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Next Generation Web Experience: Frequently Asked Questions

The following frequently asked questions have been compiled from feedback we have received from the U of M community about the NGWE project. These questions will be updated regularly as the project progresses.

Have a question that isn’t answered here? Contact ngwe [at] umanitoba [dot] ca

What is the Next Generation Web Experience project?

The Next Generation Website Experience (NGWE) is an initiative to create a modern, user-focused umanitoba.ca for the entire university community.

Benefits of the new umanitoba.ca will include:

  • User-centred design, improving navigation and search
  • Responsive design, supporting mobile users
  • An accessible experience
  • New visual design along with a framework for a common look and feel around the site
  • Improved performance management and measurement capabilities
  • Improved web capabilities through a modern Content Management System (CMS), Drupal

WHO IS LEADING THE PROJECT?

The NGWE project sponsor is John Kearsey, Vice-President (External) and the project executives are Lori Yarchuk, Associate Vice-President, Marketing Communications and Mario Lebar, Chief Information Officer. Members of the NGWE project board include:

  • Jeff Adams, Student Affairs
  • Greg Bak, Faculty of Arts
  • Doug Brown, Kinesiology and Recreation Management
  • Christine Cyr, Indigenous Engagement
  • Jay Doering, Partnerships
  • Adam Gerhard, IST
  • Paul Lacap, MCO
  • Ben Li, Faculty of Science
  • Carl Neumann, UM Graduate Students’ Association
  • Lisa O’Hara, Libraries
  • Ruth Shead, Indigenous Engagement
  • Darlene Smith, Human Resources (HR)
  • Mark Torchia, Centre for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning
  • Reg Urbanowski, College of Rehabilitation Sciences, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences
  • Owen Black, UMSU VP External until April 30, 2019;
  • Kyra Fanning, UMSU VP Community Engagement as of May 1, 2019

When will the new umanitoba.ca launch?

An initial site build that will include the top layers of the new website, including the U of M homepage, will launch in summer 2019 with the remaining content migrating over the following 12 to 18 months.

What is the status of the project?

Currently, the project is nearing the end of Design and Development, and moving into Building Initial Site (see graphic below). The Initial Site build will encompass the top layers of the new umanitoba.ca, including segments of key areas such as admissions, academics, research, student supports, alumni and more.

NGWE Project Stages - April 2019

Does the NGWE project include Intranet?

Much of the content currently published on umanitoba.ca is for an internal audience. To better meet the needs of all of our audiences, an Intranet solution is being explored as an initiative in parallel to the umanitoba.ca website.

HOW HAVE STUDENTS, FACULTY AND STAFF BEEN ENGAGED IN THE PROJECT?

In the last year, more than 1,000 prospective and current students, as well as staff and faculty members, participated in workshops to explore possible website features, information architecture, wireframes, intranet and content lifecycle. In addition, close to 700 participated in online testing on the information architecture with most testers being prospective and current university students.

HOW HAS THE INDIGENOUS COMMUNITY BEEN ENGAGED IN THE PROJECT?

The project board includes Christine Cyr and Ruth Shead from Indigenous Engagement who have been instrumental in informing direction at each stage of the project. Additionally, Indigenous stakeholders from across campus have participated in many of the NGWE workshops and sessions that have been required for discovery, design and development.

WILL A NEW VISUAL IDENTITY BE PART OF THE NEW WEBSITE?

Yes! The new website will launch with an exciting new look and feel.

HOW IS CONTENT FOR THE NEW WEBSITE BEING CREATED AND/OR MIGRATED?

The process for content creation and migration includes the NGWE project team, the Marketing Communications Office (MCO), our campus partners and –– for the Initial Site –– our partner vendor Domain7. After Initial Site launch, and for the duration of the site migration, content creators and quality assurance experts on a newly formed NGWE Site Migration team will be supporting new content creation and migration.

All content created for the website during the NGWE project will be reviewed within the Marketing Communications Office (MCO) and by the respective faculties and units before publication.

HOW WILL U OF M ENSURE CONTENT IS ACCESSIBLE?

The U of M’s new Content Management System (CMS) is designed to support sites that comply with accessibility standards WCAG 2.0 and ATAG 2.0. Also, accessibility standards will be included in content guidelines to ensure everyone keeps accessibility top of mind when creating web content.

What will replace RedDot?

Drupal is the CMS that will replace RedDot. Drupal is a popular CMS in the higher education sector, widely used across the U15 and at top colleges in the U.S. Drupal will allow authors to easily update content and configure their sites with additional functionality to meet specific requirements.

WHAT ABOUT TEMPLATES?

The new website is being built using a Design System that includes a large Component Library and guidelines around those components. Meaning, there will be an ability for units to create pages that align with their specific content needs and priorities. Some templates will be available if required, but there will be a lot more flexibility with our new website.

WILL DRUPAL CONNECT WITH EXISTING PLATFORMS OR FEEDS?

There are many third-party platforms that are linked from our current website. Some can be easily integrated with Drupal. The NGWE project team will be connecting with faculties and units about third-party integration throughout the project.

WILL TRAINING BE PROVIDED?

Yes. The NGWE project team is currently developing a training strategy and plan.

How can I get involved in the NGWE?

The Next Generation Web Experience (NGWE) project’s success will rely on feedback from prospective students, faculty, staff, alumni and donors. While we work towards the refresh of umanitoba.ca, we will be regularly asking members of our community to provide input.

You can help us improve umanitoba.ca by:

As part of the project introductions across the university, community members were asked to recommend team members for the Web Community of Interest (WCOI). This group will meet several times throughout each stage to learn more about current progress and provide feedback on the project.

If you are interested in joining the WCOI, please contact ngwe [at] umanitoba [dot] ca

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