Why are we transforming uOttawa.ca?

More than ever, the University’s website should be a powerful platform to tell our story with purpose and relevance.

Whether its user is a future student trying to get a sense of the uOttawa experience, a current student looking for information on campus services or an alum wanting to learn about the big problems the University seeks to solve, the website should guide them in a relevant, efficient, and effective manner. Because that is the new normal.

But more importantly, this project of rethinking how the website will look, feel and work is part of a larger endeavour to rethink who we are and what we want to become, as highlighted in our Transformation 2030 strategic framework: we want to be an organization that is more agile, more impactful, more connected and more sustainable.

To stay relevant, efficient, and effective in a digital age, we need to amplify what is great about uOttawa and re-imagine what could be better. It’s time for a new perspective.

What's new on this site

Project scope

New user experience

Rethinking the design, information architecture, content strategy, publishing workflow and much more

Content cleanup

Deciding what will stay, what will be deleted and what will be migrated to VirtuO or uoZone

Content management system upgrade

Going from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8 (and 9)

New, powerful digital capabilities

Leveraging a leading cloud platform, Drupal, to build, deliver and optimize digital experiences

Migration of non-Drupal websites

Bringing as many websites as possible under the new user experience

In Scope

The PWP has deemed these key components of uOttawa’s web presence as within the scope of the Web Perspective project. Depending on project evolution and expected timelines, this list could change.

  • Current content on Drupal 7 distribution identified by the PWP team in collaboration with partners to be transformed and created in Drupal 8 based on personas, traffic, purpose or need 
  • Current content on Drupal 7 distribution identified by the PWP team in collaboration with partners to be migrated “as is” to Drupal 8 
  • Content syndication achieved through the content hub (articles, events, media releases, navigation, alerts) 
  • Internal-facing content identified, transformed and migrated to VirtuO  
  • Donation campaign website 
  • API integration (any API required to support data flow between applications; approximately 50 of 200) 
  • Improvements to maps and location finder 
  • Improvements to uOttawa search (SolR) 
  • Digital asset management (DAM) by community consultation 
  • LiveChat (Student Life) 
  • Department, institute or research centre sites (Drupal-based or not) 
  • uOttawa labs, facilities and research chairs (Drupal-based or not) 
  • Donation platform replacement 
  • Website feedback forms (accessibility, mental health and site evaluation) 
  • Archiving (two to five years; to be determined)

Out of scope

The PWP team has deemed the following applications, functionalities, sites and technologies to be out of the scope of the Web Perspective project. Some of these items will be the focus of dedicated projects or require support from other staff after the transformation. 

  • uoZone 
  • Student app 
  • Other portals 
  • uoCal 
  • e-CV 
  • uOttawa Experts 
  • Faculty sub-pages other than departments, institutes and schools 
  • Student association websites 
  • Union and bargaining unit websites 
  • Retired employee websites 
  • E-commerce solutions 
  • Event management solutions 
  • Email marketing solutions 
  • Professor and researcher solutions  


As of April 2020, the projected roadmap is:

Phase 0

Preparing for change (RFPs, building team, etc.)

Phase 1

Building the foundation (new design system, tools, platform, etc.)

Phase 2

Launching pilots (to ensure everything works well)

Phase 3

Transformation of major websites (large-scale services and faculties)

Phase 4

Transformation of secondary websites (smaller services)

Phase 5

Migration of non-Drupal websites

Guiding principles

Beyond being accessible, bilingual, reliable and secure, the new website will be:

Future student-focused

We will design the website with future students in mind, while ensuring that it serves the needs of all other users (students, faculty and staff, alumni, donors, etc.).

Easy to use

We will make the website easy to use for all external and internal users by reducing all unnecessary complexity and inefficiencies.

Findable and discoverable

We will help users both find the content they assume exists on the website (findable) and discover new content that they will find useful (discoverable).

Fast and seamless

The experience should offer little-to-no friction for all users, regardless of how they access the site.

Flexible and adaptable

We will build an experience and a platform that we will be able to scale up and evolve over time.


We will build an experience that is optimal regardless of how the content is accessed (mobile, desktop, voice, etc.).

Powered by data

The website will run on a universal, reliable, accessible, and continuously enriched source of reliable information that will drive better decisions and outcomes for the users and for the University.

Governance and team

Executive Sponsors

Act as program champions.

Program Steering Committee

Guides the program team from start to finish, providing advice, support and oversight. Visit Staying connected to find next meeting dates, terms of reference and representation.

    Web Community Advisory Group

    Informal platform for community advice and insights.

    • About 50 to 60 members in attendance, including any webmasters, developers, strategists, content creators or other staff members responsible for website and web content on campus. Anyone interested can attend. For next meeting dates and more information, visit Staying connected.

    Program Director

    Provides day-to-day tactical direction to the program and manages overall progress, performance and partners.

    Program Leads

    Oversee program director and program team.

    Project Team Leadership

    Responsible for day-to-day work with a team of around 20 people with varied expertise.

    Key resources

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