The UBC CLF, or "Common Look and Feel," is a web design framework that supports the University’s Brand Identity and online reputation by providing a common look, feel, and functionality to UBC websites.

Developed by Communications & Marketing, the design of the UBC CLF is the result of ongoing consultation among our target audiences and stakeholder groups such as the Web Advisory Council and UBC's communications and web professionals.

The concept of the UBC CLF was first realized in 2003. Since then, there have been numerous iterations leading to its latest version, 7.0, which released in September 2012, comes with a number of design and usability improvements to address the evolving needs of our many audiences.

Version 7.0's most remarkable feature is an integrated Responsive Web Design framework that adjusts or responds to a user's viewport. Simply put, this means that all websites with the new CLF will be compatible with all device platforms and form factors, ranging from desktop computers to tablets and smartphones.

This is a significant evolution of the UBC CLF as it addresses a growing trend of mobile device usage, which is expected to exceed traditional desktop computer usage in 2014.

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The UBC CLF aims to:

  • create a predictable user experience across the web at UBC (e.g. allow users to easily navigate from one UBC site to another and provide some consistency in user interface elements across UBC sites);
  • provide easy access to high-frequency-use UBC web tools (e.g. Search, Directories) and key UBC web properties; and
  • ensure that UBC websites consistently support the brand identity of the university.

These goals are achieved through standardization of university-wide website elements in terms of content, visual appearance, and interaction.

Guiding Principles

Decisions around what is included in or excluded from the UBC CLF, along with the treatment of these elements, are guided by the following principles:

  • The UBC CLF provides the basis for a visual identity system that can be applied to all UBC units in a consistent fashion.
  • The UBC CLF strives for a minimalist approach.
  • Links and content within the UBC CLF are included based on the high level of their use or for their strategic value from a communications perspective.
  • There is only one (1) official version of the full UBC CLF Framework, but the framework allows for sub-unit needs including identification and technical requirements.
  • The UBC CLF must be made available in formats that allow it to be implemented on any website, regardless of web server technologies, underlying systems/platforms, or website-specific measures of security.
  • All implementations of the UBC CLF adhere to the design specifications of reserved spaces and required elements.

About the UBC Brand

UBC ranks among the top universities worldwide, but what are the factors that have propelled this growth? What is UBC’s story?

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