Research and benchmarking

Research and Benchmarking

The goal of this activity is to identify examples of websites that speak to our brand, our challenges, and our user base. We looked at over 1,000 websites, including:

  • our direct competitors and top universities in Canada and internationally,
  • over 850 noteworthy websites of cultural and educational institutions, and
  • sites across all fields recognized by the Awwwards for excellence in design and usability.

We wanted to identify sites that would help us understand the layout and content that would best serve our target audiences and project mission. These examples would also help us imagine the aesthetic choices that would best represent our project character and brand. 

Of these, the web team explored over 25 sites in detail. We then reviewed the 15 most pertinent examples with CER leadership, who idenitfied 8 sites (within and beyond higher education) that exemplify:

  • What our brand values might look like in a web design context
  • How we might effectively communicate our strengths and
  • What strategies we might use to meet the needs of our primary audiences

Below are some of the designs we explored in detail (click the image or link below for the full list):


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