May 23 2017

G-Cloud 9 is live – how to find S8080’s G-Cloud services

Gov.UK

The latest iteration of G-Cloud, version 9 was launched last night. G-Cloud is a legally compliant procurement framework designed to drastically reduce the cost and the time it takes public sector organisations to buy digital services that use cloud based computing.

It’s the perfect platform to help you design, deploy and manage an opensource content management system, either a new website or the migration of an old website to a modern open source CMS.

You can find our services here, or by typing ‘S8080’ into the Digital Marketplace search box. Below is the complete list of our 20 services. Please get in touch if you have any questions about procuring services that S8080 offer via the G-Cloud frameworkinfo@s8080.com

Security improvements

This latest version has refined the supplier application process with far more emphasis on security and ISO 27001 certification. Crown Commercial Services wrote in their blog “We’ve worked with experts in technology and security from across Government Digital Service (GDS) and the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) to re-write the questions,” said the post. “We’ve iterated the questions based on feedback we received through user research. They’re now more specific to the technology being bought and aligned with the NCSC cloud security principles.”

S8080 are ISO/IEC 27001 certified and also hold Cyber Essentials certification.

How to buy on G-Cloud

To buy cloud services using G-Cloud, you need to:

1. Prepare a list of your requirements
2. Search for services on the Digital Marketplace using keywords
3. Review search results and use filters to create your shortlist
4. Compare services to find value for money
5. Choose your service, award and sign the pre-prepared contract

The Government Digital Service have written a complete buyers guide, but our client’s procurement managers have told us it has made buying digital service so much easier, faster and more efficient.

S8080’s G-Cloud 9 services

S8080’s services have been offered on the G-Cloud framework since version 6, covering Drupal, Umbraco and EpiServer CMS migration, development and support, secure cloud hosting and user experience design.

New for G-Cloud 9 are a range of specialist services for Welsh public bodies. We designed these services based on the 17 years’ experience we have working with Welsh Government, agencies and public bodies, building bilingual Welsh / English websites.

Welsh / English bilingual Open source cloud CMS user experience design (UX) – ISO 27001 certified
Aligning your open-source development with your objectives and bilingual audience needs. Expert website evaluation and remedial action covering usability, online goals and accessibility. S8080 employ user experience/UX tools including competitor/peer analysis, content audit, persona development, user journeys, IA and wireframe prototypes, ensuring audiences consume and engage with your content.

Drupal cloud CMS user experience design (UX) – ISO 27001 certified
Aligning your Drupal development with your objectives and audience needs. Expert website evaluation and remedial action covering usability, online goals and accessibility. S8080 employ user experience/UX tools including competitor and peer analysis, content audit, persona development, user journeys, IA and wireframe prototypes, ensuring audiences consume and engage with your content.

Open source cloud CMS user experience design (UX) – ISO 27001 certified
Aligning your open-source development with your objectives and audience needs. Expert website evaluation and remedial action covering usability, online goals and accessibility. S8080 employ user experience/UX tools including competitor and peer analysis, content audit, persona development, user journeys, IA and wireframe prototypes, ensuring audiences consume and engage with your content.

Cloud CMS support and migration – ISO 27001 certified
ISO/IEC 27001 EpiServer and Open-source CMS support and migration. Helping with content management system optimisation, upgrades, maintenance, hosting, security patching, development, training and 24/7/365 monitoring. For migrations, S8080 assist with transition planning and provide code review, security and UX compliance audits of existing websites or applications before helping with migration.

Bilingual Drupal content management system – CMS for Welsh / English website or web application
ISO/IEC27001 certified Drupal 7 or Drupal 8 cloud hosted CMS for Welsh/English bilingual websites and web applications. S8080 help solve complex Drupal integration, single sign-on, CRM, configuration and workflow problems. Drupal content management system is open-source, freeing budget for requirements gathering, user needs, technical and security architecture and content migration.

Welsh / English bilingual Drupal cloud CMS support and migration – ISO 27001 certified
ISO/IEC 27001 certified Drupal support and migration. Helping with Drupal Welsh/English optimisation, upgrades, maintenance, hosting, security patching, system hardening, development, training and 24/7/365 monitoring. For migrations, S8080 assist with transition planning and can provide code review, security and UX compliance audits of existing websites or applications before helping with migration.

Cloud CMS – content management system ISO / IEC 27001
ISO/IEC27001 certified cloud CMS for websites and web applications. S8080 help solve complex integration, single sign-on, CRM, configuration and workflow problems. Choice of commercial Episerver or open source Umbraco or Drupal CMS. Open source is free, releasing budget for requirements gathering, user needs, technical and security architecture and content migration.

Drupal Cloud CMS – content management system ISO / IEC 27001
ISO/IEC27001 certified Drupal 7 or Drupal 8 cloud hosted CMS for websites and web applications. S8080 can help solve complex Drupal integration, single sign-on, CRM, configuration and workflow problems. Drupal content management system software is open-source, freeing budget for requirements gathering, user needs, technical and security architecture and content migration.

