Overview

Haringey Council’s hosting partner (Ixis) had already migrated their website onto Drupal and, having engaged a creative agency (Bandstand) to update their brand, the next step was to role out a new web front-end.

Working to a tight schedule, we only had 6 weeks to complete the work which meant we had to be up to speed with Haringey’s current Drupal setup in a very short space of time. Fortunately, we have over 10 years’ Drupal experience and quickly got to grips with their existing content types, site structure and module configuration.

Broken down into sprints, we created a development schedule that:

  1. gave Haringey’s web communications team time to sign-off our changes; and
  2. gave Ixis’ developers time to review our code before releasing.

Working agile, daily stand-ups ensured everybody was joined-up and on-hand to resolve any blockers.

Given the critical nature of the website, there could be no downtime while the new front-end was being built. Haringey also requested the exiting 200+ webpages remain published and legible after the new “look and feel” was applied.

To address the first requirement, we used Drupal’s Features module to bundle changes we made to the dev environment into exportable modules that could be installed on the live environment in a matter of seconds. Ixis also provided us with the means to preview these installations on a staging server, ensuring everything went smoothly on launch day.

To address the second requirement, we utilised the existing Bootstrap front-end framework; modifying predefined variables and stylesheets which in turn updated how content appeared on the page. Because Bootstrap requires a standardised codebase, we could be sure that any changes we made to the front-end code would be compatible with all current website content.

Results

We created a custom, responsive Drupal theme and built a suite of page layouts (using Drupal’s Panels module) to match Bandstand’s digital specification. Style plugins allowed web editors to easily publish content in-keeping with their new brand.

Haringey requested that the website work on Internet Explorer 8 and up, which required us to fill in some of the standards compliance gaps with polyfills, respond.js for media queries, HTML5shiv for HTML5 elements and jQuery.placeholder for form placeholders.

Haringey also commissioned the Royal National Institution of Blind People (RNIB) to perform an accessibility audit. The RNIB assessed how well the website code adhered to Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and recruited a group of visually impaired individuals to perform usability tests. Haringey Council was the first local authority to have its website approved by the RNIB.

Within the first 12 months of launching, Haringey’s web communications team noted a significant increase in traffic.