January 2015 [link to original article]
The remit was to provide a platform for university staff to publish a wide range of projects in one central location. The site had to seamlessly support everything from full websites through to blogs, all managed by the same CMS.
University lecturers and support staff wanted to publish and edit content easily, while independent project owners needed to publish and maintain their areas within the ‘AIR’ portal. Almost all users were expected to be non-technical, so the CMS had to be intuitive. It was agreed that this would be based firmly in WordPress, as this was the platform many staff were already familiar with.
This multi-armed project not only had to unite multiple formats under one umbrella, but be searchable, and this presented a unique challenge. The website also had a relatively small budget, which made the undertaking even more complex. However Affinity accomplished every task presented, providing a successful, unified and indexed platform for everything from complex interactive art experiments to fashion show blogs.
Affinity deployed WordPress as the core CMS as requested, users were able to publish and edit content in a similar way as if they were using their personal WordPress blog. University staff were thus presented with an intuitive User Interface (UI) that hid the complexities of the CMS.
We deployed multiple custom modules which seamlessly aggregated content across the network, and this helped us to provide the global search facility. The intuitive CMS User Interface meant that staff were able to upload and edit multimedia content themselves without the need for training by Affinity, which also reduced costs considerably.
The diversity of uses to which a general ‘projects’ site was to be put meant that we needed to consider the diversity of audience too. We thus made the site multi-device responsive, allowing the wide variety of content to be efficiently rendered on tablets, laptops and mobile phones.
The new site hit all the objectives our clients asked of us, from functionality to implementation, and was the platform used to successfully promote many a fascinating university project.