Request for Proposal: Website redevelopment for Rainbow Health Ontario, a program of Sherbourne Health

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  • About Sherbourne Health

    Sherbourne is a dynamic provider of integrated health services, community programs and capacity-building initiatives that enable people and diverse communities to achieve wellness.

    At Sherbourne, our doors are open to everyone, and we prioritize those who face barriers to care: LGBT2SQ community members; newcomers to Canada; and people who are homeless and underhoused. Our unique programs combine primary health and chronic disease services, health promotion, outreach and social supports, and mental health services, to increase access for our priority populations, influence population health outcomes, and strive for organization excellence. They include the Acute Respite Care (ARC) program, The Rotary Club of Toronto Health Bus, Supporting Our Youth, Rainbow Health Ontario, Women In Need ‘Klinik’ (WINK) and Health Access St. James Town. Accredited with Exemplary Standing by Accreditation Canada, we are funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, Toronto Central LHIN, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, Ministry of Child and Youth Services, City of Toronto and many generous companies, groups and individual donors.

    About Rainbow Health Ontario

    Rainbow Health Ontario (RHO) is a unique, multi-faceted knowledge hub and capacity building program of Sherbourne Health. Rainbow Health Ontario creates opportunities for the health care system to better serve LGBT2SQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, Two Spirit, and queer) communities, with the goal of ensuring the needs of one million LGBT2SQ Ontarians are included in health policy, planning, service delivery, and research.

    Designed to respond to a broad range of stakeholders, RHO has four main areas of focus: practice and organizational change, policy and program development, catalyzing research, and knowledge dissemination.

    RHO provides a range of supports for practice development and organizational change to health care and other health-related services. Rainbow Health Ontario is a trusted source of clinical information; practice supports include trainings on a range of LGBT2SQ health and clinical care, as well as ongoing peer support for general practitioners and other clinicians who have participated in trans health trainings. RHO currently offers more than 10 modules for face-to-face trainings, three of which have been accredited by the College of Physicians and Surgeons for Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits.

    RHO’s policy and program development work addresses a vital need in the public sphere, through creating awareness of policy and programming opportunities and challenges affecting LGBT2SQ health and wellbeing. Furthermore, RHO’s evidence-based materials, designed both for health care providers and the public, and our availability for consultation provides the supports necessary for decision-makers to act.

    Background: Why we need a new Rainbow Health Ontario website

    Built in 2014, the current RHO website is now dated and does not fully reflect the current-day needs of the program or of its users. Since that time, among other shifts, the website’s Service Provider Directory has grown and needs regarding its functionality have changed; the Resources area has been shown to need different types of segmentation and behaviour; RHO has produced more and new information types regarding trans health, and RHO not only continues active involvement in supporting policy and research, but also plans to explore more ways of producing knowledge translation content—requiring a redesign of how we position research and policy-type information.

    The RHO website is a not a simple corporate website. It functions as a resource and knowledge hub for health care providers, researchers and LGBT2SQ community members regarding LGBT2SQ health. Given the program and its website’s resource and information-rich nature, a content-rich approach to designing this website will be critical. This should inform how every part of this site is developed, from basic elements of the site framework like defining custom post types and taxonomies; to defining page templates; to mapping user flows for content access and integration needs according to different user journeys.

    For this project, we have taken inspiration from contemporary best practices models of designing digital services in a public sector context, such as Gov.UK and the Ontario Government Digital Service Standard, and we will value a vendor having familiarity with and experience in developing according to these or similar design principles.

    We are seeking proposals that will show us how this task-focused, service-driven and content-rich website approach will be reflected in how content structure and interfaces are developed on the front end for our users. We also want to see how best use will be made of CMS features to automate, filter and simultaneously publish different content types in different feature areas of the site to best highlight our content and to simplify website administration time, complexity and repetition on the back end for our staff.

    The available budget for this website is a range of $70,000 to $90,000Cost-effectiveness of bids is a factor in our selection process.

