Open.Michigan is the University of Michigan's contribution to the Open Education Resources (OER) project—an initiative that promotes the free and open exchange of courseware, throughout the world. After several years of using the eduCommons platform, which is built on the Zope and Plone CMSs, Open.Michigan decided it was time for an upgrade. Their goal was to build a top-notch courseware delivery system and make it freely available to the OER community. Drupal was the natural choice for this endeavor because not only is it robust and scalable, it is also open-source. Over many months, we worked very closely with the Open.Michigan team to develop a complex courseware delivery system to meet their exact specifications. Features include one-click download of all course materials, easier collaboration among university departments, and a full revision-tracking system. Since the system launched in late September, the staff at Open.Michigan have seen huge improvements in productivity. Piet Kleymeer, Open Education Manager, states, "...an improved user interface and more reliable and consistent software behavior, has cut our publishing time by nearly 400%." The system developed by Open.Michigan is available for download through github.com.
The online archive of scholarly journals, JSTOR, was undergoing a complete overhaul of their user interface. In conjunction, the organization decided to rebuild the informative and marketing side of their public-facing website, spinning it off into a separate sub-site at about.jstor.org. Having chosen to use Drupal for this part of the project, JSTOR approached us with an aggressive timeline, looking for a completely new design that would sync with their rebranding efforts. We worked within in the guidelines provided by their parent organization, ITHAKA, to create a minimalistic website that still packs a lot of information. We built out a system for creating and managing landing pages for their specific markets, membership communities and content collections, as well as an integrated multi-level fee structure.
Meadowlark Builders needed a site that reflects the artistic detail and quality they put into their homes. From custom designs to green building renovations, Meadowlark also wanted to educate visitors on the many services they offer. Working closely with the client’s design team and using Drupal as a development platform, we helped them organize their wealth of knowledge into an easy-to-navigate and aesthetically pleasing website. In addition to building out an intricate design with many sophisticated features, such as custom scrollbars and embedded fonts, we also implemented dynamic photo galleries and a categorized case study system allowing the client to showcase their work.
The Williams Syndrome Association is an important resource for a variety of demographics. Parents, doctors, researchers, and more visit their website to learn about the syndrome and offer support to one another. Working with their design team, we helped WSA take full advantage of Drupal’s content management features to make the site easy to explore. We also fine tuned their installation of CiviCRM to better meet their needs and integrate with the new website. Visitors can learn about upcoming events, purchase WSA books and apparel through the store, hear first-hand stories from other families, and donate to the cause. As we continue to help WSA develop their website, we'll incorporate a forum, set up a full event registration system, and a build out a multimedia-rich community for learning, sharing and growing.
Fit Kid Champions, a partner of the University of Michigan’s Project Healthy Schools, is an outreach program that encourages kids to “get moving”—part of a national campaign promoted by Michelle Obama. The organization approached us with an idea for a web-based log that would allow kids to track their activity on a daily basis, join virtual teams, and earn points and recognition in the process. We worked closely with the staff of Fit Kid Champions to develop additional social features for the log, including the ability to upload images, see each other’s profiles and progress, and post messages to teammates. During the project, the log was also expanded to include more aspects of a healthy lifestyle, allowing kids to also track eating well and caring for others. The final product is currently in beta release and being tested with local schools.
Traverse City Chamber of Commerce is one of the most successful in the state, providing services for a five-county area. Over the past few years as the chamber has grown, the inflexible design of its website could not keep up, creating a unnavigable tangle of content and a lack of valuable features for its members. Additionally, the various departments within the chamber had a difficult time maintaining the information they were responsible for due to a multi-layered process. Ready for a complete overhaul of design, structure, and functionality, the chamber turned to us. After a complete redesign and rounds of user testing, we implemented an easy-to-use CMS that the staff can access and maintain and integrated it with a full-featured membership management system that streamlines their daily workflow. Learn more about Caravan, our membership management system.
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