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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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Content discovery through faceted search.

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

Asia Society is a very large implementation with a lot of information, and there are many different personas who frequent these sites, all looking to find and explore content relevant to their interests in an easy and intuitive manner.

After getting the right users to the right area of the site, faceted searching was one of the solutions implemented to help visitors drill down further into the specifics.

We developed a faceted search tool to solve the challenge of filtering through the options to get to specific content. By structuring and categorizing the content appropriately in the database, we were able to implement faceted searching functionality, not only for the desired site section, but for other microsites as well.

Because site visitors are able to use this implementation to easily find exactly what they need, this work has, in turn, substantially increased engagements for Asia Society.

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Massive nightly sync.

Processes
  • Continuous Delivery
Team Leadership
  • Senior Producer
    Sean Eddings
  • Senior Architect
    Rob Bayliss
  • Senior Development
    Rob Bayliss

Yale University Press has a massive collection of over 15,000 unique publications they’ve published over the past 100 years. The Press desired the ability to allow their users to browse, check inventory and purchase items directly from their Yale University Press Drupal site, which required relaunching their site on Drupal 7, integrating their collection management system and an e-commerce and fulfillment solution. After working with another vendor for over three years to get the critical nightly sync from their Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio database to Drupal sync running, Yale University Press was seeking a second opinion. 

Working with Yale ITS and the Press, we successfully implemented a nightly sync that queries their SQL Server for changes made in the last 24-hrs and updates the records in Drupal in under 15 minutes every night at midnight.

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The new DocuWare.com on Drupal.

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

Originally built with many cumbersome integrations on an outdated proprietary .ASP CMS platform, DocuWare.com could no longer serve the company’s current and future needs. As the project lead, LCM collaborated with DocuWare’s team spread across four different global locations. With the Drupal panels module, a custom content creation workflow that imported content from multiple distinct systems and built a fully-functional online community was developed. LCM’s integrations with all vital external systems (CRM, document management, and software licensing), as well as the data tunnels established between the website and critical internal systems at DocuWare, allow tens of thousands of customers to share ideas and resources across DocuWare’s regional networks for the first time in the history of the company. The result is a seamless customer experience across all divisions, deployed in under six months.

DocuWare, in the midst of a rebranding effort and needing to refresh its online presence, contacted Last Call Media to update its content management system. Its massive website, with multiple integrations to external servers and an outdated proprietary .ASP CMS, could no longer serve the company’s needs and was not flexible enough for DocuWare’s expected growth trajectory. 

Last Call worked in cooperation with DocuWare’s web services teams in the US and Germany to manage collaboration efforts between four firms in different global locations. This project allowed Last Call Media to take the Drupal panels module to new limits—develop a custom content creation workflow, import content from multiple distinct systems, and build a fully-functional online community. Each firm contributed individual elements of the design, content strategy, and brand development, making this a truly exciting collaborative process.

Last Call’s maintenance of integration with all vital external systems (customer relations management, document management, and software licensing), as well as the data tunnels established between the website and critical internal systems at DocuWare allowed tens of thousands of customers to share ideas and resources across DocuWare’s regional networks for the first time in the history of the company. The result is a seamless customer experience across all divisions, deployed in under six months.

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Agile Drupal migration.

Processes
  • Agile/Scrum
Team Leadership
  • Senior Producer
    Kelly Albrecht
  • Senior Architect
    Tom Fleming
  • Senior Development
    Kelly McCabe

Rapid migration and training for six departments.

The Dean of UMass Social & Behavioral Sciences (SBS) school had provided a grant to its departments to migrate and update their out-dated static websites to Drupal.

Each department had its own web team, so the engagement was more about collaboration, with LCM doing much of the heavy lifting, while also facilitating and coaching an agile process.

We recommended a rapid, iterative, agile approach to migrate each static HTML site into database-driven websites using the University’s identity management system, Shibboleth. To achieve the highest value within the budget, each department, working with a Last Call producer, could decide how to prioritize tasks for migration, training, and new feature development.

