Usability Upgrade for Saskatchewan Seniors Mechanism
We just completed a simple usability upgrade for Saskatchewan Seniors Mechanism http://www.skseniorsmechanism.ca, where we were asked to tackle 4 problem areas.
- They wanted to be able to easily update the website through a content management system rather than manually uploading files every time they wanted to make a change.
- Make the site easier to navigate and visually less confusing.
- Update the appearance of the site to look more modern while not changing it so much that it would confuse their visitors who are generally not very computer savvy.
- Increase or maintain their current SEO Search Engine Optimization Standings with Google, Yahoo and other major search engines.
We first began by installing and customizing CMS Made Simple (in our opinion the easiest to use open source ( as in free) CMS we have ever used). This allows them to update their website from any computer connected to the internet. They can easily update the copy on the website, upload images, video and audio.
Next we took a look at their navigation and attempted to organize it into relevant categories and remove as many sub menus as made sense. We lowered their tiered menu from 5 sub menus to going 3 sub menus deep. We also added a sitemap in the footer menu that visitors could use to easily access pages without using the menu.
We updated the look of the website by centering the website in visitors browsers, adding in their organization’s logo, and moving the rotating banner to the top of the page. This updated the look of the page so visitors wouldn’t have to scoll too far down the page to get their content. On sub pages we did things like color coding links, alternating search query results with varying shades of grey to better divide the results. We also went through the site making sure that no pages confused their visitors and that information was easily accessible.
For the SEO we made a point in maintaining their current navigational structure. Pages were linked to www.skseniorsmechanism.ca/html/about_us.html, so when converting the website from static to the dynamic CMS we kept links pointing to the same distination. This keeps search engines and websites who are linking to information from ending up with broken links, setting SkSeniorsMechanism’s SEO Standings back. We also upgraded the website from a tabled structure to the modern css design structure which aids in usability and accessibility by the visually disabled and those who use screen readers.