Drupal cloud CMS support and migration – ISO 27001 certified
ISO/IEC 27001 certified Drupal support and Drupal migration. Helping with Drupal optimisation, upgrades, maintenance, hosting, security patching, system hardening, development, training and 24/7/365 monitoring. For migrations, S8080 assist with transition planning and can provide code review, security and UX compliance audits of existing websites or applications before helping with migration.

Bilingual Umbraco content management system – CMS for Welsh / English website or web application
ISO/IEC27001 certified Umbraco cloud hosted CMS for Welsh/English bilingual websites and web applications. S8080 can help solve complex Umbraco integration, single sign-on, CRM, configuration and workflow problems. Umbraco content management system software is open-source, freeing budget for requirements gathering, user needs, technical and security architecture and content migration.

Bilingual open source content management system – CMS for Welsh / English website or web application
ISO/IEC27001 certified open source cloud hosted CMS for Welsh/English bilingual websites and web applications. S8080 can help solve complex integration, single sign-on, CRM, configuration and workflow problems. Open source content management system software is free, releasing budget for requirements gathering, user needs, technical and security architecture and content migration.

Welsh / English bilingual Drupal cloud CMS user experience design (UX) – ISO 27001 certified
Aligning your Drupal development with your objectives and bilingual audience needs. Expert website evaluation and remedial action covering usability, online goals and accessibility. S8080 employ user experience/UX tools including competitor/peer analysis, content audit, persona development, user journeys, IA and wireframe prototypes, ensuring audiences consume and engage with your content.

Welsh / English bilingual Umbraco cloud CMS user experience design (UX) – ISO 27001 certified
Aligning your Umbraco development with your objectives and bilingual audience needs. Expert website evaluation and remedial action covering usability, online goals and accessibility. S8080 employ user experience/UX tools including competitor/peer analysis, content audit, persona development, user journeys, IA and wireframe prototypes, ensuring audiences consume and engage with your content.

Umbraco Cloud CMS – content management system ISO / IEC 27001
ISO/IEC27001 certified Umbraco cloud hosted CMS for websites and web applications. S8080 can help solve complex Umbraco integration, single sign-on, CRM, configuration and workflow problems. Umbraco content management system software is open-source, freeing budget for requirements gathering, user needs, technical and security architecture and content migration.

Open source Cloud CMS – content management system ISO / IEC 27001
ISO/IEC27001 certified open source cloud hosted CMS for websites and web applications. S8080 can help solve complex integration, single sign-on, CRM, configuration and workflow problems. Open source content management system software is free, releasing budget for requirements gathering, user needs, technical and security architecture and content migration.

Umbraco cloud CMS support and migration – ISO 27001 certified
ISO/IEC 27001 certified Umbraco support and Umbraco migration. Helping with Umbraco optimisation, upgrades, maintenance, hosting, security patching, system hardening, development, training and 24/7/365 monitoring. For migrations, S8080 assist with transition planning and can provide code review, security and UX compliance audits of existing websites or applications before helping with migration.

Open source cloud CMS support and migration – ISO 27001 certified
ISO/IEC 27001 certified open-source CMS support and migration. Helping with content management system optimisation, upgrades, maintenance, hosting, security patching, development, training and 24/7/365 monitoring. For migrations, S8080 assist with transition planning and can provide code review, security and UX compliance audits of existing websites or applications before helping with migration.

Welsh / English bilingual Umbraco cloud CMS support and migration – ISO 27001 certified
ISO/IEC 27001 certified Umbraco support and migration. Helping with Umbraco Welsh/English optimisation, upgrades, maintenance, hosting, security patching, system hardening, development, training and 24/7/365 monitoring. For migrations, S8080 assist with transition planning and can provide code review, security and UX compliance audits of existing websites or applications before helping with migration.

Welsh / English bilingual open source cloud CMS support and migration – ISO 27001 certified
ISO/IEC 27001 certified open-source CMS support and migration. Helping with bilingual content management system optimisation, upgrades, maintenance, hosting, security patching, development, training and 24/7/365 monitoring. For migrations, S8080 assist with transition planning and provide code review, security and UX compliance audits of existing websites or applications before helping with migration.

Umbraco cloud CMS user experience design (UX) – ISO 27001 certified
Aligning your Umbraco development with your objectives and audience needs. Expert website evaluation and remedial action covering usability, online goals and accessibility. S8080 employ user experience/UX tools including competitor and peer analysis, content audit, persona development, user journeys, IA and wireframe prototypes, ensuring audiences consume and engage with your content.
Please get in touch if you have any questions about procuring services that S8080 offer via the G-Cloud framework – info@s8080.com

May 12 2017

A new look website for Natural Resources Wales

Natural Resources Wales

S8080 recently had the pleasure of working with Natural Resources Wales (NRW) on a comprehensive and ambitious user experience design project focused on improving and enhancing their public facing website.