To accomplish the overall project, LCM divided the total grant and project scope into a series of one-week sprints, two sprints per department. We met with each department to develop and prioritize the initial backlog of desired tasks for each department site. Each sprint started with a sprint planning meeting, which included department web teams as collaborators. Some departments were able to prioritize training, enabling them to do more manual migration of content, which in turn freed up sprint time for LCM to do more new feature development.

Leveraging the UMass University Relations custom theme, we rapidly developed numerous websites and provided training and support for each department to develop and deploy their own websites.

The process was very fast and highly collaborative. Due to the agile approach, several departments got additional features beyond the migration of their content from their static websites.

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Leveraging our Scaffolding and Drupal 8.

Processes
  • Agile/Scrum
  • Continuous Delivery
Team Leadership
  • Senior Producer
    Sean Eddings
  • Senior Architect
    Rob Bayliss
  • Senior Development
    Jeff Landfried

Since early 2014, LCM has continued a productive, ongoing partnership with Chicken Soup for the Soul, and supports their web properties and the associated infrastructure. Recently, Chicken Soup asked LCM to launch two new and completely different Drupal 8 sites within a month. LCM worked off of prototypes from Chicken Soup for the Soul and was trusted to move quickly. By deploying two separate teams of 2 developers, LCM was able to take each site from prototype to launch on D8 and Pantheon within two weeks, while another team maintained the ongoing feature release schedule on Chicken Soup for the Soul’s massive Drupal 6 site.

In June of 2016, Chicken Soup needed a simple site for their rapidly-growing television and online programming production and distribution business. The site needed to handle a collection of content pages and videos, and was intended to be another microsite that would follow some standard templating and functionality as laid out for previous Chicken Soup sites LCM had worked on, and new sites that were still to come.

Chicken Soup was looking for an alternative approach.

Building new features to support growing business lines inside their massive aging Drupal 6 site was becoming unsustainable. Over time, the site had accumulated so much functionality that each deployment ran a high risk of breaking something, which led to lengthy deployments. Recognizing that issue, a plan was developed in partnership with Chicken Soup for the Soul to spin out a series of smaller, more focused sites sharing a similar architecture. Drupal’s modular architecture, and particularly Drupal 8’s approach to dependency management, made it a great fit for this task. Additionally, while the core CMS functionality of Drupal 6 worked well, the UI was becoming dated and cumbersome to work with. Drupal 8 featured a lot of usability enhancements, such as the built in WYSIWYG, that would make the site much more usable overall. Finally, the feature set of the site was tightly focused, and after consideration, we were able to implement it with a small handful of contributed modules, and very little technical debt. 

Following on the success of the Chicken Soup for the Soul Pet Foods site, Last Call Media used a similar formula: leverage Drupal 8 core wherever possible, and avoid contributed modules. This was a great strategy in terms of avoiding the turmoil of early Drupal 8 contrib churn, and had the side benefit of keeping the site very lean and performant. After experiencing some past pain points in using the bare “Configuration Management” system in Drupal 8, we chose to use the Features module on this project. Features makes it easy to bundle configuration into modules, and makes it easier to share configuration (in the form of Drupal modules) between the brand’s sites should the need arise in the future. 

The site uses Last Call Media’s boilerplate Drupal 8 scaffolding build, which helped jumpstart the development process by providing a suite of best practices and quality assurance tools with no extra effort.

The goal of this project was to build a flexible marketing site capable of showcasing Chicken Soup for the Soul’s entertainment offerings; primarily their TV shows and online videos. The biggest obstacles the project faced were the looming deadline, the relative instability of Drupal 8 immediately following the initial release, and the lack of contributed modules that were available to us. For example, the Media-related modules we would normally use for the online video section were not stable yet. Instead of using a media/file entity as we normally would to store an online video, we leveraged Drupal core’s new URL field to store the URL of the Rumble video, and used a field template to output an embed link. It was a simple and elegant solution to a difficult problem. 

