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Reimagined on Drupal 8, in six sprints.

Processes
  • Agile/Kanban
  • Agile/Scrum
Team Leadership

In the fall of 2016, the Rainforest Alliance and Last Call Media launched an exciting redesign of www.rainforest-alliance.org, built on Drupal 8, employing seasoned agile software development methodologies. Our productive partnership with the Rainforest Alliance resulted in a technically groundbreaking site that allowed users unprecedented access to the riches of their content after just four months of development. The tool is now primed to drive the Rainforest Alliance’s critical end-of-year development activities. 

People seem really, really happy with it. YAY!!

Danielle Cranmer, Web Manager

How we did it

Over the years, RA has cultivated a repository of structured content to support their mission. While the content is primarily displayed as long form text, there is a wide variety of metadata and assets associated with each piece of content. One of the primary goals of the new site was to enable discovery of new content on the site through automatic selection of related content driven by the metadata of the content the user was viewing. Additionally, RA had a future requirement for advanced permissioning and publishing workflows to enable stakeholders outside of the web team to play a role in the content lifecycle.

Rainforest Alliance Phone

Drupal 8 was selected for this project based on several factors. First, its focus on structured data fit well with Rainforest Alliance’s need for portable and searchable content. Second, the deep integrations with Apache Solr allowed for a nuanced content relation engine. Solr was also used to power the various search interfaces. Third, Drupal has historically had powerful workflow tools for managing content. While these tools weren’t quite ready for Drupal 8 when we built it, we knew they would be simple to integrate when they were ready. In short, Drupal was a perfect fit for the immediate needs, and Drupal 8 met the organization’s longer term goals.
 

We’ve been getting lots or praise, internally and externally.  Brava, team!

Melissa Normann, Senior Manager Web Strategy and Development

At the close of Sprint 6, there were zero critical and only 3 moderate issues to address. The final Sprint/Project review had only 3 support questions, launching as arguably the most impressive Drupal 8 site launched within a year of the initial release of this latest major version on the Open Source CMS, and most importantly, in time for Rainforest Alliance’s major end-of-year donation campaign. The site delivers on its promise to showcase the Rainforest Alliance’s exciting and informative messages and beautiful imagery, and stands as testimony for the efficacy of the agile approach.

Read the full case study here.

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Fun and impactful design for inclusive tech event.

Team Leadership

The New England Regional Developers Summit (NERDS) came to Last Call Media for a site design that would support their inclusive, educational agenda for their upcoming 2017 event.

Profile picture for user Colin

Strategy

Last Call employed a few different site strategies in order to best serve NERDS and their users. First, we boiled their content down to short bursts that either told site users everything they needed to know or linked them to where they need to go to complete an action (like signing up for the email newsletter or submitting a session).

We then decided to present each of these pieces of content in a slide of their own, leveraging this modular strategy to organize content depending on audience. We made sure that each slide was flexible and could be updated as needed as the event draws nearer (as “Submit a Session” turns into “Session Schedule,” for example).

Lil NERDy

To give NERDS an immediate, personable (and literal) face, we decided to develop a mascot. The feel of the NERD logo evoked the 70’s to us, and we decided to use Mr. Men, one of that era’s most famous cartoons, as inspiration. The result was Lil’ NERDy. Lil’ NERDy is memorable and adaptable, meaning she can be used in a variety of ways at any size to instantly remind people of the friendly and inclusive nature of NERDS.

Round, green cartoon character with glasses.

 

Site Design

Using Lil’ NERDy as an asset, the site strategy was then implemented to produce a bold, fresh site design. The design uses strong typography and bright colors to create an impactful and informative experience.

NERDS Homepage design.

 

NERDS walked away with a fun, efficient site that keeps users informed and delighted as their event draws closer.

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Asia Society's International Centers.