The challenge

Although the website was packed with informative content, feedback suggested users were having trouble finding content and information and were having to resort to contacting NRW through traditional channels. Four key elements of our user experience design brief was to:

  • Improve information architecture (IA) and search visibility
  • Improve layout and template structure
  • Improve NRW’s link with recreation in Wales
  • Improve delivery of content on mobile devices

How we approached the project

Improving the site structure

In the initial stages, we went back to basics which generally involves printouts, sticky tape, a blank wall and a huge pile of Post-it notes – it’s all very analogue.

We took the existing IA, adding each key section to a stack of Post-it notes and recreated the sitemap of the website on the wall. Over time we organised, re-organised and chunked information together, rethinking ambiguous terminology and section headings and tested, iterated and simplified the user journeys.

Our final IA decisions were influenced by NRW personas (based on real users and analytical data) which gave us ‘top task’ journeys to simulate when testing the final IA structure. The new IA was shared with the digital team and stakeholders at NRW and following collaborative feedback and improvements, we developed a revised version which we validated by performing an on-line Tree Tests (Tree Testing is a technique used to evaluate the findability of content within the information architecture).

For a typical Tree Test, participants are given a task and are asked to navigate through a tree menu structure to identify where they believe they would find an item or piece of information. The Tree Test study gave us positive results and invaluable, unbiased feedback on areas for improvements such as cross linking or simple labelling changes.

Sketch to prototype

With the new IA tested and iterated, we could move onto the visual phase, rapidly creating wireframe templates using industry standard prototyping software, balsamiq mockups.

The key to success in this phase is to temporarily ignore colour palettes, imagery and graphic design and concentrate on the usability of the layout – the visual hierarchy of elements on the page and the terminology used, to assist the user.

The NRW website holds a vast amount of information and although we needed a suite of templates to suit different types, we were conscious that to many would reduce the benefit of introducing memorable design patterns across the website. To befit the wide-ranging audience with varying online capability, we created 3 key template types: Homepage, Service and Recreation.

The Services template type would be used for sections that had a specific end goal or transaction, such as a payment, licence or permit renewal, or informational content, such as what to do in response to flooding. The Services template group has minimal graphic embellishments and typically wouldn’t require photography or promotional areas.

The Recreation template type would, in contrast to the services template, have more visual appeal, allowing more use of imagery and encourage the user to explore and interactive with section content. This template group would be used for campaign pages and sections such as ‘Days out’: A section that showcases places to visit in Wales, including NRW’s visitor centres and attractions.

The Homepage combines elements from both the Service and Recreation templates and displays an oversized search box, flood warning data and a ‘most popular’ listing, dynamically generated based on user’s top-tasks.

Natural Resources Wales templates

High fidelity graphics

With the IA and wireframes finalised, we started the visual design to develop a single creative approach that has two distinct roles: 1. Simple service design with minimal visual clutter 2. A visually rich campaign template with imagery and interaction.

So these template types could exist together in one website, we created a masthead full-width strip that would appear across all templates. The masthead strip contains the page heading and intro paragraph. Attributes such as background colour and the branded graphics can be toggled on or off within the CMS giving the administrator control of the level of creative detail. This flexibility allows the services template to be simplified while retaining the consistent global masthead.

A strong brand and compelling photography of Wales allowed our design team to create dramatic campaign and centre pages for the ‘Days out’ section, aligning NRW’s recreation pitch with any modern tourism site online.

The inclusion of custom web fonts means the online presence can faithfully replicate the offline collateral, building stronger brand recognition and the use of custom SVG icon sets allow the NRW team to add high quality iconography as the content develops.

A fully responsive design has been rolled out for the new website with much of our design time focusing on mobile users, ensuring a truly inclusive experience across devices.
Natural Resources Wales mobile

Agile and smooth running

With any large project, careful management helps keep things on track. The project management team at S8080 worked closely with NRW during the planning stages to ensure all risks where highlighted and mitigated before any work started.

With many stakeholders and users feeding into the process and NRW’s existing development team, Method4 working on the build, collaborative working and meticulous progress tracking was critical to the success of the project.

Together with NRW, our project management team developed an agile approach to the management of the project. In the first instance, a product roadmap and a series of sprints (work phases) split into daily and weekly tasks were planned. These sprints would be reviewed internally daily, reviewed with NRW weekly and a stakeholder ‘show and tell’ meeting would be held every 2 weeks.  When possible, the meetings would be video or Skype conference calls with screen-share walk-thoughts as the UX design progressed.

Our design team also use online collaboration apps such as InVision to prototype designs and collect group feedback at key review stages of the project.

