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uOttawa.ca 
Putting students (+ users) first 
• The redesign of uOttawa.ca 
Presented by: Nichole McGill, uOttawa Web Comm...
Tweet out 
@nicholemcgill 
#highedweb 
#pseweb 
#UAD9
1997
2003
2009
2013
About uOttawa 
Largest bilingual* university in the world 
– 40,000+ students 
– 5,000 staff 
– 10 faculties 
uOttawa.ca 
...
The uOttawa.ca redesign 
– New navigation 
– New visual design 
– New Web CMS 
– Mobile responsive 
– Accessible (WCAG 2.0...
The Project 
• April 2012 – 
uOttawa.ca 
Nov. 2013 
• Two firms: 
• 5 months: UX 
• 12 months: 
consultation 
and reportin...
Key takeaways 
uOttawa.ca 
1. Lay the groundwork 
2. You are not are the expert 
(Your community and your users are) 
3. H...
Takeaway #1 
LAY THE GROUNDWORK
Governance? 
Source: http://bit.ly/1yliFKc
Governance 
Source: http://bit.ly/1yliFKc
Consult, collaborate, repeat 
uOttawa.ca
Build relationships 
uOttawa.ca
Areas of Governance 
uOttawa.ca 
Stakeholder 
Stakeholder 
Stakeholder 
Central Web 
team 
Stakeholder 
Stakeholder 
Stake...
Number of Web platforms? 
8* 
uOttawa.ca 
*(or so)
Web CMS Working Group est. 2010 
8* to 1 
uOttawa.ca
Why a single Web platform is a 
lynchpin 
Navigation 
Design 
AccessibilityCMS 
Content 
sharing 
Archiving 
system
After 9 months, adopted Drupal 
• Open source 
• uOttawa 
• Universities 
• Government 
= Had community
Bilingual side-by-side editor 
uOttawa.ca
Takeaway #2 
YOU ARE NOT THE EXPERT 
(YOUR USERS ARE)
Listen to your stakeholders 
uOttawa.ca
Step #2: Analyzing 
uOttawa.ca 
Interviews 
UX 
studies 
Web 
analytics 
Top tasks on uOttawa.ca
Step #2: Analyzing 
uOttawa.ca 
Interviews 
UX 
studies 
Web 
analytics 
400 top tasks
Step #3: Collaborating 
uOttawa.ca 
Interviews 
UX 
studies 
Web 
analytics 
400 75 top tasks!
Step #4: Validate >> polling 
uOttawa.ca
The result: clear top tasks 
3000 
2500 
2000 
1500 
1000 
500 
0 
1 6 11 16 21 26 31 36 41 46 51 56 61 66 71 76 
Vote 
uO...
Below is a list of tasks that people can 
do on uOttawa.ca 
Tasks 
uOttawa.ca 
1457 
Voters 
2914 
Voters 
4371 
Voters 
5...
Customer satisfaction 
Q: “Choose the THREE factors from the list below 
that best describe your actual experience with th...
What do we need to improve? 
uOttawa.ca 
0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 
Menus et liens 
Recherche 
Mise en page 
Contacts 
Com...
This informs your Web roadmap 
uOttawa.ca 
0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 
Menus et liens 
Recherche 
Mise en page 
Contacts 
C...
uOttawa.ca
Those other 70 tasks… 
uOttawa.ca
Know the name of the service? 
uOttawa.ca
Takeaway #3 
HAVE CLEAR (AND 
ACHIEVABLE) GOALS
Criteria for success 
External 
• Accessibility 
• Improved user 
experience 
Internal 
• Easy-to-use Web 
platform 
• Ado...
Reduction in a11y errors 
uOttawa.ca 
10,000’s to 0
Reduced overall bounce rate to < 40%
“Students” most visited page 
(2-4 % bounce; 14X increase in visitors)
What do students access? 
• Google apps login 
• Blackboard learn 
• Important dates and deadlines 
• Services for student...
Tweets 
uOttawa.ca
Why a success? 
5,000+ 
students 
consulted
Professors and admin staff 
(3-5% bounce rate; visits decreased) 
uOttawa.ca
Staff needs 
• Benchmarked satisfaction levels (2012) 
• Surveyed staff 6 months post-launch: 
– Made requests; we incorpo...
Launched staff portal - fall 2014 
uOttawa.ca
More UX (2015), GA and improvements 
uOttawa.ca
Takeaway #4 
QUALITY, NOT CONTROL
If you build it… 
…they will come
If you build it… 
and helps groups 
achieve their goals 
…they will come
Before migration & post-migration
Faculty of Arts: Before and after
2014
Key takeaways 
uOttawa.ca 
1. Lay the groundwork 
2. You are not are the expert 
(Your community and your users are) 
3. H...
Merci 
Slides available at http://ht.ly/zHHSD 
uOttawa.ca
Putting users first: The redesign of uOttawa.ca
Putting users first: The redesign of uOttawa.ca
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Putting users first: The redesign of uOttawa.ca

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The new uOttawa.ca website went live in November of 2013 to the musical tweets and likes of students and for those who are passionate about creating a user-design experience. Not only was a new mobile responsive Drupal Web content management system put in place to replace the numerous in play, the entire content and purpose of the site was rethought according to a thorough analysis that focused on the needs of users first. Nichole McGill, Web Communications Director for the University of Ottawa, reveals what she learned in her multi-year odyssey to transform uOttawa.ca to make it mobile, ensure that all requirements met the unique bilingual needs of the largest English-French university in the world, all the while pushing the bar for university sites.