    RHO will have internal resources dedicated to working closely with the vendor on this project throughout its life cycle. Our Communications Officer – Web & Digital Lead will be leading this project on the client side and involved in every stage of planning and development.

    Other staff from RHO and Sherbourne will participate in different checkpoints and testing and planning stages as recommended by the project plan that will be outlined and approved with the client following the kickoff meeting.

    What we’re looking for in a vendor

    We are seeking an experienced, full-service web development firm to plan and build the next RHO website. Our vendor of choice must have extensive CMS experience, ideally with both WordPress and Drupal in order to recommend the best framework for the RHO site.

    The vendor should also have a full roster of web professionals to see this development through every stage of the product life-cycle with specific expertise dedicated to each step. We expect the vendor’s staff roster that would be assigned to this project to include, either in dedicated staff positions or in the equivalent of this combined experience across staff:

    1. a user experience designer;
    2. an information architect;
    3. an interface designer;
    4. an interaction designer;
    5. a web designer;
    6. a content strategist;
    7. a web copywriter;
    8. an SEO expert;
    9. multiple front end and back end or full-stack developer/programmers; and
    10. a strong project manager to keep the project running to time and to be in regular communication with the client about progress, support needs and planning or issues resolution as these come up.

    Download the full RFP (PDF)

    Responses to vendor questions

    Posted Aug. 13, 2019

    Note: questions received have been combined and summarized for clarity and to avoid repetition. Similarly to in the RFP, where “1” page is referred to, consider it to mean 1 each in English and in French.

      1. What type of products will the store contain?

        The product volume and product types will be similar to what we currently have in our store.
        The store is currently managed through the WooCommerce plugin for WordPress.
      2. Do you have any shipping restrictions, or do you ship all over the world?

        We primarily ship in Ontario and Canada. If for any reason the product ordering and filling system built could not accommodate international orders we’d be open to fulfilling those rare instances via e-mail instead.
      3. Do you use a courier like FedEx or UPS?All outgoing mail from Rainbow Health Ontario is processed by Sherbourne Health’s mailroom. This process is separate from and not applicable to this website.
      4. What type of payment processor do you use, and will this change?We currently use Bambora as a secure, third-party payment processor. We don’t anticipate this changing but are open to considering other options if for whatever reason a different option is a better fit for this build. We do not want the website itself to be the payment processor.
      5. Google finds thousands of pages on your current site. How many pages for this website will need to be written from scratch? …For pricing in the proposals, should vendors quote in numbers of hours, words or pages to capture content development and copywriting work?For core site content pages, the site currently has less than 60 pages and subpages. While it’s hard to anticipate the exact number of pages for the new site given that it has not yet been designed and a content strategy exercise has not been undertaken, the overall site size will likely be comparable.We suggest that vendors quote content development and copywriting work by number of pages. Using the amount of pages that currently exist as a guide and keeping in mind that the site is still to be designed, you may put a cap on the amount of pages you will write content for as part of this proposal.

        More background about other content types that Google shows as “pages” on this website The majority of the other pages are entry pages from either our Resources (currently managed through the WooCommerce plugin) or our Service Provider Directory.Since many of these services and resources are third-party and currently exist only in English, some of these pages are also duplicates of the English pages for the French toggle side, with a notice added regarding the language limitations of the resource, for instance with the Media Reference Guide French page. Note that we are open to working creatively with the vendor to find solutions for what a French-page version of English-only listings and/or resources can be, whether that display option is summaries, disclaimers, etc.

        For the Resources area, we imagine that a number of these dated Resource pages will become part of the public archive indicated in section 7.3 a) of the RFP.Resource descriptions will not need to be rewritten by the vendors one by one, however there may be retagging or recategorizing of entries depending on how the vendor decides to set up the new resources area and manage the export/import process to migrate content, particularly given our request to improve and optimize search.

