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Redesigning the 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.

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.

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 was to 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.

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 the functionality of their user experience, robust asset management, and spotlight their obvious visual culture.

Different devices show MAVCOR's responsive homepage.

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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Forklift to Drupal 7 in 8 weeks

Processes
  • Agile/Kanban
  • Agile/Scrum
  • Continuous Delivery
  • XP
Team Leadership
  • Senior Producer
    Sean Eddings

Leveraging a small multidisciplinary production team and agile methodologies, LCM migrated SUNY Potsdam from their self-hosted legacy CommonSpot CMS to Drupal 7 on Acquia in just 8 weeks.

The small team at the SUNY Potsdam Office of Public Affairs had been managing the proprietary CommonSpot CMS since its implementation in 2008. It was inflexible and the team struggled with reliability issues, so SUNY Potsdam was looking for a more useable, stable, efficient, and scalable solution. They chose Drupal 7, Acquia, and Last Call Media.  

SUNY Potsdam partnered with Last Call Media and Acquia to migrate their site to Drupal 7. Leveraging the scrum methodology, LCM broke down and organized the major site features into a prioritized backlog, groomed for two-week iterations. While planning and backlog refinement was ongoing several times a week, the core development team at LCM met with Potsdam every other Friday to review work completed, provide training on the new CMS, and to facilitate the feedback-gathering process.

Since SUNY Potsdam had recently gone through a redesign, the project required the new site to maintain the existing look and feel. We began with an in-depth audit of all the different page types and page elements. Instead of doing this manually page by page, we first looked for a programmatic solution. Since CommonSpot did not provide a way to generate this information within the CMS, LCM used its HTML Crawler tool to programmatically crawl the existing production site and analyze the various HTML tags to determine page elements (such as slideshows, feeds, etc), including where and how often they appear. This provided tremendous visibility into the site’s underlying structure, which was critical in planning our approach to the migration to Drupal.

Potsdam Art Page

 

After reviewing this data with SUNY Potsdam, we began the process of consolidation– instead of building one-off page elements, we consolidated similar elements into single widgets that behaved differently based on where on the page it was placed. This helped reduce the vast number of options a content author has to choose from, making it easier for them to do what they need to do: focus on the content. To achieve the desired platform flexibility, LCM built a repository of flexible and adaptable widgets to allow the marketing team at Potsdam to build custom pages. 

The migration included several different page templates and tens of thousands of pieces of content, which required writing and testing a series of migration scripts to get all the content from one CMS to another without downtime or a lengthy content freeze. Since the CommonSpot installation did not have a concept of structured content, LCM used it’s HTML crawler tool again to programmatically identify page content and then map it to its new location in Drupal. Once the custom scripts were written and tested, the migration took only 15 minutes for tens of thousands of pieces of unique content and the associated metadata, such as date published, authoring information, and URL

Potsdam Events Page

 

The new site also pulls in events automatically from their event management system, SOGo, and tags the event to the relevant department or office in the CMS so that it appears on that organization’s page.  

Lastly, in order to make it as easy as possible for content authors to login to the site, we leveraged the identity management service at Potsdam, Active Directory, to allow users to use their domain credentials to authenticate with Drupal.

This project addressed several internal pain points with the SUNY Potsdam main website, allowing the marketing team to move from maintenance and support tasks to other organizational priorities. The site loads blazingly fast on Acquia, and Potsdam continues to work with LCM in an ongoing support relationship.   

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Strategic pivot, design and development.

Processes
  • Agile/Kanban
  • Agile/Scrum
  • Continuous Delivery
Team Leadership
  • Senior Producer
    Kelly Albrecht
  • Senior Architect
    Jeff Landfried
  • Senior Development
    Jeff Landfried

Last Call Media helped the CIO Council team rethink their strategic approach. The CEC Exchange needed to be rebranded and transformed from a place where very few people logged in, to one that showcased the key benefits of membership in the Council: media placements, personalized leadership development, and exclusive access to unique content, events, and peer-matching services.

The CIO Executive Council is a community of Chief Information Officers and other high-level IT professionals from corporate, nonprofit, education, and government backgrounds, gathered together by the International Data Group, a giant technology media, data, and marketing firm responsible for such well-known brands as PCWorld, MacWorld, and CIO Magazine.  

The CIO Executive Council created the CEC Exchange, which had originally been envisioned as a community space for their CIO members to share things of mutual interest. Two years in, the log-in only service was largely unused by the incredibly busy C-Level executives who were members of the Council.  

