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Chief Military Personnel envisioned a universal template for all Military Family Services websites following a CF Family Summit in 2009.

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Chief Military Personnel envisioned a universal template for all Military Family Services websites following a CF Family Summit in 2009.

  • There was an expressed desire for a consistent design structure to make all C/MFRC websites more identifiable as part of one program and easier to navigate for CF families.
  • The aim was to have effective, consistent and predictable presentation of web content, with an ultimate goal: ease of use for CF families.

Canadian Forces families will be able to quickly

and easily find what they are looking for.


The national Marketing Advisory Committee discussed the creation of one Single Point of Entry to connect families to:

    • An easy-to-use C/MFRC directory;
    • Online military family services and resources; and
    • Each other.
  • It would use a shared:
    • Colour palette;
    • Top banner; and
    • Left and bottom navigation bars.

Colour Palette

Top Banner:

Would incorporate Strength Behind the Uniform logo.


Common Navigation:The first 10 left navigation items at every location:

    • HomeAbout UsAbout the CommunityChildren & YouthDeployment, Departures & Reunions
    • Education & Training
    • Employment AssistanceHealth & Wellness
    • Parent & Caregivers
    • Volunteering

Common Navigation:The “footer” navigation for all would include:

    • DMFSTop of PageDisclaimerContact UsSite Map

Lots of Cooks, Just one Kitchen

  • The MFSP is implemented through MFRCs at all CF bases, wings and stations, and many foreign locations.
  • There are several thousand employees, volunteers and other CF community members who may be involved with individual MFRC website development and maintenance.
  • We had to find a way to safeguard the commonalities so that CF families could build on their site knowledge through every visit – regardless of their current location or where their next relocation will take them.

FamilyForce Design Standards are ALWAYS Available Online under the Site Actions Menu.

  • The Design Standards provide direction to website administrators regarding:
      • Use of colour
      • Text styles
      • Optional navigation elements
      • Image types and sizes
      • Image sources
      • Links
      • Logos
      • Content and Content Translation

Translation and Bilingual Content

  • All C/MFRCs must respect their linguistic obligations when using their FamilyForce Web site to communicate with and to their public.
  • FamilyForce is subject to Parts 4 and 5 of the Official Languages Act and the Treasury Board of Canada’s Directive on the Use of Languages on Web Sites.
    • Public interest information shall be posted in both official languages on FamilyForce, without exception;
    • English and French versions of a C/MFRC’s FamilyForce website shall be of equal quality and available simultaneously; and
    • Information intended for a specific audience, for a specific purpose, whose language of work is exclusively English or French may be posted in only one official language.

“A dynamic online community for and about CF families that connects them to relevant services, resources and information to enhance their military life experience.”


Admin Site – A dedicated space on FamilyForce for C/MFRC website administrators that contains tutorials, user guides, site updates and tips.

Alternate Text / Alt Tag – Text that has been added to a piece of content, such as an image, to provide additional information about it. Alt tags provide context for non-visual web users or for site visitors who have image loading turned off. In newer browsers, alt tags display as a tooltip on mouse-over.


Breadcrumb Trail- A breadcrumb trail captures a visitor’s location within a website and offers a clickable path back up to the higher levels. On FamilyForce the breadcrumb trail is located at the top of each site and page.


Check In / Check Out– Documents, pages and sites on FamilyForce are automatically “checked out” whenever they are opened for editing. This means they are locked for editing by everyone else. It also means that your changes cannot be seen until you check the item back in.

**Note - Website Administrators can override a check-out if necessary and check it in with the previous version.


Chrome – A chrome is an adjustable Web Part setting to control how the title and border appear. Since the default border colour on Sharepoint is light blue, permissible chrome types for FamilyForce are Title Only and None.

Common Look and Feel (CLF) – A standard that governs all formatting, links, images, and layouts of web pages to allow for predictable and consistent presentation of online content.


Location Administrator – Also referred to as C/MFRC Website Administrator this is the person who has full content authoring and publishing privileges for a site collection on FamilyForce.

Notepad– A Microsoft Windows application that creates and edits text files. This simple text editor is commonly used for creating Web pages because it supports only very basic formatting, you cannot accidentally save special formatting in documents that need to remain pure text. (Often, special characters cannot appear in your Web pages and may even cause errors.)


Publish All – For users with this publishing privilege, Publish All bypasses the entire workflow. It is found under the Actions menu in lists and libraries.



Sharepoint– Microsoft Office Sharepoint Server (MOSS, or simply Sharepoint) is a Microsoft technology used for collaborating, sharing business processes and providing content management and search features for companies.

Site Banner – Found along the top of every page beside the Strength Behind the Uniform logo, the banner typically displays the C/MFRC name.


Site Map – A clickable table of contents for a site collection. It is possible to manually suppress some sites and pages from view on the Site Map.


Site Collection – each C/MFRC location on FamilyForce is a single Site Collection made up of (top-level) sites and (second-level) pages.


Splash Page – The entry page at each location that contains the site logo and the English / Français language choices.


Style Sheets – Content Editing Toolbar options that carry pre-set formatting to define the presentation (e.g. colour, size, alignment) of text on a page. Some of the FamilyForce styles include: body text, byline, headline and title.


Variation– When creating an English site, the French site is automatically created and is called a variation. When creating an English page, a French page or variation must be manually created.

Version– Versions are copies of Sharepoint sites and pages that are created during editing. Each time a site or page is published, a new version is created. It is possible to manually revert back to a previous version of the site or page.

Web Part - Synonymous with widget, a Web Part is a control that can be added to Sharepoint sites and pages to give users more flexibility in modifying the appearance and behaviour of content.


Workflow – Refers to the sequence of steps involved in creating, editing and publishing content on a web site or page. On FamilyForce, a workflow can involve Check in to Share Draft, Submit for Approval, Approve/Reject and Publish. Workflows vary depending on the permissions of the content author.

Zones – Designated areas within a Sharepoint web site or page where web parts can be added. Zones are 1, 2, 3, etc. when a page is open in editing.


Like any website, FamilyForce continues to evolve. Discuss some of the ways that the template could (or should) change to better the online experience for CF families. Ask yourselves, "how can the CLF template be improved?" Select your top three ideas to report back to the group.

Now take a moment to discuss what's working well and share some of the feedback you've heard as it relates to the Common Look and Feel. If we make any changes now or in the future, what should we NOT touch? Pick your top three ideas to report back to the group.

What are some of the ways that Web Parts can be used to customize your websites, while staying true to the Common Look and Feel? What makes your site unique? What are you most proud of? Share some ideas on what you have tried locally, or what you have seen.