New Dissemination Model — Home page, Navigation and Data Tables

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Consultation objectives

In April 2012, Statistics Canada launched its multi-year New Dissemination Model project with the goal to modernize the methods and framework for disseminating data via its website. The key objective is to create a user-centric website and to increase coherency, consistency and simplicity in dissemination activities.

As part of this project, Statistics Canada held consultations with Canadians in June 2015. This final pre-launch consultation evaluated the website's ease of navigation and user satisfaction with the refined design. Evaluation sessions focussed on testing the updates made to: the main menu; the data, analysis, reference and Census pages; and the geography mapping tool.

Consultation methodology

Statistics Canada conducted in-person usability consultations. Participants were asked to complete a series of tasks and to provide feedback on the proposed website.

How to get involved

This consultation is now closed.

Individuals who wish to obtain more information or to take part in a consultation may contact Statistics Canada by sending an email to

Please note that Statistics Canada selects participants for each consultation to ensure feedback is sought from a representative sample of the target population for the study. Not all applicants will be asked to participate in a given consultation.

Statistics Canada is committed to respecting the privacy of consultation participants. All personal information created, held or collected by the Agency is protected by the Privacy Act. For more information on Statistics Canada's privacy policies, please consult the Privacy notice.


What worked

Most participants successfully completed a series of tasks on various pages of the proposed website. In terms of the main menu, the labels ‘About StatCan’, ‘Geography’, ‘Analysis’, and ‘Surveys and statistical programs’ were well received. Participants successfully used the horizontal ‘Key statistics’ layout and preferred the version that provided provincial data. The tab layout of the results page was understood by participants—they knew that when they clicked on a tab, the displayed results were limited to that tab.

The button labels for the two download options were also well received. Participants understood the different functionality of the two buttons and correctly selected the right option for downloading a table as displayed.

With the Geography mapping tool, most participants were able to go back to a map of Canada using an alternate path (they did not use the available button).

The ‘Sort by’ labels on the results page were understood by most participants and they preferred the current labels (‘Sort by relevance’ and ‘Sort by most popular’). Finally, as an indicator icon to obtain additional information, the participants preferred the information icon to the question mark icon. This icon would be placed next to key items.

Areas for improvement

  • Infrequent users were not aware of the National Household Survey, or how it related to the Census of Population.
  • The ‘More key statistics’ button was sometimes overlooked in the ‘Key statistics’ area.
  • The proposed layout of some Census and National Household Survey table results (‘grouped tables’) was not clear to some users and they were hesitant to click on the link to the appropriate table.
  • The proposed icons for ‘Revert-to-Canada” and ‘Settings’ on the Geography mapping tool were not intuitive for participants.


  • Keep the current labels on the main menu.
  • Retain the current ‘Sort by’ labels.
  • Use the horizontal layout for ‘Key statistics’ and have the provinces clickable on the page. Increase the font size for the ‘More key statistics’ button.
  • Provide succinct explanations for the Census program and the relationship between the Census of Population and the National Household Survey and the Census of Agriculture.
  • On the Census program page, use tiles to illustrate the featured items. Use an information icon to explain what each tile is about.
  • In the layout of the ‘grouped tables’, link the table’s title as well as the individual table number.
  • Use ‘Download as displayed’ and ‘Download data series’ on the buttons within the ‘Download table’ options.
  • For the Geography mapping tool, use a button with Canada on it for the ‘Revert-to Canada’ function and use a gear icon for the ‘Settings’ button.
  • Use an information icon to indicate that there is more information available about an item.

Statistics Canada thanks participants for their participation in this consultation. Their insights guide the agency's web development and ensure that the final products meet users' expectations.

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