CEC Exchange uses Salesforce to manage information about each user in their membership pipeline. On the Drupal side, the site contains several main sections that each have their own exclusive resources and content. These sections require a subscription to access. Using a combination of the Salesforce Suite and the Organic Groups module, the site regularly retrieves updated information from Salesforce and syncs it with the Drupal user list, tracking their subscriptions by assigning them to the appropriate groups. The site’s dashboard displays specialized tiles that administrators have full control over, allowing them to highlight featured content and the most sought-after resources within each section for subscribed users. Site visitors and users without a subscription can still see the content that is available from each subscription package, but receive an admin-customizable call to action specific to the content they are attempting to access when they click on a tile from the dashboard.

nav hihglight

phones

 

icons

tablet

Last Call Media designed a much simpler and more attractive interface built around the most compelling products and services that the CIO Exchange has to offer. A CIO visitor to the site can now see how the resources there can help them further their own career, stay on top of the ever-changing trends in technology, reach out to peers facing similar challenges, and access the CIO Exchange’s team of expert concierge staff to answer any questions they may have.

Through a mix of branding and design, Last Call Media re-made the site, which was recently relaunched to incredibly positive initial feedback.

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Asia Society's International Centers.

Processes
  • Continuous Delivery
Team Leadership
  • Senior Producer
    Kelly Albrecht
  • Senior Architect
    Kelly Albrecht
  • Senior Development
    Jeff Landfried

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.

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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Exploration and research.

Team Leadership
  • Senior Producer
    Kelly Albrecht
  • Senior Architect
    Colin Panetta

As part of a comprehensive interior remodeling, the Utah Museum of Fine Arts partnered with Last Call to carry their visual, communication, and wayfinding efforts through to the digital experiences offered by the museum.

We worked with the UMFA Marketing and Communications team to understand the personas of their visitors and to strategize the messaging and functionality needed to design and build a digital experience that could anticipate and provide needed information to the right visitor at the right time. This included identifying and prioritizing the most valuable calls to action desired by, and of, a visitor; building in strategy to persuade the visitor appropriately, directly, and contextually, to complete the goals that are mutually and wholly beneficial to the experience.

Last Call’s Creative team brought their expertise in Strategy, User Experieince, and Design to research, audit, and produce content structure and governance, functionality prototypes, and design deliverables. These deliverables were used in a two-day immersion visit, which culminated in a day of alignment with stakeholders, senior management, and the Marketing and Communications team. This exploration, research, and resulting strategy and design direction will act as the foundation informing the design and development of UMFA’s new digital experience, to launch in time for their annual membership drive and the reopening of their museum.

Kudos continue to roll in about the website… We just loving using it too.

Mindy Wilson, Marketing & Communications Director
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The new RMA.edu.

Processes
  • Agile/Scrum
Team Leadership
  • Senior Producer
    Sean Eddings

Randolph-Macon Academy desired a responsive digital experience that incorporated a consistent, compelling design focused on furthering the school’s mission, and that could easily be modified by appropriate staff with the proper permissions.

We were able to deliver modern visual stylings and multimedia capabilities that loaded quickly and performed optimally, while incorporating best practices for analytics, social media integration, and search engine optimization.

Three layered screens show the landing page and secondary pages of the Randolph-Macon Academy website.

In addition to informing prospective students and their families about the school, the site met the needs of other important stakeholders such as current parents, current students, alumni, faculty, and staff— each of whom had their own needs from the site. The site also housed faculty and staff human resource forms and information, serving as an intranet behind the scenes.

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Labor Rights Portal.

Processes
  • Continuous Delivery
Team Leadership
  • Senior Producer
    Kelly Albrecht
  • Senior Architect
    Rob Bayliss
  • Senior Development
    Rob Bayliss

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.

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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Continuous delivery to HIAS.

Processes
  • Continuous Delivery
Team Leadership
  • Senior Producer
    Kelly Albrecht
  • Art Director
    Colin Panetta

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.

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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Continuous enablement.

Processes
  • Continuous Delivery
Team Leadership
  • Senior Producer
    Kelly Albrecht
  • Senior Architect
    Rob Bayliss
  • Senior Development
    Jeff Landfried

On September 1, Haverford relaunched their homepage with some great new features including:

  • Revised site-wide navigation
  • Seriously upgraded search function
  • Enhanced user menu to help users get to resources they need easily  

Haverford’s in-house communications and development teams executed all of these changes. Last Call Media wants to send them an enthusiastic congratulations on a job well done!

This is an enormous success story for Last Call Media. When I saw this, it was the realization of one of the major goals of our project with Haverford, which was to enable them to to build the foundation of a Drupal environment that allows Haverford to leverage a CMS to manage their site, rather than relying on custom templates that can only be updated by the web team.

Back in December of 2014, when LCM got the call from Haverford about redoing their site in Drupal, I thought it was going to be a redesign.

Haverford didn’t need a redesign; their site looked great already. The biggest issue they needed to solve was not having enough time to do new feature development themselves. The recent enhancements in this Homepage overhaul were the results we were hoping for!

Since then, Last Call Media has continued to work with Haverford on an ongoing basis as part of our dedicated Continuous Delivery relationship, where our dedicated team of developers helps to keep their site secure, up-to-date, and assists as needed with anything from strategy to design to development.