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Case Study: Database driven Web Site Design and Development

The Albany Chapter of the Autism Society of America hired us to do a full redesign of their web site, adding new improved content, integrated with a content management solution and an outside membership management application. Business Design Studio worked with the marketing committee to determine what content was important, and developed a new architecture for the site that could be flexible and grow. We used the existing ASA logos and colors as the basis for the new design.

The bulk of this project involved developing two custom database solutions and an adminstrative back end for chapter staff to continuously update the content. One provided a way to add, manage and organize web resources from a local to international level. The other was a resource library which could allow the staff to add recommended books and other media, flag which were available in the chapter's lending library, and easily provide an Amazon affiliate link for purchases. There is also a feature for people to be able to submit stories and photographs about people with autism spectrum disorders, for inclusion on the web site.

The decision to use a web based service called Doubleknot for the membership features like calendars, photo albums and document library, was made during the planning phase of the project. Business Design Studio was involved in learning the application, helping to get existing data into the contact management system, and integrating the look and features of the application with the new web site navigation.

Upon launch, the Chapter staff received instructions on using the administrative features of the database, and were given access to the static areas of the site with Macromedia Contribute so that they could continue to add and edit content on their own.

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