Murdoch Childrens Research Institute

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User-led architecture

Murdoch Childrens Research Institute (MCRI) approached us in early 2014 to discuss the redevelopment of their website. It had outgrown the organisation, had become difficult to maintain, and visitors found it hard to locate information they were after.

After winning a competitive pitch our digital team got to work interviewing stakeholders and mapping out requirements. MCRI's were unique. Researchers, students, parents and supporters were all important audiences requiring representation on the site. They also wanted to highlight important breakthroughs being made by the institute, and allow experts and publications to be searched for.

A better donations facility and dedicated 'Get Involved' section was also required to help the broader community fundraise for new research.

Our user experience director mapped all requirements and findings into a new conceptual wireframe – one based around user-led architecture that guided user types to information types quickly and efficiently. The interactive wireframe allowed us and the client to modify and enhance the user experience in a draft format, rather than making expensive alterations further along the project timeline.

The project's lead developers also began mapping technical pathways and content relationships, and started work on the website's templates, backend and CMS.

Drupal was the perfect CMS choice for MCRI's requirements. Powerfully adaptable and feature rich – functions that didn't already exist could be custom-built for MCRI's requirements. We could also customise editor interfaces to make the content management team's responsibilities a joy rather than a chore.

Over the following months wireframes were turned into designs, designs into templates, and templates into code. Watching a website come to life is an exciting process, and MCRI's comms and IT teams were intimately involved in the review, integration and testing phases.

Great outcomes are built on great working relationships, and we are incredibly appreciative of being given the chance to work with such an amazing team at MCRI.

If you'd like a detailed technical overview or would like to understand more about Icon's engagement and user mapping processes, please contact us for a chat.

Tailoring content to a multi-device world

'Mobile first' is a growing catch-cry as smart phones and tablets continue to influence web development in profound ways. Most websites have more than 50% of their traffic attributed to mobile browsing, so making sure your content is optimised for smaller screens is critical. The MCRI site uses responsive templates that custom fit content to screen sizes, making it easy to find information across any device type. If you're on a phone now go take a look.

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