Alberta Teachers' Association

Clean, Simple, Readable Redesign for the ATA

By late 2009 the Alberta Teachers’ Association–the professional association for the 35,000 teachers in Alberta–had outgrown its website. Their navigation system and templates no longer met the needs of the organization or its members.

With an annual meeting looming in the spring of 2010, the ATA needed a quick “renovation” project to get their site back on track.

nForm worked with ATA to:

  • plan and execute a project that would update the ATA website without involving significant changes to their SharePoint 2007 infrastructure
  • make their site’s information architecture more audience-focused
  • showcase their news content (ATA publishes a bi-weekly newspaper for members, a monthly magazine, a quarterly magazine and a significant amount online news content. Most of this content was invisible in the old site.)
  • introduce a clean, readable and modern visual design (provided by our visual designer Sean Mitchell)
  • integrate social media into the site
  • plan governance and operational strategies for the new site to make it easier to manage

The site launched in June 2010. Some samples of our deliverables and screenshots of the live site are below.

Backcasting Workshop

We started the project with a backcasting workshop to help us understand what the ATA needed from their website in the next two years. Input from all the participants was compiled on a wall in our office.

Backcasting workshop stickies

Site Map

The high-level site map shows the top three levels of the site, and each box is color-coded based on the template it will use. A detailed site map was also created in Excel to track individual content items through the migration process.

High level site map


The initial set of wireframes outlined the behaviour of the site’s menus and navigation and tackled the structural challenges with the ATA’s news content.

Menus & Navigation

Documenting Left Navigation Behavior

News Landing Page

This is the anchor page for the ATA News, the organization’s bi-weekly newspaper.

ATA News

News Issue

Creating information architecture for a newspaper has its challenges. In the case of the ATA News, each issue is a distinct publication that requires its own treatment. We tried to make each issue page browsable in the same way as the broadsheet newspaper.

ATA News Issue #18

News Content

Each news content page, in this case an editorial, had to be clean and readable.

ATA Content Page

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