They commissioned me to build a new web site with which staff could easily create, delete and update content in English and Chinese. Visitors are to be able to easily find supporting, informative content in any format (text, audio, video, files) in the language of their choice as well as practical informations regarding events organised by the group and the ability to submit articles to a blog.
In addition, they wanted to send and manage newsletters and to have a system for managing registrations to the events they organise.
Because allowing the different categories of the user community to manage the content appropriate to their category is the basis to all of the activities of the group, the new web site was built around a content management system (CMS).
The newsletter operations are being managed on top of that system so that the staff don’t have to learn additional user interface, all the functions of the web site having an homogenous user experience. Additional changes were made to the system to allow the upload of large media files up to 100MB (long audio discourses and videos).
The multilingual aspect was another core requirements and the CMS was extended to allow seamless creation of content in both language and ensure that content that are translation of each other stay connected. It is flexible enough to also allow for translation-orphan content and for the creation of bilingual pieces of content.
The work on event registration had dual focus: for one, meditators should be able to find an event through multiple views, but more importantly, it should be easy for the staff to manage the processes, constraints and workload around the organisation of meditation retreats. After reviewing several commercial CMS extensions for event management, it turns out that none of them would provide a robust workflow suitable for donation-based retreats that streamline the workflow for both meditators and the organisers. So the resulting solution is form-based and custom-development based, but still built on top of the core CMS within an homogenous user experience.