The top challenge that is addressed through the re-designed institute website is the user friendly front end environment and the improved presentation of the research activities and best practices of the institute, as well the linkage to information from related external sources in the agricultural economics area (e.g.Food and Agriculture Organization , europeana , AgEcon ).
Firstly, the data requirements of the institute research team were collected in terms of the type of information that should be provided to the website users (farmers, agricultural extension specialists, advisors, agricultural economists), generated by the team of harvested by other websites with related research activities. Based on the findings, the front end environment of the new website was designed (wireframes) and validated through focused interviews with the members of the Institute.
The new Institute website handles different types of resources such as publications, projects, image libraries, news, announcements and persons.
Apart from the data handling, the website also allows different connections between the data. Persons can be linked with projects that they worked on, or publications they published. Also, images can be linked with projects. This way, enriched content is created which allows the user to quickly view all the necessary information and also browse them independently. All this were achieved by using the power of the Drupal CMS.
Another key service of the new website, is the search page. This service was created in order to allow the user to browse the institute’s resources as fast and easily as possible. The user can either choose to browse the resources through pre selected groups, freely via the search bar and also apply facets to narrow down his search and find exactly what he is looking for. The service was developed using Drupal CMS, Apache Solr(open source search platform) and all the necessary drupal modules.