The S8080 team are extremely proud of the part we played in delivering this new user focused website, working closely with the digital team at NRW and the technical team at Method4 to deliver our ambitious, original vision in a very tight timescale.

naturalresources.wales

“This was a big team effort, with lots of input from colleagues from different teams and feedback from over 100 external customers that took part in our online survey. We’ve been lucky to work with two fantastic local digital agencies – the brilliant team of designers at S8080 in Swansea and the excellent developers at Method4 in Cardiff.”

Heledd Evans Digital Manager

Apr 28 2017

Why is ISO 27001 so important to our public-sector clients?

ISO 27001

What is ISO 27001?

ISO/IEC 27001 is the de facto international specification for managing information security.

Organisations that are ISO 27001 certified have a comprehensive management system that provides assurance of the confidentiality, integrity and availability of data and information they handle.

The policies, processes and procedures that make up this management system are scrutinised and tested annually by independent 3rd party auditors who have the power to withdraw the certification if things aren’t up to scratch.

S8080 have been ISO 27001 certified since 2015, but many of the security controls have been in place since 2001 when we first achieved the ISO 9001 quality standard.

Confidentiality, integrity and availability?

When we handle any type of data for our clients, which can range from paper based records through to immense databases of confidential information, there are three ways we need to care for it.

  • Confidentiality – we will keep the data secure and ensure only those who are supposed to access it, can access it
  • Integrity – we will make sure the data in our care is correct and accurate and does not become corrupted or contaminated
  • Availability – we will ensure that the data can be accessed when it needs to be accessed

Why is ISO 27001 so important?

This all sounds very simple when written down in three bullet points, but consider how things could go wrong with each one. We’ve all shuddered at the stories of data loss, ICO fines and the ensuing PR nightmare. It’s happened to the biggest organisations in the world.

We’ve helped organisations urgently unpick the mess of a compromised site… their previous agencies weren’t focused on security aspects and these poor clients had some very stressful days as a result. Enough said!

  • For example, if your website collects information using an online form, is it encrypted as it’s being sent to the webserver? What about when it’s stored? Or is it in a format that anyone can see?
  • When was your website built? Is your CMS up to date with the latest security patches or could rogue code be injected destroying your website and data? Has it ever been penetration tested to see if hackers could access the administration area, deface your site and download your confidential databases?
  • What happens if your hosting goes down? Is it back up in a matter of minutes or will it take hours or even days? If you site becomes unavailable at 10pm on a Sunday evening, who is going to fix it, and when?
  • What could a disgruntled ex-employee or contractor do to your systems? When was the last time you audited user access rights on your CMS? Or do you all share the same login?

How do our clients benefit from ISO 27001?

Each of these scenarios, and many, many more have considered and addressed in a detailed risk assessment and specific policies, procedures, checklists and guidelines have been written to protect against the issues identified.

Our public-sector clients are confident that the digital systems we design and build for them are secure and comply with legal and regulatory requirements.  They know that our approach to systems design and development follows international best practice, is up to date and is continuously improving.

They have seen our business continuity and disaster recovery plans that explain that even if our offices are razed to the ground, their systems will be unaffected, their project managers will be immediately available and our development team will be up and running within 3 hours.

They know their information assets are being well managed by people and processes that are regularly tested by the most stringent information security auditors in the country.

But at the end of the day, for most of S8080’s clients, it’s just one thing less they have to worry about.

Apr 20 2017

Sparking innovation

Be the Spark Wales

The Welsh Government needed a web site for a campaign that would bring together people with great ideas and facilitate a movement of entrepreneurship and innovation across Wales.

Nine of Wales’s most prominent business leaders are working with the Welsh Government as part of their ‘Be the Spark’ campaign, to bring together forward thinking people throughout various sectors.

The website needed to meet the expectations of the Welsh Government whilst achieving the goals of the nine panel members. As the web design and digital agency for the project, we worked closely with a leading marketing agency who were tasked with implementing the campaign as a whole.

Whilst the initial phase of the project set out the objectives of the movement, it needed to be implemented with the long-term vision for the project in mind. Ultimately the goal is that the project will organically grow a community and culture of innovation across Wales.

Be the Spark Wales

The initial impact of the site had to engage and inform the audience. A prominently displayed video background combined with a video explainer was used to immediately engage the user and introduce the Be the Spark concept. As one of the first sites to implement the new Wales brand, the new website had to adhere to the brand guidelines whilst at the same time finding its own identity. The overall result is a modern, impactful and engaging site that is in line with the expectations of this user group.

With the longer-term goals of the project in mind, engagement with the site was a critical factor in creating traction for the movement going forward. With a diverse range of user groups from business to academia, it was critical to serve content that was pertinent to each type of user. The strategy of the information architecture was to create a clear user journey for each distinct user group, allowing for relevant information to be served and resulting in increased engagement.

