Ensuring Troops are Culture Ready
About the Project
The Defense Language & National Security Office develops and maintains expert knowledge for the languages and cultures that are vital to U.S. national security. CultureReady.org serves to further these aimsby connecting services personnel as well as civilians to culture- training and language-training resources. The goal of this project was to ensure that users could better find important information without getting lost in what currently felt like “clutter”.
The design and associated visual are inclusive and inviting enough to appeal to a broader audience, not appearing overly military in nature, nor too corporate. To achieve this and to further engage the users a contemporary color pallette was used to lend a feel lightness and brightness along with high quality professional imagery.
User Generated Content
One of the goals of this website was to cultivate the wide community of experts that contribute to the dialogue around understanding different cultures. The agency needed a way to entice users to contribute, but also to manage user generated content on the back end. We created an easy to use interface to allow users to contribute blog posts, research or articles.
Improved Search & Information Architecture using Drupal 8
The website, built in Drupal 8, has a number of functional enhancements:
The Culture Ready team has a fairly sophisticated social media presence that is supported by frequent blog posts.
Tagging & taxonomy to relate content.
The existing taxonomy structure had grown unwieldy. Organizing thousands of pieces of articles, training materials, research and news was a task that our content strategist addressed through information architecture and a new taxonomy structure.
Research & Training libraries.
A user interface was created so that articles, training resources, research and other sources of information were easy to access in multiple ways. Solr search was implemented in order to search across multiple formats and to allow a “drill down” faceted search.
A customer feedback loop.
In order to ensure continued success we set up several ways (including analytics) to garner user feedback.
The final website is a terrific example of how marrying great design with well thought out information architecture and tying it together with flexible and extensible technology can create a pleasureable and informative experience.