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Science Learning Centres



Science Learning Centres are a national network for professional development in science teaching. One of the main functions of the organisation is their online portal allowing science teachers to locate and book training courses. The portal also provides a wide range of related and supporting information, including resources which can be downloaded and contributed (uploaded) by users of the portal. However, the existing (legacy) portal system was proving inflexible for evolving requirements, and numerous concerns had been raised about usability. Maintenance costs were also becoming unsustainably high.


Netsight were commissioned to extend and enhance the portal system with the goal of providing a more engaging, flexible and cost-effective site. The project was based upon the findings of a large-scale study of the effectiveness of the existing system (which included usability studies and interviews with users).


The enhancements included a ground-up rethink of the visual design and information architecture of the site, resulting in an entirely new front-end:

  • Leveraged existing portal content, functions and infrastructure
  • Implemented new design, branding and information architecture throughout, improving usability, accessibility and search engine performance
  • New search interfaces for courses and events (re-using existing booking systems)
  • Full CMS (Plone) integrated into site alongside legacy portal system
  • New search facility capable of locating content across both new and old systems
  • Single Sign On authentication across both new and old systems, ready to be extended across additional systems (such as VLEs) in the future