Retro Portfolio: Michigan Group Benefits

The Michigan Group Benefits project came in two parts.

The first part of the project was to redesign MGB’s little-used corporate web site to match the rest of their growing family of sites, including the MyICBlue.com and MyFlexBlue.com sites we had worked with them on before.

As the main MGB site had much less content than the others we replaced the main content area of their home page with a Flash-based step-by-step description of their services.

The second phase of the project was to replace their third-party information management system with a custom-developed system they called Datalink.

The Datalink system allows four levels of users to log in and see/edit information.

Site Administrators are the highest level of user. They can manage user accounts, manage benefit groups and view all of the information on the site.

Group Administrators have all of the same permissions as the Site Administrators but are confined to the group to which they belong.

Agents work for MGB but only have view access to groups that are assigned to them.

Subscribers are individuals who have read-only access to their own information.

As a whole, the system allows all of MGB’s information about each of their groups (and the subscribers in those groups) to be managed centrally, with that information also available to others who need to see it.


The above text and images were copied directly from the portfolio of my former development company, O6 Web Services, as I imported it over to this blog. It was not updated for re-publishing. This project launched in September 2008.

Retro Portfolio: Michigan Lucky Lotto!

The Michigan Lucky Lotto! site was an e-commerce project built entirely from scratch with a design by ALynn Designs.

As Michigan Lucky Lotto! is a courier service that purchases Michigan Lottery tickets on behalf of others, they have no stock to track. Instead, we built a system to track the purchases they would have to make for their customers and when they would need to be made.

Customers can pick their own lotto numbers or use a “Quick Play” option. However the number is selected, it will be recorded in their purchase history so that they can track their numbers and see if they’ve won.

Users can sign up on their own, before or after loading tickets into a shopping cart. Site administrators can then manage the user list, viewing their transaction history and editing the account.

The shopping cart accepts credit cards using Authorize.Net’s payment gateway, charging both one-time and recurring transactions.

The administration system also includes tools for updating the winning numbers and comparing those numbers to the numbers that were played by customers to determine which ones were winners.


The above text and images were copied directly from the portfolio of my former development company, O6 Web Services, as I imported it over to this blog. It was not updated for re-publishing. This project launched in April 2008.

Retro Portfolio: Eastern Michigan University LOEX

The Eastern Michigan University Library Orientation Exchange group maintains a web site indexing a set of instructional resources for library orientation. In Fall of 2007, they looked to O6 to convert their existing set of static pages to an easily-updatable database-driven setup.

The fairly straightforward project involved no design as the existing LOEX site template was used.

All data from the static version of the site was imported into a database, with a password-protected system built for administering that database.

The user-side of the site was updated to not only be browsable by section but to be searchable as well. A simple keyword search was added to the Instruction Resources home page and an advanced search option was added, allowing users to search by specific fields and then further refine their results with searc filters.


The above text and images were copied directly from the portfolio of my former development company, O6 Web Services, as I imported it over to this blog. It was not updated for re-publishing. This project launched in December 2007.

Retro Portfolio: Capital Area Team Sports

Based in Raleigh, North Carolina, Capital Area Team Sports was a non-profit recreational sports organization with a sprawling web presence. They maintained individual sites for their flag football league, its championship game, two softball teams and a basketball team, as well as for the organization as a whole.

O6 worked with them to combine all of those sites into one, making content easier to manage and increasing the visibility of CATS branding while still giving each section the individual attention it deserved.

The basic page design is the same throughout the CATS site. Each section is identified by a different color and different images in the site header. The individual sections have their own navigation systems, which are combined to allow visitors from one part of the site to the other, another way of increasing brand visibility.

The site is managed by a combination of custom back-end content management and Adobe Contribute. Most pages are edited using Contribute but the player statistics pages for the flag football league are database-driven. Additionally, the database-driven navigation menus are embedded into all pages.


The above text and images were copied directly from the portfolio of my former development company, O6 Web Services, as I imported it over to this blog. It was not updated for re-publishing. This project launched in October 2007.

Retro Portfolio: Mythlogic Computers

Mythlogic Computers came to us looking to rebuild their custom e-commerce system. As a computer company, they had a very specific need. They weren’t looking just to sell products, they were looking for a solution that would allow their customers to customize their own computer sy

stem.

We built a tool that allows for Mythlogic to keep an inventory of computer parts. Those parts can then be assigned to a base system, with additional parts available for upgrade and/or downgrade.

When a user visits the Mythlogic site to customize their computer, they see the base system by default. As they upgrade/downgrade individual parts, the price of the system is updated in real-time.

Users then have the ability to send a system to sales for further questions, add it to their cart, or save it for later.


The above text and images were copied directly from the portfolio of my former development company, O6 Web Services, as I imported it over to this blog. It was not updated for re-publishing. This project launched in August 2007.

Retro Portfolio: PewterKrew.com

PewterKrew.com was a site redesign project driven by the content and the content management.

