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RNIB – Redevelopment across the RNIB website

Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB): Drupal site build for corporate site; donation UX streamlining; online membership with threaded discussions; fundraising repository; analytics; 24 x 7 x 365 managed services.

 

Background

The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) is the UK’s leading sight loss charity, providing support and advice to blind and partially sighted people in the UK. It RNIB employs 2,000 people across the UK, and has the support of around 4,000 volunteers.

In 2014 RNIB launched a new five-year strategy, including a new website (rnib.org.uk) and a new online shop.

Requirements

Panlogic were appointed in summer 2014 to fulfil a third phase of the website delivery schedule. This included:

  • A membership section offering a digital space for RNIB’s members
  • An online discussion forum for RNIB’s registered members
  • A management portal for fundraising events
  • A repository for RNIB fundraisers to access marketing materials
  • The functionality to import data into RNIB’s CRM system (Ascent)
  • Consultancy around the website’s fundraising potential. Implementation of an improved user experience and design aiming to increase digital revenue, especially re-developing and maximising the effectiveness of the online donation forms.
  • Consultancy around RNIB’s web analytics strategy
  • Consultancy and integration with RNIB’s CRM system to create an online accounts for supporters.

Accessibility requirements were naturally strict: Comprehensive adherence to AA of the WCAG 2.0 guidelines as well as RNIB’s own ‘SurfRight’ guidelines.

The redesign required mobile and tablet-responsive design and front-end implementation catering to visitors using a variety of devices and software (e.g. specific screen readers, magnifiers (etc.) aids for visually-impaired people).

What we did

Migration

Panlogic inherited and replicated to test environments a solution with cacheing, file syncing and automated deployment software and database cluster management across a multi-server, load-balanced environment. An audit was carried out to fully understand the Drupal application architecture and review security against industry standards.

 

Strategy and Delivery

Rationale

Panlogic’s discovery phase was conducted over five workshop sessions as well as follow-up phone call sessions with stakeholders. Panlogic’s UX consultant and Technical Architect used evidence from stakeholder and end-user experiences as the rational/analysis for the benefits, theory and application of Panlogic’s solution. Panlogic collaborated with RNIB and user testing agency, Bunnyfoot, for each of the projects. The result was a user-centred visual layout and user journey based on qualitative and quantitative evidence also catering to the strategic and content-editing needs of internal and external stakeholders. Interactive wireframes faciliated an agile approach to soliciting feedback on real deliverables.

Design and build

Panlogic managed an iterative feedback process around the development of creative designs involving stakeholders in strategic, technical and creative roles. Accessibility standards were front-of-mind throughout. Panlogic’s technical architect led on specifying the underlying structuring of the new build projects, integration between them and their acceptance criteria. Particular care was taken with specification of a highly bespoke and unique registration mechanism integrating with a CRM system accepting both online and offline registrations.

The build phase for each workstream required strict adherence to device responsiveness and accessibility standards. Several separate themes were managed within a single Drupal instance using front-end code compiled using SASS technology. Panlogic employed JavaScript libraries including Masonry and Cycle2 to give RNIB a modern and flexible layout for their new website sections. Drupal ‘themers’ worked in conjunction with back end and front end developers and Panlogic’s accessibility consultant. Agile principles allowed alterations to be made throughout the build process.

Features included:

  • Brand new content types and content/functional widgets (i.e. digital donation mechanism) across multiple Drupal themes
  • Custom-built discussion forums with subscription notifications, reporting/moderation and AJAX based commenting
  • Bespoke CRM integration
  • Multiple authenticated sections managed in a single Drupal instance using profile2 module
  • Event and guestlist management
  • Bespoke silent auction functionality
  • Product listing and filtering, eCommerce-style basket and ordering functionality
  • Analytics consultation and training
  • Consultation around user experience, information architecture and digital fundraising

Value

Panlogic’s solution was planned with due diligence and adhered to best practice. Consequently, it added value in a number of ways:

Wireframing, prototyping and user experience/information architecture

Interactive wireframing and an agile, iterative approach from the early stages of the project giving an accurate depiction of functionality and facilitating valid and pertinent user and stakeholder feedback.

Specification

Thorough but relevant specification work, especially around the technical integration points of the project and the overall Drupal architecture, maintained a common understanding of the intended solution across all parties involved.

Accessibility

Our lead front-end developer, responsible for a number of accessible websites, delivered the project with the support of our accessibility expert Léonie Watson. Léonie is a member of the W3C HTML Working Group and Accessibility Task Force and a major consultant to Government Digital Services (GDS) ensuring the accessible implementation of the Gov.UK website, and is a world expert in accessibility issues.

Responsiveness

Rigorous device responsiveness and browser compatibility standards were met throughout the work, balancing modern Javascript techniques with support for older web browsers including those coming from assistive technology.



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