University of Ottawa

The University of Ottawa is the largest bilingual (English-French) university in the world. Located at the heart of Canada's capital, one of the great institutions of our country with over 40,000 enrollments. The university advances in social sciences, health, science and the humanities make uOttawa a unique place to learn, grow and excel.

Factoring the University's mandated deadline to meet WCAG 2.0 Level AA, the University wanted to re-structure all their websites into a platform which would serve as a long term solution allowing them greater control and adaptability into the fast pace of web and mobile devices.

OpenPlus was chosen as the lead for two separate key projects for the University. The first was an on-demand Drupal 7 Consulting engagement partnership to aid in fostering a distribution-level Drupal platform for over 1,000 of their websites with their internal dev team.

The second project was an ambitious yearlong exhaustive overhaul of the primary (factoring many of its' subdomains). From stakeholder interviews with over a dozen groups, comprehensive usability testing with their key personas and rebuilding their Information Architecture… through a comprehensive creative process of a completely new design, and the execution of building a new HTML5/CSS3 Mobile responsive theme and testing the results.

Their team made the site live in November of 2013, and is now self-sufficient in deploying countless sub sites. Great work guys!

Higher Education

Main public site

Mobile site & Unified Search

Drupal Consulting

Creative Design

Drupal Theming


System Integration

Information Architecture


Project Management


WCAG Accessibility

Usability Testing

Comprehensive Usability Testing and Analytics audit

User Research

We formed an internal committee, helped define personas, held focus group interviews with students, staff and other stake holders to define and priortize top tasks.

Analytics Audit

Our team reviewed uOttawa's Google analytics data, and constructed sophisticated analysis reports and summaries. We then presented findings to a large audience of over 50 people, including recommendation to action and further event tracking.

Information Architecture

Based on the results from the user research sessions, we built an Information Architecture which factored complex hierarchy taxonomies tagging for multiple departments and faculties. We turned our findings into high quality wireframes and to test our navigational structure, menu sets, common headers and footers, from mobile to desktop.

Mission Critical

Deployment, Security and Performance

OpenPlus worked closely with uOttawa's internal infrastructure team on reviewing and recommending mission critical hosting best practices for Drupal.


Deployment provisioning, redundancy, back-up and restoration consulting.


Security review and server configurations including preventative measures, which take advantage of only being able to edit/login while on-site within multiple levels of trusted zones.


Perform load testing using jMeter. This included testing Drupal stack and the caching server for public use, varnish tuning.

Drupal as a Platform for multiple sites

Deploy a site within two weeks, without the IT department.

The University identified the need to rapidly deploy with minimal effort, new web properties that utilized the University’s tailored Drupal Distribution. With some governance and a little ingenuity, OpenPlus tailored the Drupal distribution to deploy websites on-demand with minimal user interaction.

This process allowed the University to reduce website creation duration from months to two weeks or less, depending on the amount of content. This process is now used to deploy hundreds of websites by University staff without the intervention of IT department. The Deploy request page even takes them to well documented adoption user guides

Creative Design

Design to support over 1,000 sites within uOttawa.

Mid stream in the project, OpenPlus was commissioned to also provide a full conceptual redesign of the main corporate look and feel for the website. The design would become the governance style guide to over 1,000 sites within the University.

We provided 3 iterations of creative design, and deliberated with tour internal team to solidify a final design.

Technologies & Accessibility

Under the hood powered by OpenSource

For a full case study on this project

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