We began the process of creating a new website in late 2016, following consultation with our members at the CAUL 2016/2 Council meeting. Members gave us a lot to think about, listing many goals for the new website, a summary of the key themes which emerged is as follows.
The new CAUL website must:
- Be easy to navigate, not busy with access to key documents and reliable information
- Present the advocacy and strategic role of CAUL upfront
- Separate the public facing website from CAUL's intranet and internal content
- Cater for different audiences, with links to sister organisations
- Allow members to load, edit, and create content, have discussions and work together
- Be accessible and web standards compliant
- Be visually powerful, not all text with space for engaging and dynamic content
- Reflect best practice in design, search and navigability
Following a limited tender process in early 2017 we selected WeaveWeb (a Melbourne based firm) to create the new website.
So what is new?
We have simplified the website's structure, reduced the clutter and re-organised how content is presented. We have prioritised the website's underlying information architecture over its visual appearance or other desirable features.
Some of the significant differences are:
- Search has been greatly improved. You can now use a combination of keyword and categorical filtering to find content on the website. We will be developing a taxonomy to classify content, and as the website grows we will introduce new ways to navigate using these topics.
- Individual publisher pages and some CEIRC content have not been migrated to the new website – this information is available to our membership via ConsortiaManager.
- We have a section for news and events which use the same filtering as our search page to help you find the information that you are looking for. Our new event pages support a range of useful features, such as embeded google maps and will allow for online event registration.
- As the website was developed on a strict budget we opted for a simple and clean look which we can build on over time. This is paired with our new experimental and continually evolving visual identity. We will be continuing to develop them both throughout 2018 - 2019.
- Behind the scenes we have spaces where CAUL members are able to work together. Users will be able to add and edit content and the website has the capacity to allow for discussion among users (a feature which we will look to implement in the future).
Our approach to design
We have approached creation of the new website from a user centred perspective with the aim of achieving fit-for-purpose but not perfection. The underlying information architecture was given priority, the new website is a platform where we must be able to manage information and make it accessible over a long period of time. The most significant issue with the previous website was that it was not designed to manage (over time) the amount of information that CAUL as an organisation needed to make available.
We will be reviewing and iteratively improving the new website over time and your feedback will play an important role in this process. To this end we have included a feedback form (below), and we invite you to tell us what you think of the website. Already we have a list of improvements to make shortly after launch and we anticipate that there will many tweeks and features worth implementing as we all start using the website.
What is happening to the old website?
CAUL's old website will remain accessible as an archive, but will have a different address (URL) and will no longer be updated.
- The 2010 website will be available at – http://archive2010.caul.edu.au (while we wait for the sub-domain to become accessible the website is accessible via http://caulweb01.anu.edu.au)
All links and files will continue to be accessible, and you will be redirected to the old website if you follow them. We have migrated content from the preceeding 12 months to the new website for launch, and some older content. We will progressively migrate content posted between 2010 - 2016 as required over the next 6 months.
Accessing the new website
If you already have a login with the old CAUL website, then you do not need to create a new account. We will be progressively sending out invitations for different user groups to access the website after launch.
Questions and feedback
As we receive questions and feedback we will setup an FAQ page with answers to common questions. If you cant find an answer please contact us via the website or complete the feedback form below.