The “Ordre des optométristes du Québec” website, built in 2012, was outdated, difficult to use on mobile devices, and provided limited functionality to the general public and the Order’s members. Evolving Web was tasked with creating a user-driven site, with increased functionality and that facilitated transforming the Order from a paper-driven organization into an online organization.
The Order of Optometrists of Quebec (l'Ordre des optométristes du Québec) is a mandatory professional standards association for optometrists practicing in Québec. They provide continuing education, discipline, and training for optometrists with the goal of ensuring compliance with Québec’s rules for practicing optometry. The Order conducts inspections and investigates complaints, ensuring that the public is not misled by individuals who may make false claims about providing eye care services.
Evolving Web has been providing ongoing Drupal 7 maintenance and support for the Order’s website for the last two years. Originally built by a partner firm in 2012, the site performed as an online document-based website with limited functionality. Most site visitors were new, located in the Montreal and Québec City areas, and visiting the “Search for an Optometrist” page. It wasn't optimized for mobile devices.
The Order was interested in adding functionality to their website to better support their members and the public. They also wanted to improve the overall user and brand experience. They asked us to pitch our vision for the project and they were won over by the trust we had built within the organization.
With an outdated Drupal 7 website initially built in 2012, the Order tasked Evolving Web with creating a Drupal 8 solution that provided additional functionality and a better user experience for site visitors. Goals for the project included:
- Improve the information architecture, user experience, search, and search engine optimization to make it easier to use and more friendly for visitors
- Incorporate existing branding elements while creating a more relevant and up-to-date user interface and design
- Leverage the French legacy site and build a solution that allows visitors to find content quicker, including English-speaking visitors
- Add customization to provide more site structure and to improve site performance
- Create additional tools and templates so the marketing communications team can improve their communications, and so they can be more efficient
- Change the site from a document-based website to a user-driven site
- Eliminate operational tasks by internal staff
- Improve the membership section, adding new functionalities to automate portions of the continuing education as well as the personal information registration process
The main challenge we faced in building the website was integration with Sigma API. Although the Sigma API has an excellent reputation, the new website requirements and new coding standards required detail-oriented API customizations. We also had to be careful to validate data correctly in Drupal so that it could be added safely to Sigma.
To ensure seamless integration, we created tests. We also worked in conjunction with the Sigma team, in some cases asking for changes to the API to make things work smoothly.
- Built a Drupal 8 website with a refreshed design that responds to mobile, tablet and desktop devices
- Implemented new layouts and design that considers existing branding elements for the organization
- Improved access to user information
- Although primarily a French-language site, English content was made more accessible from strategic website entry points
- Added geolocation, so users can quickly “Search for an Optometrist” in their location
- Automatically scripted the migration of key content from Drupal 7 into the new Drupal 8 site
- Created a member dashboard and improved the member section
- Added functionality so that tasks can be performed online
- Allowed members to register their training for credits
- Permitted members to see their progress in their continuing education process
- Built an approvals process for credits thus verifying member qualifications by the Order
- Added business registration information to validate businesses with the Order
- Added Assistant Optometrist member category with the ability to access and update personal information
- Used Solr Search to improve global search while allowing for more flexibility, dynamic filtering and capability of adding extra features and filters in the future
- Added back-end integration from their customer relationship management (CRM) tool and integrated it with Sigma API, to enable sending digital credits to members and verify their accomplishments
- The Order had been using Drupal 7 for the previous version of their website, and wanted to improve on this platform
- Using Drupal, we were able to handle integrations with the Order’s CRM and the Sigma API
- Additional features can be created going forward, as needed
- Drupal 8’s content moderation workflow allows administrators to verify and add approved content to the website systematically