MWC is proud to contribute to the success of our clients. We don't define our work as just providing a particular consulting or development service to any one client; instead, we see ourselves as committed to our client's business goals, whatever they may be. If that means doing more than just what the contract says, we're all for it.
Contributions: Our team at Mindseye completely redesigned and recoded FAO.com, launching the new version in August, 2001. Using Spectra and ColdFusion 5, we revamped the homepage, product listing and detail pages, and the checkout process; we refined the product search and made it more responsive to mispellings; and finally, we introduced a new "MyFAO" user registration system on the site that provided for address book, billing and shipping information, and personalized gift suggestions for all users. The new version of this site was much more robust, reliable, and faster than the old version.
There was also a secure and extensive admin section where FAO could control a host of site settings, and a separate email marketing site which offered FAO the ability to select a market segment from their customer database using various purchasing and demographic criteria, send a rich-text email to that segment, and track the success of the campaign as measured in email views, click-throughs, and purchases.
I performed both IA and some development for this site. I was the lead IA for the main site at FAO.com, which meant that I developed and documented a completely new site hierarchy and navigation, registration system, and checkout process. I also performed almost all of the development for the email marketing web site.
Contributions: BGCB.org, running on Allaire Spectra, is a great site for the youth of Boston to show off their computer skills. With the anywhere editing capabilities of Spectra, the kids from each of the clubs can upload their own exhibits in photography, sculpture, and literature to the site for the world to see.
I coded all of the Spectra in the site: the objects and methods, the security schema, and the application-wide settings. Another junior developer working with me coded most of the front-end HTML. There is also a customized admin section to the site that I created, where, depending personal and group permissions,one can create and maintain objects throughout BGCB.org.
Contributions: This site is one of Hasbro's most successful ecommerce sites, pulling in hundreds of purchases per day. I programmed all of the code for this site, from the cross-referenced "Find-Your-Fun" section, the product catalog, the search function, and the backend editor.
The backend of the site allows Hasbro employees to develop entries for new products before sending them live, and it also allows them to remove old products from the live site without deleting them from the database in case of future need for them. the editor allows one to edit the site's job listings, press releases, and products; each of the products can be edited for price, description, brand, platform availability, and even associated with other products for cross-selling. Since the site went live, Hasbro has used this backend to perhaps triple the number of popular items they sell on this site.
Contributions: I programmed the front end of Hasbro's Starwars site, which consists of a product catalog, a list of collectible starwars dolls, a section oriented towards young children offering a toy showcase and virtual coloring book, a section oriented towards more mature collectors featuring interviews with toy sculptors, collecting news, and a toy voting area, a virtual diorama where users can create their own pictures with starwars toys on top of backgrounds from Episode I, and a registration area where users can sign up for toy news and store lists of the toys which they would like to have and those they already have.
Contributions: I programmed all of the HasbroCollectors site, from the search function, the brand and product pages, and the backend editor. This site runs on the ColdFusion platform and is driven from an Oracle database whose schema I completely redesigned myself.
The front end of this site, which represents all of Hasbro's collectibles, has a showcase of four toys on the front page. I programmed the homepage so that each time a user views the front page they are shown a random set of such toys in random order, so the site appears fresher. There are also special offers shown at the bottom of the page and a news banner at the top, both of which are populated from the site's database. The brand and individual product pages are also populated from the database.
I built a sophisticated backend for this site which Hasbro employees use with great frequency to maintain the site themselves. They can create, delete, or inactivate many of the site's elements such as special offers, news items, brands, and products. I even equipped the backend to use Macromedia's Generator to create a Flash news banner for the homepage whenever Hasbro chooses to update their news items. Hasbro can control all of the factors of their product information, including the name, price, type, and brand. All of the database elements are given a status so that Hasbro can work with them before sending them live to the public. Since the site went live, Hasbro has found it easy to add a tremendous number of new brands and products to the HasbroCollector's catalog.
Contributions: While the five-person development team I led wrote the majority of the ColdFusion code for Sitara, I was responsible for planning the overall application structure and security model. This site offers front-end editing with the Ektron WYSIWYG editor and roles-based user security.
Essentially this means that the site administrator can give specified Sitara employees editing permissions to only a certain portion or portions of the site. After logging in, these users are shown editing "widgets", or hyperlinked icons, on the front end of the site. When these widgets are clicked on, the page is redrawn with the Ektron editor holding the content so that the user can now edit, preview, and save changes to the content, including graphics (move your mouse over the screenshot to see the editor). While this editing does take place via the front end of the site, no other users see the widgets or the editor; they just see the new content once it's been saved.
Originally the corporate site was written with static HTML pages. Some months after the main site was completed, I added the secure PartnerWeb section, which, using the ColdFusion platform, is password protected and allows ArrowPoint personnel to update site content and documents via a web-based backend. At this point we also started to use ColdFusion in the corporate site for its search function and contact form. Finally, I coded ArrowPoint's SupportWeb area, which uses ColdFusion to support hierarchical levels of security to all of the site's content and documents. As with PartnerWeb, the support section has a web-based backend which allows ArrowPoint personnel to maintain the site's content and even to customize the content for different user levels.
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