Published on May 27, 2021

Joyce PeraltaWritten by Joyce Peralta

Manager, Digital Communications

McGill University

Interested in learning more about university search improvements. Check out this article that originally appeared on McGill University’s web services news page. 

As you might have heard, search improvements are underway in the McGill Web Management System (WMS). In the image above, you can see our old search experience (left) and the new version (right). As part of these updates, we’re pleased to announce some new features and refinements.

Search filters

New filters will make it possible for people using search in the WMS  to narrow their search results. You will now be able to filter results by:

  • Content type – View results for specific content types (programs, news, events and courses)
  • Faculty – View results from sites affiliated with a particular faculty*
  • Publication date – View results that have been added or updated during a specified period
  • Language – View results in your choice of English or French (subject to availability of content)

We also plan to offer the ability to filter by source site. This much-requested feature will allow you to view results located on the site from which you began your search. Keep your eyes peeled! We’re hard at work and will launch the feature as soon as it’s ready.

* Note that site managers affiliated with one or more faculties should opt-in to this feature by identifying their faculty affiliation(s) in the “site settings” admin panel of their site. A site’s faculty affiliation should be visible in the search results within a day of updating it in the site settings. 

Formatting improvements

Improved formatting will make it easier for people to scan and read search results. Changes include increased spacing and a clearer information hierarchy. These updates align with the recent design updates in the WMS, and we’ll refine the interface as our search tool and WMS branding evolve.

Doing your part to improve search

Though these new updates will improve the functionality, look and feel of the WMS search pages, the quality of search results will be dependent on the quality of the content. To ensure visitors have the best possible experience when using search on WMS sites, site editors and managers should follow best practices for creating web content such as:

  • Be user-focused
    • Tailor your website content to suit your visitors’ requirements
  • Adhere to best practices for writing and formatting content for websites
  • Adhere to SEO best practices
    • Consider keywords placement and density
    • Keep your content up to date

Read more about the latest updates from McGill University’s web team on their website.