The brief

The GICHD approached us for ongoing maintenance and support with their existing central TYPO3 website and to enhance the usability and accessibility of their online estate – from both a backend and frontend user perspective. 

In total, the GICHD had over 20 websites, each built on a number of different content management systems and to varying visual and technical standards.

The implementation of multiple platforms lacked cohesion and failed to represent the GICHD brand and the impact of their work consistently. The user experience across platforms was poor and basic accessibility standards were not being met. In addition, processes for backend editors were confusing and time consuming, due to the CMS version being outdated and numerous deprecated extensions and plugins in place. Even simple editing tasks, such as replacing a photo, required the editor to endure loading times of 1 minute or more per image. It became clear that approaching the rebuild sooner rather than later would be a more cost-effective solution than maintaining legacy code.

The process

As this digital renewal project would entail the replacement of a number of interconnected legacy systems, we traveled to Geneva for face-to-face discovery workshops and user requirements interviews with all divisions of the GICHD. Gaining an in-depth understanding of their back-office processes and the pain points for staff ensured we were not carrying forward unnecessary tools and activities. 

A plan was put together to rebuild the main GICHD site in the latest version of TYPO3 and to either consolidate the external microsites into the core website or to migrate them into the new multi-site framework. 

Although a site redesign was out of scope, the migration was an opportunity to ratify their wayward sub-brands and form a framework from which different projects could pick and choose from a combination of site headers, colours, menus and other components. Existing components were audited and heading, box and button styles streamlined, to provide brand consistency.

The result

  • Surplus platforms have gradually been decommissioned, bringing everything into one easy-to-navigate TYPO3 ecosystem
  • As legacy sites continue to be integrated into the new framework, user experience becomes more seamless
  • Working with the latest CMS version means development time for new features is now efficient and the work of the GICHD can be shown in more creative ways, for example their dynamic Annual Report or Impact Stories
  • The site is compatible with adaptive technologies and follows W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines

The evolution of the GICHD digital estate is an ongoing process, with their training platform still undergoing redevelopment and new initiatives and mini projects regularly added to the ecosystem. The team at Liquid Light thrive on making complex projects like this manageable and being able to support organisations like the GICHD in showcasing their impactful work. 

Visit the main GICHD website