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BBC Gateway; A responsive portal

Situation

The BBC worked with ClerksWell to help refresh their internal portal; the Gateway. The aim; design and build a cutting-edge mobile ready solution that embodies the BBC’s mission, vision, and values. The goal; create a portal that BBC staff and those connecting from elsewhere will use to find information and complete tasks from anywhere, on any type of device.

It should deliver reliable, accurate, coherent and trustworthy information for people trying to achieve a task. It should become the single source of truth.

Solution

ClerksWell held workshops with BBC content owners. The purpose was to gather stakeholder requirements. We used interactive wireframes to facilitate the workshops so that the content owners could visualise potential solutions to their problems. A user experience strategy was presented into the BBC stakeholders and agreed. This strategy was based on a core principle; Relevancy – provide a personalised solution allowing users to find relevant and useful content as quickly as possible. ClerksWell’s UX team worked with the BBC’s UX and interface designers to create wireframes and detailed designs outlining all the key templates and features, all of which were usability tested.

The development of the new features were split into short phases using Agile principles in which the designs and requirements were refined and elaborated in collaboration between the BBC and ClerksWell. The technical emphasis was on delivering a framework and core components to allow the BBC to continue to gradually develop the new Gateway portal. The delivered solution comprises a responsive framework and page templates, using LESS to enhance ease of rebranding and maintenance, along with site templates, core web parts and other components.

A custom navigation design was developed by providing enhanced managed metadata. This was achieved by building in personalisation features based on users profile. Many components were built using custom templates on top of a powerful search capability, allowing rapid development with custom code. The bulk of the solution was built using client side technologies and standard web development techniques. ClerksWell also developed tools to speed up the development workflow when creating search templates and deploying LESS-based CSS files.

Results

  • The new Gateway delivers a user-centric and fully responsive design across multiple browsers and mobile devices to both users within the BBC network and those connecting from elsewhere.
  • The framework is 90% cloud ready
  • Branding is consistent to the BBC GEL brand guidelines and unified across the entire portal. This was achieved whilst allowing divisions and geographic locations to be visually distinctive.
  • Developed using search and tagging techniques, allowing users to quickly find what they are looking for.

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