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Product discovery through faceted search.

Processes
  • Continuous Delivery
Team Leadership
  • Senior Producer
    Colin Panetta
  • Senior Architect
    Rob Bayliss
  • Senior Development
    Tom Fleming

Alan Goldberg provides a lot of resources to a lot of athletes across nearly every sport. There are many different personas who frequent the site, including Coaches and Parents, in addition to the athletes themselves.

After getting the right personas to the right area of the site, faceted searching was one of the solutions Last Call Media implemented to help. Visitors can drill down into the specifics, matching the right user to the right product or resource.

We developed a faceted search tool for their catalog to solve the challenge of filtering through the options to get to a specific product. By structuring and categorizing the products and content of this store appropriately in the database, we were able to implement faceted searching functionality, not only for the store, but for other content as well.

Site visitors are able to use this implementation to find the specific content or products that are most relevant to them. This work has, in turn, substantially increased eCommerce conversions.

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Getting FITiST fit to startup.

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

FITiST is a fitness and lifestyle business that sells a single membership valid at all gyms in a city. The database needed to compile a schedule of all FiTiST-affiliated classes, provide tokens for customer registration, and charge a recurring fee for the membership.

We developed an eCommerce solution that compiles classes from from FITiST-connected gyms into a member-facing scheduling interface, as well as a recurring token payment system to handle class registration purchases.

FITiST became a success in NYC and soon expanded its operation to LA with plans for five more cities to follow.

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Searchable, relevant compliance law and policy

Processes
  • Continuous Delivery
Team Leadership
  • Senior Producer
    Kelly Albrecht
  • Senior Development
    Tom Fleming

Five College Compliance was looking to have a website developed for storing and displaying Compliance Law and Policy information relevant to the Five Colleges of the Pioneer Valley; Mount Holyoke, Smith, Hampshire, UMass Amherst, and Amherst College. The site was to be used as a tool by these schools and certain organizations to check their compliance requirements and related statuses.  

Last Call had several objectives for this project. We first needed to help the FCC team nail down some specific details about how they wanted to accomplish their goals and implement features like a “Compliance Calendar,” which would list various Compliance Laws and Policies by their Compliance due dates.

It was important to this project that the site’s content— mainly Compliance Laws— be easy to add by various contributors, and then easy to navigate by the end users. This also involved developing a publishing workflow better-suited for FCC’s needs; they wanted publishing states like “Ready for review,” and “Needs revisions,” instead of a simple “published” or “not published” system. 

Another key aspect was site filtering. Because this site was serving information for five different schools, and other various organizations, users needed to be able to filter the site specifically for their needs.  

What I most like about working with your firm is your ability to hear what I want, really “get” it very quickly and translate into a web site or whatever.

Elizabeth J. Carmichael, Director of Compliance and Risk Management, Five Colleges Incorporated
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A national treasure migrated to AWS with no downtime.

Processes
  • Agile/Kanban
  • Continuous Delivery
Team Leadership
  • Senior Producer
    Sean Eddings
  • Senior Architect
    Rob Bayliss

StoryCorps is an independently funded organization that collects, shares, and preserves people’s stories to remind people of our shared humanity, to strengthen and build the connections between us, to teach the value of listening, and to weave into the fabric of our culture the understanding that everyone’s story matters. All collected stories are stored in their online archive, accessible to the public upon submitting a request or listening to recordings at various public library listening rooms. StoryCorps reached out to LCM for ongoing support and assistance with migrating their site’s archive of roughly 27TB worth of interviews and information to a new AWS platform.   

The main StoryCorps Archive access point was built on a robust Drupal platform consisting of over 60,000 interview records and approximately 27TB of associated metadata, WAVs, MP3s, JPGs and PDFs. The StoryCorps Archive platform connected with several critical business systems and performed around-­the-­clock ingests from their on­site storage arrays to the Drupal system, via rsync. StoryCorps was looking for a trusted and capable firm to migrate their entire Archive— including the website, connected services, and media— from their single-­server host to a combination of Amazon Web Services (AWS), EC2, S3 and Glacier.

Last Call Media performed a thorough analysis and audit of all StoryCorps’ source data prior to and following the massive migration. We worked closely with StoryCorps’ internal Digital Team and engineering consultants to design, test, implement, and ultimately maintain the new AWS server infrastructure.

The archive is now running smoothly on a robust AWS setup, configured to allow the platform to efficiently scale and grow as the archive does; to the next 27TB and beyond.   

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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. 

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Localization means more than multilingual.

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

Blackboard is a global education technology company whose product offerings differ in various parts of the world, and in different languages. In order to provide relevant information for site visitors in different markets Blackboard’s new Drupal 8 site had to not only provide content in different languages, but also content specific to each visitor’s geographic location. It also needed to be faster and cheaper for Blackboard to spin up sites of varying complexity in new markets. 

Profile picture for user Jeff

Goals

The goal of localization for Blackboard’s corporate site was to provide site visitors from around the world with content specific to their region in their region’s language. This means that in addition to displaying content in different languages, we also needed to be able to incorporate regional and dialect-specific (think “color” vs “colour”) versions of content. Also, since not all product offerings are available in every region we needed region-specific navigation as well (to avoid linking to irrelevant content for some users). All of this variation needed to exist between each regional site while allowing some content types to be shared across each region, such as dynamic “resources”, “case studies” and partner content.

Implementation

Location Detection: Not only did we need to provide the ability to display regional content, we also wanted users to be aware of it. In order to do this, we use Acquia’s GeoIP service in order to determine where the user is visiting from. If their country doesn’t match the regional content that they are viewing, we present a modal dialog to show them that we have a section of the site that may be better suited for them. Once they either follow the link or indicate that they are happy where they are we set a cookie so that they don’t continually see the alert. If they leave the section that they have selected, we again alert them but provide the option to stay where they have navigated to.

Regional Sections: In order to provide the regional sections of the site we relied heavily on the “group” module. Each region is a “group” entity, with its own content. We have several “group-level” fields that allow us to define things like language, navigation menus that will appear in each section for each group, region-specific 4xx error pages, and the alias that serves as the beginning of the alias for each page belonging to the group.

Each page node is a part of exactly one group. There may be pages in different groups with similar titles and content, but this model allowed us to have content in the same language and still handle regional colloquialisms, dialects, etc. While the distinct page nodes were distinct for each region, we still had to recognize that there were some types of content had to be reused across regional sections, because creating new educational resource nodes with identical content for each region would not be sustainable. Those content types are allowed to belong to multiple groups. Content listings are built in a way so that they only display content that belongs to the regional section that is currently being viewed.

Multilingual: Possibly the most obvious part of localization is enabling content to be displayed in multiple languages. Drupal’s standard multilingual functionality doesn’t really play nicely with a content model that supports multiple versions (product pages can vary between markets) of content in the same language (think spelling differences between American and British English). In order to accommodate the model Blackboard required, we decided to use Drupal’s language modules, but to leave content translation out of the equation. Instead, we would create different nodes for each language that content was to be displayed in. From the administrative side this approach caused us to lose the “translate” operation for nodes, but in turn gave us a huge amount of flexibility. We were still able to create a site that supports content being entered in 10+ languages (including RTL languages like Arabic), and accommodate localized nuance for each region as well.

 

Blackboard’s requirements were complex, and caused us to rethink our typical multilingual strategy. Instead of creating a site that supports content in multiple languages, the approach that was taken here grants the internal team at Blackboard to create their new regional sections on their site, taking into account available product offerings as well as language and regional nuance - creating a platform for a site that is not only multilingual, but truly global.