Brainstorming, creative brief, recommendations document, bilingual website design, graphic design, content migration, implementation of new content, development of new features, migration and improvement of pre-existing features, installation and customization of components, maintenance document , training, and as required maintenance support.
Initiated in 2002, the Canadian Driving Research Initiative for Vehicular Safety in the Elderly (Candrive) is an interdisciplinary health related research program dedicated to improving the safety of older drivers. It is funded by a Team Grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). Candrive also receives support from the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. Candrive's aim is to improve the health, safety and quality-of-life ofCanada's older drivers.
Candrive wished to revise their website with a fresh design utilizing a Content Management System to facilitate easy site maintenance. The old website was viewed as being outdated and in need of a refresh. Candrive wished to re-design and re-develop the program’s web site to meet current near term needs and provide a solid foundation for future growth.
MarketAccess was proud to be selected for the project based on a competitive bid. The goals of the new site were:
- develop a bilingual website for users to navigate
- present a professional and polished visual look
- simple to navigate for web site visitors
- encourage navigation within the site
- provide a method for non-technical administrators and in-house staff to easily and cost effectively add, edit and or delete content
At the start of the project, we met with the Candrive team to discuss the current and future vision of the website. From this discussion, MarketAccess developed a recommendations document detailing proposed solutions to client requirements. Recommendations were discussed and prioritized into short, medium and long term. The document included a revised site architecture and vision for the design. The majority of the short term recommendations were implemented in time for the launch.
The website audience included a wide group of users. The bilingual design had to accommodate an older target market and developed so information could be easily located and displayed. Our design approach was to deliver a simple design with a larger font size by default so older users could easily view information provided. Users familiar with surfing the web can resize the text easily with the buttons provided in the interface. Buttons for PDF version, Print Page, and Email are all easily available on every page. These features are automatically provided as part of theCMS. A language toggle is also part of the design and it connects the user to the same content in the other language.
The menu structure is easy to understand and displayed consistently from page to page. A side navigation was implemented as opposed to a top level navigation. With top level navigation, the user must get back to the top of the page to navigate the site. Keeping the navigation to the left side in a column ensures users can easily navigate to other sections at any time. A top of page button is provided where content forces the navigation outside the users open browser.
Banners were implemented in the design to deliver key messages. The banners are random and hyperlinked to encourage navigation within the site.
With the design approved, MarketAccess created Joomla templates and migrated existing content within the new information architecture. As part of the template design, MarketAccess created a Google Analytics account for Candrive, and integrate appropriate scripts into the template to enable Google Analytics traffic tracking.
As part of the Joomla set up, we installed a bilingual component, an improved SYSIWYG editor and Word Paste component to ensure in-house staff could easily maintain the site on an on-going basis. Web safe URLs was initiated and enabled to ensure the site could be easily indexed by web search engines.
During implementation, new content provided by Candrive was integrated and key features were developed. Site search was implemented to provide search capabilities using key words or phrasing so site visitors can identify content from throughout the site.
The Reference Database was ported to Joomla. The reference database provides a search form for members to easily search a database of medical documents. MarketAccess improved the functionality of the database:
- database was ported from MS Access to mySQL (an OpenSource database system). mySQL is a more robust database and provides a solid foundation for current and future enhancements.
- Results page was revised so output can be limited to a user-specified number of records per page (useful for printing)
- The search form was revised and validates user input to prevent hacking
- Modified search form to resolve pre-existing legacy error
- Modified and provided a unique search page for the English and French sites, instead of the previous configuration where search was only available in French
- New administrative interface was developed to allow the site administrator to add/update/delete reference entries directly online.
The Member Database was also ported and improved. MarketAccess migrated the existing membership database to theCMS. Joomla has an integrated user database to grant users access to members-only content. We extended theCMSmember database to allow Candrive to collect and manage additional user profile information. The database was further enhanced to allow target mass email. Based on filterable criteria in the Membership Database, Candrive is now able to send targeted email to selected members (or all members) directly through theCMS.
Candrive wished to provide a permissions-based document repository available to members. MarketAccess installed, configure, and populated an integrated Document Repository system into theCMS. This system allows administrators (and members if Candrive wishes) to post documents for download. Documents can be grouped together by an unlimited number of category/subcategories. The system can handle any number of documents, of all formats.CMS-integrated user/group permissions allow Candrive to grant control over who can download documents – for example, some documents can be public, others can be for groups of users, others for specific users. Documents can be hosted on the Candrive site, or can be included in the repository, but exist on external web sites.
The complete site was fully tested prior to client review. One of the wonderful features of using aCMSsuch as Joomla, is the site is automatically W3C compliant. This means the site is fully accessible by design – theCMSforces this to be the case since the content is separated from design. We ran the completed site through several validation systems to ensure coding adheres to accepted standards.
In the case of the components, we utilized plugin extensions to Joomla. These plugins are OpenSource and used by thousands of other web sites. Using plugins where possible means we don’t need to worry about testing custom code. Of course, we verify the plugin works once it is integrated– through the running of various tests cases to ensure data is captured correctly.
Initial training was provided and the client was able to review and revise the site prior to launch. During this period, the client completed simple edits and verified product features. After the launch, MarketAccess developed a detailed maintenance document and provided onsite training.
The client has been extremely pleased with the results of the project and has retained MarketAccess Communications for development and installation of components including a work flow management system for patient assessments. TheCMScompletely meets their needs and they are able to easily add, edit and maintain the bilingual site themselves.