Research World Brings Insights Platform onto Apostrophe
Research World is a premier source of news, insights and thought-provoking opinions on the state of insights and analytics. It is a place to explore case studies of the world’s leading brands, to discover stories on the latest or never before done projects, and to learn and be inspired by a global community of peers.
An extension of ESOMAR, a not-for-profit membership organization that focuses on advocating for fair and ethical use of data in market research, the Research World website is an editorial platform keeping the pulse of the very latest insights and analytics.
Embarking on the 75th anniversary of the organization, Research World met the occasion with a launch of a new website.
This new website is complete with a refreshed look and feel, simplified navigation, advanced filtering, and improved opportunities for content providers to publish with ease. The road to launching the new website was not simple and was presented with some unpredictable starting points, but the final product is a clear result of management’s long-term planning, creativity, and forethought into digital space reusability.
Research World’s WordPress era ends in a crash
Research World began its work 75 years ago, starting as a small newsletter and then was transformed into a widely circulated print publication. As times, and reader demands evolved, so too did Research World, transitioning to a digital publishing platform making itself more accessible to its readers on a global scale.
In 2010, the management team decided on a WordPress platform to serve up its editorial repository and active blog environment. At that time, it was a sound decision, a free software platform with the basics of a publishing platform built in. Unfortunately, however, the platform did not age as well as the publication depending on it. As the years went by, the team behind Research World found that they were faced with limitations holding back where they wanted to take their online editorial platform, feeling the constraints of the WordPress platform.
There was then a less than ideal motivator for the Research World team to assess their website platform. The dreaded crash.
"At the end of last year, the entire website collapsed in a heap. It just stopped working."
The team quickly triaged the situation, identifying that they could have found a way to get it back up and running with some workarounds and extra bandages. But the team recognized the platform needed more stability, with additional outlets for customization and creativity. With the recent success of the migration of ESOMAR’s primary site to Apostrophe, the team once again reached out to development partners, Corllete, Ltd. for a long term, yet quick turnaround solution. With an impossible timeline and budget, they looked ahead at what would be next for the Research World website.
“Everything was impossible, in all honesty. Timelines, budgets, impossible. We basically decided let’s go for it. We’ll be flexible, agile, we’re just going to do it. So we did.”
Design systems is where Apostrophe’s reusability shines
As the Research World site was finding its life with a new digital chapter, there still needed to be a plan B. Content is submitted, shared, modified, and commented on daily. It was not an acceptable solution to let Research World sit dark and dormant until the new site was up and running. Due to the long term planning of the ESOMAR team in developing their recently relaunched site, they were able to implement an interim solution for the Research World content in the newsroom of the ESOMAR site. Admittedly, this was a short term solution, but it not only kept the content alive and available, but also quickly informed the Research World team what was possible on an Apostrophe site, which fed into the development process of the platform team working on the migration of the site.
In planning for the new site, the team decided to scrap features that had once existed and pivot to something more modern and scalable with an eye on maintaining a modern website into the future. They also determined that the best approach with a consolidated launch window was to phase in features over time. By identifying and prioritizing features, the accelerated timeline was achievable, without sacrificing primary content or user experience.
“We were fivefold quicker in deploying this website by reusing nearly 80% of the ESOMAR UI library.”
Once the Research World branding was confirmed at the organizational level, the development team was able to apply that design system with the already established component library. Being mindful to maintain the backend separately, but reuse the components, allowed the team to be flexible, timely, and deliver on the design system. All of the planning and execution resulted in a uniquely branded site that was deployed in less than two months from the untimely crash.
“We were ready in time. I still can't believe that.”
A welcomed platform update for users and visitors alike
By migrating the Research World website to Apostrophe, this continued the theme of democratization of site management, as discussed in a previous case study with ESOMAR. Before Apostrophe, only certain members of the ESOMAR team were granted access to contribute and publish content on the website, limiting the workflow and creating unnecessary barriers. Before, there were few internal users that were comfortable using WordPress. Now, there is a cohort of colleagues, across divisions, that can contribute to the management and success of the websites with ease.
“We have created an ecosystem that the entire team understands and uses on a daily basis, now across our different platforms. Everyone on the team actually enjoys the platform now. We could not say that before Apostrophe.”
Visitors to the site will experience an enhanced brand offering, along with clear and dynamic navigation points. The audience for the site has high expectations from the editorial content published on the site, to the timeliness of the content, and the ease of navigation. The launch of this reimagined site does not disappoint, and there are only more enhancements planned for the future.
What’s next for Research World
The road ahead for the Research World site is as limitless as the content they produce. An additional benefit of the organization having two sites sharing the Apostrophe platform is that when there is a use case for one site to invest and then deploy a new feature or content type, the other site inherently benefits from the work, without additional time and investment.
“This is the power of Apostrophe, allowing the sharing not only of the UI, but also functionality in a very concise way.”
Topping the list of next step priorities for Research World is the ability for the community to interact with the content on the site. Closely set behind that is to identify and implement ways for the ESOMAR and Research World site to enrich each other and provide a seamless bridge to visitors.
“These websites are never finished. You just keep going.”