The site was built using Drupal 7 which gave the content editors a stable, scalable and easy to use content management system. The site is fully responsive and CSS3/HTML5 compliant. Using CSS3/HTML5 enabled smooth scaling, colour changing image transitions. Flexible and fast loading carousels contributed to the modern, fluid experience.

S8080 are very proud of how the site came together in such a short time and to such a high standard. We look forward to working on future phases of the project and helping to drive innovation and entrepreneurial culture across Wales.

Apr 18 2017

Open for business – Trade and Invest Wales

Trade and Invest Wales

Working with Welsh Government, S8080 were tasked with building a website that showcased the best in business across Wales. Trade and Invest Wales needed to be designed for a global audience to demonstrate Wales as a place of innovation and opportunity.

After producing wireframes for the various sections of the site, S8080 worked closely with the branding agency to advise on the initial designs, before creating a suite of templates based on a user centred design approach.

Trade and Invest Wales

To present a consistent user journey and help audiences prioritise the content, the templates utilise a combination of a grid system of content blocks and a bespoke article view. This gives the user a clear navigation system and sense of place within the site.

The main purpose of the site is to engage the user with the Welsh business success stories. To increase engagement a variety of content types are used throughout the site. The grid system was effective in housing multiple content types including statistics, editorial and video content.

Trade and Invest Wales mobile

With the content primarily B2B, the new Wales brand has been used in a way that’s more appropriate for a business audience. The minimal colour palette, uppercase headings and high quality photography all contribute to the professional, confident appearance. By presenting all the images as double density (Apple Retina display resolution), the quality and impact of the photography is maximised on supported devices.

To give a targeted, personalised experience, the contact section utilises html 5 geolocation technology to customise the user’s experience. With Welsh Government offices around the world, the user is presented with the details for the closest office to their location when making an enquiry.

By engaging the user with great content and offering ways to connect, whether directly or through an event in their area, the site showcases Wales as a great place to do business.

At a time when a global outlook is more important than ever, S8080 are proud to be part of such a critical project for the future of Wales.

Mar 23 2017

S8080 launch revamped Wales.com Drupal website

Wales.com

With the recent launch of the exciting new Wales brand, Welsh Government’s Wales.com team wanted to align their website with the clean, confident and outward looking appearance of this new identity.

As well as giving the site a fresh new look, the team wanted to look at other UX and Drupal improvements that would help enhance the user’s experience and re-focus the site.

Wales.com

Although the content on the existing site was sensibly grouped making it easy to navigate, an incredible range and number of articles were hidden away as 3rd level content. A major consideration of the redesign was to surface some of this valuable content at a higher level so it was more immediately visible. This allowed us to present engaging images and articles on the homepage, but meant that we needed to structure the content in a way that still accommodated for the specific audience groups.

Being one of the first sites to utilise the new Wales branding system made it a straightforward task to give the site its clean, fresh appearance. By grouping the content using the brand’s new colour palette, colour based segmentation was used homepage and throughout the site to help the distinct audience groups.

Wales.com

From a technical point of view, the major task was dealing with the amount of content on the existing site. Over 500 pages of content needed to be migrated into the new Drupal structure and styled, without the need for major changes to the mark-up. Our Drupal development team also built a bespoke full browser width multi-tile carousel which works across a range of browsers and devices. This means the site can be enjoyed in its entirety on everything from a desktop PC to an iPhone.

Take a look at the new Wales.com Drupal site here.

Mar 6 2017

New website for the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) goes live

PHSO

S8080 recently launched the new site for the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, delivered through the G-Cloud framework.

The redesign and development of the site will help people access PHSO services more easily by structuring the content more clearly through a reworking of their IA. The site also contains an interactive tool that allows users to quickly assess whether they are ready to take their complaint to the Ombudsman. This tool, placed on the homepage helps users understand the complaints process and signposts them to the correct information while helping PHSO filter enquiries that are not quite ready for the complaints procedure.

PHSO iPad Pro

The design had to be sensitive to the user’s emotional state, as at the time they first engage with the service they were likely to be unhappy. By presenting the content clearly and showing them the clear path the complaint process takes, they are immediately helped and given them confidence in the service.

During UX and development, the site has undergone extensive usability and accessibility testing with third party specialist testing agencies. The site was user tested under laboratory conditions and the findings of the usability report assisted the organisation in evolving the experience based on user’s needs and wants. Real-world accessibility testing was undertaken under a variety of conditions so the site and content can be accessed by all.

PHSO mobile website

The website was built with the newly released Drupal 8 content management system. This latest version of Drupal offers many benefits over previous versions including performance improvements, an enhanced administration user experience as well as more control and customisation from a development perspective. In addition to these front-end improvements, using the open-source Drupal 8 CMS also assures a more ‘future-proofed’ website and by extension a greater level of security and performance for both users and their data.

