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Management Briefing - Web Refresh Project

Author: ITS

Posted on Jul 29, 2013

Category: Management Briefings

Background UNB’s public website, www.unb.ca, is one of our most important information and communication tools, helping us reach external audiences such as prospective students, alumni, donors, community partners, and colleagues around the world. Several years ago a major effort was undertaken to completely revise and renew our website, and after tremendous efforts by designers, developers, internal and external consultants, and hundreds of departmental contributors, the present award‐winning site was launched. UNB understands the importance and value of the web, and has   refresh pic recently re‐invested in web infrastructure, including a state‐of‐the‐art content management system, powerful server and database equipment, and the personnel necessary to make it all work flawlessly. To ensure UNB maintains its valuable web assets appropriately, a project is underway to refresh the website and to extend its usability and accessibility. The project The entire UNB website is being reformatted to be completely compatible with smartphones and tablet devices; based on Responsive Web Design (RWD), the UNB website will be the first major university site in the Atlantic Region, and among the first in Canada, to incorporate this new design architecture. At the same time, the underlying code and the physical infrastructure upon which the website depends is being completely renewed. The refreshed site will also contain many features and enhancements arising from website traffic analysis data, user feedback, internal and external consultants, and our own professional web experts. In particular, the website will be more universally accessible; users with vision or other challenges will have a much better experience. Finally, the refreshed website has been designed to complement other UNB web assets such as the myUNB portal. Design and implementation work on the website has been underway since January. On August 9, the current website will be “frozen”, meaning no editing is permitted, while the top‐level pages are loaded onto the production web platform. It will take several days to fully implement all the changes on the production site—after all, over 20,000 pages are being refreshed—but there will be very little actual downtime. When complete, the revised website will still provide users with everything they need to know about UNB, but will also have a smarter, attractive, and highly usable look. Strategic alignment The renewed UNB website marks the completion of strategic initiatives outlined in the ITS Strategic Plan, the UNB Mobility Strategy, and the UNB Web Strategy, furthering the objectives of providing a transformational student experience while building a better university.
July 29, 2013 – Terry Nikkel, AVP, ITS