Accessible, Engaging Data
The National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP) is a data-driven organization for drug court professionals. Research is the lifeblood of the organization. The NADCP regularly publishes cutting-edge, research-based materials, including the groundbreaking Adult Drug Court Best Practice Standards that members use in efforts to improve the response of the American justice system to people with substance use issues and mental health disorders.
The NADCP had the vision to provide members and stakeholders trouble-free access to this valuable information and research. The vehicle for this vision is the association's Annals of Research and Knowledge (ARK), and they turned to Unleashed to bring the concept to life.
Intuitive 3D Modeling
Previously, the NADCP's ARK was run the antiquated site, making it difficult to navigate and even more arduous to search for specific information.
The NADCP’s objective was to create a website providing users with data and information through an engaging and innovative three-dimensional (3D) modeling that would create the foundation for an intuitive searchable online database of evidence-based programs in the criminal justice system. The NADCP quickly realized that finding the right partner to realize this vision would not be easy.
While other digital firms struggled with the NADCP's concept or failed to understand how to execute it, the Unleashed team tackled the project with enthusiasm and energy, quickly grasping the idea and developing a solid plan to meet the association's goals.
Bringing A Concept to Life
The NADCP team created a design concept comprised of a 3D cube broken up into cornered sections that were designated based on level of risk and needs. Within each corner of the cube, there would be additional sections to further identify the research the user was looking for before the user could explore program types and research around the impact of those programs.
The challenge was to make it truly interactive and visually engaging, but also a technical reality. By collaborating with the Unleashed design team, the NADCP was able to take its vision and turn it into a workable mockup for the Unleashed development team to build upon.
With the visualization in hand, the Unleashed developers created a site foundation using Drupal 8 to provide a robust technological base to manage data, easily update, and evolve to meet security and performance requirements. Additionally, Drupal 8 can seamlessly upgrade to Drupal 9 and other future iterations of the open-source content management system (CMS), allowing the NADCP to avoid costly and onerous rebuilds when a CMS reaches the end of life and is no longer supported by the open-source community.
Though there were challenges to resolve this innovative application for dense research, the Unleashed design team was able to find creative ways to integrate a React front-end seamlessly with Drupal and deliver a unique solution to the client.
Transforming Access to Vital Research
The result is a transformational research site that allows users to search and engage with a 3D cube—by clicking or using a mouse to rotate the cube—to navigate various programs for assisting at-risk users throughout the treatment and (if applicable) legal processes.
Before launch and shortly after, usability studies revealed that the new approach offered the NADCP's users an exciting departure from the cumbersome previous format that many had grown accustomed to. In a world of dense and monotonous research websites, the ARK cube provides a new path for providing users with critical information.
Unleashed impressed us with their grasp of what we wanted. We gave them a lot of leeway in terms of design, and they advised us in terms of best or better practices.”
Senior Science Consultant
National Association of Drug Court Professionals
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