Overlooking the Northwest Territories

Information Management and Technology Policy Manual

Consistent User Experience Standard

Search Information Management and Technology Policy Manual

1 . Effective Date

This standard is effective as of January 1, 2018.

2 . Application

This standard must be implemented by:

  • All departments and offices of government, as defined in the Visual Identity Program (VIP)

And on all websites that:

  • Are intended for public use.

3 . Context

The GNWT is committed to providing the public with timely, accurate and consistent information about government policies, activities, initiatives, programs and services (see Communications Policy).

Websites are commonly used as a communications and service delivery channel, but unlike radio, social media, TV, etc… the GNWT is not just responsible for the content, but also the organization, structure, design and security of the medium itself.

The GNWT has developed a body of standards called the Consistent User Experience, which specify how websites are to be built and how information on the web is to be organized. The standard aims to:

  • Ensure a high quality user experience on any GNWT website

  • Control the cost and effort required to develop and maintain the websites

  • Enable the provision of effective and consistent support across all websites

  • Facilitate compliance with other policies, standards and best practices

4 . Standards

  1. Common Look and Feel

  2. Domain Names

  3. Taxonomy

  4. Service Content

  5. Multilingualism

  6. Accessibility

5 . Roles and Responsibilities

Office of the Chief Information Officer, Department of Finance

  • Approve CUE and monitor for compliance;

  • Refresh the CUE at regular intervals, consulting with stakeholders;

  • Grant exceptions to the CUE;

  • In consultation with stakeholders, develops commonly-used content, such as Terms of Use, Active Offer and so on.

Informatics Shared Service Centre, Department of Lands

  • Review new or updated websites for compliance with the CUE;

    • Where client websites are not in compliance, they will work with clients to resolve the issue or if that fails, they will escalate to the OCIO;

  • Ensure corporate website platform and components are in compliance with the CUE (e.g. the base theme)

  • Advises departments on procurement approach and criteria related to website development

Corporate Communications, Department of Executive & Indigenous Affairs

  • Monitors GNWT websites and provides advice and recommendations on compliance with the Communications Policy and the Visual Identity Program.

  • Provides advice and recommendations on the creation of departmental websites through the communications planning process.

  • Grants “marketing exemptions” to programs of government, which allow related websites to deviate from the CUE visual standards (though, not from other CUE standards).

Cabinet Communications, Department of Executive & Indigenous Affairs

  • Advises on the use of the GNWT website for political communications

  • Manages web content of a political or corporate nature (e.g. news, features and similar content)

Technology Service Centre (TSC), Department of Infrastructure

  • Operates and supports the server, storage and network infrastructure used by websites

  • Purchases and maintains domain names used by websites

  • Purchases, installs and configures security certificates on web servers

GNWT Departments

  • Ensure that website development is part of an approved communications plan

  • Administer websites in compliance with the CUE

  • Ensure that websites developed by the department are CUE-compliant

6 . Exceptions

  • Exceptions must be sought from and granted by the Chief Information Officer.

  • Exceptions are granted on a site-by-site basis.

  • Exceptions must be for specific standards within the CUE. Typical exceptional scenarios are for websites where there is an excessive cost to compliance or where the purpose of the website conflicts with the standard.

  • Exceptions to the CUE differ from marketing exemptions granted to programs by Corporate Communications. Exceptions to the CUE apply specifically to websites, not programs of government (e.g. Drop the Pop). Exceptions to the CUE relate to technology and information management, not communications.

  • Websites with marketing exemptions can opt out of the standards that are intended to unify the GNWT identity online: the Common Look and Feel and Domain Name standards. All others are mandatory.

7 . Consequences

  • If a website is non-compliant and no exception is granted, the CIO will:

    • Advise the department to address the issue within a timeframe; or,

    • Take direct action to fix the issue.

8 . References