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Reimagined on Drupal 8, in six sprints.
Rainforest Alliance
Processes
  • Agile/Kanban
  • Agile/Scrum
Team Leadership
  • Senior Producer
    Kelly Albrecht
  • Senior Development
    Jeff Landfried

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.

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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. 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 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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Purchasing workflow and subscription management.
DeepIS
Processes
  • Agile/Scrum
Team Leadership
  • Senior Producer
    Sean Eddings

Success meant they needed new automation for their process.

Unable to keep up with manually processing a high volume of new and existing B2B customer requests, DEEP Information Sciences (DeepIS) asked Last Call Media to build an online self-service subscription management service on top of their Drupal 7 site.

The service needed to enable customers to create an account, provide necessary marketing metadata for DeepIS’ marketing team, and guide customers through the sales process from subscription estimation to subscription purchase, renewal, and upgrade. Customers also needed to access content related to their service, DeepSQL, online in real time. 

How we did it

Leveraging AngularJS, LCM built a seamless custom subscription purchasing workflow app to guide the user through the dynamic purchasing workflow by feeding and pulling data as necessary to and from HubSpot, their marketing automation tool; SalesForce, their CRM; and Zuora, their subscription management service.

The custom subscription calculator in the AngularJS app pulled in data in real time from Zuora, using Zuora’s APIs, so users were presented with the most up-to-date pricing. Once the purchasing workflow was complete, the user’s card was charged and they received an email with their receipt and license key moments later, all without speaking to a DeepIS representative.

This implementation solved the problem where a prospective customer had to email or call DeepIS to purchase a subscription and manage their account. The new online workflow slashed the conversion time by eliminating the need to call DeepIS to purchase a subscription, increased customer satisfaction, and significantly increased revenue for DeepIS. With the biggest barrier to conversion eliminated, users were now clicks away from purchasing a subscription.

Further, with event-triggered email campaigns using HubSpot, DeepIS was able to strategically nurture customers on the trial or free plan to upgrade to a paid plan. Data from SalesForce, Drupal, and Zuora was fed to HubSpot email campaigns increasing the likelihood of a user purchasing a paid subscription. The emails had a unique URL generated by SalesForce, and the user could provide their credit card information and upgrade their subscription with a few clicks.

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Branding Computational Cardiology.
Computational Cardiology Lab
Processes
  • Agile/Scrum
Team Leadership
  • Senior Producer
    Colin Panetta

Telling the story of the personal virtual heart

Recently, Last Call Media partnered with the Computational Cardiology Lab at the Institute for Computational Medicine at Johns Hopkins University to establish a unique and approachable identity and website design for their very technical work. This work was completed in only two design sprints.

How we did it

The Trayanova Lab of Computational Cardiology represented a rare intersection of art and science.



Discovery

During discovery, which consisted of an extensive on-site meeting, we learned a few important facts about Computational Cardiology that served as guiding lights for the design work we did with them. First, we learned about what they do. In a nutshell, Computational Cardiology creates virtual models of hearts that can be used for diagnosis or study. (Saving everyone the messy business of taking real hearts out of people’s bodies which can be, let’s say, not particularly healthy for the subject.) Here’s an Endgadget article about one of their recent studies.

Computational Cardiology uses design as a tool to set themselves apart from their peers and get attention drawn to their important work.

Our second big takeaway from discovery is that Computational Cardiology places a high value on design, a quality they told us can be rare in the scientific community. As such, Computational Cardiology uses design as a tool to set themselves apart from their peers and get attention drawn to their important work. And beyond just good design, they wanted a distinctive, exciting look. The leadership at Computational Cardiology has a keen eye for art and fashion, and they felt it was important that this sensibility be reflected in their identity. This was music to our ears!

 

Getting alignment

So with all this in mind we developed a few aesthetic directions that we could use to get creative alignment. These directions mostly represented Computational Cardiology’s identity using the bold, artistic direction they expressed to us, along with some more conservative elements to make sure a full range of choices was available for consideration. After quickly responding to some of the bolder directions, we selected the elements we thought worked especially well and went to work developing a unified direction based around them.

Three aesthetic directions designed for this project.

 

Our work has heart

One of those elements was a graphite illustration of Computational Cardiology’s computer models of hearts. That drawing would go through multiple iterations before taking the final form seen on the site, all of which can be seen below.

