Web Development And Design Case Study For Koomsi.Com

Background
Koomsi.com is a startup based in Chicago whose website provides a database for all licensed childcare providers in the state of Illinois. Started by a working mother after her frustration with the wait list times and lack of resources available to working or busy parents, their website promotes ease to the user by supplying pre-compiled research all in one place and charges parents a small membership subscription to use the full database search. Their goal is to make finding a safe, trustworthy place for children to be watched easy to find for parents low on time. This website is important to their business as it is their sole resource for gaining users and leading them through their customer process. Based on our conversations with Koomsi.com, they needed a custom website developed from the ground up with the eventual goal of expanding their childcare resources beyond the state of Illinois and came to us through a direct interview on January 7, 2011 as a result of social media.

Koomsi.com was looking for a way to consolidate these childcare providers into one database, give members the option of an advanced location-based search tailored specifically to their needs, create an E-Commerce paid monthly membership subscription, as well as create backend content for a site administrator. They also needed a logo and the website itself designed.

Objectives
Our client's desire was to create a website that would allow them to list childcare providers for paying monthly subscribers. SYDCON was contacted and brought in to help accomplish the following objectives:

  • Logo and website design
  • Program front and back end of website
  • Develop a database to hold records for each licensed childcare provider in Illinois
  • Program a subscription-based E-Commerce system using authorize.net
  • Program additional features such as:
    • Advanced Location-Based Search Functionality based on individual needs such as: provider type, mileage radius, part time vs. full time, extended hours, tuition subsidy, before and after school care, emergency care, summer camp, special needs, and age range
    • Custom shopping cart
    • Google Map Integration
    • Custom Blog Capabilities with room for comments by known users
    • Contact Us Form
  • Allow for administrative access and control over backend content such as blog articles, viewing orders and transactions, and adding/editing onsite providers via a custom-programmed Content Management System (CMS)
  • Outside facilities able to join provider database for free, screened by administrator

Methodology
Web development cases such as this call for PHP scripting language programming. We have come to prefer PHP because it spans multiple platforms and is the most productive of the scripting languages. Effective PHP use depends on our skilled developers who have extensive experience writing code in PHP through projects both past and present. Our design team is also able to craft a unique website based on the preferences of our clients having done so for many projects.

A unique proposal for Koomsi.com was crafted that included a description of what was needed to ensure a working website with custom display and programming. Koomsi.com understood the terms and agreed on the work necessary to develop the website.

A development team of one designer and two programmers was assigned to the project and took the following steps in crafting a custom-fit system:

  • Site goals were discussed and addressed
  • Determined the desired visual appearance of our client's website according to their preferences
  • Design concepts began based on blueprints given by the client
  • Childcare providers able to be edited through the development of a Content Management System
  • Database populated with licensed childcare facilities found and supplied by client
  • Made links connect within and outside of the website, separated family information, provider listing, and information about koomsi from contact and blog information all in separate tabs
  • Programmed E-Commerce interface to authorize.net
  • Tested website with client
  • Website launched on time according to mutually-agreed deadline

Technical Approach
This project consisted of PHP, CSS, HTML, and jQuery scripting languages to drive user interaction between the website and its database. A MySQL backend was used to list licensed childcare providers in Illinois. We interfaced our custom-developed shopping cart with authorize.net API. The additional on-site features listed above were also added. With the client's input we designed a family-friendly logo and site design.

Results
This project is been viewed as a success by our client.

  • Koomsi.com now has a fully functional, easy-to-navigate custom website complete with each application and design aspect they desired
  • Users can easily subscribe for site access
  • Staff can easily maintain the web site via the Content Management System
  • The Advanced Location-Based Search Option easily finds nearby licensed childcare providers within the database

We provide regular maintenance to the website.

The success of our work with Koomsi.com pertains to these major factors:

  • The ability of Koomsi.com to articulate their personal project objectives
  • Koomsi.com's working with SYDCON throughout development
  • Effectiveness of the SYDCON methodology as previously stated
  • Ability, creativity, and dedication of SYDCON staff

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