Conference Board of Canada Website

The design pattern here is pretty common in a multi-faceted organization such as the Conference Board. It can be very difficult to simplify a homepage because it is difficult to convince stakeholders that their content is better suited to another location on the website. Each business unit wants to be on the home page. As is the case with many websites, since users reach a specific page directly from a Google search result, the homepage is not really that important.

This is a typical homepage design with multiple bands of content. The first band, below the nav and branding, is the rotator promoting the latest research, conference etc. The second band contains content that has been “demoted” from the rotator and placed within topic categories. Miscellaneous video or graphical content comprises the third content band. The fourth band contains event-related items such as conferences, webinars, and workshops. Finally, there are links to various important pages within the website. The result is a complicated page that really doesn’t follow best practices.

Rotators keep stakeholders happy but they don’t serve a functional purpose as few people are likely to follow a link on anything but the first slide.

The rotator/slider is an attempt to balance business unit need “to be above the fold” with the limited space available. Rotators keep stakeholders happy but they don’t serve a functional purpose as few people will wait to see the entire rotation of content, nor are they likely to follow a link on anything but the first slide.

This design was implemented in 2014 with some modifications to the number of content bands and a few changes to the treatment of the rotator slide-selection tabs. Colette Boisvert designed the UI for the page with additional art direction from Debbie Janes and creative direction by yours truly. Jason Moodie led the web development team including front-end development by Dan Jones.

The page is responsive with the top navigation appearing as an accordion hierarchical menu system on mobile devices.

The page is updated continuously as research is released and video of interviews are added. The website is hosted on a Sitefinity CMS. The rotator is custom JQuery with the content pulled in via an XML file linking images and HTML.

Creative direction: James Welsh
Client: Juline Ranger, Jason Moodie
Design: Debbie Janes, Colette Boisvert, Cristina Valensuela-Trepanier
Web development: Jason Moodie, Dan Jones