HIER Opgewekt - knowledge platform for local sustainable energy initiatives

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The Case
Publishing / Media
Short introduction
HIER Opgewekt is a cooperation with the climate bureau Stichting HIER Klimaatbureau, the one and only climate bureau in the Netherlands. HIER Opgewekt asked us to help them out with the online strategy and development for their online knowledge platform. The knowledge platform is focused on local sustainable energy initiatives in the Netherlands.

The knowledge platform provides the target group with all kinds of information, such as organizational development, collaboration, business cases, membership recruitment, law and regulation, network connection and funding opportunities. And also knowledge files, blogs, downloads and upcoming events.

Launch date
HIER Opgewekt is the knowledge platform for local sustainable energy initiatives and basically everybody who has an interest in sustainable energy. Such as initiators, but also cooperation partners like municipalities, provinces, power suppliers, corporations, associations of owners, consultants and service providers. Even if you haven’t started your own local initiative but you do have the intention to do so, HIER Opgewekt will give you the inspiration, information, knowledge and sparring partners.

Their former platform was user experience gone wrong! Off course a knowledge platform has a lot of content, the biggest problem with their former platform was that it was very hard to find the right information as a visitor. The structure of the website was complex and not at all user friendly.
• HIER Opgewekt will be the authority when it comes to knowledge about energy initiatives
• Every local energy initiative is represented on the online platform
• Visitors must have knowledge of every meeting and event and they must register for them
• Visitors must be able to find any type of information that is relevant to them within 2/3 clicks. This includes documents, rapports and downloads.
The platform contains a lot of specific knowledge that HIER Opgewekt wants to share and spread as much as possible. That’s why we had a firm look at the on-site statistics.The website has been live for just two months now and we have seen the following results.

Per session we have a seen an increase of approximately 15% in the amount of pages that the visitors has looked at. The average session went from 2:44 to 3:02 minutes which is an increase of 10,5 %. We also noticed a drop in the bouncerate from 60% to 54%.
In conclusion we can say that the on-site statistics have improved.
Technical challenges
Besides the complex structure of the website that we had to take into account, we have also realized a connection with the backoffice. For this we used the jsonapi module from Drupal.org. The jsonapi module is used so that the backoffice can make an REST API call to get the list with the local initiatives and keep it up to date. We chose this solution because the climate bureau has more websites that need to be updated continuously.
Challenges in (combination of) modules
With all the knowledge articles it was a challenge to make the structure/sitemap manageable in Drupal 8. To make this happen we build an integration on the paragraphsmodule (https://www.drupal.org/project/paragraphs). With this integration we can add lanes to each contenttype.(https://www.drupal.org/node/2513234)
Contribution form the project to the Drupal-community
https://www.drupal.org/node/2858798 : We created a patch for this module to make Webforms compatible with Drupal 8.2.
https://www.drupal.org/project/bem : This module was created by us to:
• Prevent the need of overriding templates as much as possible.
• Provide BEM classes that are (hard)coded or refer to configuration (machine names), but never refer to content.
• Combine Drupal specific concepts into sensible BEM components (like the fields of a node when rendered in a specific view mode. For example .node-article-teaser and .node-article-teaser__image.
Name client
HIER Opgewekt
What does the client think about the project?
HIER Opgewekt was really in need of a new website. The biggest problem that was encountered on a daily basis by visitors that is was hard to find the right information. Pretty logical because the information was scattered around the website on different pages and also it wasn’t possible to search on the website.

Together with SWIS we thought of a new structure for the website. We went from 33 knowledge files to just 9. All of the existent content found a logical place in the new structure. The new HIER Opgewekt has been live for two months now and we have received loads of compliments. Visitors think and feel the website as being pleasant, competent and structured.

We always got a lot of questions from our visitors. But the questions we have received since the new website is launched are more substantively, what clearly shows that the visitor has reached the desired piece of information/content and that they now have more specific questions. This is really good news for us, this means we can focus on the things we are best at, sharing knowledge, to connect local energy initiatives and make them visible to others. We are the knowledge platform for local sustainable energy initiatives and we now can show this, offline and online.