Evolving Web rebuilt the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) corporate website on Drupal 9, creating a bold, fresh design, improving its information architecture, and helping the CFI roll out a new content strategy. We also redesigned the client's Research Facilities Navigator using components from the main corporate website.
About the Client
Founded in 1997, the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) is a non-profit corporation that invests in research infrastructure at Canadian universities, colleges, research hospitals, and non-profit research institutions. It supports researchers with cutting-edge facilities, laboratories, and equipment to help them innovate and push the frontiers of knowledge in all areas.
The CFI aims at empowering Canada's scientific community to help build a better world through evidence-based policy-making, better health outcomes, a cleaner, greener environment, more vibrant cultures, and more competitive businesses.
The CFI wanted to refresh its website's overall look and feel and information architecture while aligning it with current best practices and accessibility standards. They also wanted to give their staff the ability to manage content and build new landing pages without the help of a web developer.
The website's primary purpose is to guide users to apply for the funding programs best suited for their projects and needs. The CFI also uses the website to support users who are already funded, so they find support materials for their projects.
Rebuilding the CFI website's information architecture was one of the project's most challenging aspects. Users found the funding opportunities challenging to navigate on the previous website, and the website's overall structure was hard to follow. The content was also dense, and detailed information could overwhelm researchers and staff at times.
Finally, the website didn't have an overview or a search tool for CFI-funded projects across Canada. These issues meant that creating more user-centric navigation across the website and within each funding opportunity would be central to the project's success.
Evolving Web created a bold, fresh design for the CFI, which invites users to immerse themselves in the website and discover more about the organization and the funding programs. We created a more mobile-friendly, user-centred interface tailored to the personas identified during the discovery phase (researcher, CFI liaison, parliamentarian or office of elected official, international expert reviewer, and private sector representative).
Our work for the CFI included:
- Redesign and re-platforming from Drupal 7 to Drupal 9
- Reusable components for content editors to build pages easily with the same look and feel of the whole website
- Apache Solr search for more accurate global search results
- An administrative interface optimized for content editors
- New 'Apply & Manage Awards' section, with entry points for researchers and step-by-step resources for easier navigation
- A new entry point for policymakers and potential reviewers via the Get Involved landing page
- A design focused on easy readability, with breathing room, white space, and larger fonts to help users engage with the content.
- Editorial approach to the design, with big, bold headlines, larger set fonts, big images, and clean layouts to attract viewers
- Use of high-quality images to complement the brand and promote innovation
- A looping video on the homepage header creates an impact from the beginning of the experience
As part of the move to Drupal 9, we migrated 1,500 pages and more than 7,000 files to the new platform. Visually, the new website captures users' attention with engaging layouts, a visually appealing colour palette, modern fonts, and a dynamic design.
Our work resulted in a more helpful and impactful website with intuitive information architecture, easy-to-use navigation, and user-centred content.
Websites refreshes were essential projects for the CFI. We are very pleased with the look and feel, their enhanced functionality and ease of use for our primary audiences and CFI staff.