The long and winding road to improving VCH.ca
Have you heard we’re improving our public website, VCH.ca? Here’s why we are making it better and we think you’ll agree:
- Information should be easy to find
We are changing VCH.ca’s navigation structure so you can find information logically. Many of you participated in our online scavenger hunt to help reorganize information on the website —thank you for your help!
- Information should be quick to find
We are improving VCH.ca’s search function so you and our patients get relevant results and can find what you’re looking for faster.
- Websites should be cost-effective and secure
This may be a little technical, but it’s interesting: We are moving VCH.ca onto a new content management system (CMS) that will be developed in-house by IMITS and hosted at the provincial data centre in Kamloops. This means we stop paying external web hosting fees and and our site will continue to exist if there’s ever a catastrophe like an earthquake in the Lower Mainland.
- Information should be easy to read
No one wants to squint and read through paragraphs of complicated writing—we want to skim! Text on VCH.ca will be larger and we’re working on simplifying content. After all, people with cognitive and memory disabilities, lower reading comprehension levels, or English as their second language need to access our services.
- Websites should be easy to access
Our goal is to meet basic worldwide Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0) within a year. This is about removing visual and technical barriers for people who use screen readers, braille readers and other digital tools to access websites. Our site will also be better for mobile and tablet users and for people with poor internet connections or older computers. An accessible site will help Google find VCH.ca content and promote it higher in search engine rankings.
Valid and exciting reasons for improvement, right?
We need your help!
As we improve and move content to our new site over the coming months, we need your help and understanding (but we know we can work it out):
- Broken Links: This project may cause broken links on VCH.ca and in various brochures, PDFs and email signatures (to name a few spots). Don’t let it be: email me at email@example.com if you find one! Remember to include the URL (webpage address) of the page where you found the broken link as well as where you think the link should be pointing to.
- Inaccurate information: If you come across information on VCH.ca that you know is wrong, misspelled, outdated or simply needs updating, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Explain what needs to change and give the URL (webpage address).
If you have any questions or suggestions, please leave a comment below. Thanks for listening!
P.S. Could you spot a few Beatles song references throughout this article?
Read more about updating VCH websites and VCH Connect: “A Hitchiker’s Guide to VCH Websites”
Megan Bradfield, Digital Communications Specialist, Vancouver Coastal Health