Web Application Development Case Study Cranium Furniture

Background
Cranium Furniture offers contemporary furniture using Benjamin Moore's color palettes with their expert designers to craft unique furniture arrangements for any room in a house or office. They pride themselves on being "one of the last remaining major, privately-owned furniture manufacturers in the United States." They are most famous for their round beds, which have been seen on ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. According to Cranium Furniture, their round beds are "made with the highest quality finishes, materials and craftsmanship. We build our round beds with care and right here in the USA."

A fully functional website would help Cranium Furniture grow their business with an online hub for purchasing. SYDCON collaborated with Usman Group to develop and design the website, respectively.

Objectives
Cranium Furniture needed an online hub for customers to view their product, design their furniture combination for whichever room is desired, and place their order online. SYDCON was contacted by Usman Group and brought in along with the design firm to help accomplish the following objectives:

  • Program the visual design of Usman Group into a dynamically functioning website
  • Develop a database that would store information regarding their multiple different types of furniture for all rooms both home and office
  • Allow for total control over web content with a custom Content Management System (CMS) built from scratch
  • Allow for online ordering and shipping with a customized shopping cart
  • Program additional features such as:
    • Contact Us form
    • Designer Directory
    • User registration and order tracking

Methodology
In situations like this, SYDCON, Inc. uses the existing scripting language to edit and improve the workings of the website while making the site more dynamic. Our developers are able to use an array of scripting languages through their experience with multiple different projects. We wait until the web design has been completed and then enter the project to program and develop the visual design into a working website.

A proposal was created along with Usman Group for the design and development work to be performed on the existing Cranium Furniture website. After agreeing on the project, its design work was undertaken while our development team of one programmer waited until the design was finished before applying our steps in website development:

  • Talked openly with Usman Group about the goals for the site and the work to be done
  • Developed the CMS according to the desires of Cranium Furniture while maintaining the design layout
  • Database populated with the multiple types of furniture and accessories offered
  • Developed the front end into a functioning website complete with the uploaded database content
  • Programmed E-Commerce interface to authorize.net
  • Ensured the alignment of our work with the goals of the client
  • Celebrated the live launch of Cranium Furniture's new website

Technical Approach
After receiving the completed visual template from Usman Group, our developers employed ASP, CSS, and HTML languages to the website's working interior to maintain consistency with the website's previous coding. Because a MSSQL backend also existed, we manipulated the content to reflect the current furniture and accessories being offered within but kept the same backend for the sake of consistency. The site administrator was given the ability to manipulate website content including furniture and accessories offered and a list of designers through the Content Management System they were taught to use and can now use to its full potential. We interfaced our custom-developed shopping cart with the authorize.net E-Commerce API that allows for customers to place orders specific to their desires.

Results
This project is viewed as an absolute success by our client.

  • Cranium Furniture has been recognized nationally for their unique and stylish product
  • The beautifully designed website contains all company product and can be seen in the multiple tabs of the website
  • Any updates to content or pricing can be changed easily with the dynamic CMS
  • The website functions flawlessly and allows customers to make purchases after observing the unique product offered by Cranium Furniture

The collaborative project on Cranium Furniture's website can be considered a success because:

  • The vision of the end result desired by the client and reinforced throughout the design and development process
  • The efforts toward constructive collaboration taken by both Usman Group and SYDCON
  • The web design strengths of Usman Group and SYDCON's ability to develop any design into a functioning website

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