We were employed to check what was working well about the current site, improve the translation and, improve performance and make it easier for young people to tell policymakers what was important to them about their lives online.
Upon reviewing the site requirements we knew that Drupal was a perfect fit for the HUWY site.
So why was Drupal right for HUWY? We had 5 killer reasons:
1) Translation management
Our experience of building multilingual sites before meant that we knew that Drupal could handle multilingual - our only concern was whether the translations would be available for all our languages. Once again the Drupal community saved the day (the I18n and Localize projects) - the Estonian and German translations were almost perfect with project members in Estonia and Germany able to easily update terms that were inaccurate.
2) Groups in Drupal
The idea behind HUWY was based on allowing groups to discuss issues in private, before publishing their final idea to the project site. This immediately sounded like a perfect fit for Organic Groups. The Groups could then have the privacy, security and editing ability provided by the MediaWiki site while only having a single login. The content would also be automatically published on the site without needing intervention from one of the HUWY staff.
A key point for the HUWY team was the ability to let users easily upload their views as videos, images or presentations - in addition to a normal post. The decision was made that users should only link to videos hosted on third party sites rather than uploading the video or podcast directly to the HUWY server. The Embedded Media Field made this very simple to implement.
One of the major issues the HUWY team had with the existing site was that there was a lot of human intervention required to enable users to publish content on the site. Using the Rules module and taking advantage of the permissions system in Organic Groups we were able to minimise the amount of intervention required.
5) Multiple designs
As the project ran across four different countries there was a need to take into account cultural sensitivities around colour and language. Drupal made it very easy to implement two separate themes.
What we did?
Although the project team weren't entirely happy with the existing site we carried out user testing to find out what users liked and didn't like about the existing functionality. Using Morae we were able to easily record, analyse and distribute the results of the user tests to the HUWY project team before embarking on the Drupal build.
We used the existing information architecture and design. This meant that we were able to quickly move onto the development phase of the project. The import of content from WordPress proved tougher than expects - if only WordPress XML for Feeds had been around at the time - but once the content was in place we were able to hand the site over to the HUWY project team to test the translation and improve any faulty Estonian or German phrases.
The new groups functionality and the new workflow rules were then added before we converted the existing WordPress theme into a Drupal theme. We used Fusion, Skinr and Context to give us the flexibility we needed and were delighted with how quickly we were able to replicate the existing HUWY Classic theme. We created the second HUWY theme to showcase a more modern feel which some project partners had requested.
Following another round of user testing and bug fixing the site was deployed - a mere seven weeks after we'd been asked to deliver a Drupal based alternative.
For HUWY, the key outcomes from the site redevelopment are:
- The site is now much more stable
- More users are able to interact with the site directly, rather than dealing with a member of the HUWY project team
For BT48 the project simply underlined how impressive Drupal is as a platform, and the community is as a resource.
HUWY was originally built on Wordpress and Mediawiki. The rebuilt version is based on Drupal 6. It relies heavily on the Organic Groups module to handle the permissions and revisioning that was essential to the project. It also utilises the Embedded Media Field to allow easy embedding of multimedia from around the web.