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A CMS Migration with an Added Design Audit: The Best of Both Worlds

Website migration takes time, patience, and good communication. To be efficient while migrating Mechanics Bank to Optimizely, Blend also highlighted areas where design could be improved. 

Client

  • Mechanics Bank

Some call it a CMS migration. Some call it a “lift-and-shift.” Regardless, a site migration from one system to another often happens behind the scenes, with a busy team of developers in the back-end code.

And sometimes, the site migration is used as an excuse to make some much-needed design changes. In the case of Mechanics Bank —  a California institution for over a century — we were excited to help them swap the back-end and freshen up the front.

First, Blend worked with Mechanics to review and audit its overall site design. Our design audit process began with a performance and accessibility audit that identified problem areas for those who use assistive devices, as well as troublesome front-end issues. Through this, Blend was able to find areas of improvement for the future site.

Then, with these fixes in mind, Blend’s design team worked with Mechanics to inventory the full set of design elements across the site to help create consistency and align design with the new content model within Optimizely. This included a prioritized list of design updates, from increasing spacing for mobile optimization to consolidating content into a distinct set of blocks.

While a simple refresh often results in more of a subtle transition from the current to the new, our more detailed content audit gave Mechanics a chance to turn a traditional refresh into something a bit more impactful.

Then, the work of migrating began. A large-scale content management system migration begins where a design audit leaves off: by understanding the scope of the content model and how it will be recreated, updated, and improved in the new CMS.

Adapting the model from Mechanics’ existing Dot Net Nuke to Optimizely, Blend moved the site to Optimizely’s Cloud hosting option, helping ensure more consistency regarding downtime and support. Out-of-the-box Dot Net Nuke components were redeveloped within Optimizely, with performance and editorial ease of use in mind.

Most “lift-and-shift” projects result in an improvement in back-end functionality without the splash of a design update. But, while Mechanics was able to preserve the existing content structure while benefitting from improved performance, they also got the added benefit of what amounts to a design renovation. In other words, a CMS migration project that provides the best of both worlds.

Project Results:

  • Migration of the full site from Dot Net Nuke to Optimizely
  • Enhancements to site design to help maximize the benefits of a new CMS
  • A full performance and accessibility review to help prepare the site for all audiences and situations

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