The feedback from the organisation and the site’s users has been overwhelming positive. It’s been a pleasure to work with PHSO, who were highly engaged throughout the UX, creative and development phases. Their enthusiasm and subject expertise helped us understand their objectives and assisted in delivering a site that will make a real difference to its users and the organisation.

Take a look at the new Drupal 8 PHSO website here.

Dec 22 2016

Merry Christmas from Chris, Matt and the team at S8080!

S8080 Christmas animation
The team at S8080 would like to say a huge thank you to every one of you for your support in 2016.

This year the team have decided to throw down some festive shapes in our animated Christmas extravaganza. For those of you looking for dance inspiration, be sure to keep an eye out for Simon and his signature moves.

We hope you all enjoy your Christmas break, we’ll see you in the New Year.

Click here to watch the full video on YouTube

Dec 16 2016

GoConstruct.org wins Silver in this year’s Digital Experience Awards

uk digital award

GoConstruct.org has won another award! The site has won a Silver award in this year’s Digital Experience Awards.

The site originally won the Masters of Marketing Award for user experience and design in October this year.

GoConstruct provides online interactive tools to help people find out more about a career in construction. We are very proud to be playing such a major part in the site’s continuing growth and success.

Oct 13 2016

S8080 now a Registered Umbraco Partner

infra-blog-large-a

After working with the Umbraco CMS for many years, we are proud to announce that S8080 are now a Registered Umbraco partner. Being a registered Umbraco partner helps us keep to the forefront of the latest Umbraco developments.

Our experienced team of Umbraco developers have delivered many high profile and complex .NET based websites for public sector and private sector clients including the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), HM Cabinet Office, CITB Construction Skills and Ministry of Justice.

Umbraco is one of the most popular Web Content Management Systems on the Microsoft .NET platform. It’s open source, meaning you don’t need to pay licensing costs. It’s also a very powerful and yet easy to learn CMS that is highly extensible.

It’s great to be part of the Umbraco family and we look forward to working with Umbraco over the coming years.

 

Oct 13 2016

GoConstruct wins the Masters of Marketing User Experience and Design award

infra-blog-large-a

We are very proud to announce that GoConstruct.org has won the 2016 Masters of Marketing User experience and design award. GoConstruct won the award after being shortlisted along with Guardian Travel and Gu puddings websites.

The site was launched to encourage people to consider a career in construction. We worked closely with CITB to create a site that would inform and entertain a diverse audience by utilising a range of interactive tools including a career profiling tool, a series of interactive construction sites and a personality quiz.

The site has had extensive usability testing to give the best possible user experience. The campaign has been a huge success with over 450,000 unique visitors. To check out the site for yourself click here.

infra-blog-large-a

It’s been a privilege to work on the site and we are currently working with CITB on more major projects, watch this space!

infra-blog-large-a

Aug 17 2016

Go Construct.org – An interactive tour of Infrastructure

infra-blog-large-a

Hot on the heels of the interactive tour of Off-Site Manufacturing our creative and front end development teams produced another engaging visual interactive page to help attract, inform and retain a talented workforce for the Construction and Built Environment sector.

The interactive consists of a bespoke portal page and a series of phased construction scenarios designed to showcase specific job roles. The creative team developed an infrastructure scenario that covered the construction of a bridge that incorporates a high speed rail link, a motorway connecting town to city, water transportation and sustainable energy.

Our creatives and front end devs worked closely to ensure the interactive worked across a large range of devices from a desktop monitor to a smartphone. The result of this agile and collaborative working process meant that the product not only looked great but worked seamlessly across client specified devices featuring adaptive layouts and content solutions.

Take look and explore the infrastructure roles in construction

Aug 10 2016

Go Construct.org – An interactive tour of Off-Site Manufacturing

off-site-blog-large-b

Our creative and front end development teams have recently produced a whole host of highly visual interactive pages for the newly launched GoConstruct website, which has been specifically designed to attract, inform and retain a talented workforce in the construction and built environment sector. The interactives consist of a bespoke portal page and a series of phased construction scenarios that showcase specific job roles.

In one example, the off-site interactive section takes the user through the 5 stages of off-site manufacturing and the roles in construction involved in each stage. There are multiple ways to navigate the content; Scroll with the mouse wheel or use the pagination sidebar. Each of the 5 phases contain a collection of job specific characters with clickable hotspots that allow the user to explore a wealth of detail on each job role.

Our creative team worked closely with CITB careers advisors and construction industry experts through co-design to create an interactive piece that not only represented real world manufacturing processes but also delivered a cross-device experience allowing unparalleled mobile access for our audiences.

You can explore the ‘Off-Site Roles in Construction’ interactive at goconstruct.org – watch out for the rather cool animations!