Thanks to excellent communication with Chicken Soup for the Soul’s Digital Strategy team, and Last Call’s experience in working with Drupal 8, we were able to turn the project around in just two weeks. This met the deadline set by the marketing team, and achieved all of the goals that were set out. 

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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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Pet food microsite, built in two weeks.

Processes
  • Agile/Scrum
  • Continuous Delivery
Team Leadership
  • Senior Producer
    Sean Eddings
  • Senior Architect
    Rob Bayliss
  • Senior Development
    Jeff Landfried

Since early 2014, LCM has continued a productive, ongoing partnership with Chicken Soup for the Soul, and supports their web properties and the associated infrastructure. Recently, Chicken Soup asked LCM to launch two new and completely different Drupal 8 sites within a month. LCM worked off of prototypes from Chicken Soup for the Soul and was trusted to move quickly. By deploying two separate teams of 2 developers, LCM was able to take each site from prototype to launch on D8 and Pantheon within two weeks, while another team maintained the ongoing feature release schedule on Chicken Soup for the Soul’s massive Drupal 6 site.

In June of 2016, Chicken Soup needed a simple site to promote their line of wholesome pet food and message of overall health and wellbeing for dogs and cats. The site needed to handle a collection of content pages for products and species, as well as a store locator to show users where their products are available. The Chicken Soup Pet Foods site is a microsite that follows standard D8 templating and functionality, as laid out for previous Chicken Soup sites LCM has completed, and new sites that are still to come.

Chicken Soup was looking for an alternative approach.

Building new features to support growing business lines inside their massive aging Drupal 6 site was becoming unsustainable. Over time, the site had accumulated so much functionality that each deployment ran a high risk of breaking something, which led to lengthy deployments. Recognizing that issue, a plan was developed in partnership with Chicken Soup for the Soul to spin out a series of smaller, more focused sites sharing a similar architecture. Drupal’s modular architecture, and particularly Drupal 8’s approach to dependency management, made it a great fit for this task. Additionally, while the core CMS functionality of Drupal 6 worked well, the UI was becoming dated and cumbersome to work with. Drupal 8 featured a lot of usability enhancements, such as the built-in WYSIWYG, that would make the site much more usable overall. Finally, the feature set of the site was tightly focused, and after consideration, we were able to implement it with a small handful of contributed modules, and very little technical debt. 

After experiencing some past pain points in using the bare “Configuration Management” system in Drupal 8, we chose to use the Features module on this project. Features makes it easy to bundle configuration into modules, and makes it easier to share configuration (in the form of Drupal modules) between the brand’s sites should the need arise in the future. The site uses Last Call Media’s boilerplate Drupal 8 “scaffolding” tool, which produces an artifact build, and provides a lot of best practices and testing tools out of the box. Other than that, we worked hard to use as much of the core D8 functionality as we possibly could to reduce our future technical debt as contributed modules matured.

The goal of this project was to build a flexible marketing site capable of showcasing Chicken Soup for the Soul’s line of pet food products, promoting the retailers that sell those products, and building flexible pages containing multimedia content. The biggest obstacles the project faced were the looming deadline, the relative instability of Drupal 8 immediately following the initial release, and the lack of contributed modules that were available to us. For example, the Addressfield/Geofield modules we would normally use for the “Find a Retailer” feature were unavailable to us, and we were forced to get creative. We ended up using Google’s Fusion Tables as a datasource, with some javascript to embed the data on the page and provide the interactivity. Overall, this was a great tradeoff, since it allows us to offload the import/edit UI and the proximity to a third party, whereas the old solution required building a custom importer to bring a CSV into Drupal, and a number of slow spatial queries to be made against the database.

Thanks to excellent communication with Chicken Soup for the Soul’s Digital Strategy team, and Last Call’s experience in working with Drupal 8, we were able to turn the project around in just two weeks. This met the deadline set by the marketing team, and achieved all of the goals that were set out.   

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Continuous delivery to HIAS.

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