Processes
  • Continuous Delivery
Team Leadership

Asia Society wanted to expand their current Drupal website with a new capability. Asia Society Centers were to be information portal microsites for their international member branches. The new functionality had to integrate with their existing site design, and provide editing capabilities for branch content authors.

How we did it

The project required an aggressive timeline, and was delivered in two weeks. Organic Groups (OG) and Nodequeues were used to provide separate branch-specific sections, or “centers,” of the website, and to provide branch editors control over their own center’s content. The new sections were integrated with the existing site design through customized theming.

Thanks so much for the smooth migration on such a short deadline. I know there were (more than) a few balls in the air at all times and we really appreciate your attention to detail and organized process.

Megan MacMurray, Associate Director of Technology

The ability to provide rapid development through a flexible team of developers ensured the project was delivered on time, fully tested and polished. The “Centers” have provided Asia Society the means to expand their content reach and focus.

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Rainforest Alliance's Global Impact Map.

Rainforest Alliance needed an effective way to illustrate their global efforts to preserve one of the earth’s most valuable resources: the environment.

Most recently impressive is the mapping project that we unexpectedly threw on Rob and Tom’s lap, and which they handled quickly and expertly. 

Melissa Normann, Senior Manager, Web Strategy and Development

How we did it

Knowing that a simple page with paragraphs wouldn’t suffice, we built a map that allows the Rainforest Alliance to display data from a specific region. The user can then zoom in on those regions or look at specific data points to learn more. The map takes a large spreadsheet of geodata, created based on information from the Rainforest Alliance’s CRM, and creates an interactive map powered by CartoDB that allows users to see RA-certified organizations, and what they do.

The project took less than a month to complete, using a combination of Kanban and XP management processes.

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Labor Rights Portal.

Processes
  • Continuous Delivery
Team Leadership

Verité has an immense amount of data that has been collected over the last 30 years regarding labor worldwide. Internal efforts are ongoing to collect all of the hand-written and paper reports into a centralized database that can be queried and sorted. For the lay-person the data was still just numbers and figures. They needed a way to visualize the data for use by researchers, academics, and the general public.

How we did it

We wanted to ensure the data was exciting to work with. Far too often, data is presented as merely tables and numbers. From the start we wanted to tell a story about the data, so together with Verité, LCM crafted a question-and-answer-based approach to displaying the data with creative charting and mapping elements built to place emphasis on the results of the data.

The site’s functionality continues to be expanded as data is collected with additional visualizations and database connectors to provide real-time data for global results. 

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Content discovery through faceted search.

Processes
  • Continuous Delivery
Team Leadership

Asia Society is a very large implementation with a lot of information, and there are many different personas who frequent these sites, all looking to find and explore content relevant to their interests in an easy and intuitive manner.

After getting the right users to the right area of the site, faceted searching was one of the solutions implemented to help visitors drill down further into the specifics.

How we did it

We developed a faceted search tool to solve the challenge of filtering through the options to get to specific content. By structuring and categorizing the content appropriately in the database, we were able to implement faceted searching functionality, not only for the desired site section, but for other microsites as well.

Because site visitors are able to use this implementation to easily find exactly what they need, this work has, in turn, substantially increased engagements for Asia Society.

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2017 Nonprofit Technology Conference event design.

Processes
  • Continuous Delivery
Team Leadership

NTEN approached Last Call Media to develop a comprehensive look and feel for their 2017 Nonprofit Technology Conference (NTC). NTEN works to create a world where all nonprofit organizations use technology skillfully and confidently to meet community needs and fulfill their missions, and the conference is their signature annual event for engaging and energizing their membership.  

How we did it

LCM understood that the event primarily focuses on building relationships and reconnecting with friends in a collaborative and collegial environment.

Each NTC event centers around a thematic approach reflected in a unified communications materials from registration and information online, to signage and collateral planned for the specific location. After several potential directions were presented, they chose a ‘state fair’ approach that was nostalgic, without camp, for the Washington, DC conference.

logo

Ribbon

macbook

 


 

Proposed Logos & Designs

proposed logos

Shirt

signage 2

signage

mug

bag

Last Call Media developed the necessary assets to support every platform, and developed a style approach to guide NTEN staff and collateral vendors.