        For the Service Provider Directory, users (service providers) log in to access their profiles and populate and update their listing pages themselves. Vendor roles in content here will be similarly focused on migration, retagging/categorization, and any other entry changes to optimize search and be compatible with how this area of the site is rebuilt

      6. What will be the acceptance criteria for the newly written/re-written content?

        For newly written content, the content will be vetted (and tweaked as needed) by Sherbourne Communications staff. Any internal layers of approval will be managed by our Communications staff
      7. Given the sensitive nature of the subject matter, will you have staff with subject matter expertise and bilingual reviewers available to the vendors as needed in the content production process? We understand the specialized knowledge required to review and potentially adjust phrasing given the communities we serve and we will be available to support our vendors throughout the content production process. To any extent that Sherbourne cannot internally review French content, Sherbourne will procure external subject matter expertise and absorb the cost for this review separately from costs outlined in this RFP.The vendor will be responsible, however, for coordinating review with any external reviewers.
      8. Since Google Translate has been discontinued for new customers, do you have an account? Alternatively, for manual translation, do you have budget allocated and who would be responsible for performing the translation?We do not consider Google Translate to be an option for this website, given the sensitive nature of the subject matter. We have approximately $10,000 budget allocated separately from this RFP for translation costs for this website.The vendor will work with our translation agency of choice and be responsible for coordinating translation.
      9. Do you have existing key messages or writing guidelines to help our copywriters?

        We do not currently have copywriting guidelines, but we will be sure to create them before copywriting begins according to the timing identified in the vendor’s project plan. We will ask the selected vendors what would be most helpful for them for these guidelines to contain and we will be consistently available for support and to respond to questions throughout the writing process.
      10. This is a very large project. Is there any flexibility in the timing? Our ideal timeline for this project is reflected in this RFP, however we are open to considering alternatives— we may specifically have some flexibility with the end of fiscal (March 31, 2020) date being the BETA live site deliverable date instead of the final live site deliverable date to allow for more build time and more opportunity for user acceptance testing and final refinements.

        If you feel an alternative timeline is necessary for this project, we recommend proposing two project timelines in your proposal: one outlining the timeline we have requested in the RFP and another your proposed timeline (as close as possible to what we have outlined) along with an explanation as to why you recommend the extension and what you see as the implications for the project of delivering according to the timeline currently specified.

      11. Can you share more about the user research Rainbow Health Ontario conducted that was mentioned in the RFP and the nature of the findings that will be available?RHO worked with a UX firm to conduct over 25 in-person interviews in London, Sudbury, Ottawa and Ontario with representatives members from this website’s different user groups. We asked questions about their pain points with the current website and what they want from the next website. We also had over 60 responses (in English and in French) to an online survey, a copy of which is available to view. Following this, we were led in a user journeying workshop by the UX firm to map our website user journeys.The results from the interviews and survey responses were summarized in two reports. One outlines the user mindsets, journeys and needs. The other contains specific recommendations for the next RHO website, most of which are woven into the RFP.
      12. You also ask for periodic testing, may we ask how often you’d like to do that, and with how many people?

        We are open to vendor recommendations according to best practices and what is feasible on our timeline. We do have a pool of contacts reflective of our website users from our early 2019 user research that have given us permission to reach out to them again for website feedback.
      13. What do you mean specifically by pattern libraries, and what is the requirement there?

        By a “Pattern library” we mean a style guide regarding how layout or page-building elements are to be consistently used in the development of new pages or templates as areas of this site are scaled up to accommodate new sections, content types, etc. over time. The intention of this is internal documentation for website administrators.
      14. Do you currently utilize any Digital Asset Management or Document Management systems?

        We do not. We are open to discussing options with the selected vendor to track document versions throughout the content creation and approval process.
      15. Could you please clarify the Researcher “community building” requirements?

        The minimum requirement we set out in the RFP is an improved replication of a listing service, such as the one we currently have. If the vendor can improve upon this means for researchers to share who they are and what they are doing with other researchers, we are eager to hear ideas.
      16. Could you please clarify “Access to more information about RHO’s active research/policy partners” What kind of information?

