The customer

A European Union (EU) agency whose mission is to produce and disseminate impactful scientific and health information to the general public and an international network of stakeholders - national and local government authorities, health professionals, researchers, students and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs).

The challenge

  • Outdated WCMS, hard to use by content authors
  • Complex digital landscape with +2000 website pages
  • +200 digital asset libraries
  • Diverse international audience

Our customer, an European health agency, identified the need to change the way their three core brands were presented online, while keeping a strong corporate identity.

The strategic direction was clear:

  • To support EU Member States’ with guidelines and practical tools for health programs and campaigns
  • Promote knowledge-sharing and training among public health professionals
  • Ensure that all information is timely, easily accessible, impactful, reusable and adjusted to the needs of the different target audiences
  • Consolidate their reputation as a trusted and independent agency that produces and disseminates high quality scientific content.

The solution

To address the customer’s new strategic direction, Amplexor proposed a renewed digital strategy for the three brands which included: an overall content restructure, a new digital asset management approach and a dedicated multi-site content management platform. The project also encompassed the technical setup for the hosting infrastructure and content migration from the old SharePoint system.

The new WCMS based on Drupal 8 comprised innovative features to allow easy sharing of functionality across the different websites. The three websites are centrally managed from the same WCMS back-end, but maintain their own separate brand aesthetics.

Amplexor’s solution for this organization’s website experience focused on seven main areas:

 

1 - UX and UI design

Based on a thorough content inventory, target audiences’ personas and user journeys we modeled the different navigation paths to the available information. From this navigation and content model, we created interactive wireframes using Axure RP to allow the customer to test and validate the concept at an early stage.

The branding and styling was applied in the form of high level designs in Sketch, followed by a complete prototype in HTML and CSS, using Bootstrap framework for developing a responsive, mobile-first website.

This enabled not only browser compatibility checks to be performed early, but also full visibility on different screen sizes.

Navigation styling is minimalist to draw attention to the page content rather than the menus, as well as contextual, showing only navigation options related to the given page’s topic.

New components were added to promote findability of content and optimize user experience, such as metatags to automatically aggregate similar content, in-page tabs, breadcrumb trail to display the visitor’s current location within the site, large buttons and carousels, as well as interactive graphs, maps and tables.

2 - Information Structure

Existing content from SharePoint was redefined into a flatter structure and migrated to a centralized single repository and shared libraries to optimize resources. This user-friendly back-office also provides advanced functionalities for Digital Asset Management (DAM), such as an image library, automatic thumbnails and metatag categorising for documents, images, video and audio files.

3 - Authoring and publishing 

The variety of content types and page layouts give complete autonomy for content authors to build pages with the components that best display their content. This design approach ensures sufficient freedom and flexibility without compromising on structure.

Drupal 8 offers an easy-to-use authoring interface and tools for content managers: 

  • A rich text editor to enable authors to add and format text and links, insert tabular data within a text area and apply styles without needing HTML skills
  • Site and page layout templates as well as publication workflows and scheduling
  • Search engine optimization (SEO) tools, including friendly URLs 
  • Dynamic and static lists to automatically list different types of content (documents, images, blog articles, pages, etc.) or “cherry pick” content from the CMS
  • Blogging tool, including comments and moderation functionalities
  • Social media publishing with dynamic sharing features for pages, interactive data visualizations, images, videos, etc.

4 - Dynamic content feed

The European Surveillance System (TESSy) was integrated into Drupal using web services to generate content automatically on statistical monitoring of prevalence of infectious diseases and provide visitors with a seamless experience through all website pages.

5 - Multilingual approach

Amplexor’s open source translation connector for Drupal 8 enables content authors to request and receive translation of pages directly through their CMS. Authors and editors are also able to create separate workflows for translations, use split-screen editing or even use different languages in their authoring environment.

Several ready-made components in a variety of languages were also prepared for easier multilingual content creation.

6 - Search Experience 

Site-wide search with filtering and sorting options (faceted search) as well as quick document search for publications are available. Search supports metadata, partial words & phrases and boolean searches. Apache Solr search function integration enables indexing and searching not only of pages within the websites, but also of file attachments and synonyms.

7 - Compliance

Drupal 8 CMS complies with EU legislation on personal data protection and Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 Level AA requirements (WCAG 2.0 AA), as is required for all EU institutions.

The result

The health agency’s renewed digital presence conveys a strong corporate identity with emphasis on full multi-platform accessibility. Content is easily available and reusable through interactive search and navigation interfaces. Interactive formats include, charts, maps, infographics, videos, spreadsheets, as well as technical assessments and guidance.

The new websites serve a wide variety of users, within its public domain and restricted extranet areas, which include the EU institutions, national and local government authorities, public health professionals, researchers, students and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs).

The new Drupal CMS accelerates the organization’s content lifecycle and generates benefits spanning visitor experience, marketing integration, content authoring, performance and security.

Optimal visitor experience

  • User-centric and responsive design on all devices
  • Interactive search and navigation for fast and easy content finding
  • Personalization options for returning visitors 
  • Full accessibility by as many people as possible without discrimination, as defined by international guidelines (W3C’s Web Accessibility standards)
  • Content localization, including respect of formatting such as the date format according to the country or specific language

Marketing integration

  • User feedback channels to promote knowledge-sharing and improve customer service
  • Search engine optimization (SEO) tools to improve page ranks 
  • Advanced analytics to monitor users’ behavior and site performance on content and server’s sides 
  • Integration with social media, blogging and email platforms

Author Experience

  • Easy-to-use CMS for flexible and user-friendly content creation and layout design
  • Convenient mobile-friendly back-end
  • Variety of content modules for quick and easy page building 
  • Terminology and translation tools for automated exporting/ importing of multilingual content

Performance, scalability & security

  • Support website traffic surges during disease outbreaks or public health crisis
  • Content integrity preserved and overall system resistance against web vulnerabilities and exploits
  • Respect for the customer’s ICT Security Policy, namely regarding access control, confidentiality and high availability

"We believe the new websites are the result of a successful global digital experience overhaul. The content restructure and refreshed online channels respond to the customer’s goals of engaging and mobilizing their target audiences to act as multipliers of the agency’s messages and content."

Eline Mevensen, Strategic Account Manager at Amplexor

The project  involved a multi-disciplinary team with expertise in Drupal development, graphic design, front-end development and project management.

The phased delivery and close collaboration with the customer’s web, content and infrastructure teams from the start enabled efficient use of resources through an Agile methodology, maximum use of the standard CMS out-of-the-box functionalities (modules) and a quick and dynamic development process.

This partnership is well under way and we expect further developments to continuously improve visitors’ experience and marketing integration of their Drupal platform will be added to the pipeline soon.

"Amplexor’s integrated project approach resulted in a seamless transition between analysis, design and technical development, and was instrumental for the timely go-live of the websites." 

David Verdonck, Project Manager at Amplexor

About Amplexor

Amplexor services for the Public Sector

With proven expertise in the public sector, Amplexor is able to adapt its services to address specific issues related to process improvement, quality management, eGovernment, IT systems and public service improvement – all delivered in a multilingual context.

Table of Contents

Download our case study to learn how we helped an independent health agency of the European Union to reach their diverse, international audiences:

  • Full multi-platform accessibility to ensure optimal visitor experience in any device or language
  • Interactive and easily-searchable information personalized to each of their target audiences
  • Accelerated multilingual content creation to timely communicate impactful scientific information
  • Enhanced author experience with an easy-to-use WCMS, allowing for sufficient flexibility without compromising on structure
  • Consolidation of the agency's reputation as a trusted and independent source of high quality scientific content

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