IQ Solutions is a Gold Sponsor at Drupal GovCon 2015. Members of our Technology team, Dhru Beeharilal, Jason Hamrick, Mike Snyder, and David Tondreau will be showcasing the great work that IQ Solutions has completed with our clients such as the National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health (NIH), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, AARP, and others. This year, IQ Solutions aims to showcase our experience and approaches regarding the concepts below to differentiate itself in the competitive marketplace of Drupal shops appearing at GovCon.
A little bit of content expertise goes a long way when developing or redesigning a website, and working with Drupal is half the battle. The other half is having staff with the breadth of knowledge and experience to know the client’s content and are able to engage in stimulating discussions about it in order to help the client brainstorm and decide how to proceed with their Drupal implementation. IQ Solutions has that breadth of knowledge on our Communications side of the house, and as a result of the partnership between our Technology and Communications teams, we are uniquely qualified.
Headless Drupal and Content Syndication
Drupal is an “all-in-one” web platform that includes both a content management system and a theme-based website development environment. However, sometimes it makes sense to deliver content managed in Drupal with other frameworks (e.g., angular.js or backbone.js). When Drupal is used this way, it is called “headless” (which sounds scary, but it’s not at all!). If content syndication is an important dissemination channel, the two are more interrelated in the government space than you’d think. Headless Drupal requires the development of a strong “content schema” to facilitate effective content syndication. And with content syndication, you gain the ability to transform your content in creative ways to better reach your audiences.
What defines a good content schema? A good content schema is an outline of how your content is broken apart and stored in Drupal. A well-written schema is easier to syndicate, easier to transform with apps in a “headless” environment, and more future-proof. Without a content schema, the complexity or advanced nature of the Drupal backbone doesn’t matter.
Designing for Self-Management
A really good Drupal site is one that serves its audiences and owner without getting in the way by being complex or difficult to manage. A well-developed, simple content editing workflow, customized administration screens, and other aspects of the experience add exponentially to a website’s longevity. Particularly with government clients, empowering the agency to manage and really own their content is a very powerful (and cost-effective) strategy.
Is My Drupal Fixing Existing Issues?
Sometimes stuff isn’t built right; it’s an unfortunate reality. However, unlike some tools, Drupal is fairly straightforward to diagnose and improve progressively. We’ve worked with some of our new clients to fix problems with performance, maintenance, and the look and feel of their Drupal properties, and are always looking for new ways to avoid these pitfalls and give our clients future-ready websites.
Public Health, Not Techno-Speak
Technology, especially Drupal, has its own vocabulary. At IQ Solutions, we’re a public health communications firm that specializes in the use of technology to reach broad digital audiences to help our clients achieve their mission. We believe that the content and websites built by NIH are an integral part of that mission, so we speak public health first. While Drupal is a powerful tool to have, we can make you feel at ease with all the technology and “translate” the techno-babble into plain language that decision-makers can understand. This transparency is fun for our clients, and it keeps us honest, but most of all, it helps our clients and stakeholders stay engaged.