EPRC Strathclyde University
Developing 4 websites for UK and European academics to access research papers and publications.
EPRC – The European Policy & Research Centre studies regional development policies, encompasses research, evaluation, knowledge & education.
Zen were commissioned to provide a 4-site platform including EPRC, EPRC Delft, EORPA and iQnet. Two of the sites were to be access portals exclusively for users with login credentials whilst the EPRC and EPRC Delft were open for the public to use directly.
The brief required these sites to be redesigned with user experience as a key priority. Considerations included the user flow and making it easier for users to navigate around the sites, allowing smooth access to areas such as publications and research papers.
Zen were required to build, on the WordPress platform, four websites operating from one CMS. Two sites having their own membership login facility and the other two being public access. The system would have several facilities that allow the users to use an advanced filtering system for documentation, reports, and case studies for academics.
The membership facility would also provide secure and restrictive access to members areas of the non-public sites. The platform also had the facility to distribute news items to all websites from one location within the CMS. Search and filter functionality would be needed using WordPress taxonomy. Additional considerations were the ability to arrange events/meetings within the CMS and portal and an archive area for older documentation and publications.
The EPRC Delft site was also required to work directly with EU organisations based in the Netherlands in line with continued support the EPRC is receiving from the European parliament. Running the EPRC Delft site from the Netherlands would also allow a presence to be maintained on the continent. The complete process utilised User Flows and Wireframes for inform final designs whilst concept testing was used to assure accessibility to the target audience. The primary challenges of the project were the unique requirements of hosting 4 websites both through a single CMS and across servers in different geographical locations.
Zen successfully produced a multi tiered web platform. With all 4 sites running from the single CMS allowing for ease of maintenance off all 4 websites, whilst running on servers in both the the EU and the UK. The CMS had the capability to issue information to all sites collectively or each site individually, across all site functions.
Check it out for yourself here.