By the time you read this, there is likely a new home page for the Saint Mary’s website. Don’t go check it out yet! Read more...
The new design was designed by the Saint Mary’s web team. It is intended to prioritize usefulness to our various audiences, usability on all types of devices, and accessibility for those of us with disabilities. We also want it to be a positive reflection of all the important activity at Saint Mary's.
The content decisions were driven in large part by a close examination of the analytics of what people click, and don't click on that page, as well as what people look for through our search engine and Google. We looked at a lot of higher education sites, and a lot of other sites that have comparably complex and extensive content, like governments. And, of course, we looked at the current user research on site design, especially as it applies to higher education.
Moving forward, we'll continue to refine the page design as we see how people use it, and we'll be conducting user testing as we try out new ideas. We're using this process to support the development of new design templates for the rest of the site over the coming months.
Before you judge too much, spend a few days using the site. We think people will find it more useful over time. Keep in mind that we’ll be changing content on the page to adapt to the season. Some information will appear more prominently when there’s more interest in it.
We know not everyone will agree with all our decisions. We welcome comments through our feedback form at https://smu.ca/hpfeedback.
If you have a disability and you use adaptive technologies and/or strategies to access the web, we'd especially love to hear about your experiences with the home page or any part of the site, now or any time in the future.