Morpht turns nine
It was nine years ago that the formalities of Morpht’s incorporation were concluded - 16th March 2012. The wheels were set in motion a little before then of course... at the Drupal 7 launch party held at the Lord Nelson pub in the Rocks, Sydney.
Dries himself was at the event and there was a lot of talk around the new Entity API and all of the new things that Drupal 7 would bring. It was also where I met Marji, my co-founder, for the first time and we hit it off talking about all things Drupal.
A lot has happened in those 9 years. At one of our team retreats in the Czech Republic, it was remarked that we should celebrate the wins some more and let people know about what we have achieved. So with this in mind, I will recap on some of the highlights for Morpht over the past 12 months.
Marji and I have been working on improving the company from the inside, looking at how we can improve our processes and culture. One of the exercises we undertook was defining the company values and working with the team to distill what was important to everyone working at Morpht.
It is fair to say that when we were first founded we prided ourselves on our technical capabilities as we sought out “best practices” and “a better way”. As the years have gone by we have become more user and customer focussed. The central pillar is now around being “user centric” and next to that we have a customer focus. These targets have solidified as we have built out a stronger UX design practice.
We base most of our web builds on Drupal, an open source content management system, and as such we stand on the shoulders of giants - all of the contributors who have made Drupal what it is. We seek to contribute back to the project and play our role as “makers and creators”, rather than just takers. Finally we look to being open: in the ways we deal with the work we do and the relationships we have with our clients.
A personalisation suite
Drupal provides an excellent foundation as a CMS. The CMS is however a solved problem - the storage, retrieval and display of content has been solved many times over in the last two decades since CMSs became mainstream. Clients are now demanding a lot more of their content and how it is exposed to and consumed by clients.
The drive for personalisation has most passionately been taken up by marketing departments however, it is also relevant to any content owner who wishes to serve the best information to their users. By and large Drupal has not addressed this problem in a coherent way. Most solutions have been provided by third party systems focussed on user tracking and ad serving.
We made the strategic decision to become more involved in personalisation in Drupal and have dedicated ourselves to building out a suite of modules which can work together to personalise the user experience. We will be speaking on these matters more in the future. For now we have a number of contributed modules in early phases:
Focus on Design Systems
We love working with design systems as they provide an excellent way to achieve a unified brand, consistency in interface, accessibility and efficiency. As website implementers it makes a lot of sense to use a design system as it allows us to focus on real customer problems rather than reinventing the wheel.
You are most probably familiar with popular general frameworks such as Bootstrap and Foundation. In the government space in Australia there are many others which solve more specific problems. In the last year or two we have implemented the following design systems into our starter kit, Convivial:
- Australian Government Design System in Convivial for GovCMS
- Health Design System in Convivial for Health
- NSW Digital Design System in Convivial for NSW
We have invested thousands of hours of time into building these starter kit sites, focussing on accessibility, responsiveness, client side performance and security. This gives us an advantage when pitching for government work because a lot of the hard work has already been done.
Giving back to the community
We have always supported the Drupal community in one way or another. Over the past year we have
- Sponsored the Drupal Association
- Supported team members to run the Sydney Meetup
- Presented at conference: 4 of our team spoke at DrupalGov conference
Some great projects
Somewhere in there we get some time to do some work :) Over the past year we have worked on significant projects with some great clients
- Attorney General's Department: Royal commissions, Department site, Minister’s site
- Australian Public Sector Commission: Soon to be released
- GreenPower: Green energy in NSW Government and across Australia
- NSW Trustee and Guardian: NSW Government site
Working with partners
We can’t do it all and when we can’t we team up with other people who know their stuff. Over the past year we have worked with the following service providers:
- Folk: Design and UX specialists, focussing on digital transformation and user centered design.
- Sajari: AI power search
- Recombee: AI powered user recommendation
- Systemik Solutions: Website migrations
A shout out to the Morpht team
We work in a service based industry where the efforts of the team make the difference. Morpht is only as good as the people who work for it. That becomes clearer to me every year. The people at Morpht are passionate about what they do and take care and pride in their work. Thanks guys for all your efforts over the past year.
Happy birthday Morpht!