Over the years our Internet Consultants have developed Internet Solutions for just about every type of business you can think of. Obviously different businesses have different needs, and sometimes they require unique features that are specific to that type of business. Working from this extensive experience we began to develop Specific Industry Applications - integrated sets of tools designed to effectively serve the requirements of a particular type of business.
Here are just a few examples:
The University of Ottawa Community Life Service wanted to convert their 30-page static website into an active online community in order to compete with other institutions such as Perdu and McGill.
The plan was two-fold:
- Re-write the existing tools to upgrade to current design patterns and user expectations
- Develop new tools on the site that extend the functionality and limit webmaster bottleneck
In order to acheive this, the Community Life site needed to:
- Capitalize on student computer sophistication and the expectations that come with that, and
- Improve intercultural relations
Therefore the web site needed to be state-of-the-art, fully functional, and keep up with student expectations. At the same time, it needed be easy to use and facilitate building relationships among students. Whereas biases can affect friendships across cultures when the initial contact is face-to-face, the Internet allows for initial interactions that are free from those biases, and might foster new friendships among students who might otherwise never have met.
We built many front-end and back-end social networking applications for the web site, including
- A calendar and events registration
- A classifieds auction with photo uploads
- A ride-sharing service
- Photo and text blog
- Context-sensitive advertising and content
- Live help chat
Community Service Learning
Community Service Learning is an initiative that gives students course credit for volunteering for a non-profit organization such as the United Way. This way, students get real-world work experience, learn leadership and teamwork skills, and contribute to the community, thus enhancing the students employability, the Universitys reputation in the community, and the community as a whole. It was a rather big task, and relied heavily on existing systems such as the calendar and database driven content-management. In addition, we also needed to build the following features:
- All content must be published in both English and French
- Double-opt in registration for students, professors, and organizations.
- Information pages for all professors, organizations, and committee members that registered
- Organizations post information and requirements about volunteer placements
- Student course selection and placement selection pages
- Administrators pair students and volunteer placements
- Students can evaluate Community Service Learning, and Organizations can evaluate students
The School of Management at the University of Ottawa had a 15-year old FTP server that was losing favour among professors. But professors were unhappy with the complexities and limitations WebCT, so a new, simpler solution was requested, with better support for arbitrary bulk file transfer.
Over the course of several months, We worked closely with professors and the faculty to develop a tool that:
- Had a shallow learning curve for those unfamiliar with computers
- Had a web interface for students
- Worked on top of the existing FTP server for backwards compatibility
- Was bilingual
To meet these needs, we developed a bilingual course management application that was designed to have a drag and drop interface for professors to upload and organize assignments, course notes, and course information.
The application has three interfaces:
- An administrative interface to change course and registration information
- A drag-and-drop interface for professors put course materials into the website
- A web interface for students to download notes and other documents