Elevating Clean Air Innovations

CARB logo

 

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has emerged as a national and global leader in protecting the public from the effects of air pollution — from developing requirements for super-clean and zero-emissions vehicles, to adopting pioneering solutions to address climate change.

To help mark its 50th anniversary, Forum One worked with CARB in 2017 to redesign the arb.ca.gov website in Drupal 8. We streamlined the site’s content structure and unified its visual identity to better serve CARB’s large and varied sets of audiences and content managers with a flexible, cohesive, and friendly experience.

 

Getting a Clear View from the Top

The CARB websites receive more than 1 million page views per month, from a wide range of audiences. To understand audience needs and establish a common vision for the redesign across CARB’s multiple divisions and 200+ specialized programs, our UX and design teams conducted more than 40 interviews and discovery meetings with stakeholders.

With over 200,000 pages of content to redesign and reimagine, Forum One worked with the CARB team to prioritize the key areas to target first. Starting with a manageable set of the most important and most-used content, we worked with the agency on comprehensive discovery and strategy activities to establish a new design vision, information architecture, technical platform, hosting environment, and content governance system that CARB is now extending sitewide in a phased approach.

Crafting a Fresh Content Strategy

We simplified the site’s content strategy and taxonomy to focus on new Topics and Programs pages that centralize related resources, simplifying the experience of navigating through complex technical or regulatory content to help both general audiences and specialized audience groups quickly and easily find the information they need.

Creating a Unified Design System

Starting with the California State Template design guidelines, we customized a design system for the CARB website that extends the agency’s modernized brand, and includes a new logo that the CARB team designed. We applied this design system to create and refine more than a dozen initial content types and page layouts for key site sections. Using Pattern Lab, our front-end developers were able to efficiently code and customize on-brand, cohesive design components for each site section.

Leading the Way with Drupal 8 Technology

Forum One worked closely with CARB’s Information Technology and Communications teams to architect, build, and test the site in Drupal 8, taking advantage of the platform’s cutting edge capabilities to improve content management and presentation. Using the Paragraphs module, we designed a flexible system of reusable components and content types that CARB’s web authors can select and customize to their needs. To serve users during the phased site updates, we built an integrated search solution using Apache Nutch and Solr that seamlessly searches content across both the new and legacy sites.

CARB hosts and maintains their sites in-house, and so Forum One’s technical team worked closely with their systems administrators to architect the environment and train their team on best practices for large-scale Drupal systems maintenance, performance, and deployment.

Clear Skies Ahead

CARB launched the new site in September 2017, connecting local and global audiences with sound data, actionable resources, and the latest innovations in air quality and effective environmental policy. Forum One is continuing its work with CARB on developing additional new content types and layouts, and migrating all programs into this new, dynamic, and future-ready system.