New Futures: Improved Company Website Enhances Site Navigation and Provides Ease of Content Management.
October 5, 2021; New Hampshire; Merrimack County – CommonPlaces Interactive is pleased to announce that they have successfully completed and launched a new website for New Futures (new-futures.org). New Futures teamed with CommonPlaces to plan and execute a much needed overhaul of their community website and content management system this year. This update has streamlined their time-sensitive news posting process, allowed for instant events-calendar updates, and has given staff the ability to quickly create, post, tag and archive content without delay.
Working together on this project, New Futures and CommonPlaces are confident that this newly redesigned Drupal 9 website introduces significant improvements to the user experience for community advocates, donors, investors, stakeholders, New Futures employees and Board Members.
“New Futures envisions State and local communities where public policies support efforts to improve the health and wellness of all Granite Staters.”
Ease of Use for Community Advocates, Donors, Investors and Stakeholders:
The New Futures website is a robust resource for those who need to stay up-to-date and informed of legislature policy updates, educational panels, conferences, voting deadlines, and other advocacy resources. These users can search the site for specific policies by keyword, browse and filter topics by type and category, sign up for updates, and donate through the site.
Improvement of Third-Party Forms – Users faced challenges in functionality and usability of the fillable forms on the New Futures website. ‘Clunky’ integration of custom third-party forms was preventing website users from being able to fill in form fields and save the form data in a comprehensive manner. CommonPlaces updated, styled, and added functionality to flow with the New Futures website and provide ease of data entry and submission. Form information on both desktop and mobile devices can now be entered and submitted with ease – without worry of data loss.
Ease of Use for New Futures Employees and Board Members:
CommonPlaces overhauled the New Futures content management system in Drupal 9 by creating a customized site builder. They also implemented user-permissions for content authors so that they are now able to access the ‘back-end’ of their pages on the site in a user-friendly environment without the need for coding. Authorized users can now edit their content, preview changes, and publish to specific areas such as their events calendar, policy updates, and news articles – all within minutes.
Calendar – CommonPlaces revamped the style and usability of the Events Calendar, and integrated it into the main menu so that users can readily identify where they need to go on the homepage to view the entire Events Calendar. CommonPlaces created a dedicated calendar “at a glance” page with events listed chronologically, and in a visually appealing grid. This replaced an outdated ‘sticky’ slider which was placed at the top of the website, un-styled, and could handle display of only one event at a time, which ultimately presented difficulty in the ability to update events from an administrative standpoint.
With the update, users can now select the event in which they have interest, and expand to read further details on a dedicated event page. Additional functionality was added for users to sort by event category. Administrators can now easily add events and tag their event categories through the Drupal 9 site builder, and their event will automatically appear in the appropriate order and category on the main calendar page.
Time-Sensitive Law and Policy Updates – New Futures is diligent about making the public aware of time-sensitive issues with and updates to laws and public policies. The lack of a proper content management system created delays between the time New Futures learned of the updates, and the time they were able to make the information publicly available.
CommonPlaces resolved this by developing a simplified workflow that allowed content authors to post policy updates, tag all content with the appropriate categories, and publish instantly.
News Article Posting – News search functionality was virtually non-existent, so end-users had to search through pages and pages of articles, and this often resulted in high bounce rates before an article was located.
In the same way Law and Policy updates were organized, CommonPlaces was able to provide New Futures content authors with a simplified method for posting, tagging, and categorizing news articles so that they became searchable and sortable by news type and category, and integrated with the site search. Content authors and site administrators also have the ability to archive past news articles, which then become part of their linked archive the public is readily able to view.
Overall Refresh of Website Functionality and Aesthetics
Overall, the New Futures website was considered outdated in both functionality and design. Readers faced challenges in locating information, content authors faced challenges in publishing information, and a refresh was necessary to keep the web presence of New Futures relevant for today’s users. CommonPlaces harnessed the power of Drupal 9 to successfully launch a new and improved, highly functional, user-friendly version of the New Futures website. The site now includes user-serviceable content management areas, improved form functionality, and an overall updated ‘look and feel’ to include mobile-friendliness.
New Futures Background: New Futures is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that advocates, educates and collaborates to improve the health and wellness of all New Hampshire residents through policy change. New Futures envisions a State and local communities where public policies support efforts to improve the health and wellness of all Granite Staters. The main target audience the new-futures.org website caters to are those who are looking to become involved in community improvement through policy advocacy for New Hampshire Citizens. New Futures’ policy perspectives are grounded in evidence-based areas of focus that are proven to raise public health outcomes. Advocate sign-up is a primary function of the site. A user can navigate to the Advocacy registration form through the main menu, and become part of the New Futures advocacy network.
CommonPlaces Background: CommonPlaces Interactive is a local New Hampshire growth-based web development agency specializing in custom developed Customer Experience Portals which provide the opportunity for businesses to increase efficiency while offering a polished and easy-to-use Content Management System.
Originally founded in 1998, CommonPlaces began providing hosted, web-based solutions to over 250 colleges and universities. During that period, CommonPlaces owned innovative sites such as SixDegrees.com, whose patents and technologies were later sold to become the basis of LinkedIn.com. In 2003, CommonPlaces entered the development market as a premier open source development firm, and has since helped establish and strengthen the web presence of nearly 1,000 successful projects throughout the country. Today, CommonPlaces combines their well-established experience in web and application development with the magic of inbound digital marketing to deliver unique solutions to businesses and organizations of all sizes.