Custom management console, design and development for BRIDGE (Australian Electoral Commission)

Custom management console and front end design and development for BRIDGE

Custom management console and front end design and development for BRIDGE

Leveraging AWS, Cosine Enterprise Platform and WordPress for a secure, extensible and robust global web platform


Using the extensive power of the Cosine Enterprise Platform, 2pi Software delivered a robust, extensible and secure system that allows the BRIDGE Partnership to manage a global – and growing – network of BRIDGE facilitators who deliver the world’s most comprehensive, relevant and contextually appropriate electoral professional development programs.

The Cosine Enterprise Platform integrates seamlessly with a WordPress based front end that allows system administrators to control public and private information. The platform supports curriculum versioning and inter-system messaging so that BRIDGE facilitators around the world can communicate and collaborate on upcoming events, post-event news and updated curriculum materials and resources.

The entire system is hosted on a secure and scalable AWS architecture we tailored to suit BRIDGE’s exact needs.


BRIDGE stands for Building Resources in Democracy, Governance and Elections and represents a unique initiative where five leading organisations in the democracy and governance field have jointly committed to developing, implementing and maintaining the most comprehensive curriculum and workshop package available. The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) has played a central, foundational role in the BRIDGE Partnership with the AEC also currently fulfilling the role of the BRIDGE Secretariat.

In June of 2021, 2pi Software was selected to create a completely redesigned software support package to facilitate the development and maintenance of the BRIDGE curriculum, resources and communications using our very own Cosine Enterprise Platform. This backend system is to communicate directly with a redesigned front end solution using WordPress. All of this sits on top of a robust and secure AWS infrastructure.


BRIDGE had the following core requirements for this project:

  • The backend system should be user friendly and accessible to a variety of users across the globe
  • The whole system should be secured with multiple levels of security on the backend, front end and hosting platform
  • The front end website should be easy to navigate, support multiple language translations and easy to maintain
  • The entire system should communicate seamlessly to prevent duplication of work
  • The solution should be extensible allowing for further upgrades and enhancements over time


The backend portal system is designed to facilitate secure registrations and logins for BRIDGE administrators and facilitators allowing for secure systems which also block spam submissions. The system allows for the management of curriculum content enabling BRIDGE facilitators access. BRIDGE facilitators are able to write content to the backend portal which is then approved by the BRIDGE Secretariat and posted to the front end website. This content is then only modifiable by backend administrators. The backend system also must be secure and allow for continuous system updates as needed.

The front end website solution is based on WordPress and is currently managed by the BRIDGE Secretariat (AEC staff) with varying degrees of technical experience. The requirements set forth for this part of the project were as follows:

  • The front end website should be easy to manage and maintain
  • Ongoing maintenance costs for the website should be reduced as much as possible
  • The frontend site should seamlessly communicate with the backend portal


The front end website solution is based on WordPress and is currently managed by the BRIDGE Secretariat (AEC staff) with varying degrees of technical experience. The requirements set forth for this part of the project were as follows:

  • The front end website should be easy to manage and maintain
  • Ongoing maintenance costs for the website should be reduced as much as possible
  • The front end site should seamlessly communicate with the backend portal


From the outset, this project required multiple 2pi Software teams; designers (UX/UI), software engineers (backend portal and connectivity), web developers (front end website) and our AWS hosting team. Team leaders managed their respective project components and close communication and collaboration meant that the integration of each of these elements was efficient and ensured the best results.

With each team at work, concurrent operations meant that we could deliver the first phase of the project (website design and development) within 3 months.


The secondary – yet most crucial component of the project is the facility to create and publish events, news, event articles and BRIDGE curriculum material. This function at the time (previous to our involvement) was performed by the same WordPress website which brought with it security and permission issues. Our proposed solution addressed the following needs:

  • Allow the registration of new users (i.e. BRIDGE facilitators)
  • Prevent spam signups
  • Secure the curriculum from being visible on the front end website
  • Allow curriculum administrators oversight of the backend system
  • Allow BRIDGE facilitators to add/edit/remove events, news and news articles
  • Allow the BRIDGE Secretariat (AEC staff) to publish events and news articles to the front end website
  • Prevent BRIDGE facilitators and curriculum administrators from modifying content on the front end website (so as not to encounter out of sync issues)
  • Simplify the process of adding/administering content on the portal
  • Allow direct inter-system messaging between BRIDGE facilitators without intervention from the BRIDGE Secretariat

Leveraging the Cosine Enterprise Platform

To facilitate the backend portal requirements, we turned to our own Cosine Enterprise Platform. This custom developed software solution integrates seamlessly with WordPress and provides our customers with a secure platform for handling and controlling access to sensitive data.

