Talk:Common Look & Feel (CLF) - WEB

From SFU_Public
Jump to: navigation, search

Welcome to CLF discussions

If you haven't used this before, you can leave comments using the "+" button in the top menu. It will create a series of "comments" with titles. Or you can edit it randomly like any other wiki page.


Comments from webmasters

November 17 - Mark Campbell

I joined the webmasters list too late to participate in the discussion you all had a couple of months back about desired scope for manoeuvre within the common look and feel, but I have one item I'd like to be taken under consideration. There are some sites where the clf could be applied except for the 'Burnaby Surrey Vancouver' links section at the top, which is inappropriate/irrelevant for certain sites. Here are two examples.
1. When moving the econ site into CQ, I'd like to be able to bring the alumni page along (currently https://cgi.sfu.ca/~econalum/sfu/). But I wouldn't want it to be focused on directing visitors to the three campus sites. That's too restrictive a design and serves no purpose for this audience.
2. We want to move the site of the centre for educartion research and policy (/cerp) into CQ when we get a chance next year, but while we are happy to accept the clf overall for that, the whole 'burnaby vancouver surrey' section just has nothing to do with anyone who would visit the site. Again it makes something look too institutional when that is the wrong impression
Does this make sense? It's just this one roadblock, this piece that really doesn't work for some subset of sfu-associated sites; if there was an alternative template that preserved the very top header, the grey background and bars, the sidebar etc but didn't insist on the 'campus bar', I think you'd get a lot more buy-in.
Mark

October 5 - Angela R - summary sent to Eryn Holbrook for Frances Atkinson

As representatives of the CQ content management system (CMS) Power Users’ group, we want to express some concerns and make some preliminary recommendations about SFU’s Common Look and Feel (CLF), as applied to websites. The CLF is now six years’ old and, while still extremely useful in providing a unified design and navigation system, is showing its age.

We were unable to find any recommendations for frequency of redesign for post-secondary institution websites; however, here are some questions various groups have posed for determining whether it is time to make changes.
• Does your site conform to existing organization branding?
• How does your site compare to your competitors?
• Is your site compatible with current browser usage?
• Is your site optimized to conform to current Search Engine Optimization standards?
• Is your site converting visitors into customers?
• Can the site be made easier to use? Visitors are impatient.
• Does your site accommodate new technologies?

We requested input from SFU webmasters via a message to the webmasters’ mailing list. Our findings are summarized below.

It is important to note that this group does not intend to make detailed recommendations for design and navigation. Our intention is to flag general areas of concern. If the university decides to proceed with a new CLF for websites, we recommend detailed analysis of traffic and usage patterns at that time.

Our three top concerns are usability issues

1. Search should be streamlined. Currently, there is a Search SFU box on the top right of the banner. Many departments have added their own site-specific searches and there is no standard for the location or style of such searches. The implementation and functionality of search across all sites is inconsistent. Search results vary in quality and interface design. Search results should include navigation. Sort by date is highly desirable.
2. Eliminate the three campus-specific home pages: Burnaby, Surrey and Vancouver. They cause confusion. Users have difficulty distinguishing between program information and geographic location. The content on them is slanted towards but not restricted to the specific campus. A smoother way of conveying the one university, three campuses model is needed.
3. Menu system is confusing: right on home vs. left on other pages; grey on grey is too subtle and users miss that content. Indented sub-menus and wrapped text are awkward.

Our three wishes for the future

1. The content of the university’s home page is critical. The process for developing content/links on the SFU home page should be generally understood. Some of the links currently on SFU Home get very low traffic.
2. More flexible page layouts while still maintaining a coordinated look. Layouts need to work for pages other than department-specific information pages. Different services have different needs, some of which are not compatible with the top banner (e.g., Student Information System). Rethink the layout: left menus don’t work well for deep and complex sites (the menus get too long). Pages should be readable on mobile devices.
3. Ongoing support and opportunities to update the CLF as new needs arise. We can’t predict now when a situation comparable to the dramatic rise in the use of smart phones will render the CLF outdated.

