Website launch - European Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education

22 March 2018

It's been another busy few months here at Big Blue Door - as well as the recent office move (more about that separately) and hiring a Drupal Apprentice, we have also launched a number of new websites for clients. We'll be rounding up wider launches in future posts, but we're particularly delighted to have launched a new site for the European Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education.

This launch is the culmination of nearly twelve months' hard work: we have led on the initial desk research phase, wireframes, design and build of the website. In addition, we also manage the hosting and ongoing support and maintenance of the site. The website itself is a Drupal 8 build - now that the system has matured we are using Drupal 8 for all our upcoming builds. We're particularly excited about the recent 8.5 release, which has included some significant improvements to how media (images, videos, documents, etc.) is managed across the content management system.

For colleagues at the European Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education, we have completed a comprehensive migration of data from their previous Drupal 7 system, which we also developed and launched back in 2014; a three to four year life cycle for a site of this complexity and scale feels a sensible period before a refresh is required, and we're currently talking to a number of partners about refreshes after similar periods of time. Not only does Drupal 8 bring a number of improvements in relation to API integrations, security and the editing experience, it also brings with it terrific options for migrating content from legacy systems into new installations.

This particular project has a number of key features which we're extremely proud of, including:

  • Country members area; this pulls together all key educational resources for a particular member country into one coherent area; including resources relating to key contacts, policies, financial information, publications, projects. Previously this data was spread across the wider site so having a single point of reference for users should be a big improvement.
  • Data; a new area publishing educational performance data across all member countries.
  • Glossary of terms; a comprehensive directory of all educational terms used across the platform.
  • Multimedia section; includes a mix of video content, quotes and presentations in a single view.
  • The automated migration of over six hundred items of content across a number of complex content types, with user roles, accounts and associated permissions also migrated into the new Drupal 8 site.

The has also been a significant focus on accessibility and we have worked in partnership with colleagues at Surface Impressions to ensure that the site operates for all users with visual impairments. This process included interactive workshops using assistive technologies. In addition to this, we developed our own accessibility module to support screen readers with text size and contrast adjustments; in the coming period, we’ll be committing this back to the community for wider review and feedback.

You can read more about what’s new via the agency's own blog post as well as a full round-up of the accessibility focus.

If you are considering or looking for a creative design, build or hosting project please don’t hesitate to contact us.