Our Drupal development skills are a perfect fit for Lethbridge College’s UX Design work
Once a small community college, Lethbridge College is now home to over 5,000 students from around the world. Founded in Alberta in 1957, Lethbridge College continues to grow their study body and their web presence. Go Kodiaks!
The previous Lethbridge College site was built by North Studio using Drupal 6. For the new Drupal 8 site, Lethbridge College needed to migrate content from two WordPress sites into Drupal; import Course content from Elusian Colleague into Drupal on a recurring basis and integrate third party systems with Drupal.
The third party systems would include: Muut, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, SoundCloud, EventBrite, YouTube and Vimeo.
North Studio was responsible for the overall website build, training and guidance. The Lethbridge College One Experience team was responsible for wireframes, designs and a style guide. Our teams maintained continuous communication throughout the project using a combination of tools for weekly meetings which included:
- Teamwork for client communication via email
- Slack for instant communication
- North Studio’s tailored JIRA instance to manage all tickets (an Agile development and robust Quality Assurance (QA) and User Acceptance Testing (UAT) processes)
AFTER (a scrolling representation)
- Responsive design, which utilizes media queries to automatically adapt the website to any size of screen that it is viewed on.
- Ability for content managers to easily create pages with complex structured content using Paragraphs, with settings for:
- Background images, with optional Parallax scrolling
- Background colors
- Text colors
- Ability for content managers to add a hero images/banners to pages, with optional autoplaying embedded background videos.
- Ability for content managers to embed various types of social media posts on pages.
- Ability for users to browse/search content, powered by Apache Solr, with a number of search facets (filters) that can be utilized to narrow down the search results.
- Responsive embedded YouTube videos.
- Responsive image carousels.
- Event Calendar of Upcoming Events and Past Events, with iCal feed.
- Document Center containing a multilevel archive of downloadable documents.
- Configurable Alert banners which can be displayed at the top of every page, eg. during emergency situations, website maintenance periods, etc.
- Access Controls which provide content editors with the ability to restrict access to certain pages by role.
- Custom migration scripts which allow site administrators to bulk update program and course data on a regular basis.
- Microsite with its own custom theme for Lethbridge College’s “Wider Horizons” online magazine.
North Studio, through mutual collaboration with the Lethbridge College One Experience team built a customized Drupal 8 site with a smooth upgrade path for both minor and major level upgrades as well as future releases of Drupal 9. They were also able to adapt and fit current modules within the site to meet the client’s existing needs which decreased possible budgetary strain.
By working with cutting edge frame-working solutions that empower content managers to build and scale their projects, North Studio was able to mitigate possible issues and to facilitate full project transparency. This included, but was not limited to, easily accessible information sharing, cohesive code, and tackling unforeseen development issues, ticket statuses, and bug fixes.
By implementing these custom changes, Lethbridge College content managers are now able to independently make adjustments to the main site and, “Wider Horizons” sub-site which was designed to be scalable and tailored to their in-house team needs.
The developers involved on this project created patches for several Drupal modules to fix issues that were encountered while building the new site, and contributed these patches in the module issue queues on Drupal.org for the benefit of the Drupal community as a whole.
A Collaborative Effort
North Studio used Continuous Integration (CI) throughout the project to keep the various environments (Development, Test and Staging) up to date as work progressed, ensuring Lethbridge College’s ability to be ‘in-the-know’ at all phases of development. As a result, Lethbridge College was able to provide feedback on the latest work on a regular basis to increase efficiency.
During the project every measure was taken to ensure full transparency including a high collaborative effort between both the client and North Studio, resulting in daily communications through several venues. Lethbridge College was able to communicate directly with the developers and other team members assigned to their project, with the opportunity to review all of North Studio’s work prior to approval for release through the use of our tailored JIRA/Kanban process. This allowed for constant client integration through multi-layered revisions within the customized requirements of the project.
Throughout the project, the North Studio team oversaw both teams for the majority of development. They managed deliverables and requirements by reporting to both sides of management, utilizing a Project Manager as well as a Technical Lead or Technical Project Manager who worked side-by-side with Lethbridge College’s in-house team.
North Studio built two customized themes for the Lethbridge College website. The primary theme for the site implemented Lethbridge College’s standard branding and colours, while providing tailored experiences for alumni, prospective students, and faculty. The secondary theme extended the primary theme to provide customized styling specifically for Lethbridge College’s “Wider Horizons” digital magazine.
Continued Support + Maintenance
North Studio performs monthly or semi-monthly maintenance on the Lethbridge College website, which consists of Drupal core + module updates as well as upgrades to integrations between the Drupal website and third party software such as Apache Solr. Addtionally, North Studio provides direct developer-to-developer consultation services for members of Lethbridge College’s in-house web team. North Studio also supports the Lethbridge College web team by performing QA reviews and providing feedback on work performed by Lethbridge College web developers, and deploying new work to the Staging and Production environments.
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