Website Refresh Project 2021

Guiding principle: Maintain simplicity

In the last quarter of 2020 we were keen to get started on phase one of our Website Refresh Project and bring in 2021 with a fresh, clean homepage for UC.  The home page embraces good web design principles and provides our visitors with a modern, sharp, bicultural first impression. It is worth saying that while we wanted the homepage to be beautiful, it was also important that it be easy to navigate. The new layout removes unnecessary distractions and focuses on a simple, visual design offering users a way to find the content as easily as possible.

These changes are the visual, textual and metadata elements – layout, images, colours, font and content, to deliver a better user experience, improving discoverability on search engines and demonstrating our bicultural* foundation.

Feedback so far has been positive and consistent in regards to the homepage updates. Visitors like the white space and appreciate the ease of navigation with the new prominent search bar.

As part of this process, we have also completed a card sorting survey to find out how students, staff, careers advisors and other key audiences think our subjects should be categorised. This will help group content on our website and publications based on need rather than internal structures. Analysis is underway and will inform the second phase of our web refresh in 2021.

 What’s Next?

  • A minimum of a fortnightly update to the homepage banner with a topical and relevant UC image
  • New media (News) site with enhanced search functionality
  • Analysis of subject organisation and determination of subject-area-categories
  • Updated research website area to support our shared strategic objective to drive high impact research and improve the national and international research profile, reputation and ranking of the University
  • Clearer call to action (CTA) buttons added to the CMS to help users perform valuable actions
  • A new google advertising capability in-house to help us maximise our conversion, including analytics and SEO processes (with our tools such as Monsido and Lucky Orange)

This is just the start of our website refresh efforts. Moving forward, there will be further auditing of layouts and content, and a refresh of other sections of the website. We will continue to review analytics and engage in conversations with relevant stakeholders.

Working with the IT/Digital team we will continue to focus on delivering an improved, cohesive user experience, including the utilisation of other platforms for staff to more easily connect (e.g. Yammer).

If you have any questions or feedback about our website refresh project please do not hesitate to reach out to tracey.rosengrave@canterbury.ac.nz

* Home page artwork by Morgan Hale, Kaitiaki Studios, an amazing local Māori artist. 

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