Client: The American Museum of Natural History
The Need: There is a large and varied amount of daily, weekly and quarterly events and exhibitions that occur at this New York City landmark institution. Additionally the American Museum of Natural History is a very large and difficult to navigate physical location. Up until this project was completed, the only means of navigation through the complex was via printed signage and brochure based maps that were distributed to Museum visitors.
The Challenge: Initially our team was asked to assess the content and event needs of the Museum. Upon the presentation of our assessment and analysis we were then asked to design a wayfinding focused digital signage system that would serve all of their content and administration requirements. We then designed and ultimately built a system that would be installed on High Definition LCD screens in various locations including the main ticketing thoroughfares of the American Museum of Natural History.
Events at the Museum are created and managed from many different departments within the institution. The primary challenge was that the only central location that events were managed and viewable to the general public was via the website. We did not want to develop a system that was standalone and require people to manage events in two places. This would ultimately cause differences in events and confusion to Visitors when events were not in sync. Many times hall closings, daily events etc had changes that needed to be made on short notice. The decision was made to develop the Digital Signage system to receive data from the website as well. Additionally administrators already knew how this web based system worked and would not require any additional training.
The Result: Working with the Education, Events and Ticketing teams at AMNH to assess and understand the Museum’s needs, we architected, designed and ultimately programmed a wayfinding signage system that could be managed via their website and seen by thousands of physical visitors every day via LCD screen in high traffic areas. The administration area of the www.amnh.org website was modified to handle the Digital Signage system’s streamlined content requirements and minimal administration training was needed.
The system rotates through four different event types. Daily Events, Daily Programs, Current Exhibitions and what is Coming Soon. Each screen will load all of the events of the day and scroll elegantly through them until they have been shown. Some days there may only be 1 screen worth of events and other days there may be 4 screens of daily events. The system recognizes this volume metric and adjusts the rotation cycle appropriately.
This wayfinding focused digital signage system is a testament to how our team was able to think out of the box, develop creative solutions that make sense for large organizations with complex needs, and ultimately be successful in its implementation.
The Need: The Special Forces Association – John Kedenburg Chapter based out of West Point, New York is an organization made up of current and former members of the Special Forces military unit also known as the Green Berets. This association sorely needed a new web presence to communicate to its membership, and to stay in line with National association branding guidelines.
The Challenge: The challenge was to make the new web site easy to use for members and the public who use the site to check for news and event postings, as well as appeal to potential new members who live in the surrounding region. Additionally the Association wanted to showcase the history of their elite unit.
The Result: We built a website the Special Forces Association of West Point is now extremely proud of. This site is built upon the WordPress platform for ease of administration. News and events can be created and published very quickly and efficiently. We used iconic imagery throughout the website that tells a story and is representative of this much revered and storied military unit.
The Need: The New World Bistro Bar in Albany New York, had an outdated and underutilized web site and sorely needed an update that matched the freshness of its cuisine and decor. The restaurant has an extensive special list that is updated daily, as well as numerous menu’s that are now available for view on the web. Additionally hundreds of user’s receive their email newsletter for updates, and now new user’s can sign up for the e-newsletter directly from any page on the website.
The Challenge: The New World Bistro Bar website had extensive amount of menu’s and content that needed to be migrated to the new design. Additionally, the new design required new and updated photography to be created to showcase the visual beauty of the food created by this Albany New York eatery. The site needed to be flexible enough to allow for new menu’s, specials and images to be updated on the web easily by non technical restaurant staff.
The Result: A brand new and eye catching wordpress based website that is managed on a day to day basis by New World Bistro Bar Administration and Kitchen staff to keep the content as fresh as its food. The site is integrated with constant contact for New World Bistro Bar’s e-marketing needs and currently is the main internet facing presence for this eclectic website.
Client: The American Museum of Natural History
The Need: This digital interactive was designed to replace an archaic 1960’s era microscope which was connected to an old television set up to view minerals in the Belsky Mineral Hall at the American Museum of Natural History. The Curators at the Museum wanted an exhibit that visitors could interact with and learn much more about the minerals rather than just watching the old microscope zoom in and out and display an image.
The Challenge: Assess the content and curatorial needs of the Museum staff. Rapid prototype a user experience and wireframe that encapsulated all of the data points and user interactions. Then design, build and install a touch screen display that allowed Museum Visitors to interact with the Minerals they were viewing and learn interesting facts about the minerals on display.