        This remains to be decided. It could be as simple as a content/post type that RHO can build out over time or part of a dedicated area of the website for the user type seeking this kind of information. 


      17. How detailed is your approvals process (number of individuals or levels required to give approvals, including Board presentations)? How long do you estimate that approvals process will take, in days? How many rounds of revisions should we account for in our pricing?

        Our approvals process is lean. Board presentations or approval will not be necessary. Revisions and approvals will happen with the Rainbow Health Ontario Program Director, the Communications team and the CEO.

        The time needed for revision will vary according to the phase of the design and build and whether we are reviewing a component or the entire site. Please quote according to your best practices recommendations for rounds of revision per section and for the entire site from BETA to live.
      18. Can you tell us anything about your internal resourcing for this project? Do you have a full time web team or are there only one or two people working on this project? What percentage of their time will be dedicated to this work? We do not have a full time web team. One of our Communications Officers act as our internal lead for web and we intend that she will be devoted at approximately 30-50% of her full time capacity (according to project needs over time, phase of work and her workload) to this project for its full duration.
      19. In respect to content, who will be responsible for content strategy? If the vendor has responsibility, at what percentage (i.e. writing & editing: Vendor 80% for example?)

        The vendor will be fully responsible for proposing an overall content strategy and design. Sherbourne will support the vendor in developing this as a subject matter expert and make revisions to the proposed content strategy.For writing and developing page content once this strategy is developed, please see the response to question #5, above.
      20. Have you already defined the taxonomies, tagging, and filtering vocabularies for this redesign, or is that still to be developed?Given that this site has yet to be designed and content strategy is pending as part of this process, this remains to be developed.
      21. Regarding goal tracking within analytics, what goals would you be measuring to determine success?

        For some areas of the website this is very clear, like increasing traffic to our Service Providers Directory and boosting download numbers of resources. For others, we’d be eager for the vendor’s assistance in helping us to set goals and configuring analytics accordingly.
      22. Do you have an example of how you would like the rating/feedback system to work from a front end perspective? There is a rating system built into questions on the BETA of our Trans Health Knowledge base, for one example. We like how this has a way to confirm content’s usefulness as well as a way to leave a comment if you find it not useful or in need of improvement, and that all feedback is visible on the back end only. We are open to other proposed methods/plugins.
      23. For the logged-in portion of the site, what is behind the curtain? Are there different user levels allowing them to see more or less content? How are permissions granted (is it pay, sign up, or apply then get approved)? What level of personal data privacy/security is necessary for this site?

        There are different user levels with people seeing different content according to what user type they are logged in as. Currently we have standard WordPress roles: subscriber, contributor, author, editor, administrator and shop manager user levels.None are paid, though some reflect being given a user account after registering to use a service— The Service Provider Directory, for example. We would likely want to continue having this area of the website be accessible by login so that the many entries (600 +) can be managed and updated by their owners. There is a separate (less public) login area for researchers to add their listing to the Researcher listings

        Our priorities with login areas are lessening administration time for third-party information for our staff. We are open to vendor’s proposals regarding whether login areas could be combined or otherwise organized in a new site design.Currently, nearly all of the administration submitted to create a profile is publicly displayed. There is no personal health information, and there will continue to not be any personal health information. We are seeking a high standard of CMS security to protect our databases but (pending the site redesign and any changes) that is the extent of the security we require.

      24. Does this scope of work include a patient portal? 
        No. Rainbow Health Ontario does not offer direct health/patient care services. As a program mandated to create opportunities for the health care system to better serve LGBT2SQ communities, RHO focuses on training and education for providers, resources and information and policy and research.
      25. Do you have a preference between WordPress and Drupal? No. We are more familiar with WordPress and understand that the internal administration would be simpler, however given the complexity of the site we are open to hearing proposals about a Drupal build in the event that Drupal could better carry out the highly customized needs for this site.
  • Download the full RFP

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