After 15 years, the website of the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN) with its immeasurable wealth of content appears in a new guise: modernised look & feel, well-structured layout, up-to-date search function, barrier-free according to BITV 2.0 and future-proof system architecture.
The BfN, the federal government's scientific agency for nature conservation and landscape management, is part of the portfolio of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV).
The website www.bfn.de offers comprehensive information on nature conservation that has been developed over many years. SIRUP was awarded the contract for the relaunch in the tender pitch and thus took over the entire process as the entrusted digital agency: the content strategy, conception, creation, technical implementation as well as content migration of the website and satellite pages.
Migration of content
The content-heavy website is aimed at scientists, conservationists, political decision-makers and, last but not least, committed citizens. The availability of content down to the smallest scientific detail characterises the BfN website - and means above all: a good and comprehensible website structure is particularly essential here.
Part of the assignment "Relaunch of the BfN website / migration of content" was therefore a content audit even before the conception and design process: a complete review of all content, content types and content forms. In 8 workshops with the different departments of the BfN (full-day and remote) we restructured and clustered the content. In doing so, we were able to meet two demands: to make the web offer easy to grasp for users interested in nature conservation despite the high complexity of the content, and at the same time to reduce the amount of work and maintenance for the editors.
On the basis of this newly found site structure and the UX concept based on it, the creative team at SIRUP developed a user-friendly UI design that allows even complex and extensive content to be presented in an accessible and responsive manner. The focus was particularly on accessibility according to BITV 2.0: high-contrast colours, the hierarchical structure of pages, labelling of content elements and good readability by screen readers.
Editorial work: Extensive role and rights system
The technical implementation of the website on the basis of the content management system Drupal was characterised by numerous structured content types, such as publications, projects or species profiles, which ensure a uniform appearance and can be conveniently filtered on overview pages. The clustering of content was also a leading factor in planning the migration, whereby the content from the old system was transferred to the new system in an orderly manner - partly programmatically, partly manually.
The editorial work of the technical editors and final editors is subject to a comprehensive approval process. Content is created in draft form, submitted for approval with e-mail notification and either published, rejected or made available for external bodies to view. When implementing bilingualism, the different needs of the language versions were taken into account: not all content was already available in English at launch. When creating translations, page sections and components can be hidden, allowing more editorial freedom in the construction of the English version of the website.
Most of the BfN's events take place at the International Academy for Nature Conservation on the island of Vilm, a unique nature reserve off the southern coast of Rügen. Via an interface to the seminar management software, events are automatically created in Drupal and the registrations including room reservations and catering requests are transferred.
Website of the National Monitoring Centre for Biodiversity
In parallel, we developed the website of the National Monitoring Centre for Biodiversity (NMZB) in Leipzig, which is based on the concept, design and technical implementation of the BfN website and was launched in time for the opening of the NMZB. The outsourcing and abstraction of individual Drupal modules into this instance and the adoption of already developed page types pay off on our concept for multi-client capability of Drupal system architectures.
With the relaunch of the website, the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation is ready for the next steps in digitisation. SIRUP is looking forward to the next joint projects with the enforcement authority and the continuation of the trusting cooperation.