Our Cosine Enterprise Platform uses a modular approach to extensibility, meaning that functionality can be added to the system without adding excessive complexity or costs to the overall project.

Features of the Cosine Enterprise Platform include:

  • A rock-solid platform built in PHP on our open-source cmfive foundation
  • Modular development for ease of extensibility
  • Cloud hosted using AWS
  • Users, permissions and logging for account setup and security
  • API connection to WordPress for seamless content migration
  • Clean and simple User Interface with drag and drop
  • Built-in notification system for messaging and email


Our software development team worked closely with the AEC to establish the best pathway for development. A project plan was developed and key team members set to work on various elements of the portal. One of the many strengths of the Cosine Enterprise Platform is the ability to rapidly deploy dev environments. This allows for much faster prototyping than other software development tools or environments. The modular nature of the CEP means that individual custom modules can be in development concurrently.

– The curriculum module showing the versions available and individual or group download options

– The Facilitator Database module showing filter options and direct contact access

Once our dev team had a working prototype, we worked with the AEC team to finalise the workflow for the 3 core user types. User Interface design work was applied to the portal in phases so the AEC was able to test a visually coherent prototype.

Once all of the modules were ‘fitted’ into the system and fully functional – our web developers coordinated the API development to securely connect the WordPress front end system to the CEP portal. Historical content from the old WordPress website was moved off WordPress and into the new portal – now secured from the public.

The initial phase of the project launched within 9 months – a development feat accomplished in part due to our close client collaboration, integrated AWS, software, web and design teams and the modular nature of our Cosine Enterprise Platform.

– The Events module showing multiple filter options and view, edit or delete options



The client had several key requirements for the new design:

  • The design must comply with WCAG requirements
  • The design was to be user-friendly and accessible to multiple users across the globe
  • The website design should more closely fit within the existing brand
  • Navigating the website needed improvement
  • The client wished to reduce vertical scrolling as much as possible

The 2pi Software design team addressed these issues in the following manner:

WCAG compliance

Working closely with the client, our design team developed a colour palette that fitted the existing BRIDGE brand while still maintaining full WCAG AA compliance. Usage rules and consistency patterns were created so that the website and backend portal would remain compliant as new content and functionality were added to the site.


Two core audience cohorts were identified by the client and the design was focused to communicate efficiently to these users. Existing BRIDGE facilitators had a dedicated pathway to access their respective custom content from the homepage. This reduced the level of steps that these users would have to take to achieve the most common goals.

New visitors would have a unique pathway provided to them from the homepage. Again, this method reduced the amount of steps needed to glean the information desired.

Adding to this, the design elements would need to communicate to a variety of users across the globe with varying levels of knowledge and experience with BRIDGE. The use of appropriate iconography assisted in this along with colours associated with dedicated actions helped to create a consistent and efficient user experience.

Brand consistency

Small design elements were introduced that referenced the BRIDGE logo such as the shapes of content tiles. A review of the existing marketing materials assisted our design team to best interpret tasteful application of these concepts.

Navigation and scrolling

In addition to the homepage segments, we improved the primary navigation to be easy to read and use on mobile devices. Our design team proposed the use of a global map across the site which would accomplish 2 secondary goals; 1) to communicate the global reach of the BRIDGE program and 2) to provide easy access to a list of upcoming events available in each region of the globe.


Since the then current website was based in WordPress and the existing maintenance team was familiar with this CMS, the decision was made to keep the front end solution in WordPress. We did however need to address some core issues with the existing WordPress website:

  • Improve website security
  • Reduce the plugin count significantly
  • Eliminate the need for subscription based plugins
  • Improve on the management and maintenance workflow

Improved security

Our AWS team and security team vetted a small set of approved and secure plugins to be used. In addition to this, several crucial security measures were implemented to provide security against spam and common CMS related vulnerabilities.

