Standard on Web Usability

Describes the usability requirements for Government of Canada websites, including requirements for domain names, terms, conditions and archiving online web content, as well as common page layouts and visual design elements.
Date modified: 2013-11-27

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activity (activité)
Is the work that is done to achieve an output, such as a product or service. It is a component of a program and may include several levels of activity (i.e., activity, subactivity and sub-subactivity) at the level of detail needed to manage a program and its services successfully.
applications (applications)
Are a subclass of computer software that employs the capabilities of a computer directly and thoroughly for a task that the user wishes to perform.
archived Web page (page Web archivée)

A Web page that is:

  • Maintained for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes;
  • Not altered or updated after the date of archiving; and
  • Stored in a digital repository.

An archived Web page may be provided on the Web but must be clearly identified as being archived.

assets (biens)
Are tangible and intangible items of value that have a life span beyond one year, whether they are Crown-owned, leased or accessed through other arrangements.
banner (bannière)

The area immediately below the Government of Canada navigation bar that includes site-specific content such as the site title and the site-specific search.

behaviour (comportement)

The action, reaction or functioning of a system, under normal or specified circumstances.

body (corps)

The area between the header and footer of a Web page that contains page-specific content and may include secondary navigation.

breadcrumbs (fil d'ariane)

A navigation tool that provides links to the pages above the current page in the website's hierarchy.

chief information officer council (cioc) (conseil des dirigeants principaux de l'information (cdpi))
Refers to the forum for the departmental CIO or his or her equivalent to participate in shared decision making by recommending government-wide information technology options to the Chief Information Officer of Canada. This forum also ensures that departments collectively support decisions made by the CIOC. Details on its operations can be found in the CIOC's Terms of Reference.
client (client)
Is the intended recipient of a service. Clients may be external to the federal government (e.g., citizens, businesses, non-Canadians and non-profit organizations) or internal to government (e.g., departments).
cobit (cobit)
Stands for “Control Objectives for Information and related Technology” and represents a set of best practices that provide guidance for the management of IT processes. (Source: IT Governance Institute)
common service (service commun)
Is a service provided by a common service organization.
common service organization (organisme de service commun)
Refers to a department or organization designated as a central supplier of particular services that support the requirements of departments. Common service organizations are listed in Appendix B of the Common Services Policy.
date modified (date de modification)

The most recent date on which the Web page content was formally issued, substantially changed or reviewed.

departments (ministères)
Has the same meaning as in section 2 of the Financial Administration Act and includes all departments, agencies, branches and departmental corporations listed in Schedules I, I.1 and II of the Act.
dimensions (dimensions)

A measure of spatial extent, especially width, height or length.

favicon (favoricône)

An icon associated with a website or Web page that may be displayed in the address bar of the browser, next to the page's name in a list of bookmarks, and next to the page's title on a browser tab.

footer (pied de page)

The area at the bottom of a Web page that contains information that is persistent across a website, such as links to contact information and terms and conditions for the website.

Government of Canada websites and Web applications (sites Web et applications Web du gouvernement du Canada)

Websites and Web applications for which the Government of Canada is accountable. The types of websites and Web applications include departmental sites, initiative sites and sub-sites. Further definitions of the types of sites are provided below.

departmental site (site de ministère):

A collection of Web pages that collectively represents the department (e.g., Environment Canada's website).

initiative site(site d'initiative):

A group of Web pages that collectively represent an initiative of the Government of Canada. Initiative sites frequently have a different domain than from their departmental domain (e.g., is an initiative site).

sub-site(site secondaire):

A group of Web pages within a larger departmental or initiative site, where the collection of Web pages are intended for a particular audience and whose specific purpose is to feature a prominent program or service. Sub-sites may have a different sub-domain or domain from their departmental domain (e.g., is a sub-site).

Web application(application Web):

One or more Web pages that allow users to interact and perform specific transactions.

header (en-tête)

The area at the top of a Web page that contains information that is persistent across a website, such as the site title, visual identifiers, search, navigation bars and breadcrumbs.

home page (page d'accueil)

An entry page to a website. On a bilingual or multilingual website, it is displayed by selecting a language on the splash page.

information technology (technologies de l'information)
Involves both technology infrastructure and IT applications. Technology infrastructure includes any equipment or system that is used in the automatic acquisition, storage, manipulation, management, movement, control, display, switching, interchange, transmission or reception of data or information. IT applications include all matters concerned with the design, development, installation and implementation of information systems and applications to meet business requirements.
interoperability (interopérabilité)
Refers to the ability of departments to operate in synergy through consistent IT management policies, practices, processes and technologies.
interstitial page (page interstitielle)

A Web page displayed before a requested content page that provides information the user should know before proceeding.

investment (investissement)
Is the use of resources with the expectation of a future return, such as an increase in output, income or assets or the acquisition of knowledge or capacity.
it decision making (prise de décisions en matière de ti)
Refers to the process and actions involved in making decisions on IT management.
it services (services de ti)
Are services that clients and end user recipients understand as IT service provider outputs. Services may be delivered by providers through one or more internal activities.
itil (itil)
Stands for “Information Technology Infrastructure Library” and represents a set of best practices that guide IT service management. (Source: ITIL)
location (position)

A place where something is or could be located.

management of information technology (gestion des technologies de l'information)
Is planning, acquiring, building, implementing and operating IT assets, systems or services, measuring their performance and arranging their disposal.
presentation (présentation)

The visual representation of something.

primary domain name (nom de domaine principal)

The domain name that represents a website's primary purpose and that is commonly used to access and identify the website.

secondary navigation (navigation secondaire)

Local navigation that helps users move within a section of a site.

server message page (page de messages du serveur)

A Web page that notifies a user of a problem on the Web server.

service (service)
Refers to a means, administered by a program, of producing a final valued output that addresses one or more target group needs.
service catalogue (catalogue de services)
Is a database or structured document for users that is published by a service provider and includes a full description of individual IT services or, at a minimum, information on cost, quality and service levels. The service catalogue may also include service request processes and contact points.
service costing (établissement du coût des services)
Refers to cost estimating that assists senior management in making decisions on services. (See the TBS Guide to Costing)
shared service (service partagé)
Is a service that is shared by more than one client.
site navigation bar (barre de navigation du site)

A global navigation bar that helps users move from section to section across an entire website, typically, via navigational elements such as links.

splash page (page d'entrée)

A Web page at the root of a website where users can select the language of the website.

stakeholder (intervenant)
Is an entity that may be internal or external to the federal government, such as a citizen, business, service provider, service consumer, partner or employee, and has an interest in an IT service, project or organization or their related activities, resources or deliverables.
user-centred design (UCD) (conception axée sur l'utilisateur)

An iterative process for creating websites that involves users to ensure that the final product is usable by the intended audience.

Web content (contenu Web)

Information and sensory experience to be communicated to the user by means of a user agent, including code or markup that defines the content's structure, presentation and interactions. (Source: Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0, Appendix A: Glossary)

Web page (page Web)

A non-embedded resource obtained from a single Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) using HTTP plus any other resources that are used in the rendering or intended to be rendered together with it by a user agent.

  • Note 1:Although any other resources" would be rendered together with the primary resource, they would not necessarily be rendered simultaneously with each other.
  • Note 2:For the purposes of conformance with these guidelines, a resource must be "non-embedded" within the scope of conformance to be considered a Web page.

For further information and examples, please consult: Web page, Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0, Appendix A: Glossary)

Web usability (facilité d'emploi des sites Web)

The extent to which specified users can find, understand and use information and services online. Web usability can be measured through the effectiveness and efficiency with which users can complete defined tasks online.

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