For a closer look at CARE’s experience, we spoke with CARE’s own Manager of Web Development, Ken Bess and User Experience Manager, Dan Fava.
As an international non-profit, CARE relies strongly on their web presence to support humanitarian relief efforts through fundraising and awareness campaigns. Prior to working with Mediacurrent, CARE contracted with two design and development agencies to create a new site for them on Drupal. The deliverable was a significant improvement but CARE still needed a firm with a high degree of Drupal experience for ongoing support. Nearing the end of their project deadline (and budget), the CARE team realized that their then-current partners were unable to execute all of their ideas. “They gave us a really great looking website,” said CARE User Experience Manager, Dan Fava. “But some of the technical things that were required, they weren’t able to deliver.”
CARE first partnered with Mediacurrent to address unsatisfied requirements from the development of their website and later transitioned into a long-term Support Services agreement. Fava recalled how Mediacurrent’s expertise was immediately apparent as developers presented multiple methods to solve for each issue in response to the tasks outlined in the original scope of work. CARE’s previous experience (with non-Drupal developers) had been met with, “maybe,” said Ken Bess, Manager of Web Development at CARE. The response from Mediacurrent’s team was “there are actually three ways to do this.”
CARE recognized that Mediacurrent had a well-rounded team committed to understanding their business goals in addition to competitive pricing and on-demand support. “They [Mediacurrent] really came in with the approach of being a partner from the start,” said Bess.
Indeed, Mediacurrent’s Support Service agreement allowed for greater budget predictability and forecasting. CARE’s rates were locked-in, alleviating the concern of price fluctuation throughout the project. With Mediacurrent’s on-demand support, CARE stakeholders could count on responsiveness from a dedicated project manager, unlimited support tickets, and priority queuing for the full duration of the project.
“At the beginning, we had a list of unfulfilled tasks and promises from the development of our website,” explained Fava. “But it was always with the thought that we needed someone to go to for long-term support, to take our website to the next level.” After the initial Project Scope of Work was fulfilled, CARE moved into a true Support Agreement with Mediacurrent. The transition, said Bess, was “seamless.”
The first step was for Mediacurrent to fix bugs that CARE had identified after their site launch. Several of these bugs (one such issue was preventing the display article tags for international emergencies like the “Syrian Refugee Crisis” or “Haiti Earthquake Recovery”) were negatively impacting users’ experience.
After high-priority bugs had been addressed, Mediacurrent consulted with CARE on site developments that would help to share the CARE story in an impactful way, support marketing goals, and make it easier for multiple editors to publish content— all considerations that drove CARE to choose Drupal in the first place. To engage site visitors, CARE also needed to migrate the company blog from a costly third party platform onto Drupal, fine tune their multimedia display and make it easier to share site content on social media:
- Drupal-based Blogging: The Migrate Module was leveraged to transfer CARE’s blog posts onto a Drupal blog. In addition to significant cost savings, the blog migration created a one-stop platform for content creation and publishing. By switching to a Drupal-based blog, CARE gained access to a wide set of SEO optimization and web trafficking features from modules like Google Analytics.
Improved Multimedia Display: CARE identified several small feature requests that went a long way to improve their brand’s visibility among site visitors and the media. To that end, templates were adjusted so that press releases from the “Newsroom” page appeared on the homepage. Mediacurrent also added functionality so that videos could be played in lightbox on the homepage and stylized the “Latest Story” view box to display images for each article.
As a final measure to improve the appearance of the homepage, the image carousel was made to rotate automatically. Before, site visitors had to click an arrow to advance image slides.
CARE sought to simplify the content publishing process and speed up site searches with several improvements:
Content Search: The Search API and Facet API modules were implemented to add a high performance search engine to the site, enabling administrators to search and find content within the Content Management System (CMS).
Content Sorting: To make it easier for non-technical editors to view content, Mediacurrent added functionality to sort resources by “published date.” Previously, the only option was to organize content by the date it was added to the CMS. Additional sorting functionality was added to arrange the company’s employee list by last name, with the option to position featured bios at the top of the list.
Customization: Mediacurrent enabled editable section headers, empowering editors to customize content.
With the recent appointment of CEO Michelle Nunn, new ideas for marketing campaigns to expand and improve CARE’s online presence are in the works. Going forward, said Fava, “[CARE] has lots of ideas and places where we’ll need to pull Mediacurrent in to decide what extra functionality we can use to tell the CARE story better.”