Project Brief.

From the outset Cambridge City Council were looking for a Drupal solution for its corporate Internet and Intranet sites. They also wanted to filter feedback from 3rd party coordinated focus groups and user testing groups into how ‘real’ user experiences would be reflected in the design and functionality of their new customer-oriented corporate website. WPP partners JDi Solutions and Artychoke  beat off stiff competition in a competitive tender to secure the contract.

The main challenge of the project was being able to design and build three unique sites in Drupal 7. The first was a new corporate website, the second a new corporate Intranet site and the third a Council sponsored website for the Corn Exchange theatre (you can read about that project here.) which would be maintained by an external content management and editorial team based at the theatre. Both the corporate website and theatre site were to be hosted on JDi Solutions’s servers but the Intranet site was to remain on Cambridge’s in-house servers.

Project Management was the main issue to address from the outset. Essentially each of the three sites presented their own unique set of challenges, not least of which was the fact that the target audience and user experience required would vary across each site. Both Content migration and restructuring of the Information Architecture for each site were subject to review by the Cambridge Web Team which meant that both the Plan and Build stages of the project issues were dependent on time and resources being available within the Cambridge Web team to provide oversight and contribution to the iterative development of the sites. Both JDi and Artychoke also had to take direct account of the input from the independent user testing reports so that Cambridge could legitimately claim that the corporate website’s content and functionality put the user first.

The project also gave JDi and Artychoke the opportunity to implement new ideas gained from internal R&D in how to optimise access to the public websites from mobile devices. The responsive design created, tested and implemented had to ensure that the user experience recommended from the independent user testing groups would not be compromised between desktop and mobile access. Ultimately this issue became less problematic by virtue of Cambridge determining that a task-oriented design and layout for the website was preferable which meant that user journeys were not unnecessarily complex or cluttered by intrusive features and content.

Key project features:

  • Strong demand on project management skills
  • Significant additional stakeholder input via 3rd party independent user testing
  • Diverse range of user journeys across 3 unique sites

Project Info.




Web Development, Web Design, Drupal, Hosting, Support & Maintenance