International Food Information Council Foundation (IFIC Foundation) partnered with Beaconfire Consulting to redesign its public website and implement a new content management system. IFIC Foundation sought to fundamentally improve its ability as an organization to serve its diverse audiences by providing a wealth of information on nutrition and food safety. They also sought to replace an outdated custom content management system that no longer served the organization’s needs.
The new site now provides a more navigable and welcoming presentation of the organization’s vast library of information, as well as the ability for the organization’s non-technical staff to manage and grow content on their own.
IFIC Foundation is the educational arm of IFIC whose mission is to communicate science-based information on food safety and nutrition to health and nutrition professionals, educators, journalists, Government officials and other groups who, in turn, provide information to consumers. A primary goal of the user experience was to ensure that website visitors could easily access a deep and broad library of nutritional and food safety information at both the issue and publication level. To both increase their readership as well as reduce publication print costs, the organization also sought to harness the Web as a primary distribution channel for its many publications.
Beaconfire started by conducting an informal software evaluation to select a content management system for the new site prior to beginning the Web redesign efforts. This preliminary step identified marketplace options for content management solutions that were suited to IFIC Foundation’s functional, timeline, and budgetary needs.
The chosen content management system, PaperThin's CommonSpot™, allows IFIC Foundation staff to publish their content easily and more efficiently. They are able to easily create forms and entire content areas as well as schedule the future publication and expiration of content on the site to occur automatically. They even have the option of allowing retired content to appear or not appear when a user searches.
It was important to IFIC Foundation to offer integrated multi-language content on their site. CommonSpot gives them the ability to link content together - if the English version of a page is updated, they are notified that the Spanish counterpart needs to be updated as well.
Beaconfire’s much improved site design and navigational structure with greater focus on the brand, mission, and priorities has been married with an easier system for the organization to manage and maintain. In addition to conducting a software evaluation of content management systems and redesigning the artistic look and feel of the site, the project required the implementation and configuration of several technologies and vendors including PaperThin’s CommonSpot for content management, Got Marketing for email communications, and NI Solutions for hosting.
IFIC Foundation's plans for the next phase include a more robust multi-language offering as well as implementing personalization. The result is a toolset that IFIC Foundation can grow with and a redesigned site that is a more engaging, usable, and effective outlet to maintain its position as the leader in its field.