica Essentials country brand, which aims to emphasize the friendliness and efficiency of the country. The site uses the colors of the country brand, focuses on what Lachner described as “stunning imagery and clean graphics”, and embeds the qualities of friendliness and accessibility into every interaction point.

Each section of the new website is colour-coded to assist visitors to navigate the site.
Each section of the new website is color-coded to assist visitors to navigate the site.

Web developer Alberto Vega explained that while many investment sites focus on the numbers, which can be overwhelming and distancing to the user, the CINDE website aims to offer a friendly and accessible face – while still offering concrete, practical and useful information.

Screenshot 2015-02-09 17.55.09
CINDE’s website has evolved over time. In 2011, it was much less visually focused.

Lachner added that the structure of the site is business-driven: “We want to trigger action. So we established a hub for resources to get deeper information.” She said that there is a certain path that users can move through the site, which aims to answer their questions quickly and completely. “It is an open approach to having a real conversation,” she said.

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Vega said that the key challenge in the project was that CINDE had so much to say. “The challenge was to find the right thing to say and how to say. It changed the structure and even the pace of how information was presented,” he said.

The site forms part of a broader digital strategy that leverages digital tools to communicate CINDE’s vision and attract investment to Costa Rica’s shores. “Part of that vision is how we present ourselves and how we are perceived outside of our borders,” said Jorge Sequeira, Managing Director of CINDE. “This worldwide website is part of that. It showcases Costa Rica as having the infrastructure needed. As we grow into new segments, we need to work ever more with the electronic world rather than the paper world. This will be the point of entry for most of our users.”

Vega added that this is now “a future proof website powered by different leading technologies all adding up to an amazingly simple to maintain project, with virtually no developers needed for regular day to day website activities and updates.”

Bianca Wright

Nearshore Americas Contributing Editor Bianca Wright has been published in a variety of magazines and online publications in the UK, the US and South Africa, including Global Telecoms Business,, SA Computer Magazine, M-Business,, Business Start-ups, Cosmopolitan and ComputorEdge. She holds a MPhil degree in Journalism from the University of Stellenbosch and a DPhil in Media Studies from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.

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