Aviva is the UK’s largest Insurer. Working closely with the Technology and Services team Microserve has made significant changes to the way in which their Friends Life e-community site works.

The Problem

Aviva approached Microserve as they required the services of an expert in Drupal. They wished to make a number of enhancements to the Friends Life e-community website. The changes they wished to make were complex and required our unrivalled knowledge of the Drupal CMS. Firstly, to consult if the changes were possible, and secondly to implement the changes in the most cost effective way using best practices.

The Solution

We performed a thorough site audit which enabled us to determine where site improvements could be made, and presented back to the client our recommendations on how best to achieve the additional functionality they required.

Their existing website had been built with the Drupal Commons distribution, allowing them to build quickly and prove the e-community concept to internal stakeholders within a short time frame. Although there were a number of advantages to choosing this distribution early on, the site began to grow increasingly complex, and maintaining Drupal Commons whilst building new features was beginning to prove difficult.

Our skilful web developers restructured the site to remove the reliance on Drupal Commons, and added a number of additional features which amplified the existing functionality. One of the more complex features was providing each group’s admin with the ability to set their own group colour scheme according to their individual corporate brand. This ensured that users who logged in had the feeling they were logged into to their companies personalised environment.

Initially the site launched with 6 live groups, however this was expected to rise to 60 within a short time frame, with the total number of users predicted to grow to over 200,000 in the same period. Knowing this, soon after launch we embarked upon a period of load testing and performance analysis to ensure that no matter the user demand, the site would be able to cope with the increased traffic. Applying specialist tools and techniques to monitor bottlenecks we were able to pinpoint the transactions which put too much stress on the server and database. By identifying the root cause of any potential issue we were able to fix problems quickly and efficiently.

As well as re-engineering back-end functionality, our team completely rebuilt the websites theme. With the end user experience at the forefront of our re-build, we took a mobile first approach to ensure that the community users would have the very best experience whether they accessed the site on desktop, tablet or smartphone. The new mobile first theme removed a large amount of unnecessary complexity which existed in the legacy theme.