Redeveloping IICSA’s CMS to strengthen security and user controls
Additional complexity in terms of roles and access levels found in our technical Discovery demonstrated that IICSA required a system with specific capabilities for different individuals. We redeveloped IICSA’s content management system (CMS) using Drupal and applied new role-based access controls, superseding the previous ‘level-of-importance’ based roles. This enabled more internal users to edit content, supporting the organisation’s growing requirements and workload and eliminating the previous ‘developer only’ model.
We also created a set of core templates within Drupal that allowed their team to consistently publish urgent and regular content onto the site easily. This was partnered with newly established workflows and processes that ensured not only governance, but the application of the CMS’ new role-based access control and rights management. This helped IICSA to delegate tasks to internal users, while maintaining data protection and confidentiality for victims submitting their stories to the investigations.
Alongside ongoing development and optimisation of the website as BAU workstreams, we have delivered a number of projects in parallel. This includes projects like an ongoing research programme aimed at validating new features of the digital estate, and reviewing existing functionality at Public or Private Beta stage. Similarly, we both created and continue to update its personas to ensure that all our designs and development efforts always align with user needs.
Supporting high-profile public inquiries
We understood the nature of a high-profile and sensitive public inquiry and appreciated a collaborative approach was required from the outset to balance the legal accuracy of content with public engagement. We developed a strong culture of stakeholder and user involvement to ensure the website achieved an organisational consensus and positive user feedback.
Due to the highly personal nature of IICSA’s anonymously published content, we are subject to rigorous physical and logical security checks, as well as independent security testing, to protect victims supplying testimonies. These testimonies are often used as evidence in investigations and hearings, so it was especially pertinent that data is housed securely and was embargoed before publication.
We also built resilience into IICSA’s website to handle spike loads. For instance,IICSA’s Truth Project installs rigid procedures to ensure confidentiality. This is in addition to the implemented of an investigations section and after-hours support during a high-profile series of investigations in the media.
One team working to common goals
We may have been working remotely and across offices in Cardiff, Bristol and London, but there was never an agency-client divide. Instead, we operated as a single, blended, multi-disciplinary team that worked towards the same goals.
We had a flexible contract and a defined an internal team who could move across the organisation as different projects, priorities and investigations arose. Whether they needed us to assist within sprint activities on live assets, migrate content ahead of a report’s publication, or work on upcoming design solutions, we were able to show up and support them in whatever way they needed.
It also meant we had a comprehensive and ever-building understanding of their users. This accumulative insight spanned years and projects, and drove design decisions that would support victims and their families through an inherently difficult process.
For example, during the research and validation design phases for the Truth Project and IICSA.org.uk, there were strong indications that particular types of photography and imagery could trigger unwanted emotional responses. So, we worked with IICSA’s communications team, representatives of the victims and survivor consultation groups to refine and validate the imagery and illustrations.
The Inquiry is coming to an end in 2022, but as IICSA’s trusted partners, we feel proud to have played even a small role in helping victims find catharsis, peace and a sense of justice after decades of silence.