The main aims of the project were to deliver a multilingual, accessible, search engine friendly, user friendly and attractive user reference point for all information relating to Dublin Bus.
The new solution was to be deployed on an Enterprise Level CMS and EPiServer were selected as the chosen partner. The redesign came at a time when Dublin Bus – Ireland's largest public transport operator were finalizing a lengthy rebranding program which was to encompass all facets of the organization. The new website had to integrate seamlessly with this brand and respect its guidelines at all times.
The main aims of the project were to deliver a multilingual, accessible (platform and browser), search engine friendly, user friendly and attractive user reference point for all information relating to Dublin Bus.
The new website needed to include corporate information, journey planners, timetabling, route searches and special offers using banner management including rich media.
It was also vital that the delivered website was able to communicate with all existing systems for inhouse management and offline marketing. For example the new timetabling system built for the website CMS needed to be used as the central timetabling resource from which all timetable information would be distributed to print shops and inhouse staffing plans.
Biznet IIS created a series of exciting design templates and provided consultancy on generation of website structure and information architecture. When all of this work was finalized a custom deployment of the EPiServer CMS was built, enabling Dublin Bus staff to efficiently and easily create web content from standard pages, to news items, publications, situations vacant and most importantly journey planning and timetabling.
Ruth Moody, Web Content Executive with Dublin Bus comments, "EPiServer CMS has offered us flexibility and functionality that we simply couldn't have with our previous CMS. Some of the editing features such as in the On-Page Editing, side by side version comparison, Full Page View in edit mode and date specific publication really help us day to day. With the EPiServer Create package we can effectively repurpose our user interface in minutes which allows us to adapt quickly to user feedback and effectively promote ongoing sales and marketing initiatives."
Using EPiServer Create package would enable editors to take advantage of EPiServer Composer component for flexible creation of custom templates on an ongoing basis. It also offered the ability to create Flash presentations quickly and easily with the Interactive Scene element which would offer huge time and cost savings within the Dublin Bus Marketing and Information department. The availability of the EPiServer Mail Module was also a big advantage for outbound communications and analysis of marketing campaigns.
A key deliverable of this project was the development of a series of custom .NET applications which would facilitate the management of all Route & Timetable Information. This includes facilities for associating locations and routes for more user friendly search results. These custom components are accessed within the EPiServer Admin area with icon driven interface.
Following the successful delivery of the route and timetable management system, it became apparent that this system was more user friendly, robust and scalable than the existing timetabling system used by Dublin Bus for all offline/online timetable generation. Therefore, it was decided that all timetable management would be managed within EPiServer CMS and this would serve as a data hub for all customer information.
An example of this is the tight integration achieved between EPiServer CMS and Adobe InDesign. Complex data structures within each timetable are exported via XML on request. This XML data is then merged with custom In Design scripts to create on street timetabling materials with minimal user intervention.
Paul McDaid Graphic Designer with Dublin Bus states "The new system offers a sophisticated level of automation. Following the amendment of timetable information within EPiServer users can simply pick up the most recent timetable data, import to InDesign and publish safe in the knowledge that all data in the final information Carrier is correct and up to date. The time savings in proofing and data entry achieved allow us to more effectively us our time to manage the quality of our information as opposed to spending time on proofing and data entry. This could typically range from five to 10 hours collectively saved per timetable edit!"
In Ireland, Dublin Bus is the largest public transport operator, providing transport in the Greater Dublin Area, operating over 1,100 buses on over 150 routes.
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