Introduction

Bellwether Education Partners (BEP) consults with educators, schools, and policymakers in the public sphere to advance innovative thinking about public education and solve critical strategic and operational issues.
Fíonta designed and developed a Drupal 8 website toolkit for BEP, providing curated human-centered research and design methods for education policy professionals to support other practitioners in utilizing a similar design process in their work.

Challenges

  • Needed a visually-appealing and easy-to-navigate site where users could download tools such as checklists, interview guides, and process maps, and view examples of the tools in use.
  • Appeal to a broad range of constituents, including peer consulting firms and think tanks as well as lawmakers and their legislative staff, was crucial.
  • Constraints of the grant through which the project was funded meant that a strict timeline had to be met.

Solutions

  • Fíonta designed the site in collaboration with BEP, keeping in mind the intention for the site to be rigorous yet approachable. The final design reflected a content-first focus, making it easy for users to browse, read, and download content.
  • The site was built out with custom content types in Drupal, including one for the individual tools pages and one for a summary page that showcases brief descriptions of related tools.
  • Fíonta provided content entry training to the BEP team early in the process, so they could begin entering text and images while our developers completed styling of the site, enabling a fast and efficient sprint toward launch and ensuring that the BEP team felt comfortable entering content in the future.
  • From kickoff to launch, the project was completed in about six months.

Successes

Bellwether Education Partners now offers an additional authoritative, rich resource to its partners across the spectrum of public education organizations, policymakers, and providers. The toolkit can be easily and cost-effectively maintained by existing BEP resources.