The Risk Factory is a website that communicates the benefits of teaching safety to children and other vulnerable groups. It does this without giving too much away. A vital component is complex booking forms for the various facilities. An Edinburgh Council facility.
Tags:- Training,MODx,Database,Booking Management
Showing too much of the facility would spoil the surprise. The benefits are explained for the adults and teachers - so not a typical tourist type website. In addition, these activities (and meeting rooms in the same facility) require very large Forms. The Forms have many optional and mandatory fields. Errors filling in the forms need to be handled appropriately so mistakes can be rectified. Additionally, the completed forms need to be stored within the CMS management facility for later review and archiving when appropriate.
MODx is a CMS with permits efficient and effective development of complex websites. The design was inherited from a previous supplier but using a Custom CMS. The first requirement was to move the website to an Open Source CMS (MODx) and to replicate it as was for familiarity and to manage costs. MODx permits full freedom to design any solution you wish. It gets out of the developers way in ways that other CMSs' don't.
The next challenge was the creation of complex Forms. The Meeting Room booking form has over 40 criteria. Everything from contact details through to checkboxes for yes or no questions; radio buttons for either or options and text entry for comments etc. Mandatory fields require a block on the submit if the user has failed to complete something critical - with appropriate context sensitive information so they can recover from the error easily. And crucially, without having to enter all 40 fields again!
The booking forms send an email with all the details structured in a readable manner to the Risk Factory team. This reduces the complexity of integrating the website with the internal booking software. A further, highly effective cost saving, particularly as booking systems change occasionally which would require significant re-development work to re-integrate the systems.
In addition, the Booking Management holds all the forms in a Password Protected area of the website. From here staff can review forms, edit them if a change is required and archive or delete them. The form looks exactly the same on the Booking system as in the original Form. Simple and easy to learn. Edits enable Risk Factory Clients to phone or email changes without the need to cancel the booking and re-submit the substantial form. Archiving helps the staff to see which forms are yet to be processed, counts of un-handled forms of each type are listed.
Although not the prettiest design by today's standards the Risk Factory staff have a familiar system that is easy to use and meets their needs in a very cost effective manner.
The clients, school teachers and other companies have a lot of information to type in but the Forms are clear and provide hints when things are missed.
Complex integrations with other software applications would be great but would have been costly. Keeping it simple: works.