A few months ago, BSL was approached by Stichting Shwachman Support, the Dutch patient organization for the Shwachman Diamond Syndrome (SDS). They had joined forces with other patient organizations and experts to develop a new website: Rarecare.world. They recognized that BSL had the expertise to make their vision a reality.
Rare Care World website
Many rare conditions and diseases are genetic, but doctors often attribute the symptoms to more easily recognized diseases. As a result, many patients receive unnecessary or incorrect treatments. It is therefore important to make sure that more information is available about these rare conditions. The Rare Care World team’s vision was that Rarecare.world would become the source of information for people with rare diseases, their families and their carers.
They initially worked with another developer, and created a first version of their Drupal 8 website. Unfortunately, the website did not work as they envisaged. As they were dissatisfied, they asked BSL to develop a new website, and to resolve as many issues as possible.
Firstly, BSL entered into a dialogue with the Rare Care World team to hear their wishes. And equally important, to analyze the existing website. Our developers realized that considerable work was still needed to make the Drupal 8 website meet their needs. They needed to re-design the underlying database, and create a new web interface. Using our in-house expertise, we knew we could give the Rare Care World team what they asked for. But the challenge was they needed to deliver the new website very quickly.
Whenever possible, BSL strives to provide a solution. So although we had enjoyed a busy summer, we took on the project. We engaged the services of a Drupal 8 website specialist to provide an extra pair of hands. He worked mainly on revisions to the back-end database. BSL provided an interface designer, and Drupal front-end developers.
The result? By meeting the client regularly, and organizing our time efficiently – plus a lot of hard work – we delivered the project within the given time!
We delivered a proposal with a fixed price and guaranteed delivery date. After acceptance by the client, we started the project. During the first phase we restructured the database, and started to redesign the Drupal 8 website. We also set up a server to temporarily host the website during the development. At the same time, our Drupal front-end team produced a series of interface designs. They fine-tuned these designs, working together with the Rare Care project team during regular meetings. Unlike the previous developer, we designed the website to be fully responsive. That’s to say: designed for use on computers, tablets and mobiles.
We carried out work on the back-end and front-end in parallel. At times a juggling act, but a strategy that reduced the project time. In addition, we made each new release available for testing throughout the project. This gave the Rare Care team plenty of opportunity to check our progress.
After a few busy weeks, our client’s vision for a new Drupal 8 website for Rare Care World became a reality! A new, valuable resource for those affected by rare conditions. As the final step, we migrated the website from the development server to a production server, using an automated process. A process we can use to deliver new maintenance updates as and when they are needed. There were no surprises, as we had extensively tested the site before release. The website went live on schedule, and on budget – just as BSL had promised.
We now maintain the website, monitoring the site around the clock, and making daily backups. We of course wish the Rare Care team success with the site – and hope that those with rare conditions as well as their families receive the support they need.
Our successful delivery of this challenging project is another clear example of the great results that can be achieved with good client co-operation. It also demonstrates the value of an incremental delivery process, as described in earlier blogs.
Do you have an idea for a new software development? Or perhaps your current websites deserve some TLC? Our experienced and professional developers would love to help you. So feel free to contact us. We’re happy to provide you with advice, and development support.