Acercando Naciones is an organization in Argentina whose main focus is diplomacy and the generation of spaces to access privileged knowledge.
They have a news site that brings together articles on diplomacy, culture and business in Argentina and the world.
Like any company, many times, the growth of it causes to lose focus.
Their website was a true reflection of this, they felt that they had lost their identity and that they needed to recover it.
That is how they contacted us asking for a complete redesign of their site with a focus more oriented to the news of diplomacy.
First we had to understand their work process, that way we could close a model, and understand the flaws in it.
Their site was a WordPress with a purchased theme, this was the product of a previous redesign with another Digital Agency a few years ago.
This is a screenshot of how their site used to be:
The screenshot was taken from wayback machine.
After understanding the failures we made a series of technical decisions in this regard that were the following ones:
As mentioned above, we decided to move from Neolo, to Digital Ocean, we had to define how much the infrastructure would cost monthly.
Currently in Neolo, they paid annually for a single machine that exposed everything to the internet about 12 thousand Argentine pesos.
It was defined that we were going to use the following Digital Ocean products:
We end up closing the infrastructure at a cost of 40 dollars per month.
Annually they would be about paying 480 dollars, translated into Argentine pesos having 1 dollar at the value of 38 Argentine pesos, the annual cost would be 18 thousand Argentine pesos.
In the meetings that we faced, it was decided to keep the same color palette, but to use it in a way that doesn’t highlight colors so much over content, which was one of the problems they had with the previous design.
We defined that we were going to continue Material Design as a design specification for the new site. Obviously we weren’t going to follow such a purist implementation, but we were going to leave our mark on the redesign.
Here you can see some screenshots of the final redesign:
As expected, after the redesign was finished, we started to plan how the development process was going to be.
In general, we handle all our developments through agile methodologies. Silvana Rojo, our PM, and I were in charge of defining the scope of development.
Our idea was to be able to close an MVP that contemplates the functionalities that they wanted, and that in turn gave us the adequate time to achieve it.
After the planning, we had defined 12 sprints of two weeks each. The first sprint was more associated with technical definitions on my part, documentation, structure of repositories, infrastructure and pipelines development. The other sprints were 100 percent oriented towards developing components and features.
At the end of each sprint we exposed the progress of the development with the people of Acercando Naciones so that they could give us feedback, and in turn they also helped us to find bugs.
After 6 months of feature development, iterations, and bug resolutions, we were able to close our MVP.
It was time to get into production after arduous months of work. Before reaching production, we had to make a migration of the WordPress content that they had in their infrastructure, to the WordPress of the new infrastructure that we had developed for them.
We worked for 2 weeks more to close the migration of the articles and their adaptation to the new content editor.
We migrated a total of 17,000 articles, and 8,000 of them were turned into Gutenberg content. Unfortunately this process of converting the articles to Gutenberg had to be manual.
Once the migration was finished, we take out the new site on a Saturday at midnight, we decided to go for a weekend because it was the time when there was less traffic. The exact date was Saturday, November 12.
As expected, there are always things we learn after having made a project together, in our case, some of the shortcomings were related to planning and how we spent time on tasks, we had more loaded sprints and others less loaded. But hey, the important thing is to learn and grow.
Despite these by minors, we arrived with the dates and the development that we did leave us happy, not only to us, but also to the entire Acercando Naciones team.
Getting a customer to be happy with a product developed, in general, is something difficult to achieve. We believe that we are going in a good direction.
We invite you to see the site we develop here.