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Healthy U Portal app.

Processes
  • Continuous Delivery
Team Leadership
  • Senior Producer
    Kelly Albrecht
  • Senior Architect
    Rob Bayliss
  • 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 education classes to learn life-enhancing techniques, 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.

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 included 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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Rainforest Alliance's Global Impact Map.

Processes
  • Agile/Kanban
  • XP
Team Leadership
  • Senior Producer
    Kelly Albrecht
  • Senior Architect
    Rob Bayliss

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

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
  • 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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National Census of Writing.

Processes
  • Agile/Scrum
Team Leadership
  • Senior Producer
    Sean Eddings
  • Senior Architect
    Jeff Landfried
  • Senior Development
    Jeff Landfried

In the midst of sorting massive amounts of data for the National Census of Writing, Jill Gladstein of the Swarthmore College English Department called on Last Call Media to create a usable web data explorer for use by the general public and qualified researchers alike. Survey data was collected from respondents from over 900 higher education institutions. Census questions gathered data about curricular, administrative, and support structures of writing programs in the United States from March 2013 to October 2014.

Census data is extremely important for the Higher Ed community, but the information is only as good as it is accessible. Working closely with the Swarthmore staff, LCM pinpointed what information was the most critical and sought after by administrators and researchers viewing the data. Graphs were designed to optimally visualize survey question responses and search functionality created to easily explore by survey question, institution type and related filters.

Tablet showing graphs from the National Census of Writing website.

The first iteration of the site launched in time for Swarthmore to unveil its functionality at the Council of Writing Program Administrators 2015 Conference to great praise. The site, in addition to the program’s work, has gone on to be featured in Inside Higher Ed being utilized by the general public, researchers and higher education institutions all over the country and is 508 compliant.

The Census is being utilized in ways we never expected.

Jill Gladstein, Swarthmore College English Department
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Upgrading the CAIA Association.

Processes
  • Agile/Scrum
Team Leadership
  • Senior Architect
    Jeff Landfried
  • Senior Development
    Jeff Landfried

Time-sensitive reporting was challenged by a lack of exporting and reporting capabilities of the previous web platform, so CAIA was looking at upgrading their existing infrastructure from an outdated, highly customized and modified eCommerce website, to a more robust solution upgraded to the newest version of Drupal.

How we did it

Profile picture for user Jeff

We joined the project to get it across the finish line. We refined the existing agile approach for a better-organized project backlog and a more deliberate iteration strategy.

Our solution included working with in-house developers to migrate and upgrade numerous features and systems to work with the most current major Drupal version. Tailored reporting capabilities were developed, giving real-time statistical and sales figures for their support team and company executives.

 

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Best-in-class content delivery and caching.

Processes
  • Continuous Delivery
Team Leadership
  • Senior Architect
    Rob Bayliss

As part of our ongoing engagement with the Commonwealth, we identified an opportunity to improve customer and constituent experience by leveraging the Cloudflare CDN (Content Delivery Network). Following the initial discovery phase, we architected, implemented, and deployed Cloudflare’s Global CDN product to give the site best-in-class content delivery and caching, while maintaining all the functionality of the previous CDN while improving development capabilities.

Creating Undetected Changes.

In the discovery phase, we reviewed the marketplace to find the most appropriate CDN for the State’s use case, balancing security, performance, and cost considerations. Ultimately, Cloudflare was selected as the best fit because of its extensive firewall and DDOS protections, and granular cache control using “Cache Tags,” which have the potential to boost performance for the constituents and reduce the risk of site instability.  

The first, and perhaps most critical concern we addressed in the course of this project was that the CDN needed to be resilient, serving pages even if the site itself was not functioning properly. For example, the development team does code releases periodically that take the backend of the site completely offline, but constituents still need to be able to access content during this time. To meet this requirement, we adjusted the site’s caching headers to include directives to serve cached responses in the event of an error response received from the origin.  As a result, constituents are able to access the majority of Mass.gov, even if a catastrophic event takes the web servers completely offline.