Aug 1 2016

The benefits of the Drupal community and S8080’s maintenance and support

maintenance

 

Drupal is renowned for its flexibility and extensibility, proven by the sheer number of high quality modules available. By using common modules in Drupal deployments, we not only increase functionality quickly and easily, but massively reduce costs whilst benefitting from community security updates. This approach also ensures complete portability for our clients in the future. These are primary reasons why open source solutions are in such high demand.

The Drupal community has an exceptional security team that performs audits and manages the process of communicating their security update findings to module owners.

As an agency of passionate Drupal developers and active Drupal community contributors, every week S8080 get notifications from Drupal on any security releases along with alerts from other specialist tools we use.

These tools monitor all of the Drupal sites that we maintain, to identify all the relevant updates that need to be made to the Drupal core and the modules running on those sites – this ensures nothing is ever missed.

Our ISO/IEC 27001 secure development policies means we have strict protocols in place to ensure our website and online applications are patched quickly and to reduce exposure to any emerging vulnerabilities. When updates need to be made, we prioritise them based on severity and our team will deploy them to the sites that we mange for our clients. Our clients are therefore assured that their Drupal CMS is running the latest and most secure code.

How is Drupal and the modules kept secure?

If you are interested in understanding a bit more on how Drupal’s security team work, then this is a very interesting article: https://www.acquia.com/gb/node/2023186. Their infographic explains the process so well!

Drupal security release infographic

Source: Acquia.com

How does S8080 help the Drupal community keep Drupal secure?

Our Drupal developers are very active in the Drupal development community; it’s common for them to be working on modules and providing updates back to the community. For example, on the 20st April, a commonly used 3rd party module ‘EPSA Crop’ was announced to have a security vulnerability – initially no details were issued to allow the community to react.

This module allows editors to crop the images they upload to their Drupal site, so they don’t have to use third party graphics packages. The owner of this module was no longer available to maintain ESPA Crop, and therefore the central Drupal security team recommended that it should be uninstalled and no longer used. However this would mean that the thousands of sites using the module around the world would suddenly show images uncropped and full-size, causing websites to look terrible – something nobody wants.

This is where s8080 and the Drupal community came into play. We use EPSA Crop to provide an enhancement to the way users manage images in their site, we consider this module to be of importance to us and our clients, so as soon as we were notified of the issue we set about working on a fix for our clients and the whole community.

After quick initial investigations, before the details of the vulnerability were released, we spotted the potential problem and immediately started working on a fix for our Drupal sites and the community as a whole. We deployed the hot fix to the sites that we manage and support to protect them immediately.

Once the official security vulnerability details were released, we were pleased to find that our investigations were correct and we were able to submit our patches / fix to Drupal very early for review by the community. Along with our patches and those of other members of the community, an official fix was released. We then set about the process of updating all of our managed sites with the official fix.

In this particular instance, S8080’s proactive approach to security and our interaction with the Drupal community meant that our managed service clients benefitted from very early protection from potential hacking attempts. And without resorting to making their sites look dreadful by removing the module!

Just as importantly the community and other websites benefited from our work by getting a fix to the module very quickly.

We think this is a great way to work.

Jul 13 2016

Homepage background video: Dezrez get the WOW factor.

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When the guys over at Dezrez asked our creative team to add the WOW factor to homepage of they’re now consumer facing website we know video would deliver a big impact.

Using background video on your website is a great way to convey your company’s brand to potential customers. Displaying footage of your team in a dynamic office environment or candid clips of customers using your product range is far more engaging than a static image or repetitive carousel.

The team combined fly-through footage of the London cityscape and a countryside vista along with futuristic, live action displays of the Rez software, edited in Adobe After Effects with the final video optimised to an amazingly low file size of 4MB allowing for autopay with minimal playback issues on desktop PCs and tablets with low bandwidths.

You can check out the video on the new website at dezrez.com.

Jul 6 2016

Umbraco – Lee Valley Park Farms – one for the kids this summer!

Lee Valley Farms

 

Due to the great success of the White Water Centre website which we built using the Umbraco CMS for our long standing partner Lee Valley, we were asked to create an Umbraco site to promote the Farms in the Park, with the website design appealing to children as well as parents.

The brief was simple, make it engaging for children (and mum and dad), show off the animals and events and make the site easy for the team to update.

Our team thoroughly enjoyed working on the site (and we had a great day out too!), Lee Valley Park Farms had lots of great images and it gave the creative team the opportunity to use some fab animal cartoons to add something a little different to the site without overcomplicating things.

See: www.lvfarms.co.uk

Jun 6 2016

Haringey Council. Tottenham Regeneration website

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Haringey Council has ambitious regeneration plans for Tottenham, with schemes underway to address local people’s priorities for more job opportunities, better housing and improved transport links.

As the programme’s momentum grew, a separate website was needed, away from the main Haringey.gov.uk council site, with distinct sections of content for investors and developers, residents and local business audience groups.

