New UVic website on the way, preview available

- University of Victoria

Campus community members are invited to preview UVic's new website from now until it launches August 5–6.

The University of Victoria is launching a new central website this August. It’s clean, simple, searchable, mobile-friendly and task-driven—and just in time to support the UVic community and external audiences as the university moves into its first-ever predominantly online term this fall.

Campus community members are invited to preview the new website from now until it launches August 5–6. It’s not only an opportunity to get familiar with the new approach and structure, but also a chance to provide feedback as the project team finetunes the site in the final stage of its development.

The change is three years in the making and couldn’t come at a better time. Our students are using the website heavily. Web use will only increase this fall as UVic offers over 90% of our undergraduate courses and 60% of graduate courses online. Now, more than ever, we need to offer an extraordinary online experience that meets the needs of our students.

You’ll notice a dramatic reduction in text. This leaner, better-organized site will be more searchable and easy to use.

UVic’s new website provides a more dynamic way for people to learn about and engage with the knowledge, programs and our community. That’s more important than ever in today’s changing world.
Jamie Cassels, UVic President
UVic's new website home page
UVic's new central website is clean, simple, searchable, mobile-friendly and task-driven.

It takes a village (and a campus)

UVic’s web template was last updated in 2012, but our central web structure has not been completely overhauled since 2008. Over the intervening years the site has become dated, and grown by increments to the point where it has become inconsistent and overly complicated.

The redesign project was led by University Communications + Marketing in partnership with University Systems and guided by a project leadership team of 20+ leaders from across campus representing all of UVic’s VP portfolios and a range of major units.

The project began in 2017, with the first year dedicated to research and discovery to fully understand what the university community and key external audiences need from a central university website. The team conducted over 100 interviews with faculty, staff, students, high-school students and community members, over 50 workshops and focus groups, and public vetting workshops attended by hundreds across campus.

The approach to the new site was built on the discovery findings: evidence-based decisions, mobile-first experience, accessibility, searchability, a major reduction in content and duplication, and utilizing industry-leading best practices.

The collaboration didn’t stop there. As the team worked to redesign and revise the website content, they consulted with over 550 subject matter experts across campus.

The result isn’t just a website that serves the needs of our community. It rates as one of the top websites in Canada for accessibility, usability, and search-engine optimization—moving UVic into the top tier of a highly competitive post-secondary field. Using the industry-leading website scoring tool SiteImprove, the new website scores an overall A+, putting it among the top 5% of websites worldwide.

What’s changing for faculty and staff?

Nothing about the way faculty design and deliver courses will change with this project. Instead, faculty and staff will have better structured, more efficient, more readily available, and more user-friendly access to the type of supplementary resources that the central site has always provided.

The faculty and staff page (the default internal homepage) has been updated to support faculty and staff in their roles. All the tools and resources they identitified as important in discovery can be found there, prioritized and easier to search. There are also a few new resources added in response to input, like an improved A to Z list and directory interface.

Unit sites have not been changed. The rollout of new website templates for unit sites based on the new approach to the central site will happen over the next few years as part of a process of continuous improvement to keep UVic’s new web presence among the best in Canada and internationally.


Explore the preview

Provide your feedback 

You may see changes occur during the preview as the team continues to work on testing, redirects, content reviews with subject matter experts, and updates related to COVID-19.


In this story

Keywords: administrative

People: Jamie Cassels

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