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Distress Centre – ConnecTeen

Distress Centre is a non-profit organization that provides counselling and support in the community of Calgary and its surrounds. In 2011, Distress Centre launched a much needed service for Calgary’s youth, called ConnecTeen.


Fully staffed by volunteers, ConnecTeen offers counselling and 24-hour support for young people in the community via their 403.266.HELP crisis line as well as live online chat and email. ConnecTeen is also one of only three youth support organizations in North America to provide a peer-to-peer text support service.

As the success of ConnecTeen grew, the organization decided it was time to update and improve their website to make it more engaging for a youthful audience. When word got around that ConnecTeen was looking for a partner for top-notch web design in the Edmonton or Calgary area, they were referred to us here at SOS Media Corp.

What We Did for ConnecTeen

In order to let the youth of Calgary know there’s an organization that can provide help and support in a wide range of circumstances, ConnecTeen needed an interactive, lively online presence. Their objective was to make content accessible on any connected device and to offer a fresh, unique experience for visitors.

That’s how ConnecTeen began its partnership with SOS Media Corp, a leading provider of responsive web design in Edmonton. A number of highly creative meetings later, we had agreed upon the goals and direction for the project and were ready to build a stylish new, youth-oriented website.

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Website Design and Development

ConnecTeen wanted its new website to have a strong social media focus, in keeping with the trends of a youth demographic. Of course this also meant the site needed to provide a rich experience on the smaller screens of smartphones and tablets, as well as PCs and laptop computers.

resposive web design
responsive web design
responsive web design

Website Features

The ConnecTeen website is all about communication. Apart from being topical, the pages need to speak to teen concerns, call out to potential volunteers, and be useful to parents and members of the caring professions. Most importantly, the website must support a real-time, confidential online chat environment that young people can feel confident about using.

While SOS Media Corp has vast experience in providing great web design and development for Edmonton and Calgary businesses, working on the ConnecTeen project truly exercised our team’s skills in creativity and innovation.


  • Content Management by WordPress. We chose to utilize the WordPress CMS for the ConnecTeen site, not only because it makes it easy for our clients to update websites without complex coding, but also because WordPress is ideal when it comes to integrating social media—one of the most important considerations for ConnecTeen.
  • Interactive and Responsive Design. There’s no room for navigation frustrations when somebody is reaching out for help, so ConnecTeen’s new website had to be functional and easy to navigate on any device. We developed our client’s pages to be fully responsive for a smooth user experience on both small and large screens. To enhance aesthetics, we used a minimalist, Windows 8, metro style design with topics contained in dynamic tiles.
  • Confidential Chat Feature. ConnecTeen’s priority is to offer meaningful support through multiple channels. At the same time, confidentiality must be assured for anyone reaching out for help. That’s why we provided ConnecTeen with a live and completely private web-chat facility.
  • Search Feature. Although we designed our client’s site to be navigation-friendly, our client felt it was important to make content searchable too. To meet that requirement, we placed a bold and simple search feature at the top of every page on the website.



  • Seamless Social Media Integration. Today’s youth are the most connected generation ever and social media is an integral part of life for modern teens. The site owners wanted to feature social media content and encourage visitors to share content on their favorite social networks. We provided buttons for all the main networks and even put a live Twitter feed right on the home page.
  • Engaging Blog Features. ConnecTeen exists to inform young people as well as provide active help and support. In order to maximize engagement and attract more visitors, our team created an attractive blog page with social media buttons and a related posts section for each individual post. To make doubly sure that visitors can easily find topics of interest, we designed a tag cloud to highlight all the most popular tagged articles and topics.
  • Convenient Forms. Continuing the accessibility theme, we incorporated forms strategically throughout the ConnecTeen website. If visitors need to speak to somebody urgently, they have the phone, text and live-chat channels. However, even for questions, enquiries or other less urgent contacts, an easy-to-complete form is always right at visitors’ fingertips.

Graphic Design

ConnecTeen wanted the new site to employ attractive and eye catching graphic imagery to engage their visitors. SOS Media Corp was only too happy to oblige, creating custom-designed pages while giving our client the benefit of automated styling and multiple templates to change things up if required.


  • Slider Graphics. Custom designed slider graphics at the head of each page and sliding tiles on the home page keep the site’s appearance dynamic and interesting. The client can alter the tile and slider order at will and easily change or update the content of either.
  • Custom Illustrations. To make sure ConnectTeen’s visitors are able to enjoy a site that stands out and just begs to be explored, we worked with a contracted artist to create fully customized, unique, cartoon-style images. The end result is a website combining simplicity and functionality with a striking, contemporary visual impact.

SOS Media Corp is delighted to add the ConnecTeen to our portfolio of satisfied customers who benefit from the finest in responsive web design in Edmonton and surrounding areas.