When PewterKrew came to O6, they were running their site off of a content management system that didn’t manage their content and provided a navigation system that didn’t work. Because of that, we approached the redesign with the specific intent to get as far away from those problems as we could.

We kept the design as clean as possible. A Flash header was provided, as were a set of drop-down navigational menus. We built a vertical navigation menu to allow no limit to the number of options it could hold (violating the “Rule of Seven” but giving the client exactly what they wanted). The space below the navigation was reserved for a user login, so that it wouldn’t take up space elsewhere. This left the vast majority of page space available for content.

The home page was broken out into content boxes, as requested by the client. These boxes are all controlled by tools on the administration side of the site.

The rest of the site was left without a content management system, meaning that Adobe Dreamweaver could be used, as preferred by the PewterKrew staff.

In the absense of a CMS, a navigation menu management system was developed so that links could be added to, removed from, and reordered within the site navigation menus.

The only content that remained database-driven was the news archive, for which a small management system was developed.

The entire site was built on top of the phpBB forum system, allowing one set of user accounts to function across both the main site and the site forums. This also means that only one login is required to jump between the site administration system and the forums.


The above text and images were copied directly from the portfolio of my former development company, O6 Web Services, as I imported it over to this blog. It was not updated for re-publishing. This project launched in June 2007.

Retro Portfolio: Clark Irrigation Design & Consulting

Clark Irrigation Design & Consulting contacted O6 with the need to find a way to share large files and batches of files with their clients, without a lot of technical know-how.

An FTP site was ruled out by that second requirement, so we set out to build an online filebox system.

The system starts with a user management system that determines the permissions of each user. Administrators can create folders, upload new files, rename existing files and delete files. Except for the ability to create folders, all of those options can also individually be given to non-administrators. Additionally, non-administrators can be confined to a specific folder.

This allows for clients of the company to view only their own work. If the client is going to be passing files back, they can be given the ability to upload, or manage the files through renaming and deletion.

With the ability to restrict access to the files sorted out, we developed a file management system. Through simple web forms, files can be added, renamed, and deleted.


The above text and images were copied directly from the portfolio of my former development company, O6 Web Services, as I imported it over to this blog. It was not updated for re-publishing. This project launched in June 2007.

Retro Portfolio: My Flex Blue

Shortly after the completion of the My IC Blue project for Michigan Group Benefits, they came to O6 again for a sister project, My Flex Blue.

The new project was to start with a clone of the My IC Blue site but update the content for a new product and make an update to the partner referrer system that was developed for My IC Blue.

The My IC Blue partner referrer system was updated to allow for the option of assigning specific vendor codes to each partner site. This allows for more human-readable codes when necessary and for vendor codes to be identical between My IC Blue and My Flex Blue, without forcing the two sites to share a database (something that would have been difficult with their hosting).

The My IC Blue site template was virtually untouched in making the My Flex Blue site, with only one graphic in the header needing to be updated. The content for the site was all provided by Michigan Group Benefits and was easily integrated into the existing information architecture.

As with My IC Blue a handful of small PDF changes were also completed.


The above text and images were copied directly from the portfolio of my former development company, O6 Web Services, as I imported it over to this blog. It was not updated for re-publishing. This project launched in May 2007.

Retro Portfolio: HandiRecords

The HandiRecords e-commerce system was another project O6 worked with designer Audrey Walker on. As in previous projects, we started with the osCommerce shopping cart system and built from there.

Added to the base osCommerce system was an updated version of O6’s promo code add-on, originally developed for the Simply Floor Coverings project. This allows for the creation of promotional codes that customers can enter at checkout to earn a discount on their purchase.

One of the more interesting updated we worked on was to build in the option of donating part of the purchase price to charity. HandiRecords can assemble a list of charities and donation percentages and each customer can choose whether or not the given percentage of their purchase total should be passed on to the charity of their choosing.

In addition to those two major updates, we made several small tweaks to the default osCommerce template.


The above text and images were copied directly from the portfolio of my former development company, O6 Web Services, as I imported it over to this blog. It was not updated for re-publishing. This project launched in May 2007.

Retro Portfolio: My IC Blue

My IC Blue was a site that was brought to O6 after it was almost complete. Michigan Group Benefits was looking to add just a little more functionality to make things easier on themselves and we were able to provide that.

Michigan Group Benefits was looking for a way for their partners to be credited whenever someone they referred sent in a PDF-formatted application. We developed a redundant system to make that happen.

We created a partner database built into the My IC Blue site. When a user follows a link to the site that includes a partner code, the site remembers that code and includes it in the application PDF. If no code is present, we check to see what site they were referred by to see if it is one of the partners, using the correct code if that’s the case.

The original system generated random six-character parter codes. A later revision allowed for the code to be specified manually.

In addition to this work, O6 also made a handful of modifications to the application PDF.


The above text and images were copied directly from the portfolio of my former development company, O6 Web Services, as I imported it over to this blog. It was not updated for re-publishing. This project launched in March 2007.