Office of Naval Research (ONR)
The Office of Naval Research (ONR) Office of Naval Research (navy.mil) has been a pioneer in the development of science and technology since 1946: investing in the earliest computers, spearheading deep sea explorations, even cultivating groundbreaking efforts in solid-state electronics.
Mobomo provides development, operations, and maintenance services for the Mental Health Checkup mobile application that supports measurement-based care for Veterans with mental health conditions. The mobile solution enables Veterans to complete assessments on a regular basis, without having to use clinic visit time and clinician resources to administer the tests or enter the data. The app leverages the VA Enterprise Cloud (VAEC) and a modern microservices framework used for over 40 mobile applications. Technologies include Docker, Kubernetes, JAVA, Bootstrap, and a CI/CD pipeline that includes full automation of infrastructure-as-code, test-driven-development, security scans, and automated deployments using Jenkins and Fortify in a secure AWS / Azure cloud environment.
In assessing the desired outcomes for the site redesign, the stakeholders within ONR set forth the following requirements:
- Showcase organizational information to the general public and in compliance with U.S. Government and DoD regulations
- Serve as an authoritative and concise reference for Congressional staffs, budget authorizers, and naval leadership
- Enhance ONR’s reputation to recruit scientists and engineers to the U.S. Navy and Naval Research Enterprise
- Highlight ONR’s research focus areas for scientists and engineers who may wish to work with the Navy
- Provide critical information about how individual stakeholders can do business with ONR
- Amplify ONR funding opportunities and business opportunities
ONR’s website modernization began October 18, 2021, and was organized into 5 distinct phases over 35 weeks, with a proposed launch date of May 18, 2022. Mobomo’s Project Management Office teamed with the Product Owner and Office of Information Technology within ONR to ensure that each milestone within the 6 phases were completed on time and in accordance with the schedule
Look, Feel and the User Experience
Achieving a consistent look and feel to the ONR website was important to the internal stakeholders. Additionally, as a result of the traffic analysis we performed, it became very apparent that they needed the ability to move toward a “mobile-first” design. The Mobomo design team worked closely with the Design and Content team throughout the initial design phase, ensuring the client’s desired functionality matched the desired aesthetic, aligning the new branding with the Naval Research Office’s current strategic plan, improving the information architecture, conforming to USWDS standards, and increasing the appeal and impact of all visual design/development.
As functionality changed later in the project, the team custom-crafted solutions that achieved the project objectives and exceeded ONR stakeholders’ expectations. The design team’s use of Mobomo’s CMMI Dev Level 3 governance model IMPACT™ was critical to the successful design, development, migration, and launch of the final product. Additionally, the copious communication methods that are standard within Mobomo’s project teams created a level of transparency between ONR and Mobomo that enabled everyone to function at high levels within their project roles. Jira was used to manage and assign tickets for the project. Mobomo worked with ONR to develop clear acceptance criteria, assisting in the successful completion of tickets. Mobomo set up slack channels for the ONR Design and Content team and the ONR Technical and Security team to expedite communications effectively for all team members. Email continued to be the main tool for effective communication with larger groups regarding, meetings, agendas, outcomes, and follow-up activities.
Web Accessibility Standards.
In accordance with the contract requirements, we developed a selection of design prototypes following the United States Web Design System (USWDS) and partnered with the Product Owner’s Design and Content Team to determine the most advantageous option for mobile and web applications. Once the branding/design was selected, we began working with the Product Owner to incorporate graphics, create tools that enhanced the users’ experience, ensure accessibility across multiple platforms (laptop, mobile, etc.), and ease of use.
Navigation / Search Capabilities
Faceted search capability was one of the components within ONR’s scope of work, however the legacy site had been equipped with Boolean search capabilities and an internal ONR communication disconnect had eliminated the Boolean search tool from the project scope. Recognizing the value ONR’s Product Owner placed on this feature, we stretched the project scope to include the Boolean search capabilities for the new site.
The migration plan was divided into four (4) phases: Discovery, Extraction, Transformation, and Load (with the Discovery Phase continuing throughout all migration phases). The Discovery Phase was used to investigate methods of access, methods of extraction, format of extractions, identify content/media types, estimate the time of extractions, safe storage methods, and determine the feasibility of continuous imports. During this phase, we determined how to identify which content and media should be targeted for the migration, the feasibility of partial migrations (consisting of new content and updates to existing content), the feasibility of full migrations (consisting of desired content), as well as storage and handling instructions (to ensure adherence to security guidelines). The Extraction Phase commenced once we determined the preferred method during Discovery and was a gradual process in which we focused on one content type at a time. This was done to ensure that all necessary fields were exported, and their export values matched the source values – and if there was discord between these, we were able to custom develop scripts for performing the extraction
Only when all content type extractions were validated could Phase 3 begin. The data was transformed into a Drupal-compatible set of fields, which were split, combined, or otherwise altered to ensure that they aligned with the final Drupal destination content types.
Depending on the size, complexity and necessary list of transformation or custom scripts required, the Drupal Migration module was used to store the necessary list of transformation or custom scripts. Again, this was a gradual process in which we ensured that all necessary fields were transformed, and their values matched the source values. Using the Phase 3 transformed output, we imported all data into its final Drupal form and completed the load, achieving 100% data integrity/migration with minimal disruption to the operability of the site because of our 1-1 mapping of all existing content, and preservation of the pre-existing URLs.
Simplified Site Architecture
ONR was using Sitecore, and they did not want to drastically change their Information Architecture, but what they were very interested in was streamlining and simplifying their workflows. An example of one of the ways in which we accomplished this for them was by simplifying their content types. Previously, they had 6 content types from which to choose. This was very cumbersome for content editors. We consolidated these 6 content types into two, which exponentially expedited their process.
We completed pre-launch project phases by the scheduled deadline of May 18. The ONR site launch was delayed until May 27 due to the customer’s constraints, but the success of the launch is apparent given the following email that we received from the ONR Director: “Team, let me congratulate you for transforming our 14-year-old public website to the modern marketplace. You made the work and work processes the keys to achieving the results we now see today on our devices-tablet, phone, and computer. Thank you for leapfrogging us into the future. I look forward to your continuous problem solving and innovation so that ONR stays on the cutting-edge sharing information via our website. Well done!”
Mobomo, LLC is an organization that carefully selects the clients with whom we work. We THINK BIG, we MOVE FAST, and we BUILD WORK WE BELIEVE IN.
We are proud of the ways in which we helped the Office of Naval research achieve their goals for modernizing how they interface within their ecosystem, and we are honored that they selected us as their partner in moving their organization into the future.
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