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Memory and Identity of Minho Valley in an accessible website for all

In the inclusion era, Grow Under and ACER bet on accessibility as a strong asset of the website that shows the "Identity and Memory" of Minho to the world.

Grow Under assumed the remodelling of the Regional Studies and Cultural Association’s (ACER) new website - This webpage aims to reveal the natural, social, environmental and historical top points of interest of five municipalities of the Minho Valley. A challenging project due to its magnitude, either because of the big amount of content, either because of the Public Interest of its information.

A case study that shows the increasing importance of making relevant data accessible for all.


The project and its Public Interest

ACER´s project, "Minho Valley. Space, Memory and Identity", constitutes itself as an inventory of the Cultural and Natural Heritage of Melgaço, Monção, Paredes de Coura, Valença and Vila Nova de Cerveira.

The intensive survey that was pursued in this High Minho localities originated 550 characterizing sheets and 1100 digital images, including Environmental Heritage (reservations, gardens, natural parks), Material Heritage (cruises, ovens, Pelourinhos, aqueducts), Urban and Rural Sets, Intangible Heritage (arts and crafts, gastronomy, legends), fairs, festivals, pilgrimages and regional costumes.

So we are talking about a project whose mission is to disseminate historical, geographical, environmental and social data of inestimable value.


The mission

ACER wanted to update the website in order to facilitate the access to such valuable information and of Public Utility. The idea was to create a new webpage with a tool of consultation of the long drawn up survey.

To improve usability and make access to the website data faster, research improvements needed to be made in order to allow detailed and concrete searches on the basis of the inventoried elements, their location and type.

Georeferencing was another requirement demanded by ACER to allow the inventoried items mapping.

The web page should also allow its administrators and editors an easy and fast content management in a system that, at the same time, could "withstand" such a large number of elements. Basically, a professional and agile website.


An accessible site for all

Grow Under started the project with the certainty that it was imperative to bet on a website accessible to all users without exception, including older people and with greater difficulties in vision. A way to increase the number of people who can visit it, thinking about the growing number of elderly people living in Portugal and in the European Union in general.

Therefore, we presented a solution that respects the Accessibility Rules in terms of colours, contrasts and visual elements, including tools to set the desired colour contrast type with the intention of improving the reading, accordingly with the users´ limitations and/or difficulties.

We also included in the website, tools to increase or decrease the text and to define the page width, not only fulfilling the purpose of making it more accessible to people with difficulties of vision, but also aware that this stance serves the principle of the Universality of the Internet, making it easier to use for all.

Creating an accessible site is likewise a way to anticipate future laws in an area that tendentially, aims to make the accessibility mandatory, especially in public agencies´ webpages. And it is obviously, a way to expand the visitors´ potential audience.


Do you need an accessible website? We can present you with a customized solution tailored to your project.


Georeferencing and detailed search in a Joomla CMS

ACER´s website renovation went through the creation of specific content pages for each element of the inventory - in practice, we had to create about 500 articles about each monument or point of interest highlighted in the project "Minho Valley. Space, Memory and Identity".

We created a focal point on the map for all items with the respective georeferencing coordinates. Thus, it is possible to search and access to this information immediately from the map and it is also possible to quickly filter all elements by geographical area, by typology or by nominative search.

Grow Under has set up a custom layout to meet ACER´s project needs and specificities, betting on using Joomla CMS (Content Management System). This platform allows all the content management in an easy and quick manner and, moreover, guarantees good security levels.

Joomla is a robust Content Management System which proved to be ideal to host the huge number of content on the ACER website. And it is also a CMS where Grow Under moves like "a fish in the water" due to the excellent skills it has in this domain, with experience and guarantees of agility and safety.

And how it is usual in Grow Under´s projects, it is a responsive website suitable for use in the various existing devices, from computers to mobile phones or tablets, without losing the disseminated information quality.