We’re thrilled to announce the launch of the brand-new, accessible, Drupal website for This Girl Can; the iconic Sport England campaign to encourage women and girls of all abilities and backgrounds to enjoy getting active.
As part of our successful, long-term working relationship with Sport England we’d previously created an award-winning Activity Finder for This Girl Can; helping women to find their ideal sporting activity, and pivoting to take it virtual during the pandemic. We were therefore thrilled to have the opportunity to continue our working partnership on a new website.
Why did This Girl Can need a new site?
The previous This Girl Can website (which was already hosted and maintained by us) was a legacy site, built on WordPress by a different company in the previous decade. Sport England knew it was time for a refresh, both technically and in terms of strategy, and they asked Cyber-Duck to work with them and identify the best way to bring the site up to date and continue their mission of inspiring women to get into sports.
The Cyber-Duck team worked closely with Sport England to help plan the long-term aims for the This Girl Can brand, to ensure it would align with, and support Sport England’s 10-year strategy ‘uniting the movement’; and how we could best deliver on their goals and KPIs as we headed into 2023. To achieve this, we also worked closely alongside FCB Inferno, Sport England’s brilliant creative agency partner.
Consolidating for continued success
We considered several different options to ensure we were providing the most suitable solution for the new site. Some of the options considered were a WordPress reinstallation to modernise the code, another was a ‘lift and shift’ replication of the site into Drupal (Sport England’s preferred technology framework, which we used to build their main website).
There were several reasons why we determined that the best route for This Girl Can should be a full site refresh, based on a new Drupal 9 multi-domain infrastructure:
- It provided a perfect opportunity to fully review, refresh and improve the user experience. We could use learnings from existing UX research in the sports sector, conducted from 2021 to 2023, to develop a unified design system, working closely with FCB.
- It enabled us to redesign the information architecture and communication style in a way that would tie together This Girl Can with Sport England’s other digital platforms, creating a cohesive brand and user experience while preserving This Girl Can’s powerful character.
- It would reduce hosting costs and make sustainability improvements by consolidating Sport England’s digital estate into one central CMS.
- It would help to improve operational efficiency, allow different divisions to share existing development work, and empower the client team to publish content centrally across multiple websites from one central CMS hub.
So, how did we do it?
The roadmap for the new website development included upgrading the This Girl Can legacy site to keep it secure while we developed the new one; the creation of a SportEngland.org-based Drupal multi-domain instance; UX discovery research, and Drupal website build.
With so many different workstreams running concurrently, with different interdependencies between them, this project called for detailed planning, communication and collaboration between Cyber-Duck and Sport England’s client team.
The site build was completed while also working on a wider programme of tasks with Sport England, including information architecture upgrades to Sport England.org; and significant rebranding, UX design and redevelopment for Club Matters (which Cyber-Duck won in 2022) all of which meant such coordination was vital.
Using the ‘Cyber-Duck Way’, incorporating Agile methodologies and the talents of our agency’s skilled multi-disciplinary team, we successfully brought together all the different workstreams to deliver the new site on deadline. And as always, accessibility was at the forefront of all our work on this project: we collaborated with FCB in UX workshops, across partnership plans, and on UI designs to ensure the site was inclusive and accessible, as well as looking absolutely fantastic.
With the launch of the new This Girl Can website, Sport England’s digital estate has been brought up to date for 2023 and beyond. It’s more efficient, more sustainable, and set up for future evolution and expansion as This Girl Can continues to launch new initiatives. We’re proud to have further cemented our partnership with Sport England, and we can’t wait to create more exciting platforms together in the future.