WHEN DOES THE WEBSITE REFRESH TAKE PLACE?
On August 27th existing websites that are centrally-hosted and using the York2014 WordPress theme got their main navigation and footer updated to reflect York University’s new brand strategy. On August 31, 2020 several phase-one websites launched featuring the newly design York2020 theme.
There is never a good time for a web refresh. The University is always in the middle of a semester or registration period. However, there are periods in which web traffic slows down a little. The Digital Experience Council, along with senior management, and participating faculty and student services leads, chose this time as the most optimal to launch.
WHAT TO EXPECT?
What is new
- New navigation with audience objectives in mind
- New digital logo designed specifically for digital screens (desktop, Mobile, LCD)
- New universal website footer standardizes footers across York websites
- New universal nav bars featuring sticky navigation
- New Contact on navigation standardizes contact info location and presentation for all websites
- New font designed to work well in user interface (UI) environments, as well as other mediums.
What is changing
- The old quick links has been replaced with a new feature called "Popular Links". Popular links are informed by Google Analytics
- The old top-navigation containing Future Students, Current Students, Alumni & Friends has been relocated to the Quick Links section on the main homepage.
WHERE IS MY INFORMATION?
The new homepage is intended for multiple audiences interested in learning more about York, our programs and services, community and life at York. The main homepage features new navigation with key audience objectives in mind. With a few clicks, audiences can access relevant information and resources on an easy to navigate website. Check out the Study, Partnerships, Research and International webpages to learn more.
WHAT IF I DON’T FIND WHAT I NEED?
First, try the search option. If you still can’t locate what you’re looking for, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
WHAT IF I HAVE A SYSTEMS CONCERN
Systems are overseen by York’s IT Team. If you have any questions or concerns about systems, email email@example.com.
IS THE WEB OPTIMIZATION FINISHED?
Optimization is an ongoing process that includes making improvements, redesig sections, add new modules and functionality, and assist with departmental and office sites.
WHY DOES YORK NEED A NEW WEBSITE?
As part of the new pan-University web optimization strategy, York’s website is undergoing a major refresh to update and improve the user experience. The website updates were informed through extensive research with 16 key audiences and broad consultation with University communication managers and website owners. A Digital Experience Council (DEC) was created as part of the governance structure to bring together representation from across the University to help ensure the successful planning and implementation of the project, and to guide ongoing improvements and updates.
In addition to the modern look and feel and new universal navigation, the website integrates contemporary modular templates and will be one of the first visible components reflecting the new brand differentiation strategy, narrative and visual design system.
WHAT ARE THE WEB OPTIMIZATION PROJECT GOALS?
- Enhance promotion of York areas of study, programs, and services.
- Clear the clutter and improve navigation and functionality for all.
- Create a modern, cohesive design consistent with the York brand.
- Provide easy-to-understand content that is credible, relevant, and timely.
- Be mobile-friendly and AODA compliant.
- Optimize content to improve search functionality.
- Establish clear guidelines and resources to assist departments with content management and design.
WHO IS THE AUDIENCE FOR THE YORK HOMEPAGE?
The primary audience is prospective students and influencers, allowing for easier exploration of college programs and career options. The homepage design will promote YORK programs, services, and resources; provide an easy-to-follow-path through the enrollment process; and drive users to complete one of two primary calls to action — either request information or apply for admission. Either of these actions will enter prospective students into the Recruit CRM, allowing YORK recruiters and enrollment advisors to guide users through the decision-making process and admission steps.
WHAT IS THE WEB OPTIMIZATION PROCESS?
It is a multiyear process that began in 2018 with assessing the university’s most urgent needs and planning for more effective systems. It will continue until all academic and operational departments are able to meet web guidelines and have the web assets needed to reach Strategic Plan goals. Process highlights include:
- Research and Discovery
- Information Architecture
- Content Audit and Development
- Web Style Guide (fine-tuned throughout process)
- Technical Development (making sure it works)
- Design Development (making sure it looks good)
- Live Launch
- Incorporation and Training
For more information on the Pan-University Website Optimization project please visit the project website.
CAN I MAKE A COMMENT OR RECOMMENDATION?
Yes! As the Web Optimization team implements the improved design, we welcome your feedback. If you have a comment or question, please submit it here. Comments also will be shared with the Digital Experience Council.