New Dissemination Model - Home page, Navigation and Data Tables

Archived information

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Consultation objectives

In April 2012, Statistics Canada launched its three-year New Dissemination Model project with the goal to modernize the methods and framework for disseminating data on 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 consulted Canadians in January and February 2014. The consultation was designed to evaluate the website's ease of navigation, its usefulness and user satisfaction with the new design. Evaluation sessions tested the intuitiveness of the redesigned home page; the ease of website navigation, including the filters, data table titles and new product information; and whether the design of the data tables and complex datasets is useful and intuitive.

Consultation methodology

Statistics Canada held 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

The 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 tasks on all three versions of the home page in either the mobile view or the desktop view. Participants liked aspects of each home page version. The Survey door on the main menu was intuitive.

The navigation within the subject listing on the left-hand side bar worked well on the subject landing page, as did the filters on the data landing page. The drop-down menus in the tables were intuitive to use and participants successfully found data in the more complex tables as well.

Areas for improvement

  • In mobile view, some home page tasks did not work.
  • 'Custom tabulations' was confused with 'Custom Surveys', 'Customized Services' and 'Contact Us'.
  • Participants searched for city or community data under Key statistics, which contains only provincial data.
  • The 'All data' link on the subject landing page and 'All tables' link on the data landing page were not intuitive for half of the participants in both the English and French versions of the site.
  • The 'Dataset' button to go from the simple table to a complex table was not intuitive.
  • The 'Build a table' customization feature was only used with prompting and was not intuitive.
  • Participants looked for geography cues in the data product titles. Previous testing had indicated that participants preferred the lowest level of geography in the title, with the remaining geographies listed in the description.
  • The Surveys and Methods areas of the site were not intuitive.


  • A hybrid of the three home page versions is recommended.
  • 'Information for survey participants' should be included under the 'Survey' door.
  • The filters should remain on the left-hand side bar.
  • Drop-downs menus in simple tables should be kept to a minimum and the initial layout should provide as much data as possible.
  • The picklist with the table customization feature requires further development and testing.
  • A default layout of complex tables should be provided to users with the 'Build a table' function as an advanced feature.
  • The preferred label for the Methods door often included 'Reference' or 'Methods.'

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.