Ecology Center

For this project, we used:

  • ■ Drupal


As part of their recent rebranding, the Ecology Center wanted their family of web sites to share a common look and feel. This included HealthyStuff, a web site and database of everyday consumer products and the chemicals in them. The Ecology Center uses the Drupal Content Management System to host its site, so it made sense to migrate the HealthyStuff site and database into Drupal and host all of their sites within a common framework.

HealthyStuff staff also wanted to expand the HealthyStuff framework to act as a hub for test result submissions from their network of partners. Data could then be shared between collaborating researchers and analyzed before being made public. The hub would require authentication based on user affiliation, an import/export system, support of a myriad of different product types and attributes, and sample tracking across institutions.

The XRF machine at the Ecology Center.


Challenges on this project included

Managing and integrating a Drupal migration of HealthyStuff, including theming, administrative interfaces, and the database, with a re-design and re-implementation of the main Ecology Center web site.

Designing and creating Drupal interfaces for the Ecology Center staff to manage their own HealthyStuff samples, reports, studies, test methods, rating methodologies, and scoring.

Creating a HealthyStuff Research Hub for the Ecology Center’s research collaborators that supports authentication based on affiliation, a wide range of sample types, and sample tracking between institutions.

A sample from the HealthyStuff website.

Solution and Results

The HealthyStuff migration went through extensive initial discovery, wireframing, and prototype phases, with input from Ecology Center staff and collaborators. Interfaces were created for sample, report, study, test method, and ratings methodology management. After many iterations, designs were finalized and implemented. Features for the hub were also added to the site, including affiliation-based access, sample tracking, and an import/export system.

HealthyStuff is now implemented in Drupal and integrated with the main Ecology Center web site. Ecology Center Staff have the ability to manage their own HealthyStuff samples, reports, studies, test methods, rating methodologies, and scoring. They also have a centralized hub and data repository to facilitate collaboration with other institutions and individuals on sample testing.