Our three recommendations for moving forward

1. Create a limited-term working committee to analyze website traffic and the university's goals/vision, to integrate user needs and university vision such as "student-centred, community engaged and research-driven."

2. Create actionable goals for the CLF, such as: convert visitors into customers, deliver consistent interaction experience, allow for ease of information and visitor flow, develop an annual review process for all CLF pages such as the site map and the A-Z directory.

3. Survey other university websites for best practices and ideas. We're not the only ones struggling with multiple campuses and a thousand agendas from all the faculties and departments.

September 29 - Angela Runnals

I am going to paste below verbatim comments that came to me/us and then selectively add them to the more organized lists on the article page. ... Angela

October 5 - Jason T

==== CONCERNS
1. Search. Its implementation and functionality across all sites is inconsistent and poor. Search results pages vary in quality and interface design. (Burnaby, Surrey and Vancouver)
2. Campus pages vs. SFU Home. Difficult distinguishing program information from campus specific info. (where is "home"?)
3. Uniformity. Different services and departments have different needs from their sites, yet the CLF forces all to use one common top banner. WISHES
1. That search be a part of the CLF and search results pages include navigation (top banner) and use a common technology across all home pages.
2. A new navigation system be designed that clearly reflects the nature of the campus sites.
3. Look and feel update. It has been more than five years since the CLF has been invigorated with new images. Even keeping the CLF exactly as it is, new photography or design elements could help freshen up the look.


October 4 - Andrew Kumar

====





http://www.surrey.sfu.ca/welcome

  • test the search box on the top right
    * some pretty good usability

October 4 - Steve Ray

Hi Everyone,
Thanks for you input on the CLF.
A few notes:
Graham, Thanks for the information about the search. Can you tell us what IT services is looking at and what kind of timeline we would be on?
As for changing the search, it would be nice if the top search field could search the whole SFU Domain (when on the home page) and search the site (eg Dept. of Biology) when on the site, with a toggle to switch to the whole SFU site once you are on the results page. And if we could get the results into the CLF that would be the best result.

Any changes in functionality or look would be best presented (in my view) by way of documented examples of improved usability by the end user. Because it looks better, will not fly with our VP.

Over all I think it is a good time to look at some improvements to the CLF.

Jason, thanks for setting up the wiki.

Below are some comments from my director.

Cheers.


1. The CMS committee is certainly a good place to explore changes in functionality and design through both a technical lens and a best-practices lens.
2. The websites are also a marketing and public-relations face of the university, so will have to go under that lens from PAMR and whatever marketing structure is set up for the university (a project that Philip Steenkamp, v-p of external relations, is working on.)
3. The final recommendations will be taken to the SFU executive by Philip Steenkamp, so he is a key player to get onside.
4. Thus the avenue to final approval by the executive involves two partners, CMSSC and PAMR/VPER. How do the webmasters propose to involve both? And what structure would best do that?

And a closing thought: Any recommendations to CMSSC and PAMR/VPER will have to take into account the fact that many university departments have "no money" to implement changes. The recommendations from the webmasters should therefore seek to answer the key questions: "Who should pay for the changes? And how much will it cost?" (It would be a negative move to simply propose a series of changes, no matter how good, and declare: "Now it's up to you guys to figure out the money bit."



October 4 - Gladys We

I know we want results asap but I think we're not working with enough information to be able to make reasonable recommendations apart from the obvious ones that I agree with (search is broken, campus-specific pages are not useful, "contact us" should be at the bottom of a list, not required to be at the top).

Here's the current report on the home page stats. In one month, we see 1.3 million pageviews of the www.sfu.ca page. We know that 54,000 of those pageviews go to the list of academic programs.

Where do all the rest of the 1.25 million visitors go to?


Here's another screenshot that shows the distribution of a few thousand of those clicks. (Academic Programs sees 54K of those visits and that's only 7% of the pageviews.)