As a government website, Mass.gov is always at risk of attack from malicious actors. To mitigate this risk, Last Call Media undertook extensive configuration and testing of Cloudflare’s various security features, including the Web Application Firewall (WAF), DDOS protections, and custom firewall rules. We had a few hiccups along the way with configuring the security features (at one point, content authors were receiving CAPTCHA verifications when submitting their changes), but were ultimately able to work through these issues to dial in the right balance of security and ease-of-use.

Next, we implemented Cloudflare’s brand new “Workers” feature, which gives granular control over CDN functionality using a javascript “service worker.” The Worker we wrote for this project handles more than 6 million requests a day, and gives the Commonwealth the ability to test and deploy CDN level changes to development, staging, and production environments independently, making it much faster and safer to verify and release changes. The worker implementation benefits the Commonwealth giving them flexibility for the future, while also reducing cost over the previous CDN.

These workers were also integral to the success of this migration beyond what we had initially imagined. During the testing and release phases of the project, they gave us a mechanism for fixing changes that was reviewable and testable. Having a well-defined review and deployment process improved the team’s visibility into what changes were being made, and let us avoid silly mistakes. Overall, we felt the development team’s velocity was greatly improved by using this workflow.

The migration went as smoothly as possible, there were no negative results.

Mass.gov raved:

I hope you are puffed up with pride. We simply couldn’t have done any — much less ALL — of this mountain of work without you. You’ve been a rock. Well, a very hard-working and creative rock. We are so lucky to have your help.

Lisa Mirabile, Project Manager

For the future we envision phase 2 to be granular cache invalidation. This would mean when a piece of content changes, the CDN would only invalidate only that piece of content so it’s fresh in the cache. What that allows us to do is set really long cache lifetimes on the edge content. We would be able to cache pages for even a year and rely on the invalidation to make them fresh when we need to be, reducing the load on the backend servers significantly. In its current state, pages now only get cached for 30 minutes. With a longer available cache time, we’d see immediate results for less load time, it would be less costly for infrastructure, and lessen the chances for a backend disruption.

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Helping patients learn more about their options for medical professionals.

Processes
  • Continuous Delivery
Team Leadership
  • Senior Producer
    Sean Eddings

Helping patients identify and connect with a medical professional best suited for their needs.

A key component of the web presence for Columbia Medical School is their faculty profiles. In keeping with their tripartite mission of teaching, research, and clinical work, the University displays two distinctly different types of profiles. Department web site profiles focus on the individual’s scholarly work and administrative positions. The ColumbiaDoctors website displays information about the physician’s clinical work including specialties, practice locations, and insurance. It is also just as important for new medical professionals to store and access their profile information in one place as it is for the departments and practices they are a part of. 

Maintaining a complex system with many data feeds and manual verification of information was becoming a burden for the University’s support staff, and the complexity of the process to create or update a profile was vexing to faculty and their support staff. Columbia University Medical Center looked to LCM to help them find a new solution. There was a preference for moving to an existing solution available in the marketplace rather than building a new custom solution. 

We embarked on an intensive information gathering phase, to better understand the existing technology, data inputs and outputs, and nature of the support queue. Through preparing user stories, we worked with the University to identify stakeholders groups, and we conducted detailed interviews with individuals in each group to understand their pain points within the existing system.

Finally, we conducted extensive research to identify potential solutions. We identified a number of peer institutions and investigated the faculty and physician profiles, and - to the extent possible - the technologies and workflows employed to create them. We contacted a number of vendors to gather more detailed information and winnowed the list of candidates to those that presented the best possible fit. We summarized our findings recommendations in our final meeting with the team.

By working closely with the team and developing a strong rapport with them, as well as the stakeholders, we were able to gain a clear understanding of their goals and deliver actionable recommendations   

By working closely with the team and developing a strong rapport with them, as well as the stakeholders, we were able to gain a clear understanding of their goals and deliver actionable recommendations to support CUMC’s business goals.