Helping the local government to reduce, reduce, reduce again

Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC) commissioned us to build a new Drupal website, based on a design created by design agency, Clearleft.

RBKC and Clearleft created a new website design in line with the Government Digital Service design principles. The work led to a design manual for content production and site architecture, as well as a pattern library and html prototypes. The design work predated the decision to use Drupal as a replacement CMS for the ageing Alterian Immediacy system. We were impressed with the rigorous design manual interpretive and applied the user-centred model at the heart of the GDS principles.

Every superfluous page created is a dead end for an angry, frustrated, confused user, who finds it hard to find specific content. We join up systems and journeys to avoid repetition.

It was great to see design principles being applied to every aspect of the site: content creation, content organisation, navigation, and media assets (images, video, etc). This was a refreshing difference to customers who think design is purely visual.

Choosing Drupal was driven by the fact that RBKC shares resources with Westminster, and Hammersmith and Fulham. Westminster had Drupal, so the three boroughs decided to standardise to reduce costs and maximise resources. Swiftcircle (with whom Code Enigma partners), actually built the Hammersmith site in Drupal.

Our development challenge was to take the new design, including content model, and apply that in Drupal. The content model had a concept of 'topics' that mapped easily to Drupal's taxonomy (tagging) system. Also, the internal web team had started a beta version of their old Immediacy site, where they applied the new design. They were considering how to repurpose and reduce legacy content, which made the migration task more straightforward.

The model we used for migration was a two stage exercise of exporting from SQL Server to CSV files, which ensured that the content was in the right format for then migrating into Drupal fields, using the Migrate module.

Samantha Fanning, Web Manager, said:

“This was the least painful migration I have ever been involved with.”

The Authority was concerned about developing the new Drupal site after launch. We worked onsite much of the time, leading development, but also trained and mentored the internal web team. (This is a common method for us).

The entire build and site launch was achieved in just over three months, and we now host this site along with the sites of Westminster and Hammersmith and Fulham.

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