One Day Enrichment is an academic program started by two homeschooling moms who wanted to provide academic support to local homeschooling families. Read more about that in ODE Redesign.
One Day Enrichment needed a new website so we’ve been building the right solution and things have been falling into place.
Check out the new site at: OneDayEnrichment.com
We needed a site that would do the following:
- have powerfully expandable options for integrating teachers, classes, student information and academic resources
- include responsive design
- quickly communicate to new potential customers the excitement, purposes and welcoming nature of the ODE community
- include an improved registration functionality out of the box but with development potential to increase automation and sophistication at an affordable pace (budget wise)
- improved search engine optimization
It’s been a great ride finding and implementing the materials for the new site. We found a couple new and utterly powerful solutions to make our life easier and the client happy.
Academic ThemeFirst, we found a great academics focused theme in Envato which included so many academic program features we were overwhelmed by the possibilities. We haven’t even scratched the surface of the flexibility and features the theme provides and that’s really cool. It also had an extensive demo materials package which allowed us to preview the potential components with the client even as we worked. This allowed the client’s ideas and communication to flow easily.
The backend is more stable than any we’ve used before so that the client can get up to speed making edits and new content with little pain.
Dynamic Form Tool
We’ve been looking for a good calculating form solution for a while so we were very excited when we found one and started using it in the registration process for ODE. This form allows us to do calculations and multiple layers of dependencies which makes for a clear and clean registration process for customers. The form itself doesn’t link directly into the business backend as of yet because ODE uses Podio databases to manage their business data. but that will be next and we’re excited to dig into the Podio API for that purpose and see how these can fit together. For now, the registration forms feed right into the Podio databases but the dynamic form is used simply as a Schedule Builder Tool. So we’ll see how easy or difficult that is for customers to make use of. While the site is live and registrations are already trickling in, the program doesn’t roll again until this coming fall.
The project is still in progress. But many of the key elements are assembled and the site is live (obviously). We still have bugs to work out with some of the elements and their mobile readiness but people are registering and ODE is preparing for the coming year of classes. Because ODE’s customer database is managed in Podio, the Podio integration is an exciting challenge which we will build more into as we move forward. We want customers to be able to log in and check out their current class schedules as well as their order history & billing information. And we want this brought in from Podio. The WooCommerce functionalities of the site currently allows for beautiful invoicing and payment integration but since we’re integrating with Podio, this will be completed more slowly. All in all, it’s going well.
L&L Graphic Solutions is a promotional print media producer servicing Chicago’s western suburbs. Their promotional media solutions include a wide range of products and services from exterior signage installation projects all the way down to small business print collateral. They have an eye for quality and their new customers tend to become long term customers.
L&L has been digging into their digital marketing strategy and had several initiatives we came on board to help with including:
- Integrating an e-Commerce platform into a customer’s site
- Building out L&L’s own e-Commerce platform which allowed L&L to engage and sell small services to customers online where in the past the customer would have needed to pass on all orders by phone
- Develop a dynamic, larger scale online project tool by which repeat customers can step through project options and, in this way, submit detailed project requests to the sales team before the first phone call.
- General web maintenance issues. The site just needed cleanup and maintenance, as websites do.
The challenges of the L&L Graphic Solutions projects included technical and design challenges. The technical challenges included enjoyable forays into new platforms. L&L’s sites were built on the TradeOnly and EonWorkflow platforms. These platforms are both excellent for delivering exactly the content and functionalities L&L needed for their web presence. But since they are niche platforms, we had to get up to speed with their ins and outs.
The project’s design challenges included integrating the functions and limitations of competing platforms in a way that aesthetically combined the look and feel of L&L’s web presence with the new tools.
The project was executed over the course of several weeks. The only piece not yet completed is the project tool. The question there is whether or not the best long term solution should be a custom built tool or the integration of a pre-built tool. A pre-built tool would meet the current needs of the company and yet be flexible for ongoing repurposing. But the cost may ultimately be higher. This sort of trade off is one of the most common questions developers and executives must consider as they allocate their web development budgets. The fact that pre-built tools are so plentiful, however, makes this dilemma a great problem to have.
Big Time Software is a Chicago based software company. Their slick project management software package is an enterprise targeted suite of tools for workflow management, client engagement management, company invoicing and the like. Although their product is fairly flexible, their primary customers come from the accounting, architecture, and engineering industries. Although the company is finding it’s feet as a startup, it’s their razor sharp niche and their Chicago style pragmatic tenacity which excites us about Big Time’s future.
It was especially fun working with Big Time because:
- They’re a cool company of interesting people doing hard core startup rototilling–where sales & marketing are… everything.
- They have a great product designed by a world-class developer. Project management software is a favorite around here (Seeworthy Media) anyway so it was cool to work up close & play around with their system.
Visual design elements were the main focus of the project. Big Time’s product is made up of dashboards, buttons, and text elements. While the styling of their product is first class, refreshing the punch of their web imagery can pose a creative challenge. So the goal included creating hero imagery and illustrative styling which was engaging without losing the dashboard & product imagery focus.
Through creating standard styles which complemented and matched the overall style of the company’s materials, we were able to help the illustrations attract viewer engagement and the video’s become more useful and enticing.
MAMP & AWS Workflows. Big Time’s site was a new development on Amazon’s Web Services network. Therefore we had the opportunity to use git on AWS and to grapple with the challenges of local, remote (dev) & remote (production) server integrations. With multiple developers, some remote and some in the office, working with Big Time’s development lead to smooth out the correspondence and technical processes was a progressive and eventually successful endeavor.