Ryerson University


Sustainability Matters (SM) is the official sustainability program at Ryerson University, led by Campus Facilities & Sustainability department. It is an ambitious initiative that reflects the university’s commitment to advancing sustainability throughout campus and community at large.

The Challenge/Opportunity

When the program was born in 2012, it had only a small set of website requirements. As the program grew, their needs and content also expanded beyond their website’s initial capabilities. Ad hoc changes were made to accommodate new requirements. However, the original structure wasn’t built for scalability. After a series of changes, the website became overwhelmingly complex for both visitors and administrators alike.The SM team asked Pixel Dreams to help rethink their web presence.


  • Build a scalable website that would support future growths
  • Develop a design aesthetic for the SM brand
  • Design visual assets to aid web content and other forms of communication
  • Organize their large and growing content base into an information architecture


Phase 1 / Strategy

Pixel Dreams initially partnered with Ryerson to assess and investigate their existing web presence that had become overwhelmingly complex for both visitors and administrators alike. After assessing the initial website structure, the solution was to build an entirely new scalable website that would support future growth.

Phase 2 / Design

It was important to explore how the visual assets would work together holistically, while ensuring they represented the various initiatives. The result was a graphic system, designed to work seamlessly with RU:SM’s web presence and other avenues of communication.

When the design phase was completed, SM team were informed of the university’s new requirement for all stand-alone websites to be amalgamated into a central Content Management System, and to follow Ryerson’s new branding standards. This led to a mid-project pivot.

All previously approved designs were updated to meet Ryerson’s new branding guidelines.

Change development strategy

From WordPress to Adobe CQ (Ryerson’s central CMS)

Page template development

Pre-designed webpage that the client can use for rapid page creation

Custom front-end styling & scripting

To achieve functionalities not supported by the CMS out of the box

Kyle Robinson, Director, Facilities Services & Sustainability
Ryerson University

...Thank you Pixel Dreams...

Thank you, Pixel Dreams, for your capabilities, diligence, and flexibility in understanding the academic landscape and taking our website (2015-2016) project from planning, messaging, to launching. Notably, your capabilities in visualization, simplification, and organization of complex information, your diligence in organization, communication, and reporting, your flexibility in handling and supporting unexpected changes of scope, and lastly, your creative problem-solving capabilities.