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Continuous delivery to HIAS.

Processes
  • Continuous Delivery
Team Leadership

Last Call Media kicked off our relationship with HIAS, the oldest international migration and refugee resettlement agency in the U.S., with a Design and Development Audit. We’ve used our findings from that task to inform strategies and recommendations for both immediate goals and long term projects.

How we did it

LCM has been assisting HIAS with site-wide User Experience and Design improvements, with services including card sorting exercises, site navigation strategy, and overall recommendations and prototyping.

Additionally, we’ve provided new feature development, such as adding Events listing and browsing capabilities.

We also provide ongoing support to maintain their existing Drupal, WordPress, and other PHP web systems.  

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Consulting and continuous delivery.

Processes
  • Continuous Delivery
Team Leadership

Last Call Media pursues work that we feel good about. We engage institutions in the artistic, education, and nonprofit sectors because we believe in what they do. CreativeGround, a product of the New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA), was exactly the kind of partner LCM wanted to have, and they just happened to be in the market for a new partner when we met them.

How we did it

CreativeGround is a free online directory of profiles for cultural nonprofits like libraries and theaters, creative businesses like recording studios and design agencies, and artists of all disciplines. They came to LCM looking to escape a pattern that many organizations find themselves in: the design, creation, hosting, and support of their website had been handed off multiple times between different agencies, and some things had been lost in a long game of telephone; they were in a support contract, but didn’t feel supported; they knew they needed to make some big changes to their site, but needed guidance on where to start. They needed a partner that would be both capable and transparent, and help them take their site to the next level.

Understandably, CreativeGround was wary of jumping into another agreement with yet another dev shop, so we started off slow. Through concise communication, thorough support, routine site updates, and honest recommendations over the course of several months, LCM was able to show CreativeGround that it’s possible to have an expert team of developers on their side, with all of their best interests in mind.   

LCM migrated the CreativeGround site from an internal host server— which caused a lot of troublesome deployments due to a complex workflow— to Pantheon. This move offers CreativeGround more control over their own site, increased transparency around the work performed on it, and greater ease when it comes to deploying work and performing site updates. Not to mention, it will save them time and money on all fronts!

Last Call Media has continued to assist CreativeGround with site maintenance and feature development since the switch. They remain one of our favorite partners to work with.

Last Call Media has been incredibly attentive to our unique needs as an arts nonprofit. They’ve gone out of their way to do more than just maintain our site. There’s heart to their work!

Nicholas Medvescek, Website Administrator, CreativeGround
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Continuous delivery, embedded.

Processes
  • Agile/Kanban
  • Continuous Delivery
Team Leadership

Last Call is a delight to work with – not only are they top-notch developers, they are great communicators, even with the least tech-savvy amongst us. My favorite part about working with them is their unfailing can-do attitudes and ability to follow through on even the tightest deadlines. We’ve thrown all sorts of crazy complicated requests at them and they surpass our expectations every time. Last Call makes us look like web rock stars… they are so good I almost don’t want to let the word out!

Danielle Cranmer, Web Manager

When we met, Rainforest Alliance needed to upgrade their existing Drupal 6 website to the latest major version, Drupal 7.

We developed and implemented an upgrade and migration path for the site with 85 modules, including 35 custom modules, to bring the site to a fully functioning Drupal 7 build. The upgrade was fully developed and its deployment was seamless. The Rainforest Alliance site went from Drupal 6 to 7 with zero downtime.

We enjoy a strong relationship with the Rainforest Alliance team, working together to continuously deliver strategic value in their digital properties, and were proud to be chosen for a full site redesign and upgrade.

Our work continues as the Rainforest Alliance’s development team, embedded within their internal Web Service Department, scaling our resources up and down as needed.