The Challenge 

The Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) website receives approximately 10 million page visits every year, making it a vital communications vehicle to provide transportation information to the public. In 2010, under a mandate to provide quicker and easier access to Nevada transportation information, the NDOT Information Services group joined forces with the NDOT Public Information Office with a goal to completely redesign the website. WSOL was selected to redesign and rebuild the website using the Ektron CMS platform. 

The biggest challenge with the Nevada Department of Transportation site was to take all of the existing content, which existed in individual page templates as opposed to within a CMS, and migrate it into a new framework. With a large percentage of site users accessing traffic and road conditions, we knew that we would have to come up with an elegant solution that would take into consideration all users regardless of how, when, or where they were accessing the site. 

The Solution 

Research and Discovery - We began this project with several intensive days of design workshops and stakeholder interviews to gather the core functionality requirements and gain a better understanding of the site’s users and authoring groups. WSOL and NDOT worked closely to create a new site architecture – one that took into consideration the ways that their audience might be looking for information, as opposed to one that mirrored the internal organizational structure. 

Interface Design – The design approach taken by the Design team was to try and convey the sense of openness and adventure of the open road (a theme found throughout Nevada’s extensive highway system), balanced with a modern, intuitive layout to match NDOT’s professionalism and its mission to serve the public. Design comps were created, and we worked with the NDOT team to revise and refine the selected design. 

Front-End Development – In order to meet the needs of users accessing the website from a variety of devices (desktops, tablets, smart phones, etc.), we crafted a layout capable of adapting to both large and small screens. The responsive design is optimized to take into account touch interactions and the constraints of a smaller viewable area while adapting for a more complex and content-rich display on larger screens. 

Back-End Development and CMS Implementation – The Ektron CMS platform was utilized to provide the overall framework for the site. Our development team utilized the innovative WSOL SuperTemplate, which provides the most flexible and robust template solution for Ektron-driven sites. 

Content Strategy and Migration – With nearly 2,000 unique pieces of content in what was essentially a static website, content migration into the new CMS was of key importance. Our content strategists developed an information architecture based on the research and data gathered in Discovery and implemented a migration plan to review, modify, and publish each piece of content. Anew permissions-based workflow process was created for the diverse team of content authors contributing content on a daily basis. 

Hosting – In order to meet the usage demands and high-availability requirements of NDOT, a three-tier load-balanced solution utilizing the Ektron eSync utility was designed and deployed in the WSOL data center. A disaster recovery failover site was deployed in our secondary data center. With its adaptive layout, emergency alert system, and numerous other features, the new NDOT site connects truckers, travelers, and contractors with the information they matter where they are. 

This video vignette features a first hand account of the project’s background, process, and successful implementation.

The improvement to the NDOT website is like night and day. My initial impression is really great and it's much easier to find information.

—Sherri McGee,IS Project Manager, Nevada Department of Transportation