Reduced plugin count and improved management workflow


We successfully reduced the plugin count from 75 down to 8. We completely eliminated the requirement of all paid plugins reducing the ongoing maintenance costs.

By coding the custom WordPress theme, our in-house web developers provided the client with access to every content region on the website. This means that no feature was ‘locked’ into custom PHP code. The client has the ability to edit the header, footer, partner logos, graphics within these regions and even the landing pages.
The custom theme only locks the brand elements (logo, placement, button colours/actions and page animations) to ensure that these are not accidentally altered.

By utilising the Gutenberg page builder, the client is able to add/edit/ remove content using a very intuitive and built-in WordPress solution. Our developer team coded custom Gutenberg blocks to provide the client with consistent design elements they could use over and over.


BRIDGE stands for Building Resources in Democracy, Governance and Elections. BRIDGE represents a unique initiative where five leading organisations in the democracy and governance field have jointly committed to developing, implementing and maintaining the most comprehensive curriculum and workshop package available, designed to be used as a tool within a broader capacity development framework. The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) is one of the five BRIDGE Partners.

The BRIDGE Secretariat, which is currently managed by the AEC on behalf of the Partners provides ongoing support both to the BRIDGE Partnership and the wider BRIDGE community.

BRIDGE is designed to be used as a tool within a broader capacity development framework. Rather than relying heavily on traditional lecturing, BRIDGE is focused on practical issues and is activity-based, with each module offering a range of activities designed to convey clearly identified key understandings, and to achieve specified learning outcomes. The aim is to develop skills in areas that are important in an electoral administrator’s day-to-day work, with an emphasis on understanding the relationships between tasks in order to meet tight electoral deadlines effectively.

BRIDGE, which relies on resources from the ACE Electoral Knowledge Network, is designed to meet the needs of organisations that have embraced, or wish to build institutional excellence and embrace, modern electoral management principles of diversity, equity, cross-cultural sensitivity, inclusiveness and maximum use of the skills of all staff.


2pi Software was formed in 2012 by Carsten Eckelmann and Liam O’Duibhir.

The company headquarters are located on the Sapphire Coast (Bega and Merimbula) of NSW, and with over 25 years of IT experience across software development, website construction and business continuity (maintaining IT systems and networks), the founders have created a unique business and technology consulting programme.

Since our founding, we have grown to employ more senior technical specialists as well as fostered a new wave of emerging talent in the cloud, code, hardware, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and Quantum computing (Q) fields.

Our diverse skill set has allowed us to leverage these abilities to the benefit of our clients and the community alike.


2pi Software’s mission statement is to provide businesses and organisations with state of the art Workflow Enablement and Data Husbandry for AI/ML and Quantum solutions in addition to architecting secure, cloud infrastructure and big data support systems. As a company, our proposition is unique owing to the following factors:

Agility. As an agile business we employ distinctly complementary teams comprised of a variety of individuals whose backgrounds, experiences, strengths and ambitions help us tailor solutions to best meet the needs of our clients.

Adaptability. We keep at the forefront of the technological landscape, keen to find improved and more efficient tools. We challenge new tech thoroughly to establish the practicality it offers. When proven, we embrace wholeheartedly. We adopt meticulously and pivot quickly.

Collaboration. Our collaborative culture emphasises a ‘many-brains’ approach to find creative and efficient solutions. We freely give back to the open-source community conscious of our heritage. We nurture new minds eager to be part of this technological frontier – fostering their creativity in many different realms from coding and hardware engineering to music and design.


As a company we work hard to create a tech-loving, healthily geeky yet commercially savvy environment in which to achieve our tech dreams. We take care to ensure a safe and inclusive working environment while embracing the freedom needed for all of us to be our best selves.


At its core, 2pi Software is a software engineering company. Our problem-solving and solution development capabilities are well-honed over many years, and the company passionately pursues excellence in the software engineering craft, and applies the intellectual rigour needed to build long-lasting, supportable and well-documented systems.

In summary, our skills and experience cover :-

  • High-end software engineering
  • Promotion and adoption of Open Source and Open Standards
  • AWS Cloud System implementation and interconnectivity
  • Support for Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and Quantum computing (Q) applications
  • B2B communication and automation
  • Interconnectivity of disparate systems – we provide the ‘glue’ between systems
  • GIS systems – training, support and development
  • Website design and development

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