Relaunch of the ENETOSH Platform – a look behind the scenes
Matthias Gindhart and Bert Kaubisch: The balance between programming, content and design
Claus Dethleff: Challenges for the editor of www.enetosh.net
The balance between programming, content and design
Matthias Gindhart, Bert Kaubisch
Striking this very balance was actually only the second step in our work for the ENETOSH platform. As the lucky winners of a national tender, we boldly stepped up in the fall of 2021 to be responsible not only for the redesign and programming of the existing website, but also for the migration of a treasure trove of data that had grown over nearly 20 years. This very treasure initially became a veritable mountain, as it relatively quickly proved to be a valuable collection of text and images, but did not really meet the criteria of a contemporary database.
Thus, our first task was essentially one word: structure. My colleague Bert Kaubisch, a passionate advocate of organized data, dedicated the last 9 months to moving all the data on the "old" site to the present. He created a set of rules that not only make articles, members and best practice examples administrable in the long term, but also quick and easy to find.
Which brings us to the second act: The User Experience (UX). Here, too, things have evolved in recent years, our viewing habits, but also the way we consume information, how we move around websites, on which devices we view them, have changed. In close and intensive collaboration with our client Dr. Ulrike Bollmann (DGUV) and our editor and sparring partner Claus Dethleff, we developed a way to make the leap into 2022 in formal terms as well. No design overkill, but rather clear navigation, a lucid sitemap, a manageable color palette in Enetosh's corporate design and consistent, coordinated typography characterize the website's new look. Images also play a major role, they attract attention, generate emotions and now structure websites much more than pure text used to. That's why we have deliberately given more space to photos and graphics. And ... last but not least, the responsive design ensures that the website can be used on the go on a smartphone or tablet just as well as on a desktop computer. Many different measures, one goal: The development of a modern, digital place as a permanent information and communication channel for the ENETOSH community.
At this point we would like to thank Dr. Ulrike Bollmann and Claus Dethleff, with whom we were able to develop this beautiful site hand in hand, always on equal footing and with the necessary amount of patience, endurance and openness. We wish the ENETOSH community a lot of curiosity while exploring the new site and are happy if we could contribute our part to a successful relaunch.
Challenges for the editor of www.enetosh.net
When it all started for me with ENETOSH, back in 2005, on the one hand it was mainly about gaining knowledge in an area that I had never been exposed to before – except in my professional life as an architect. On the other hand, it was about learning a new software – a content management system that is used to edit web content. The challenge of gaining knowledge was much bigger for me, for I had learned so many new software programs before (and afterwards) that it was not really hard to do that again.
Now, 17 (!) years later, I am still (or should I say: again?) the editor of the ENETOSH web platform, and times are really exciting! My contract with the German Accident Insurance DGUV ended in 2021, because a complete relaunch of the platform was planned for 2022. A national tender was carried out, and, fortunately, an agency from Munich (“3c”) got contracts for technical processing, layout and hosting, as well as for editing of the web content. I was lucky enough that they asked me to carry on with my work, because of my experience and the long-term continuity of my work during the past years.
During the following months, much work was ahead of 3c and us. The website layout and the programming had to be done, followed by the data migration process. The coordinator and me had to sift through a huge amount of data and think about a new structure, in order to make all the content available and clear for the website visitors, as well as manageable for us. And I had to learn a new software again – CONTAO.
As you might know, the editor of a website is working in the so-called “backend” (see screenshot at the bottom of this article) – the content is available for visitors and users in the “frontend” (picture at the top - screenshot of the same page). The website is much more modern now than it was before – user habits have changed, visitors have different expectations now, compared to 2005. The new website matches these expectations perfectly, and therefore the technical background is quite different now. This is the main challenge for me as the editor – all I do has to fit into the new structure of the backend, because everything comes from a central database now.
An example: in the past, there were “Member Pages” for every network member, and, as you might remember, we had an expert database called “Who is Who”, where experts were able to register and set up an own profile. The member pages were simple editing work and a bit of layout for me, I did not really work on the “Who is Who”.
In the frontend, this is very similar now – we have a “Community”, where experts can set up profiles, and we have a “Members of ENETOSH”- page, where every member institution is presented. In the backend, all this comes from a single database, and so my work as the editor has become a bit more complicated to make the data more consistent. However, the new content management system is easy to use and offers many possibilities for me, and I can now concentrate more on the content, where I used to have to deal with the technical inadequacies of the system in the past.
After the challenging phase of migrating my work and the web content from one system to another, the phantastic work and help of 3c and the network coordinator made it easier for me to do my work now, hopefully for at least 17 more years (just joking).
Claus Dethleff, headlog.multimedia, email@example.com