The Haringey Council digital communications team had done a lot of thinking around the shape of the IA and the types of content they needed to fulfil their aims and provide a user centred experience. They had decided on the open-source Drupal CMS (with demanding security requirements) and had a well-considered creative brief prepared for our alignment sessions. A perfect start to the project!

Here’s how we designed and developed the council website

  • Evolved their initial Information Architecture (IA) and key user journeys
  • Developed a wireframe paper prototype
  • Created design routes – homepage and lower level pages with rapid prototyping to arrive at the final designs
  • Built accessible and adaptive page templates
  • Set up and configured the core Drupal CMS and implemented the site structure, glueing in the templates and developing the workflow for their publishing team
  • A news system was integrated and XML feeds to display events were set up
  • MailChimp newsletter functionality was embedded
  • Content was loaded and checked and our QA team tested the site ready for soft launch
  • One of our project managers and a Drupal developer spent a day with the Haringey team, training them to use their new Drupal website
  • The site was made live and the Haringey team have a 12-month support contract to help them with Drupal upgrades and site improvements

You can see Haringey Council’s Tottenham Regeneration website at http://tottenham.london/

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What makes Open Source systems such good value for local government websites?

  • Free – no licence costs for the CMS software
  • Agile and moveable – you are not tied into your web development agency
  • Vast (and fast moving) open-source development communities
  • Modular systems – thousands of 3rd party extensions to further keep costs down
  • Regular security updates by a highly active community
  • Proven functionality – tried and tested by the likes of No.10, The Whitehouse, Heinz…
  • Fully featured – whatever functionality you want on your site, the chances are that there’s already an extension for it

If you’d are considering an open source CMS for your organisation, take a look at our information on Drupal and Umbraco, or contact us for a friendly chat or email info@s8080.com.

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May 24 2016

S8080 help Nottingham City Council with new Umbraco website

Nottingham city council Umbraco website homepage
When Nottingham City Council appointed us via G-Cloud, we were delighted to learn that they had chosen Umbraco, the open-source CMS, to develop their new online self-service platform.

As an agency, our public sector clients tend to request either Drupal or Umbraco. The Council had spent time during their discovery phase investigating the suitable platforms for a large, busy local government website and Umbraco matched their requirements exactly.

Channel shift is becoming increasingly important for local government as digital transformation strategies are being realised in order to improve customer access to council services. Umbraco (and Drupal) are both powerful and flexible enough for the most demanding council and open source means they don’t pay a single penny for the software. This frees up budgets for the important stuff: user experience (UX), engaging designing and robust, secure functionality.

Nottingham city council Umbraco website mobile

As well as the obvious cost benefits of digital self-service, modern local authority content management systems allow a mobile first approach. This means users can undertake online transactions like arranging waste collections or making planning applications using their phones or tablets as well as their laptops and computers, making life easier for users and the Council. From the outset, our brief was to create a “great looking”, user-friendly, customer centred experience that could stand up against the very best local government websites in the UK. Here’s how we designed and developed the Council website:

  • We co-designed a clear top-task focused homepage
  • We broke down the content into compartmentalised areas to simplify the information
  • The Council’s brand colours were used consistently for content hierarchy
  • We developed a user-friendly column based dropdown navigation
  • The site was designed to be extremely accessible and fast to use
  • The CMS platform was specifically designed to enable the Council to add their own micro-sites
  • The mobile first templates we developed and tested across multiple devices
  • Our Umbraco technical developers Implemented Nottingham City Council’s preferred search solution provided by Funnelback
  • We created a suite of content blocks in which to build the content pages
  • We made it super easy for the Council’s in-house team to further develop the site by componentising and templating the functionality so it can be updated separately
  • We set up the server architecture and deployed the website which  is hosted on Microsoft Azures’ scalable cloud hosting platform
  • We will be providing ongoing maintenance and support, but typically 3rd level technical Umbraco expertise, so the day to day support on the website will be handled by Nottingham City Councils IT team

To find out how your organisation can use an open-source content management system for customer centred digital transformation, take a look at Umbraco and Drupal – two extremely capable and extensible CMS’s.

 

Nottingham city council Umbraco website screens

 

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Dec 11 2015

Merry Christmas from S8080

A very merry Christmas from all of us at S8080!

The team at S8080 would like to sincerely thank every single one of you for your support in 2015.

We hope you all enjoy your Christmas break and we’ll see you in the New Year.

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Click to view a larger image

Oct 30 2015

Join the S8080 team if you dare, for a Halloween scare!

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A very happy Halloween to everyone

Once again, the team got together to delight you with our fangtastic annual Halloween photograph. With everything from a Frankenstein designer, a superhero project manager, a Dalek and a mad swordsman. S8080’s ghoulish team are ready for the witching hour tomorrow, are you?

Be sure to choose ‘treat’ rather than ‘trick’ when we come knocking!

Click here for a larger view.