Big Plans Big Changes

Client

CitySprint

Area

Application development / Design

Joomla Development Company

Big Plan Big Changes is a rail industry campaign led by Rail Delivery Group on behalf of the rail industry.

It was set up in response to the Williams Rail Review established in September 2018 to look at the structure of the whole rail industry and how passenger rail services are delivered. It made recommendations for reform that prioritise passengers' and taxpayers' interests. The findings were published in a government white paper, and reform began in 2020.

The Breif

To create an engaging and educational campaign microsite that is focused on providing influential information that is useful for our political and stakeholder audience. The website must also be relevant for wider audiences specified in this paper and will need to present content in an interesting manner to encourage members to drive traffic to the micro-site.

The Challenge

Extendability

After our initial consultation with CitySprint, it became apparent that it would need to be built in a way that would be both scalable and extendable to meet their growing needs.

Security

The other concern was the sensitivity of the data. Today more than ever before, online security is a priority. As criminals become more and more innovative in their techniques to steal online data, online applications are required to become more resourceful in their security systems.

Human Usability

The final hurdle was the human usability of the system! How would the team interact with it, what were their expectations and how best to implement a user-friendly system that has clear processes and procedures.

Extendibility

Object-Oriented Design

As we needed to develop the application over two years with phase releases, a flexible and modern framework would need to be at the heart of the project. We chose Joomla's object-oriented design pattern because it allows applications to be highly maintainable and easily extendable. Its strength is that all the visual and functional elements sit on top of the main framework, enabling new features to be applied quickly and cost-effectively without updating the tool's entire design.

Security

Sensitive Data

In addition to the standard security, such as backups and configuration, several bespoke security policies were adopted as a second line to protect the system against malicious activity.
Data sanity check
The system checks the received data and prevents any possible SQL Injection attacks and hacking attempts by executable files that are going to be uploaded to the server by rendering any malicious code useless;
Data is remotely stored
This prevents other external applications from being able to access the data;
The code is encrypted
The encrypted data will force the hacker to use the same access point as the website thus forcing the hacker to authenticate themselves, which they will not be able to do;
Logs
The application also logs every action performed by the logged in users. This allows the website administrators to monitor users activities and to be able to role back any updated data.

Human Usability

It started with an interview process, where we took the time to understand CitySprint's unique business model. We researched their requirements, looked at similar systems, explored existing tools and how they used them, and sat down with the staff and users. We then, when away, did our research and developed user personas. Our design specification included user flows, task flows and prototypes where we sort to give life to our study. In the final testing, we evaluated the end-products overall quality with usability testing.
The results were a ground-breaking interface for CitySprint that is easy to use and works hard to keep operations on track.

They helped us develop a small information website into a truly flexible, integrated, and award winning business tool that we depend on for daily operations!

Stuart Williams, Web Developer @ CitySprint