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Putting users first: The redesign of uOttawa.ca

  1. 1. uOttawa.ca Putting students (+ users) first • The redesign of uOttawa.ca Presented by: Nichole McGill, uOttawa Web Communicatons Director, Oct. 21, 2014
  2. 2. Tweet out @nicholemcgill #highedweb #pseweb #UAD9
  3. 3. 1997
  4. 4. 2003
  5. 5. 2009
  6. 6. 2013
  7. 7. About uOttawa Largest bilingual* university in the world – 40,000+ students – 5,000 staff – 10 faculties uOttawa.ca - 100 major subsites (-400) - Increasing mobile + int’l traffic uOttawa.ca *Français-English
  8. 8. The uOttawa.ca redesign – New navigation – New visual design – New Web CMS – Mobile responsive – Accessible (WCAG 2.0 AA) – Sign off from critical stakeholders – Platform for new brand + launch for a campus-wide migration project uOttawa.ca
  9. 9. The Project • April 2012 – uOttawa.ca Nov. 2013 • Two firms: • 5 months: UX • 12 months: consultation and reporting back
  10. 10. Key takeaways uOttawa.ca 1. Lay the groundwork 2. You are not are the expert (Your community and your users are) 3. Have clear achievable goals 4. Quality, not control
  11. 11. Takeaway #1 LAY THE GROUNDWORK
  12. 12. Governance? Source: http://bit.ly/1yliFKc
  13. 13. Governance Source: http://bit.ly/1yliFKc
  14. 14. Consult, collaborate, repeat uOttawa.ca
  15. 15. Build relationships uOttawa.ca
  16. 16. Areas of Governance uOttawa.ca Stakeholder Stakeholder Stakeholder Central Web team Stakeholder Stakeholder Stakeholder Stakeholder Stakeholder Stakeholder Web Governance A C C R C C C C I Web Strategy I C C R C C C A C* * Process I C C A / R C I C C Performance Management I C C A / R C R C I Content Strategy R I A / R C R C I Structure (IA) and Design R I A / R R C R C Content Creation C R C A* / R C Content Life-Cycle Management C A / R C C Web Application Development C R R R I A / R C Infrastructure C C I A / R C Groundwork: Decide who does what
  17. 17. Number of Web platforms? 8* uOttawa.ca *(or so)
  18. 18. Web CMS Working Group est. 2010 8* to 1 uOttawa.ca
  19. 19. Why a single Web platform is a lynchpin Navigation Design AccessibilityCMS Content sharing Archiving system
  20. 20. After 9 months, adopted Drupal • Open source • uOttawa • Universities • Government = Had community
  21. 21. Bilingual side-by-side editor uOttawa.ca
  22. 22. Takeaway #2 YOU ARE NOT THE EXPERT (YOUR USERS ARE)
  23. 23. Listen to your stakeholders uOttawa.ca
  24. 24. Step #2: Analyzing uOttawa.ca Interviews UX studies Web analytics Top tasks on uOttawa.ca
  25. 25. Step #2: Analyzing uOttawa.ca Interviews UX studies Web analytics 400 top tasks
  26. 26. Step #3: Collaborating uOttawa.ca Interviews UX studies Web analytics 400 75 top tasks!
