Honey, I shrunk the kids’ website

Posted: July 13th, 2009 in Work


Every Child Matters home page

Every Child Matters home page

Three websites into one. Over 10,000 individual pieces of content. Multiple content owners. A range of other partner companies. A six-week time scale. Our web migration project for The Department for Children Schools and Families (DCSF) certainly was a monster task. The brief, in a nutshell, was to bring three different existing child-focused government websites into one huge, standardised, rationalised, all-singing all-dancing site under the Every Child Matters banner.

In the weeks leading up to pressing the big red start button on the migration, Iris’s project managers wore a groove in the shiny paving at St Pancras station on their way to the DCSF offices near Westminster Abbey. Partnership working was a critical part in the success of the whole undertaking as there were several other businesses involved in other aspects such as creation of the information architecture, project management and building of the content management system.

Iris’s role touched on almost all aspects of the project, from designing the look and feel of the resulting site to creating a bespoke multi-user content management system with built-in flexibility for content migration, editing and ongoing site management. The editing involved Iris’s team of content editors who painstakingly assigned each of the 10,000 odd content items to their correct place within the information architecture, meta-tagged it, formatted it and associated documents and other pages with it. And then we went right through what we’d done and double checked it, providing weekly reports on progress and raising any queries or problems with content owners and project managers.

Not only did we hit the deadline but hit it several days early and were able to help out with some other aspects of the migration. We also wrote an editors’ guide to using the system and provided a technical helpline for some weeks after the site went live.