A New First Impression

A laptop with the SMUS logo

Last year we communicated that we were beginning the process of building a new external facing website at smus.ca. Noted as a top priority by the Board of Governors, we have spent these past 12 months working on this important project with our external partners, Domain 7.

We are now letting you know that we aim to have the new website deployed next week.

During development, we took onboard everybody’s feedback and conducted a range of testing. We also received expert analysis from our external partner. In synthesizing the many different data points, we found that there were three identifiable main themes:

  • Make the website less cluttered and easier to read
  • Incorporate more photography
  • Build a solid platform for future iteration and development

We are confident we have achieved these goals. In addition, we had many goals ourselves, not least speed, accessibility and mobile responsiveness, alongside internal-facing objectives about how we update and maintain the site.

Which is to say, the SMUS website has not just received a new lick of paint! The architecture and workflows of the current SMUS website are more than a decade old, and like any technology, things have advanced rapidly since the last iteration. This project has been a complete rebuild, with a new platform and a more modern approach to how we build and maintain the site. We have taken the opportunity to combine our two main external facing platforms – the SMUSpaper site at news.smus.ca with the main SMUS site at smus.ca, meaning now there will be a single destination for news and information.

Adjustment and Feedback

Anyone who has done user testing will tell you that no single person uses a website in the same way and we expect a little disorientation as our community adjusts their ‘familiar paths’ to information. With this in mind, we have tried to make the website as intuitive as possible. Current parents, faculty and staff, and current students will note “Links For” directory pages which will be your primary resource for navigating through smus.ca to the parent portal and other school resources. However, if you cannot find what you are looking for when the website launches, please do reach out to us at communications@smus.ca. We will be happy to help and it will be good feedback.

On that note, any launch of a website is really only halfway through a new website project. We will be continuing to gather data from our community, responding to feedback and adding and improving content. We will also be learning in the Marketing and Communications team. The new website brings with it a range of new capabilities for promoting the school and serving the community.

When the new website is released, every page will have a “Website Feedback” link in the footer. If you have any comments, questions or you detect something that doesn’t seem to be working quite right, please let us know using that link. Alternatively, feel free to send an email.

Lastly, I would like to acknowledge the Marketing and Communications team: Chris Chong, Kent Leahy-Trill and Kyle Slavin, as well as Caryn Drabitt, who have all worked tirelessly to make this website happen. We hope you enjoy using the new smus.ca.


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