The Bridgespan Group

The Bridgespan Group (Bridgespan) is a global nonprofit organization that collaborates with mission-driven leaders, organizations, and philanthropists to break cycles of poverty and dramatically improve the quality of life for those in need. Bridgespan’s services include consulting to nonprofits and philanthropists, leadership development support, and developing and sharing insights—all with the goal of scaling social impact.

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Whatever it Takes

Goals

Bridgespan originally engaged in the re-design of the www.Bridgespan.org website based on the changing landscape in digital marketing, need for mobile first customer experience, and need for better support of the digital customer journey.

The following needs were identified early on as a part of the project scope:
  • Mobile First. Bridgespan wanted a very mobile-friendly, responsive design that would allow users to easily view specialized features across multiple devices, including smartphone, tablet, desktop and laptop. 
  • Complete Redesign of Site. Integrate a custom design via their UX/UI design firm specialist Sapient.
  • Migration. Bridgespan wanted to ensure that the following components, among others were safely transferred into the new site. 
    • Over 60,000 users and user profiles
    • Hundreds of pieces of content in the form of articles and article toolkits 
    • Existing user roles, permissions, web parts, development items, customizations. etc. from the old CMS version into Kentico 8.2.
  • Content Faceting & Filtering. 
    • For Content editors, the ability to find their own categories and select which ones to display to make content management easier. 
    • The solution needed to be a modular implementation and support the filtering of insight articles library, blog posts, team member profiles, etc.
  • Enhanced Search Experience. Bridgespan needed a website search feature that could quickly access their entire library of resources, including articles, videos, audio, etc. to provide excellent and accurate results.
  • Custom User Profile and Subscription Management Center. Bridgespan required specific information fields for their My Profile section as well as the ability to manage individual or group email newsletter subscriptions.
  • Custom Newsletter & Alerts Signup. Bridgespan desired specific information fields for their Newsletter registration. They also required a custom double opt-in email functionality that allows users to sign up for all newsletters at once, while only receiving one confirmation email. Additionally, they needed a functionality for users to follow particular articles and receive alerts specific to their interests. 
  • Highlight the Bridgespan Success Stories. Bridgespan wanted to tell the Bridgespan story to their viewers and to experience their partnered organization’s impacts around the world via their “Stories of Impact” page. This page is loaded with videos, audio files, articles, and audio which help to provide enriched storytelling.
  • Showcase Relational Content. Bridgespan needed users to easily find videos, articles, and other resources in their content library that was related by certain logics such as tag, category, dates, and weights. Bridgespan also needed the ability to override and control what shows up in those areas.
  • Robust Taxonomy for Articles. Bridgespan also desired that ability for users to easily find articles through custom filters and categories, in addition to traditional search.

Challenges 

  • Complex mobile first design. The design requirements placed specific attention to what the mobile visitor experience should be.
  • Limited Marketing Resources. Bridgespan has limited resources dedicated to their site, including a low staffed marketing team.
  • URL Integrity. Bridgespan wanted to ensure all of the URLs on the previous site would still work for SEO purposes. BizStream needed to find a way to preserve thousands of old URLs so that they would remain searchable and active once the new site launched. 
  • URL Validation. BizStream’s team needed to create a way to validate that updated URL mappings were working correctly.
  • Migration from Outdated Platform. The previous version of Bridgespan’s site was running on an outdated platform and had been improperly upgraded over the years, causing unsafe changes. This made the site unstable and migration a difficult task. 
  • Large Amount of Data. The shear amount of data that needed to be migrated was problematic, taking almost 24 hours for the automated script to run.
  • Multiple Environments. Ensuring synchronization of both code and content across multiple environments including development, staging and production. 
  • High level of Customization. Custom developed areas of the site including the Bridgespan Job Board still needed to be supported and run flawlessly in the new build.

Solution 

  • BizStream was able to consult with Bridgespan during the design phase of the project to ensure the custom designs would fit Kentico CMS’s strengths.
  • BizStream leveraged the standard Kentico Portal Engine to develop the site in a fully responsive manner. 
  • BizStream implemented the out of the box Kentico document tagging and content categorization features to support the required website taxonomy.
  • BizStream customized the out of the box Kentico smart search feature to allow for custom search filtering.
  • In order to alleviate the issue of Bridgespan’s limited marketing resources, Bridgespan leveraged contractors to develop content curation and migration strategies. 
  • To address the URL integrity issue, BizStream’s team wrote a custom script in Kentico to set proper redirect and page aliases.
  • To handle the massive amount of data the BizStream team wrote a custom SQL script and Kentico import/export wizard.
  • BizStream utilized Compare for Kentico to make environment synchronization simple and precise. 

Kentico has a strong ally in BizStream. Not only are they the best of the best when it comes to Kentico partners, their tools they are providing to developers with their Kentico Compare suite make them stand head and shoulders above the rest. They are providing functionality and support for continuous improvement engagements and support that is on par with Kentico’s own support. Having Brian and Mark at the helm of BizStream with their absolute strong knowledge of Kentico and its plumbing has been instrumental to a complete success in launching this new site.

Shannon Dunn - Senior Software Architect