When I look at that screenshot of the home page, I see a lot of political decisions:
* Why is UniverCity there in the right bar?
* Why are there two envision links, in the middle and on the bottom of the left bar?
* Why isn't Continuing Studies there, when they get over 200,000 visits per month? (Compared to envision's 2,445 visits last month)

I think that we need solid visitor numbers/statistics in order to be able to make rational, user-based decisions on website content (with a nod to politics, of course; I'm not that deluded!) Some questions:
* Do visitors come for the events? (I'd like to think so but we have no proof)
* Does "road conditions" need to show up in the CLF? Trust me, when it's snow-conditions time, I've got that page on auto refresh starting at 5 am. (And speaking of that page, man does it need a redesign)
* I just looked at our site map, linked from the bottom grey bar, for the first time ever (http://www.sfu.ca/about/sitemap.html). I'm not the only one — there are 6 faculties listed, not our current 8, and Helen, the list of programs under Continuing Studies is years out of date. There's a need to put some kind of process into place to do an annual review of all of these pages for major changes.

I also had to do a survey, and found some interesting academic websites:

UBC: http://www.ubc.ca/
Click on Okanagan campus, in the middle — the Prospective/Current Students links get specific to those campuses. It's very elegant.

NY: http://www.nyu.edu/
Clean, uncluttered, very good heads, no popup navigation
(Kinda boring, actually, but boring is better than cluttered, which is a real possibility when you're dealing with that much information. See the UofT website for the same kind of layout, but cluttered: http://www.utoronto.ca/)
Also, I think NYU must have actually hired a professional editor/indexer to work on their A-Z page, to actually make it useful and elegant-looking.

UCalgary: http://www.ucalgary.ca/
Most of this site is kind of a mess but I like the bottom bar for heavy navigation links, and the very top bar as the audience-based navigation.
Compare that to SFU's current top bar, which is about an inch thick and has much the same information.

This is just a quick survey of a few websites, and it's also fascinating to me how the home page on most university websites starts to break down after the first two or three levels of navigation. We really do need to build for maximum adaptability and flexibility, otherwise users will continue to do as they please.

September 30 - Helen Chang

Compared to most other local university and college websites, our CLF looks out-of-date. The graphic interface lacks the more contemporary look and feel and fluidity that the other schools' websites have transitioned to. In the past 5 years, there have been massive advancements in web design and technologies, browser capabilities, SEO techniques and social media, and we need a framework that takes advantage of these advancements and incorporates them more seamlessly.

The CLF can be a useful guideline when it comes to colour choices, typography, use and placement of logo, and even page layouts. We wholeheartedly support having a common look and feel because it allows us to leverage the SFU brand. At the same, the way we think our content and navigation should be structured based on the audience we're trying to reach and the goals we're trying to accomplish may not make sense to other units/departments (and vice versa). The CLF should be flexible enough to accommodate such a difference.

Onto more tactical issues:

Earlier this year, we conducted a series of focus groups to solicit feedback on our websites (Continuing Studies has more than one website). The groups comprised students from several areas of study (business, writing, urban planning, etc.), young, mid-career and older. Some were internet-savvy, some were less so. Here are some of our findings:

a) The global links lack context and relevance. Participants expected "Burnaby" to link to Burnaby-based Continuing Studies programs and courses, "Surrey" to link to Surrey-based Continuing Studies programs and courses, etc.

Unbeknownst to them is the fact that the available SFU online services (accessible through "SFU Online") is mostly unavailable and not applicable to them as Continuing Studies students. The "A-Z link" page is out-of-date.

b) The navigation menu, with the grey links against a grey background, does not stand out enough. Participants considered the menu extremely important but found it "dull" and "in the background."

c) Whenever we deviate from web conventions, we run into usability problems. One example is the placement of the "Contact us" button. Participants commented that the "Contact us" link is typically found more towards the end of a navigation menu (more towards the bottom in a vertical navigation menu; more towards the right in a horizontal navigation menu). When it's not where one expects it to be, it becomes difficult to find.


As per Jeremy's comment: The first step is to make the sites consistent; the next step is to make them better.

Regards,
Helen.