Three early iterations of the heart illustration used in the site design.
Evolution of a heart.

 

Designing a logo

Our Creative Director Nolan was able to quickly design a thematically dense logo in a very short amount of time. The heart icon, rendered with angles to reinforce the theme of technology, is surrounded by brackets, indicating that the heart is made of computer code. Those brackets also represent the two “C”s of Computational Cardiology and the negative space between them creates a cross, a symbol commonly used to indicate healthcare.

The final logo design for this project.

 

Building the site

Throughout the design process we remained aware that Computational Cardiology would be building the site themselves, and frequently checked in with their in-house developer to make sure we weren't designing anything that would be problematic for them. After the designs were complete we provided them with the assets they'd need to build the site, which they did using the service Webflow. That the final, developed version of the site (which can be seen here) is so faithful to our designs is a testament to both their developer's skill and the robust functionality of Webflow!

Profile picture for user Colin
Colin Panetta
Director of UX/UI

Driven by the need to have a compelling presence in place for the year-end graduate student application season, Last Call Media worked within a tight timeline to design a new logo and a distinctive and approachable visual experience that showcases the lab’s groundbreaking work with illustrations that were drawn by hand in-house. The project completed in two agile design sprints

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Delivering a high stakes MVP.
Designow
Processes
  • Agile/Kanban
  • Agile/Scrum
  • Continuous Delivery
Team Leadership
  • Senior Producer
    Sean Eddings

Following a branding initiative, Designow worked with Last Call Media to build and launch the initial release of a complex crowdfunding platform on Drupal.

When we began, initial prototyping and feature development had already been started. As is often the case, much of the prototyping had made its way into substantial portions of what was now the project's foundational work. It had become difficult to determine exactly what was completely done, what was partially done, and what requirements had been left out along the way.

How we did it

We used our expertise in Agile methodologies to bring order to complexity and the product to launch. We began by building and prioritizing a backlog of tasks, getting high priority tasks into a ready state by defining out appropriate definitions of done. We additionally focused on implementing strategies for limiting the work-in-progress present in the project when we started. We forecasted out a few sprint goals, informed by our backlog development and resulting strategies, and quickly went into heavy development.

Immediate visibility for stakeholders into development progress became of major importance for their own ability to make quick business decisions concerning their investment. In order to maximize the value of the work, we adapted our initial Scrum iteration approach into shorter, one-week sprints of continuous delivery to get small groups of completed tasks out faster. This soon further evolved into more of an ideal Kanban flow, allowing a continuous awareness and continuous delivery of the right value.

Since the initial release, LCM and Designow have continuously measured and inspected valuable feedback. Our work continues as the product is currently receiving regular releases of new features and refinements.

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A new design for PVPC.
Pioneer Valley Planning Commission
Processes
  • Continuous Delivery
Team Leadership
  • Senior Producer
    Colin Panetta
  • Art Director
    Colin Panetta

The Pioneer Valley Planning Committee, the regional planning body for the Pioneer Valley region, which encompasses 43 cities and towns in the Hamden and Hampshire county areas of Massachusetts, asked LCM to redesign their aging Drupal site with a new look and feel and to also be compliant with new government regulations surrounding content and site accessibility.

How we did it

 

Working with PVPC 

We took the project from initial discovery and strategy through information architecture, design and development. We were able to deliver a compelling, modern and effective design, with PVPC's target users in mind. Our discovery and strategy informed a new design for improved site navigation and menu structure, re-working the existing navigation system to create a more fluid experience visiting the site.

Profile picture for user Colin
Colin Panetta
Director of UX/UI
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Consortium Assault Services app.
Amherst College
Processes
  • Continuous Delivery
Team Leadership
  • Senior Producer
    Kelly Albrecht
  • Senior Development
    Rob Bayliss

In response to growing concerns and attention around Sexual Harassment and Assault Nationwide, Amherst College needed a tool to serve students of the Five Colleges with rapid access to Title IX office information and emergency services.

How we did it

LCM and Amherst College worked together with student advocates, Title IX, LGBT, and other campus offices and organizations to design and develop an iOS App that puts valuable information, from a Drupal site Amherst can administer, into the hands of students. The major feature of the app was to direct assault survivors to emergency contact information, help services, and other advocacy groups anonymously and quickly.