  27. 27. Step #4: Validate >> polling uOttawa.ca
  28. 28. The result: clear top tasks 3000 2500 2000 1500 1000 500 0 1 6 11 16 21 26 31 36 41 46 51 56 61 66 71 76 Vote uOttawa.ca Tasks
  29. 29. Below is a list of tasks that people can do on uOttawa.ca Tasks uOttawa.ca 1457 Voters 2914 Voters 4371 Voters 5829 Voters 1 Fees / tuition / costs 5.6% 5.7% 5.8% 5.9% 2 Course timetable 5.7% 5.9% 5.8% 5.7% 3 Find a program/course 4.3% 4.4% 4.4% 4.5% 4 Grants, loan, scholarships 4.5% 4.6% 4.3% 4.4% 5 Registration (dates, process) 4.3% 4.1% 4.2% 4.1% 6 Search library catalogue (articles, journals, books, DVDs) 5.2% 4.6% 4.4% 4.1% 7 Important academic dates and deadlines 4.4% 3.9% 3.7% 3.6% 8 Adding, dropping and changing courses 3.6% 3.6% 3.6% 3.4% 9 Admission requirements/criteria 2.7% 3.0% 3.1% 3.3% 10 Exam timetable and information 3.1% 3.3% 3.2% 3.1% 11 Faculties and Departments 2.7% 2.8% 2.9% 2.9% 12 Jobs at uOttawa 2.7% 2.6% 2.6% 2.5% 13 Jobs for students 2.7% 2.6% 2.5% 2.5% 14 Contact the University 1.9% 2.1% 2.0% 2.1% 15 How to pay fees (where, when, how) 1.7% 1.9% 2.0% 2.0% 16 Library services (borrowing, research help, printing/copying) 2.2% 1.9% 1.9% 2.0% 17 How to apply 1.4% 1.6% 1.8% 2.0% 18 Apply to graduate studies 1.6% 1.8% 1.9% 1.9% 19 Admission deadlines 1.5% 1.8% 1.8% 1.9% 20 Library – hours, locations, services 1.8% 1.7% 1.7% 1.7% Top 25% 26-50% 51-75% 1457 Voters 2914 Voters 4371 Voters 5829 Voters tuition / costs 5.6% 5.7% 5.8% 5.9% timetable 5.7% 5.9% 5.8% 5.7% program/course 4.3% 4.4% 4.4% 4.5% loan, scholarships 4.5% 4.6% 4.3% 4.4% Registration (dates, process) 4.3% 4.1% 4.2% 4.1% library catalogue (articles, journals, books, 5.2% 4.6% 4.4% 4.1% academic dates and deadlines 4.4% 3.9% 3.7% 3.6% dropping and changing courses 3.6% 3.6% 3.6% 3.4% requirements/criteria 2.7% 3.0% 3.1% 3.3% timetable and information 3.1% 3.3% 3.2% 3.1% and Departments 2.7% 2.8% 2.9% 2.9% uOttawa 2.7% 2.6% 2.6% 2.5% students 2.7% 2.6% 2.5% 2.5% the University 1.9% 2.1% 2.0% 2.1% pay fees (where, when, how) 1.7% 1.9% 2.0% 2.0% services (borrowing, research help, copying) 2.2% 1.9% 1.9% 2.0% apply 1.4% 1.6% 1.8% 2.0% graduate studies 1.6% 1.8% 1.9% 1.9% deadlines 1.5% 1.8% 1.8% 1.9% hours, locations, services 1.8% 1.7% 1.7% 1.7%
  30. 30. Customer satisfaction Q: “Choose the THREE factors from the list below that best describe your actual experience with the University of Ottawa website” (total: 26) • Up-to-date (+/-) • Accurate (+/-) • Complete (+/-) • Language (+/-) • Contact (+/-) • Participation (+/-) • Open (+/-) • Recommendations (+/-) • Search (+/-) • Menus & Links (+/-) • Layout (+/-) • Visual appeal (+/-) • Speed (+/-)
  31. 31. What do we need to improve? uOttawa.ca 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% Menus et liens Recherche Mise en page Contacts Complet Rapidité Participation Attrait visuel Recommandations Mise à jour Ouvert Langage Exactitude
  32. 32. This informs your Web roadmap uOttawa.ca 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% Menus et liens Recherche Mise en page Contacts Complet Rapidité Participation Attrait visuel Recommandations Mise à jour Ouvert Langage Exactitude
  33. 33. uOttawa.ca
  34. 34. Those other 70 tasks… uOttawa.ca
  35. 35. Know the name of the service? uOttawa.ca
  36. 36. Takeaway #3 HAVE CLEAR (AND ACHIEVABLE) GOALS
  37. 37. Criteria for success External • Accessibility • Improved user experience Internal • Easy-to-use Web platform • Adoption • Improved user experience
  38. 38. Reduction in a11y errors uOttawa.ca 10,000’s to 0
  39. 39. Reduced overall bounce rate to < 40%
  40. 40. “Students” most visited page (2-4 % bounce; 14X increase in visitors)
  41. 41. What do students access? • Google apps login • Blackboard learn • Important dates and deadlines • Services for students • Library • Campus events • Faculties uOttawa.ca
  42. 42. Tweets uOttawa.ca
  43. 43. Why a success? 5,000+ students consulted
  44. 44. Professors and admin staff (3-5% bounce rate; visits decreased) uOttawa.ca
  45. 45. Staff needs • Benchmarked satisfaction levels (2012) • Surveyed staff 6 months post-launch: – Made requests; we incorporated them – Need for an Intranet uOttawa.ca
  46. 46. Launched staff portal - fall 2014 uOttawa.ca
  47. 47. More UX (2015), GA and improvements uOttawa.ca
  48. 48. Takeaway #4 QUALITY, NOT CONTROL
  49. 49. If you build it… …they will come
  50. 50. If you build it… and helps groups achieve their goals …they will come
  51. 51. Before migration & post-migration
  52. 52. Faculty of Arts: Before and after
  53. 53. 2014
  54. 54. Key takeaways uOttawa.ca 1. Lay the groundwork 2. You are not are the expert (Your community and your users are) 3. Have clear achievable goals 4. Quality, not control
  55. 55. Merci Slides available at http://ht.ly/zHHSD uOttawa.ca

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