Butterfly aids National Disability Services on their technical and content challenges

National Disability Services and Butterfly have been working together for over 6 years, they initially came to Butterfly to design and build a website that anyone could easily navigate and find the information they required. Due to the nature of their work, Butterfly leaned on its extensive experience with inclusive design to ensure the best user experience for all stakeholders.

project highlights

  • Over 45,000 lines of code written
  • Page per session up by 35%
  • Average session time up 39%
  • WCAG 2.0 AA

website link


National Disability Services (NDS) is Australia’s peak body for non-government disability service organisations, representing over 1,200 non-government service providers. Collectively, NDS members operate several thousand services for Australians with all types of disability.

The National Disability Services wanted to create a site that was easier for people to navigate as their existing site made locating information difficult. In addition, they discovered that new members found it difficult to register as it was complex and hard to navigate.

To solve this problem, we developed a user-friendly website that would make it easy for existing members to navigate to the content they’re looking for and to streamline the registration process for new members.


The first step was to determine our working method. As a result of the need to remain flexible and meet the requirements of rapid change, Agile methodology was the obvious choice. By using Agile as a project methodology, Butterfly received constant feedback from NDS through showcase meetings, which allowed us to work together easily right from the start.


The first critical task of the project was organising the Information Architecture (IA). Our objective required members to be able to easily find content both via pathways and searches. This was facilitated by introducing a tagging system, ensuring every page and article was easily identified by types within the system. NDS and Butterfly worked together to determine an effortless tag structure and management system.


Our second critical task was to ensure that the website followed WCAG guidelines. Designing for accessibility results in better products for everyone. We designed and built the website to WCAG 2.0 Level AA. WCAG 2.0 Level AA compliance requires the website to be accessible, usable, and understandable by the majority of people, regardless of disability.


In parallel with Butterfly building the website with Joomla, NDS migrated to Microsoft Dynamics for their CRM. To make things streamlined for internal stakeholders the content is managed from within CRM - Butterfly created a custom integration, leveraging off prebuilt APIs. Just as the systems had to communicate, so did the teams. Bringing the project together required close collaboration with NDS and the third party Dynamics consultants.


Quality assurance testing was the forth critical task of the project and a big part of the development phase. Testing was conducted in parallel with development sprints to eliminate potential time lags, meaning that as soon as the quality assurance analyst identified any bugs, the developers were able to address it. Developers and analysts often worked side by side to simplify communication.


In addition to simplifying the user experience, we needed to ensure that NDS had clear directions so that they could take control of their content quickly and efficiently. As an example, we developed code so that whenever new tags were added to the CRM, they automatically appeared in Joomla and populated the menus.


  1. Optimised performance to ensure even the most complex of pages load quickly
  2. Cross-browser and responsive thresholds for WCAG
  3. Provide access to content for new members and existing members alike
  4. Use of a custom API to exchange data between Microsoft Dynamics CRM and the Joomla CMS
The outcome was fantastic and everyone was extremely happy with the new site. The team who made it happen were helpful and cooperative, from designing to developing. The project management was exceptional. We are so glad that we made the right decision by selecting Butterfly.
Pradeep Wickramanayaka
Project Lead, NDS