July 22, 2019

Welcome to UCalgary News

New online platforms improve the reader experience

When the UToday newsletter landed in your inbox this morning, you likely noticed a few changes. That’s because we’ve moved to new online platforms that allow us to do much more as we share the news and events of the University of Calgary with the campus community and the wider world.

For more than a year, teams have been working hard behind the scenes on more than 900 websites connected to UCalgary. Their goal: develop new, mobile-friendly web pages that more effectively meet the information needs of our audiences while supporting the university’s Eyes High commitments.

Some sections of the UCalgary website have already made the transition while others are underway; work is expected to continue through the year.

For UToday, the transition began this spring as we asked readers what they liked about UToday and what they thought we could improve. Eighty-eight per cent of the more than 600 respondents to our survey gave UToday an overall positive rating.

“Almost 60 per cent of the respondents listed news about research as their top area of interest,” says David Hedley, managing editor of UToday, Strategic Communications. “Other areas of content mentioned often by readers were major university announcements, events taking place on campus, student experience, and people storytelling.

“But we also heard from many students, faculty, and staff that if they could change anything, they would improve the experience with the website and the events calendar.”

So what’s new?

The shift to the new web platforms brings an opportunity to respond directly to the feedback. Working in-house with teams from Digital Experience in the Marketing department, University Relations, and Web Services in IT, UToday redesigned and updated its daily newsletter and the network of website pages. The revamp affects not only the local and global audiences of readers who view our news content, but also the many contributors of news from around our campuses whose work informs and promotes the university.   

The latest chapter in UToday’s 11-year digital history begins today. Here’s a quick guide to the changes.

New UCalgary News homepage

The new UCalgary News website replaces the old UToday site.

UToday newsletter: The first thing you may have noticed is that the UToday email has a different look. A new newsletter platform allows a more flexible, robust design, delivered in a mobile-responsive fashion.

UCalgary News website: The new, more visually attractive website simultaneously feeds content to dozens of news sites in faculties and units across our university news system. The website and the articles themselves are mobile-responsive. Photos and image galleries display more boldly. To help readers navigate the site, content is bucketed into streams that reflect our community’s priorities under Eyes High: Research Impact, Teaching and Learning, Engaging CommunitiesCommentary, and Campus Events. A section focuses on news of particular interest to Faculty and Staff.

Emphasis on campus connections: New features within each article — Related Content and Topic Tags — serve up content related to the theme of each article, inviting readers to make connections, explore our university, or learn more about our institutional strategies and research themes. For example, read about what’s happening at the university in areas such as concussion research, or climate change, or entrepreneurial thinking, or experiential learning, or teaching innovation.

Events calendar: In our survey, we learned that readers value staying abreast of all the activities taking place on our campuses. We’ve streamlined that process too. The revamped campus-wide calendar features a bold, mobile-responsive new look and enhanced search functions.  

News archives: On the UCalgary News site you’ll find all our articles going back to January 2018, plus selected older content in key areas of importance to the university. All content published prior to July 15, 2019, can be found on an online site archived by Libraries and Cultural Resources, Web Archiving Services. Learn more.

Lost? The About and Contact pages will help you find your way.

Please spend some time in the new UCalgary News environment, exploring the new landscape. We’ll follow up with a survey later this fall, to gauge your thoughts on the new site. In the meantime, thank you for your patience as we launch this new era of UToday and UCalgary News.