The Result: We were able to work with the Museum to make sure all of the content was “curatorially perfect”, the user experience and implementation were flawless, and within minutes of installing the interactive, we watched Visitors walk up to the touch screen and start interacting with our work intuitively. Additionally the interactive detects if there has been no interactions with it after a period of time, and then falls back to an eye catching animation. When a user clicks on the screen, it shifts into interactive mode.
This is the only exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History of its type or built with this technology.
The Need: Loehmann’s is a national designer discount fashion retail chain that has recently entered the world of e-commerce. To support their marketing and e-commerce efforts as well as their insider club discount card, Loehmann’s needed a partner who could reliably and professionally produce and deploy daily e-marketing.
The Challenge: Develop a working system with the Loehmann’s marketing team to produce, test and deploy highly visual daily emails. Once deployed to the mailing system these produced newsletters are sent to thousands of Loehmann’s subscribers daily.
The Result: Next Step Digital produces and deploys up to 40 email newsletters per week for Loehmann’s Discount fashions. Some have little to no lead time and have to be rushed into production. Next Step Digital delivers our quality service to Loehmann’s consistently, on time and without fail.
The Need: Policy Research Associates is a nationally known NGO (Non Governmental Organization) that needed a current and cost effective way to manage and maintain a professional web presence across multiple divisions who work on various federally funded projects.
The Challenge: The PRA website needed to not only encapsulate the wide variety of services that it offered but meet the needs of each division and it’s users.
The Result: Utilizing Word Press’s CMS Next Step migrated PRA from their existing static site and trained 10+ employees on managing and maintaining the website so that it can be used across all the divisions of their organization. Next Step Digital also developed a mobile website for Policy research that detects if a user is on a mobile device and serves the appropriate style of the same content.
The Need: After a series of bad experiences with previous developers, that didn’t result in the launch of a new site, the Village of Menands was looking for a qualified and trusted partner to develop and assist them in implementing a new website.
The Challenge: Salvage a project that was several months past it’s deadline and provide the Village of Menands with a website that is truly representative of the history and diversity of this village in New York’s Capital District.
The Result: Working with their designer Brian Mertik, Next Step delivered their website built on WordPress in a few weeks, trained the Village in its administration, and ultimately impressed the Village of Menands officials with our professionalism and reliability. We continue to be the website technology partner going forward for the Village.
The Need: Satin Fine Foods is a global leader in the Cake Fondant manufacturing industry and is currently experiencing substantial growth in the international marketplace. They needed to leverage their existing content and web presence to provide information and website content to their growing international clientele in different languages (Spanish and French).
The Challenge: Create two seamless copies of their existing static site translated into French and Spanish. We also needed to integrate a language selector into the new site as well as the existing site that will allow for toggling between languages.
The Result: Next Step upgraded their site from a pure static site to a static/PHP hybrid to allow for an easier integration of the languages and language selector. The new feature now allows for switching between three separate languages but also allows users to select a default language so that future experiences will be in the visitors preferred language. This great experience has led Satin and Next Step Digital to work together on further projects that are due to be released in the near future.
The Need: High Falls Mercantile needed a website that would not only support it’s entry into e-commerce, but also include a design that captures the elegance of their brick and mortar store as well as the tone and personality of the store owners and their brand.
The Challenge: The site had to expand beyond just a new design and implementing ecommerce, and also needed to meet the technological challenge of syncing up with their in store point of sale and inventory systems which included one of a kind items as well as backordering of items.
The Result: We developed a custom installation of Magento (a robust open source e-commerce system), integrated it with their in store point of sale and inventory system, allowing inventories, pricing and products to be managed in one place and published to the web. High Falls also began blogging, and we recommended the use of WordPress. We developed a custom install and theme for High Falls and then integrated it with their Magento based website. The site over time evolved into utilizing various social media efforts for promotion and customer engagement.
The Need: Frost Valley YMCA is one of the nations largest and most recognized Summer Youth camps and destination resorts located in the heart of the Catskill Mountains. For the past 6 years Frost Valley had been managing a consistently growing static HTML website (250 plus pages). They very much needed to reduce the cost of maintenance, both internally and externally, as well as bring the site under a central content management system to support the decentralization of content creation.
The Challenge: We were tasked to create a new site that incorporated state of the art features but reducing the overall size and redundancy of content. This included the migration of 250 plus pages of static content as well as 5 separately hosted blogs into one centrally managed installation of WordPress.
The Result: Next Step delivered a newly designed website that utilized several techniques for content sharing and reduced the overall size of the site by 20%. New features included a site-wide photo gallery tool, admin user management tools and site-wide call to action management.