An unseen person inside a car holds a mobile phone showing the J.D. Power website. The steering wheel and dashboard area of the vehicle is visible in the background.

Promoting a Strategic Business Message with Drupal

Drupal Development / Front End Development / User Experience

For more than 50 years, J.D. Power has been providing consumer intelligence designed to help customers “buy smarter.” J.D. Power, a recognized global marketing information leader, captures the “Voice of the Consumer” through proprietary benchmarks and deep data. With 17 offices across the globe, J.D. Power measures and analyzes customer satisfaction, product performance, and consumer behavior that drive financial results for brands and businesses.

Challenge

J.D. Power looked to its website to communicate an important new brand message as part of McGraw Hill Financial’s strategy to market the J.D. Power business for sale. They wanted to highlight the fact that while automotive is a core industry for the company, its expertise spans many industries. With a focus on its US audience, J.D. Power needed a veteran Drupal engineering team capable of enhancing the US visitor experience without disrupting its global content.

An unseen person seated at a table or desk holds a mobile phone displaying the J.D. Power homepage

Solution

Oomph’s experience building on Drupal allowed us to develop a new theme framework for J.D. Power that would result in minimal changes to the site’s configuration for its many content types and Panels layouts from the previous design.

With a highly aggressive timeline, Oomph designed an iterative, two-phase approach that allowed for incremental releases—no need to wait for the full implementation before deployment.

In phase one, the Oomph team addressed the immediate need to update the homepage and landing pages by building static HTML pages served outside of Drupal. This approach allowed us to very quickly stand up temporary pages with approved designs, without needing to delay the rollout longer than necessary.

In phase two, as new designs were approved by J.D. Power, we began to untangle the Drupal architecture driving the old sites and map it to elements of the new design. We implemented the full design as a new, custom Drupal theme, which needed to be done without disturbing the site’s configuration or underlying architecture, since the same platform drives its global sites using a legacy theme.

Technical Notes

Our solution consisted of a completely new custom theme created to support J.D. Power’s new look and feel, which required carefully-crafted custom code to bypass the Panels system previously used to manage page layout. Deployment of the theme and all its components created to support it (which include custom Blocks and Views), was a challenge. We decided to use the Features module to package items stored in database configuration. As we went along, we were able to update some other out-of-date Features exports that already existed.

Results

Oomph worked with both J.D. Power and its branding agency to solve some difficult design and technical challenges without changing J.D. Power’s editorial process. Existing features and content fields behave as they did before the new theme was introduced. The new architecture and design now showcase a modern, global company that is involved in many industries in addition to automotive, and presents J.D. Power as a thought leader through a steady stream of press releases, insight articles, and case studies. The updated messaging and web experience was a core part of McGraw Hill Financial’s strategy to market the J.D. Power business for sale, and resulted in a successful acquisition by XIO Group.

Two full-page screenshots of the J.D. Power website.

Massive updates to a site’s look and feel can be challenging and time consuming. Careful planning and a phased approach allowed us to release changes in an iterative fashion starting with the homepage, which was completed in just four weeks.

ELLEN DIAMOND
Senior Digital Project Manager

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