2020 website redesign

From W3C Wiki


Overview of the project

W3C is redesigning its Website and revising the information architecture to

  • Show the world who we are and what we offer,
  • Improve the organization and usability of the website for key audiences,
  • Communicate the W3C brand more effectively, and
  • Motivate people to participate in the organization.

While the current website is well-designed:

  • It is hard to navigate
  • It is outdated in look and inconsistently responsive
  • It has too much content that is unsorted
  • It lacks a cohesive look


  • Sep-Oct 2019: research + top-level description of the project, drafting RFP
  • Nov-Dec 2019: RFP written and announced, FAQ posted
  • Jan-Feb 2020: Project awarded, notification to all bidders
  • Feb-Dec 2020: website redesign in collaboration with Studio 24
    • March-April: Discovery phase
    • April-June: Design & production phases
    • July: Private beta
    • August-October: Public beta
    • December: New website full launch

Working in the Open

[started: 2020-04-03 / completed: 2020-06-04]

Studio 24 set up a small project site, intended both to be informational and to solicit and accept feedback from the broader W3C community. The mini-site aims to include:

  • Public reports on progress, around 1-3 times a month
  • Surveys to gather feedback from the wider W3C user base
  • Project outputs (e.g. documents such as reports, design approach, IA, etc. or project work such as HTML prototypes, designs, beta site, etc.)
  • Project documentation is important to retain for the future and can be added into version control (e.g. markdown files)
  • Production code to be shared in a public GitHub repo on the W3C account
  • Demo videos that show progress or proposals

In addition, there is this wiki and the public mailing list. Coralie Mercier will review and filter as needed.



Some of the work items have completion dates, but most don't until the end of discovery.

Tasks and Teams

See organizational notes.

W3C Systems Infrastructure

[started: 2020-03-16]

  • Summary of our current tech stack
  • Primary backend targets
  • Styles and content management
  • Other pages and legacy document tree
  • Aspects unique to W3C


[started: 2020-03-19 / completion: 2020-04-17]

User stories

[started: 2020-03-19 / completion: 2020-04-17]

See User Stories.

→ Coralie submitted the stories (non-public link) to Studio 24 COB 2020-04-17

Content Grouping & Sitemap

[started: 2020-04-06 / completion: 2020-04-14]

→ 2020-04-14: Coralie's feedback in Basecamp (non-public link)

W3C brand and visual identity

[started: 2020-04-06 / completion: 2020-04-14]

50 people took our 4-question survey between April 8 and April 13, 2020.

Role at W3C Response rate Responses
Work Group participant 16.33% 8
Advisory Committee representative 10.20% 5
W3C staff 6.12% 3
Community contributor 10.20% 5
Author/developer using W3C technologies 57.14% 28
Total 49

→ 2020-04-14: Responses aggregated into our response to Studio 24 and submitted to Studio 24

Public user survey

[started: 2020-04-30 / completion: 2020-05-20]

Following on from the user stories collected in March and April 2020, Studio 24 ran a survey to test if we had the right information, by gathering feedback from the wide range of different types of users on why they visit the W3C site.

The aim was to identify specific user tasks and look at ways we can help them achieve their goals - from designing content, defining functionality, and deliverables. This helps them measure the success of the project.

The responses will be reviewed against the existing user groups and stories, to determine if we have missed any groups and if we have the right needs for each group.


See Interviews.

general feedback or requests

  • Tim Chase: "I would love to have more internal IDs allowing me to use fragment IDs in URLs to target documentation more precisely. (I'm not beyond "view selection source" to extract IDs)"

Feedback on "profile" Group pages

  • IRC. It would be great to have a clear pointer to groups IRC channels and norms of participation (use just for q+ or also side discussion)

Feedback on the current /TR page

  • Also, the page could benefit from lazy loading given the number of specs we have.
  • Within a given spec on the site, I can only navigate that spec. I have to loop back to get anywhere else. I think a search on all spec pages would be a huge help!

Past Research

In 2018, Jefferson University conducted user research to inform a future spec template redesign. Their work might be useful even though the layout of specifications is out of scope for phase 1.

See also Specs template in the "future phase" wiki page.

Information Architecture (IA) and Planning Phase

Timeframe: April to July 2020

Work includes:

  • IA and content research
  • Design planning
  • Initial UI design work
  • Tech review and approach, shortlist CMS options


  • Project approach agreed
  • IA report delivered
  • IA signed off by W3C
  • Content in scope agreed by Studio 24 and W3C
  • Decide on CSS Framework
  • Decide on CMS platform

User surveys regarding finding content

[started: 2020-06-23 - completion: 2020-06-29]

We are looking for volunteers among those who use the current W3C website, to take a couple of short surveys:

Survey 1:

We're looking at how users find content associated with standards, specifications and technical reports on the w3.org website (e.g. HTML5, Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, requirements for presenting text in the Tamil script on the web). We want to review how users currently do this to help improve the new W3C website.

 How users find content associated with standards, specifications and technical reports on the w3.org website:

Survey 2:

We're looking at how users find content associated with groups on the w3.org website (e.g. working group, community group, interest group). We want to review how users currently do this to help improve the new W3C website.

 How users find content associated with groups on the w3.org website:

The surveys are open until Monday, June 29, 2020. You may take either or both! Thanks in advance for taking it!

Design / UX


Alpha launch

Beta launch

Live launch