September 30- Josh Laidlaw

Here is just a list of a few things that either bug me about the current CLF. I've tried to keep it short but can go into more detail if needed. Another comment I have about the CLF in general is that is needs be evolving all the time to meet the constant changes that are happening.

The look part:
1. A clear grid system
2. Better standard typography across sites with web fonts
3. Better integration with social media sites or at least let all use the same icons
- even better would be an iconography library
4. Standard widgets (Rotating images on home page, recent news, etc. )
- Yahoo! Design Pattern library is a good reference

The feel part:
1. Touch friendly navigation on the home page
2. Have one home page (kill campus specific ones – Burnaby/Vancouver get very little traffic)
- Create a better events @ SFU hub to replace these pages
3. Mobile web strategy be it responsive design or mobile specific sites
4. Make the standard bar more useful including a better search box

The common part:
1. Faculty/School/etc. pages should have the same structure so visitors can move between sites without having to learn a new system
- I think this is was part of the original idea behind the CLF

Josh Laidlaw, Designer
The Design Group - External Relations
Simon Fraser University

September 29 - Andrew Leung

I have a few suggestions for the CLF. Some of these are a bit technical (and focused on the HTML code), so I'm not sure if they fall into the scope of the request you are putting together. Anyways, here they are:

  • Redesign the landing page. I personally find the right-side navigation menus on landing/home pages a bit awkward to use, since I am so accustomed to menus being on the left. It is also inconsistent with all the other pages, which have the main menu on the left.
    * Evolve into HTML5. HTML5 supersedes XHTML 1.0 Strict, and has/will become the long-term HTML standard. Evolving the CLF code to HTML5 will future-proof SFU websites, and also opens the door to new features, such as <video> and <canvas> tags.
    * Use CSS to implement hover-over menus. Currently, the "SFU Online" and "A-Z Links" hover-over menus are driven by JavaScript, which actually in turn modifies the CSS "display" property to show/hide the menu. This process can be simplified by using the CSS ":hover" pseudo-class; no JavaScript needed.
    * Clean-up the SFU logo. If you look closely at the words "SIMON FRASER UNIVERSITY", you'll notice that they have a red tint (instead of just being white text). Also, if you zoom in enough, you'll also notice a few semi-transparent white dots around the right and bottom edges of the red SFU logo block. Here's an example: http://www.sfu.ca/hp/clf/images/Logo_Main.gif

Please let me know if you need more information or further clarification.

Cheers,

Andrew Leung
Web & Graphic Technician
Simon Fraser University (Surrey Campus)
T: 778.782.8817 E: andrew_leung_4@sfu.ca
www.surrey.sfu.ca

September 28 - Dave Carmean

I agree with Richard's point on making the departmental/unit name more prominent- it is important to make it clear where the user is.

Another off-topic issue relating to the technology experience people get on the web at SFU is our use of forms. In 2008 I made a list of PDF's that people had to print and then fill out by hand- I tried to get those forms to be made into fillable PDF's. Most of Student Services forms http://students.sfu.ca/forms.html must still be filled out by hand, and many in Finance and Human Resources. The Dean of Graduate Studies has converted their forms.

I found I could convert most forms in a couple minutes, probably less than the time spent deciphering handwriting. Here are brief instructions on how to convert forms...
http://www.sfu.ca/biology/facilities/computer/Acrobat/acrobat.html

Now the push should be for online forms to go directly into databases. I have gotten around the need for signatures for online forms using CAS (thanks to Ray Davison, Derek Warren and others for help). The online form can still be printed and signed, as can fillable PDF forms.

Dave Carmean


September 28 - Sarah Stoner

One thing that concerns me is that the it's hard to avoid a 'text-heavy' look. I feel like the homepage does a decent job at this as it hides many links in the navigation bar but it's difficult to avoid this text-heavy look on content pages. Maybe a lighter font could help?

Sarah Stoner

September 27 - Ivana Filipovic

Good idea!

