Yesterday, I wrote about the all important design phase of the project to re-invent the user experience of our toolkits.  Today, it’s a final note to describe what was involved in getting the designs on the page to a working site.

So, we’ve got our beautiful new design backed up by a healthy dose of user testing and feedback. What’s next? Well, for most people it’s the boring part. For the developers and designers, it’s where the work really begins.

GoodPractice is built on the enthusiasm and experience of our people, but behind the scenes there’s a hidden partner that helps us in much of what we do. Helix is our technology platform, which runs all our sites from a secret location in London. Together with our development partners at Storm ID, we use Helix to create all our client solutions and manage our products. In order to revamp our toolkits whilst still maintaining the existing ones, we needed to give Helix a shot in the arm to make it bigger, faster and stronger.

Development work started in September and was initially carried out in the administration section of the platform. New classes were defined, objects created and properties tweaked. Over the course of the last few months there have been dozens of staging deployments, and the teams at Storm ID and at GoodPractice have been building, testing, feeding back and iterating up until the point where we were all happy that it was ready to be released into the wild.

Our existing clients won’t see any difference yet, but behind the scenes there’s a new, improved server set up along with the software improvements that will enable us to deliver our improved toolkits.

The journey never ends

We’re delighted to be unveiling our new look toolkits at the CIPD HRD Exhibition tomorrow, but we’re keen to also highlight that this is just the continuation of the journey that we’ve been on ever since GoodPractice was founded. We’ve already got a list of improvements that we’re going to make to our platform to make it even better, and we’re open to any and all ideas that our clients have for what they’d like to see next.

We’re planning to carry out some additional usability testing in the next few months so we can keep polishing the final product, so watch this space!

We hope to see you on the 21st or 22nd at Stand 471 at HRD 2010, Olympia London.

Other posts in this series

This is the fourth and final post in a series describing how we approached the redesign of our online toolkits for managers and leaders. The previous posts were:

1: Re-inventing the GoodPractice User Experience

2: User Experience: Planning and Requirements

3: User Experience: Design