Profile picture for user Rob
Rob Bayliss
CTO

The app was announced to all incoming and returning students during new school year orientation. Information about the app has been circulated through the Five Colleges on promotional materials and "get help" fliers, and posters.

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Fun and impactful design for inclusive tech event.
NERD Summit
Team Leadership
  • Senior Producer
    Kelly Albrecht

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.

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 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.

 

Profile picture for user Colin
Colin Panetta
Director of UX/UI

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

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Healthy U Portal app.
Cooley Dickinson Hospital
Processes
  • Continuous Delivery
Team Leadership
  • Senior Producer
    Kelly Albrecht
  • Senior Development
    Rob Bayliss
  • Art Director
    Colin Panetta

Cooley-Dickinson Hospital offers an incentive based healthy lifestyle program to their employees. As employees participate in exercise activities, healthier eating habits, and life-enhancing techniques education classes they gain points—which translate to greater discounts to their benefits contributions. CDH was tracking this participation program on paper and in Excel for over 1000 employees. Last Call was hired to transform the program into an interactive digital experience to increase participation and automate much of the workflow of managing the program.

How we did it

We provided an easy-to-use interface to minimize the barrier of entry for users. Maximized by a Mobile First approach, we condensed how much information was presented to allow users to quickly access the main features of the program which is entering exercise activity. While also accessible through desktop and laptop computers, the primary use case for the app was on the go, from a mobile device, for a user to track their progress. LCM went further, implementing QR Code functionality, allowing CDH to post flyers notifying staff of special activities. Scanning the QR Codes on those notices would transition the user's experience to the relevant area of the app.

Things went really well with the program, it met all of our needs really well and the employees loved it.

Sam Blasiak, Cooley Dickinson Hospital

The program has been met with amazing reception both from administration, and employee participation. The program is being further expanded and developed to be modular and rapidly deployed at partner healthcare facility partners.

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Redesigning the College of Biological Sciences.
College of Biological Sciences
Processes
  • Agile/Scrum
Team Leadership
  • Senior Producer
    Kelly Albrecht
  • Art Director
    Colin Panetta

Developing a digital media strategy with measurable results. Challenged to increase enrollment, the College of Biological Sciences at the University of Minnesota looked to Last Call Media for ways to develop a digital media strategy with measurable results. Last Call Media focused on increasing engagement with CBS’ primary audiences: prospective and current students by implementing fresh designs with improved pathways and navigation. LCM also coordinated the final migration and deployment of the site to the University’s Acquia platform.

How we did it

Working with CBS, we took the project from initial discovery and goal validation through information architecture, design and development.

We were able to deliver a compelling, modern and effective site. With CBS’s target users in mind, Last Call Media improved site navigation and menu structure, re-working the existing navigation system to create a more fluid experience visiting the site.

The site was launched in summer, in time to function as an active recruitment tool for the school year. After receiving consistent positive feedback, CBS and LCM received an award for the design and functionality. The CBS team has continued to add and manage new content on top of the sound foundation built by Last Call Media.

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A modern site home to the treasures of the world.
Material & Visual Cultures of Religion
Processes
  • Agile/Scrum
Team Leadership
  • Senior Producer
    Sean Eddings

Aligning an aging website with modern organizational goals. The Center of the Material and Visual Cultures of Religion (MAVCOR) at Yale University sought the expertise of LCM to help bring their aging website in line with their strategic organizational goals. As an online archive of objects of religion, often accompanied by narratives or conversations, the academic source will behave like an online museum: delivering the user to the content in the most unobstructed way so they can focus on it.

Much like a museum would, it’ll recommend related content for further exploration.

How we did it

MAVCOR is a unique peer reviewed publication and community that gathers visual culture and hosts multidisciplinary collaborations of scholars from around the globe. This necessitates a virtual space that is the only one of its kind. Previously confined to the Yale departmental design template, MAVCOR came to us to design and develop a Drupal 7 site to enhance functionality of their user experience, robust asset management and spotlight their obvious visual culture.

LCM partnered with the MAVCOR team to develop new and enhanced functionality to their Fellow’s Portal, Asset Management, Material Objects Archive, and Search in a visually centric design honoring their unique and growing community.

The new MAVCOR is a literal and virtual center of publicly accessible collaborative scholarship.

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