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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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AIA Top Ten digital transformation.

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

The American Institute of Architects had a legacy web application that displayed contest winners from past AIA Top Ten contests. The entries were complex static HTML pages consisting of more than 10 years worth of winning projects. Each project was explained and judged on around 100 different criteria. Every year, architects would submit their entries via a paper form, which would then be copied and distributed to the judges. At the end of voting, winning entries would be converted into webpages for display on the site. This process required an extremely high level of involvement from applicants, administrators, and judges.

We built a custom form submission system, spanning 13 pages of information, that allowed users to save, resume, and rollback their nominations.

An administrative workflow was added for approval, voting, and judging, plus a PDF exportable version for offline viewing. Winning submissions can be flagged as ‘winner’ which publishes the data to the public website. Non-winning submissions are set back to pending and can be resubmitted annually for up to 10 years.

The result of our work is a streamlined version of the former project submission process. It requires far less work to maintain, and because it was built on a Content Management System, future changes or upgrades to the site are far easier than they would have been with the old bespoke system.

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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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Modern site design, historic content.

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

The Yale Department of the History of Art sought a design and technical implementation partner to assist with the redesign of their website. The department wanted a more updated online presence that would remain aligned with their status as a center of academic arts excellence. 

How we did it

The team at Yale was great to work with because they were very engaged in the process. Last Call Media brought expertise in user experience, user interface, and design to the table.

We started with some proposed changes to the information architecture and user experience aspects of the site, and the feedback we received informed the work that followed. 

We offered three options of style tiles at the outset of the design process, and we were pretty excited when the Department chose the bold, modern look.

Historic
Style Tile #1: Historic
Museum Card
Style Tile #2: Museum Card
Modern
Style Tile #3: Modern

The implementation of the new design consisted of developing a custom template. The design effort was focused on the homepage and a few key landing pages. After applying the new styles to the existing content, a few minor tweaks were handled by the LCM development team to enhance the remaining pages.

Repsonsive

We created a modernized Art History website that was uncompromisingly “cool,” while maintaining a clean backdrop to showcase esteemed works of art, respected artists, and notable news and events out of a well-known Yale institution. 

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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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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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Drill down to savings.

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

Coupon Craze had a lot of information for their users, and there were many different personas who frequented the site looking for specific coupons from within the wide variety the site offers.

Faceted searching was one of the solutions implemented to help visitors drill down further into the specifics they were looking for.

We developed a faceted search tool for their catalog to solve the challenge of drilling down through the options to get to a specific coupon.

coupon search

By structuring and categorizing the content of this site appropriately in the database, we were able to implement faceted searching functionality across the entire site.

Site visitors are able to use this implementation to drill down to very specific coupons. This work has substantially increased conversions.