Reclone Website improvement suggestions

Hi Everyone,

We’re working on improving the Reclone main website and forum and would like to get your input about what to request from the web developer. The draft for the project scope can be found here. Kindly provide your input on or before April 11th 2021 as we will be forwarding final project scope to developers on April 12.



Here’s what the document linked above reads; feel free to drop me a line with your thoughts:

Community Website and Forum Development

Project Scope


Project Overview⠀

Every experiment in science requires reagents, and central to biotechnology is the use of and engineering of enzymes to drive biological processes. However, the current supply chain for biotech reagents limits access for many groups of people, especially in the global south and impedes their creativity or actual contribution to science. Reagent Collaboration Network (RECLONE) means sharing reagents and protocols for local production of enzymes openly online that anyone is freely able to use or modify for research purposes. This approach could drastically reduce the costs of research while enabling people to collaborate and learn in new ways.

RECLONE accomplishes the goal of open sharing of biotechnological reagents and protocols by convening meetings twice a month as well as symposia every six to eight weeks. These meetings host speakers, on topics of interest to the network. RECLONE also provides an online forums where conversations sparked by meetings can continue and possibly develop into actual research collaboration or actionable projects. The online forum is also a place to ask questions or receive feedback on thoughts and ideas. We support our members, many of whom are in the global south by knowledge and reagent sharing, to scale our collective impact.

We are currently undertaking a project to review and improve RECLONE’s community web resources. This project scoping is to find a provider who can help us on that journey through web design and development. The focus is on two resources: the RECLONE website which is currently built on WordPress (but could change) and the RECLONE forum which is built on Discourse.


The primary website audience are current and prospective members of the RECLONE community. We will also have pages that speak to other audiences such as funders but the most important thing is that the website is welcoming to prospective community members and useful and informative for the current community.


RECLONE website

  • Welcome new community members: explain what the Reagent Collaboration Network is, who the RECLONE community are and how to get involved.
  • Direct visitors to specific topics
  • Enable community members to easily find resources (e.g. event reports, research, blog, projects) and community forums.
  • Event listing - Community member should also have the ability to add recurring event to their calendar with one click.
  • Integrate well with social media, the RECLONE forum.

RECLONE Discourse forum

  • Welcome new community members: explain how the forum works, how to navigate it and how to get involved.
  • Member directory and map of geographical locations.
  • Provide easy navigation of content e.g. forum categories and posts
  • Provide a useful way for members to connect with other members with similar interests
  • Integrate well aesthetically and functionally with the RECLONE website.

⠀Main Current Issues⠀

RECLONE website

  • People are unable to find the information that they need.
  • Not well integrated with the forum for a seamless transition back and forth between the two.
  • Review of messaging for new/potential members and redirection to the community forum

RECLONE Discourse forum

  • Confusing to new members, front page and navigation within categories is challenging.
  • Mixed use of categories, some for discussion and others for wiki knowledge resource
  • Users list is not functional as a directory (It is not possible for members of forum to find information of other members they want to connect with).

⠀Functionality Requirements⠀

RECLONE website

  • Mobile friendly throughout
  • Redesigned landing page
  • Very clear and easy to navigate page structure
  • Enable cross-posting blogs to medium/Discourse/Twitter
  • Search Engine Optimisation
  • Common header navigation bar that matches RECLONE Forum

RECLONE Discourse forum

  • Welcome page that has more detail on how to use the forum e.g. in a detailed header post
  • Better layout of front page to navigate to relevant categories and subcategories
  • Clear navigation of all categories and subcategories from anywhere in the forum
  • Make the category dropdown search bar show the subcategories
  • Common header navigation bar that matches RECLONE website