- right side menu too narrow
- SFU logo links to the main site, not to the site's home page - can we split it so the logo links to the SFU main page, and the department/unit name to the site home page?
- I second Richard's motion to increase the department/unit title size slightly
- News Items issues - the old Flash tool for creating news items images and banners is not working properly anymore - needs redevelopment. This is something TLC will definitely like to do. I don't think it can be incorporated into CQ, but a separate tool is possible.
- DIN doesn't exist as a web font - this is a major issue if we are to incorporate a news item/banner tool into CQ
- I'd like to see the red banner part of the SFU banner redesigned. Possibly with smaller fonts, and adding 2 searches - SFU and site specific

Ivana Filipovic

September 27 - Richard Blackwell

A. Re-size department/unit name vis-a-vis "Simon Fraser University"
beside the logo. I think the Bookstore banner is a good example
(http://sfu.collegestoreonline.com)

B. Left menu bar could use a re-think. I find the sub-menus,
differentiated by indentation and either a different typefaces or colour
to be a bit awkward and messy. The indentation also means having
diminishing space for labels which may result in wrapping (yuck!).
Pop-out/slide-out sub-menus might be better?

C. The SFU Search field should allow for searching to be restricted to
the sub-domain (dept/unit, etc.) that the visitor is currently visiting.

D. Ditto Duncan's comments, esp. the 404 error on running a search on a
search-results page.
--
Cheers,

Richard Blackwell

September 26 - Don MacLachlan

Also not really to do with the CLF: I would kill for a sort-by-date CSE on the site(s).
(It drives me nuts having to wade through 10 or 12 pages of search results to find the one item I was looking for that I know we put on our site only last week.)
I understand that a refined Google CSE is not quite as costly theses days as it used to be. But I believe it's still a tonne of money given the number of site-searchers that SFU faces.
Also would be happy if the Search-SFU CSE also had a search-the-web option.

Don MacLachlan

September 26- Graham Ballantyne

The Bookstore's website doesn't on SFU servers or even within the sfu.ca domain; they've contracted it out to a third-party. Notice the URL…
We have redirects (www.sfu.ca/bookstore) but google site search doesn't see them.


> II) Once you have started the SFU site search, if you type anything into the google site search bar (passed via the URL)
>
> www.googlesyndicatedsearch.com/u/sfu?sitesearch=sfu.ca&domains=sfu.ca
>
> you always get a message "404. That’s an error." You have to go back to the original "SFU Search" on the original page to do another search.
>

The current site search product that we've been using has been deprecated by Google and this is a side-effect. ITS is currently investigating several alternatives.

--
Graham Ballantyne

September 26 - Duncan Napier

My biggest beef right now is not the website design per se, but one aspect of its functionality. Mainly the "SFU Search" (google.com SFU site search).

I) The Site Search often (? it seems to be better than in the past) pulls up inexplicable search results. For example, type

SFU Bookstore

into the SFU site search. I don't believe a direct link the SFU Bookstore's Home Page appears in the first several pages (if ever) on Google SFU Site Search.

Type "SFU Bookstore" into www.google.com and the SFU Bookstore's Home Page comes up as the first entry on the first page. Does anyone know why the discrepancy?

II) Once you have started the SFU site search, if you type anything into the google site search bar (passed via the URL)

www.googlesyndicatedsearch.com/u/sfu?sitesearch=sfu.ca&domains=sfu.ca

you always get a message "404. That’s an error." You have to go back to the original "SFU Search" on the original page to do another search.

Anyway, just my (possibly tangential) 2 cents on this matter. I'm surprised these issues have existed for so long, apparently with no resolution.

