NERSC & ESnet
Design, Information Architecture, Content Management, Custom Applications
Quinn Interactive (QI) worked with both NERSC and ESnet to perform a complete information architecture overhaul, site design, branding, and logo design (for NERSC) and implementation of SilverStripe with many custom additions and features. After launch, visitor feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, and site stakeholders can now update and manage their own areas of the site.
Both NERSC and ESnet are part of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
The National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) is the primary scientific computing facility for the Office of Science in the U.S. Department of Energy. As one of the largest facilities in the world devoted to providing computational resources and expertise for basic scientific research, NERSC is a world leader in accelerating scientific discovery through computation.
The Energy Sciences Network (ESnet) provides the high-bandwidth, reliable connections that link scientists at national laboratories, universities, and other research institutions, enabling them to collaborate on some of the world’s most important scientific challenges including energy, climate science, and the origins of the universe.
NERSC and ESnet needed to completely redesign their websites, including new branding and information architecture. They also wanted a publishing solution that would afford them more control over their own content, by both technical and non-technical content creators.
For efficiency, to share resources, and to ease support, they sought a solution that would enable them to share code and functionality across their multiple sites.
They had a number of external systems that had to be integrated into the web sites, including: - Shibboleth and LDAP authentication systems - Google Search Appliance - Existing and new external web sites and scripts - External RSS and Twitter feeds
And because they are federally funded, they needed a secure platform that could pass their stringent security review process.
Both sites went live in April 2011, and were met with extremely positive feedback from both stakeholders and site visitors.
QI created a cohesive and attractive site design for each site, and redesigned NERSC’s organizational identity.
QI worked collaboratively with NERSC and ESnet to provide in-depth information architecture strategies that have greatly improved the sites’ usability and usefulness.
SilverStripe’s MVC framework and CMS were used to transform sites that had consisted primarily of static pages into easily managed dynamic information resources. Staff can now easily add and edit content throughout the sites.
QI also worked directly with SilverStripe Ltd in New Zealand to add new capabilities to SilverStripe, including
- Page collision detection and notification
- Per-user access control and page sharing
- Shibboleth and LDAP integration
Quinn Interactive created custom site capabilities to provide even greater functionality to the sites. These included
- Customizable user profiles
- User-configurable portals/dashboards
- Mobile versions of some pages
Both NERSC and ESnet have strict security requirements. Their IT team performed an extensive security audit of SilverStripe, and made recommendations on hosting and deployment that enabled us to deliver a solution that met the security standards required by a federally funded web project.