Putting Complex, Expert-Level Economics in the Hands of Modern Users
When it comes to keeping track of economic trends across the entirety of the global economy, keeping data straight can be a challenge. ITR Economics would know; they’ve been providing business leaders and economic analysts with information, insights, and analysis since 1948. In all that time, they’ve established an amazing system—and in recent years, they realized they needed a better way to deliver those insights to modern movers and shakers. Meet onDemand by ITR Economics.
When ITR set their sights on a new, mobile-friendly report delivery system built on a massive trove of data, a fresh brand and marketing site to reach potential customers, and custom integrations for a wealth of data sources, they partnered with Altos to make it happen. The result: a newly-redesigned site, a refreshed brand, and a custom-built CMS, all fully-integrated and built on Laravel. Together, the new onDemand website can accomplish everything ITR needs today, with room to grow into tomorrow.
Cutting-Edge Technology Deserves Distinctive Branding
With over 70 years of experience driving ITR into the future, it became clear to us that ITR’s existing brand work is strong. But when it came to their individual product offerings, we saw an opportunity to create some distinctive branding to help each product stand out from the crowd.
Using the existing brand style and color palette, Altos took the existing ITR Economics logo and “pixelated” it. The idea here was to bring ITR into the digital age and provide us with a foundation for all of the products that onDemand offers.
From there, our design team was able to arrange these “pixels” to uniquely brand each product within the onDemand suite. Each of the sub-brands arrangement of “pixels” gives a slight nod to the product they represent. The result: Consistent, clear, and visually descriptive logo marks—making it that much easier for ITR to guide customers from one offering to the next.
Adaptive Navigation Across Desktop, Mobile, & Specific Products
As soon as our designers and developers started to dive into the onDemand project, one thing became clear almost immediately: this thing is big. Multiple products, several distinct user types and permission levels, and a large data resource bank made navigation a process worthy of serious consideration.
Our team found a solution in custom navigation, which adapts to make navigation easy for each product, each user, and each device type. When browsing one specific product, the main level navigation will adapt to offer the best, most common paths around that product; switch to another product, and the menu will change with you. Plus, it’s all designed to translate effortlessly to mobile, making on-the-go access easier to onDemand’s entire product suite than ever before.
PDF to HTML: Turning Print-Ready Docs into Mobile-Friendly Data
One of the major challenges in bringing the new onDemand up to modern standards was the classic square-peg-round-hole issue: how do we take an industry so rooted in the physical and transform it for the mobile-first digital environment?
For onDemand, this meant translating data that are normally constrained to print-ready PDFs into mobile-friendly HTML. One problem: the solution to this problem did not exist—so we built our own.
Using custom Vue.js development within the Laravel PHP framework, our developers created a system to pull data out from those PDFs and store them in easy-to-read JSON format. From there, that data can be pulled into HTML and then into our mobile-friendly interface for fast, seamless, custom mobile reporting.
A Fully-Custom Shopping Cart: Subscribe, Buy, and Try
Because onDemand’s offerings are so complex and draw in so many different kinds of professionals, it became clear quickly that not all users would be looking for, shopping for, or interacting with the same products—or, for that matter, that all products were really quite the same. Offering digital products, physical products, webinars, and subscription services, ITR needed a shopping cart that could cater to all potential users, so we built a custom one to do all of that and more.
Once a user has successfully submitted their first order, a user profile is created in their name which offers an easy method of user verification. Once created, this profile allows users to view their products, manage subscriptions, and even create trial subscriptions of other ITR products. Plus, this custom cart even integrates the USPS shipping API to quickly and accurately calculate shipping for physical products to ship anywhere within the U.S.
Built on Laravel, With Room To Grow
One reason this project was so interesting for our developers was that it provided the opportunity to dive headfirst into Laravel, an open-source PHP framework designed for elegance and offering serious custom functionality.
We chose Laravel not only because onDemand called for some serious custom work throughout the site and backend, but also because we know what’s ahead in the future. With room to expand our current work into offerings like a mobile app and beyond, our developers found Laravel to be the perfect answer to the question “How are we going to get all this in order?”