Duncan Napier


Other university websites

Concordia website redesign

http://www.concordia.ca/now/campus-life/concordia-community/20111004/concordiaca-navigation-gets-a-boost.php

http://buildingmarketingstrategies.wordpress.com/2011/10/09/branding-on-the-website-homepage/



General website reviews

See Bivings Report on the "Top 11 Best Designed University Websites": http://www.bivingsreport.com/2010/top-11-best-designed-university-websites



New York University  www.nye.edu

Items consistent across all branded pages:

Top (horizontal) navigation: Schools, Quicklinks, A-Z, NYUHome Login, Students, Faculty, Alumni, Employees, Community (9)
NYU Logo
Search
Screen real estate: 950 x 100

Footer (horizontal) navigation: Search, Directory, Campus Map, Calendar, Contact Us, Site Map, Copyright and Fair Use, Feedback
Rights statement
Screen real estate: 775 x 60


Additional home page navigation:
ABOUT NYU
+ 7 children
ADMISSIONS
+ 7 children
ACADEMICS
+ 9 children
UNIVERSITY LIFE
+ 6 children
RESEARCH
+ 4 children
GLOBAL
+ 6 children

= 45 home page-specific links


Comments:

Content pages use horizontal navigation in a "layer cake" style: 6 main category links across the top, next level of links directly below; up to 9 child links, also horizontal. The number of child links can be maintained because the areas of the site that conform to the CLF are centrally managed by NYU's web communications team. Once the user navigates to a departmental page, the CLF is no longer adhered to. Typically, departmental sites use a left-hand navigation bar similar to SFU's – the sheer number of pages would not fit in a horizontal navigation bar.

What works: Simple, compressed navigation in the header; plenty of white space; excellent use of typography and chunking; little in the way of photos and extraneous graphic elements.

What doesn't: CLF is only applied to the top level administrative and marketing pages. Once you're in a departmental site, the navigation approach changes and the user experience varies.



Johns Hopkins University  www.jhu.edu

Items consistent across all branded pages:

Top (horizontal) navigation: About JHU, Admissions, Schools & Academics, Research, Campus Life, Athletics, Giving, Alumni + many, many child links revealed via mega drop-down
Logo
Search
Screen real estate: 1000 x 175

Footer navigation: Expands the first 5 top navigation items to include 5-15 child links; + events calendar, find courses of study, on the web (social media links) = 7
= 72 consistent CLF links!
Screen real estate: 1000 x 590


Additional home page navigation:
None, really. Includes 3 news stories + rotating carousel of 5 items


Comments:

Like NYU, the CLF breaks down at the departmental level. However, JHU has mitigated this issue by offering a CLF-branded "overview" page for each major department/school (e.g., http://webapps.jhu.edu/jhuniverse/academics/schools/carey_business_school/), in addition to the departmental site (http://carey.jhu.edu/).

What works: An astonishing number of links is visible on the home page and CLF-branded child pages. And yet a good 2/3 of the home page is taken up by the rotating image carousel. Restricted colour palette allows photography to stand out. Only professional, magazine-quality photos are included in the carousel. Carousel stories are high-quality as well; the more 'newsy' stories are delegated to the second row of links.

What doesn't: Campus locations, maps and contact information is buried, however, these links *are* accessible via all CLF-branded pages. Top navigation bar doesn't stand out on the home page but this is partly addressed by the repeated navigation in the footer. Footer piece is nearly 600px high, which takes up a lot of space — should the items in this list change according to the context? If I click on "Admissions" am I going to be interested in links for donations, alumni, etc?



University of Chicago  www.uchicago.edu

Items consistent across all branded pages:

Top (horizontal) navigation: About, Academics, Admissions & Aid, Research, Civic Engagement, Careers, Students, Parents, Alumni & Friends / Directories, Maps, myUChicago, A-Z, Quick Links, Make a Gift
Logo
Search
Screen real estate: 960 x 130

Footer: Copyright info, address, Directories, Campus Maps, A-Z Index, Make a Gift, Quick Links, cMail/xMail, Campus Notices, Emergency Information, myUChicaco, Website Comments, social media links
Screen real estate: 960 x 100


Comments:

Uses a horizontal + vertical navigation scheme – 9 top level links appear at the top of the page, child links are contained in a vertical navigation bar on either the left or right side of the page.

What works: Top banner is compact and easy to read. Top-level links stand out and invite clicks. Footer takes up a reasonable amount of space. Every CLF-branded page is organized on an elegant grid, with adequate whitespace and good typography.

