COVID TRIALS CANADA is a non-profit initiative supported by Think Research, the leading provider of cloud-based clinical solutions in Canada.
CovidTrials.ca is the first patient portal developed to streamline the recruitment process of volunteers willing to participate in COVID-19 clinical trials.
What the Client Needed
The main goal was to get the CovidTrials.ca up and running as quickly as possible (time was a critical factor, given the global context). Also, certain sections and pages of the website needed to be customized to fit the client's specific needs.
As for the technical requirements that we had to meet, the 2 most important ones have been:
- implementing a domain redirection: from the English version of the website to the French one and back
- integrating Pardot – a marketing automation software – with the contact form on the website
And, most importantly:
We had to ensure that the client's editorial team would be able to add, edit, publish, and manage content easily.
In this case, we knew that Drupal 8 was already a platform that granted users a lot of operational freedom.
- We managed to build the website, from scratch, in record time, based on the wireframes that we received
- We worked closely with the client to customize some key pages/sections on CovidTrials.ca
- We managed to integrate the requested marketing automation tool (Pardot), but not before we fixed some bugs in the Drupal module used for this integration
- We implemented the domain redirection requested
A crowdsourcing website with intuitive navigation where:
- the administrative team can edit content in no time
- users – patients volunteering to join COVID-19 clinical tests – can easily fill in a registration form with their data
"Data" that then gets automatically transferred to the research team responsible for matching patient profiles to suitable types of COVID-19 vaccine trials.
Mechanics Hub is the largest recruiting company for diesel mechanics and heavy equipment technicians in North America.
But that's the short description of their activity. If we were to detail upon it, we would say that Mechanics Hub is:
- the leading online resource in USA and Canada for Diesel machinery professionals (mechanics, technicians, parts/service staff and shop managers...) seeking jobs
- a content-heavy, one-stop resource updated regularly with industry news, videos, tips, training resources
- the most popular Diesel forum community
- the go-to resource for employers looking to hire exclusively highly qualified technicians and/or skilled Diesel professionals
Now, we can all but agree that such a high trafficked website (i.e. the forum only has +10.000 active members) must provide the best user experience. Whether its visitors access it to look for job opportunities, to read the latest industry news or to hire qualified Diesel mechanics.
But user experience was precisely the aspect where, well, things could be better. And that's when we stepped in to... save the day.
To revamp the UI/UX design completely ...
And we knew that this was a major dare considering that:
- we were dealing with a content-heavy website: the Mechanics Hub Toolbox alone included various content-packed subsections like the forum itself, articles, trade resources, tips & tricks, entertainment content, and the list goes on
- the content diversity there was just ... overwhelming: pictures, articles, videos ... crosswords
- that heavy (and complex) content infrastructure needed to be easy to access and to sift through on all devices
In a nutshell, the 3 main goals for this project were:
- to design a new user interface that should be cleaner, simpler, one that would enhance a smooth interaction
- to better structure all that content on the Mechanics Hub site, making it more intuitive for users to just flow through
- to create a cleaner and more modern website design that should better reflect the Mechanics Hub brand identity
Migrated the Website from Wordpress to Drupal
And this called for a complex, multi-step process, where we implemented content and assets migration from one platform to the other.
Simplified the Content Structure
We knew that reorganizing the content architecture so that it should be simpler and easier to follow was crucial if we wanted to improve the user experience on the website.
And this was definitely no easy task, but we managed to come up with a more solid, more logical structure for this content-rich website.
One that ensures a simplified, more intuitive navigation for its visitors.
Redesigned the MechanicsHub Website
And here we played with color contrasts: black and yellow.
Black was already the dominant color on the existing site and we added splashes of bright yellow, the same hue that you can find in their logo, to:
- reinforce their brand identity aesthetically
- draw attention to specific pieces of content on the website, leveraging this powerful contrast, and better guide the visitors to the key sections there
Overall, besides this strategic use of color contrast, our team strived to give the site's old design a cleaner, simpler look. To bring it up to date with the latest web standards.
Implemented Responsive Web Design
Again, ensuring that this heavy (and heavily diversified) content ecosystem was easy to navigate no matter the screen size, was a real "struggle" for our web designers.
Yet, we managed to make the content interface easy to navigate and user-friendly on all devices.
Mechanics Hub has gone from a clunky, overly cluttered and somehow too distracting WordPress site, to a:
- neatly and logically structured
... Drupal website with a simplified and more intuitive navigation and cleaner design.
Just imagine: THE most prestigious awards in the world, in the field of human rights, and us being granted the honour to give the corresponding website a performance boost!
And a traffic boost, as well, by improving the user experience provided there, making it easily accessible for visitors all over the globe. We won't lie to you: the honour was directly proportional to the overwhelming responsibility that we came along.
Besides the project's main goal — to optimize the website's overall performance — our client approached us with 2 special requests:
- to implement a new translation system that would enable them to reach a global audience and enter new markets
- to migrate the May-November 2019 content for the Photography Competition section on the website
The last project requirement did pose a challenge since the content to be migrated had lots of in-text references.
- we updated the existing allardprize.org website to the latest version of Drupal 7
- we performed all the necessary updates to Drupal core, to the contributed and custom modules, part of the user interface and the existing set of features
- we ran the latest security patches, as well
- we enabled the GTranslate module and thus implemented the translation feature that our client requested
- we migrated the specified content and found a way of processing the data within the given Pantheon hosting plan
- we conducted an in-depth performance audit on the website and we identified areas of improvement
- we did some Drupal performance optimization work, taking a series of necessary measures to speed up the website's page load and reliability/blog/boost-drupal-performance
The result: the Allard Prize for International Integrity website now runs significantly faster and provides a seamless user experience to its visitors, irrespective of their geographical location.
A health portal featuring an entire "mosaic" of content types (health-related articles, job announcements, medical news, promotion material of various companies presenting their medical devices etc.), as well as a patient-dedicated forum and a whole collection of mini-sites that users (health-care companies, clinics, hospitals, pharmacies etc.) get to easily administer.
In a nutshell: I-medic.ro is now a content-packed portal, one hosting a whole “ecosystem” of mini-sites, that runs smoothly on Drupal 7.
Our team's work:
Migrating such a content-heavy portal (with its whole “constellation” of mini-sites, too, each one with a theme of its own) from Drupal 5 to Drupal 7 has been by far our greatest challenge and, implicitly, the most rewarding achievement, too.
Next in our own hierarchy of outcomes for this project would be:
- creating and implementing an online scheduling appointment platform
- streamlining the whole content management workflow for the mini-websites' administrators (and here Drupal 7's improved administrative interface easied our job a lot)
- coming up with a more professional look and feel, with a new modern design for the portal
- making minor "fixes", such as creating more efficient listings, handling the broken URLs, making the breadcrumbs more visible
- Drupal custom development
- Drupal Bootstrap theming
- Drupal performance tuning
- migration from Drupal 5 to Drupal 7
- implemented an online scheduling appointment platform
- improved the content management workflow
- came up with a new design
- fixed minor problems