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Satisfied Customers

1, The BaBar Physics Collaboration (Stanford, California)

At SLAC, in California, electrons and positrons are accelerated in a linear accelerator, circulated in opposite directions, then collided in the BaBar detector, creating B and anti-B mesons. Measured differences in these particle's rates of decay help to explain why there is more matter than antimatter in the Universe.

The problem:
600 collaborators from 85 institutions in 11 countries can all add pages freely to the BaBar website, which came online in 1994. By July 1998 it contained over 200,000 informative documents, but its disordered, inconsistent design frustrated users and wasted their time.

Overhead photo of SLAC Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC)
Photo of Mark Williams in BaBar control room Mark Williams in the BaBar control room

The solution:
SLAC asked Mark Williams to redesign the BaBar website. He recruited Dan Azzopardi and Paul Dixon to help him analyse the existing site and to implement a new, improved website architecture.
Studies of how users pictured the BaBar website and actually moved around it - combined with an analysis of similar sites - led us to create a more hierarchical and intuitive design. On finding that commercially available software packages could not restructure such a large site without breaking any links, we developed our own tools to do the job.

After successfully installing the new website in February 1999, Mark gave a keynote speech on "Mastering the BaBar website" at InterLab99, and carried on as BaBar WebMaster until October 2000 when his RSE/PPARC Enterprise Fellowship began.

"Documentation and information exchange on the BaBar web, which was the focus of a major improvement effort, facilitated BaBar's complex task."
Dr. Charles Young, Head of Computing, BaBar Collaboration.

2, Quantin' Leap Ltd (London, UK)

Quantin' Leap is a financial analysis software company, based in London, who:
  • Left RiskCare Ltd in 2000, taking their web pages with them
  • Required an efficient, navigable website (www.quantinleap.com)
  • Hired Surfability Ltd in April 2001 to create a new website and re-brand their pages
The Surfability solution involved:
  • Converting ASP, HTML, Java, JavaScript and HTML code
  • Designing a new website using tables, navigation bars and small images
"Surfability transformed our old web pages and created a simple, stylish new website that is fast and easy to use."
Mike Curran, Managing Director, Quantin' Leap Ltd.

3, Complete Genius Ltd (London, UK)

Complete Genius Ltd are a London-based company who specialise in designing educational websites. During the summer of 2001 they were contracted to create a dynamic, database-driven intranet website for staff and students of the London College of Music and Media (LCMM) and they, in turn, hired Surfability Ltd in October 2001 to assist them with this task. The Surfability team did the following:
  • Installed the RedHat Linux operating system and a PHP-configured Apache web server on a new PC for Complete Genius.
  • Wrote Perl software to download updated student and staff details on a daily basis from an external database server and use this information to update the various courses, modules and student profiles stored in the LCMM intranet database server.
  • Developed the navigability, added moderator functions, and tidied up the skeletal framework of the LCMM intranet student forums. (These forums, which were built using PHP, serve as an online area where students and tutors can discuss aspects of a given course module. Each course has its own forum and every student taking that course can post messages to it.)
"It was a pleasure working with Surfability. They quickly got to grips with the problem, and then cracked on with the solution. I will definitely use their services again!"
Stephen Todd, Managing Director, Complete Genius Ltd.
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Last updated: JUN-14-2002