What doesn't: Home page has a nice grid but is too cluttered. Rotating "Academic Programs" feature is probably useless — it took 4 refreshes to find a program I'd be interested in.



'

General comments on the above 3 sites:

All of these sites demonstrate a high level of consistentcy across branded pages. You never feel as though you've left the mothership – when you're in "Admissions & Aid" at U of Chicago, you can see exactly where you are within the context of the home page. However, this consistency nearly always breaks down once you've reached the departmental-level site. Perhaps a hybrid approach would be preferable: include a larger suite of pages in the top-level hierarchy; once at the departmental level, determine which elements of the CLF are essential and which are optional/irrelevant.

Massey University http://www.massey.ac.nz/

Massey University was identified as having a one website, three campuses, approach. Information on various campus location sis integrated into the site with minimal confusion/duplication.

Extract from the SWIPE Report, April 6, 2007

3. Operationally define what “One university, three campuses” means in terms of the SFU websites.
Urgency and priority
Both high. We propose a phased approach.
Rationale
• In November, the four SFU websites were clearly different in terms of their links and presentation of information. SWIPE was mandated to progress in the direction of “One university, three campuses” or “One university, three locations,” depending on the speaker. These have subtly different meanings and implications. The second direction could perhaps be more clearly described as a “Three campuses, one university” approach. Neither has been clearly articulated as the university’s stance.
• Our decided approach was to present common information first: to address the initial mandate as completely as possible and, most importantly, to ensure that students can easily find important and accurate information (an issue determined by reviewing existing data and reports).
• Although our solution was approved by SFU senior administrative staff, differences in interpretation of “one university, three campuses/locations” and the purpose of the four SFU websites became apparent as the project progressed. Examples of program and service departments clearly indicated a diversity of approaches.
• The lack of operational definitions continues to pose challenges for staff to move forward in their work, because there is no shared framework and understanding upon which to build collaborations. Continued expectations for staff to work towards resolutions, clarity and consistency are unlikely to be met and continued confusion for students is a likely result.
Process
To ensure SFU community members are coordinating efforts effectively and efficiently, we request that SFU senior administration come to an agreement on and document:
• whether we are “One university, three campuses” or “Three campuses, one university”
• an operational definition of the selected description above:
o What is the definition and how does it affect the mandates of departments and individuals? How is this to be implemented across the university in its day-to-day operations? (e.g. program, campus, departmental websites; communications within and external to the university; recruitment materials and activities, etc.)
• an operational definition of four SFU websites:
o What is the purpose of the SFU.ca and campus sites; what are standards for the information architecture; where is common versus campus-specific information to occur? What is the “voice” for the sites – are they to contextualize information based on the campus and link to common information thereafter, or present common/the university information first and then campus-specific information?
o How can we ensure smooth paths for visitors, particularly prospective students? (See Massey University for a one website for three campuses approach <http://www.massey.ac.nz/>.)
Resources and Commitment
• Time of SFU senior administration to meet and determine a shared vision and operational definitions.
• Other cross-departmental staff, if desired, for consultation.
• Staff to disseminate and operationalize the vision and definitions, and to plan and implement changes within their respective areas (phased).

Working committee to be set up

The CMS steering committee has approved a working committee to review the CLF as interpreted for websites. The group will be renamed something like the Web Usability working committee to clarify that we are not primarily concerned with the design other than as it affects usability. Membership of the group and other details will be posted here.


Steering Committee Report

Stuff that should be maintained in the CLF
Some kind of search
Wordmark/logo
The fact that there is a CLF for the entire university
Common placement of navigation
Consistency in: fonts, colours, icons?


Stuff that requires review
Main pages and administrative pages
Size of department name under the logo
Lack of review process
Process for deciding what appears on the home page; may need a place to include topical content (e.g., envision)
Making the home page/admin pages user-centred
Centralized source for centralized information


Stuff that should be removed from the CLF
3 campus links in red bar + SFU.ca


Things that take you out of context
3 campus links
Global search