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Web Portal and Document Management Library
Diarrheal disease is the second-leading killer of children under five, responsible for 1.5 million child deaths annually. Despite substantial gains with effective interventions in the 1980s and 1990s, severe dehydration due to diarrhea continues to threaten too many children’s lives, particularly in the developing world. Simple, available, and proven tools are available to help fight it, and Trellon was tasked with creating a site to showcase information about interventions, therapies, and other ways of controlling the disease.


Despite the dire consequences of diarrheal disease, people will naturally avoid anything dealing with poop. The major challenge for this site was to retain users once they have grasped the subject. We approached this as a design challenge, and realized that the content and the interface needed to be sophisticated enough to keep the attention of a hesitant audience. Secondly, much of the subject matter surrounding diarrheal disease is presented in visual forms. We needed to create a site with great support for media and social sharing, where the audience could participate in getting the word out.

Trellon was tasked with creating a site that achieved the following.

  1. Create a compelling UI with dynamic interfaces.
  2. Tell a story through the use of video, images and research.
  3. Be sincere, and provide an authoritative resource that tells a meaningful story.
  4. Use Drupal, and make the most out of the platform.


Trellon provided development services as part of this engagement. Working with a third party designer, we created a site that showcases it's content effectively and provides tools for managing information in the most efficient manner possible.

AJAX Interfaces

As part of our focus on the user interface, our team created a site featuring an AJAX interface, capable of loading content without full page reloads. These interfaces dynamically load content based on user actions, without needing to make a round trip to the server every time. Every page in the site can be called as a JSON document, and we created custom controllers for displaying content within the general layout of the site.

This was no trivial task. Preserving the functionality of the underlying content management system while allowing content to be called up via AJAX created some serious design challenges. Additionally, much of the content contains related information, such as videos, photos, links to additional content, menu items, tags and the like. Ensuring this all worked together properly meant creating custom caches in Drupal to prevent performance problems.

Our team created a structured method for calling content that embeds information along with collateral content into each page. We targeted specific elements of the design in our work to ensure the right information appears at the right time.

Document Library

The DefeatDD site presents a large body of information related to diarrheal disease. This includes publications describing current efforts to fight it, along with toolkits for advocates and a ton of photos and videos people can use in their own work. Content is organized around specific actions the audience can take, and structured so that it's easy to get facts quickly.

The entire site acts as one large document library. Information can be searched and filtered through the search tool, and the top-level navigation guides users through the structure of content. Sub-navigation in each section allows people to understand related information, creating a natural way to get informed, understand how to advocate around treatments, and get more information about efforts going on in specific countries.

Blogs and Media

This site uses storytelling as a tool for fighting a disease. The way it does that is through the captivating stories it presents about worldwide efforts towards addressing the problem, and sharing the experiences of people affected through effective use of videos and social media.

Videos and images are a key part of how the organization tells the story about the efforts to fight the disease. The site features photos and videos inline with most content, along with dedicated sections that list all the multimedia content available from the site. These give the site an impact that goes beyond what could be achieved with words alone.

The site features a number of tools for sharing information in people's own social networks. The site is connected with Twitter and includes prominent links to social media channels that provide updates on the latest news. This lets the audience become instant advocates for the issue and increases the reach of the site.