When Tina Matin, the director of merchandising at the Juilliard School, approached the Singlemind team, she was looking for a way to not only bring the Juilliard bookstore to a wider audience, but to streamline the eCommerce process. She wanted a simple user interface and an efficient backend order management system that was easy for her team to operate. She knew that her business needed a website that focused on ease of use for both website visitors and her staff.
The Juilliard store project enlisted a number of our services including: discovery, architecture engineering, ui design, ux design, development, hosting and support. Our first step in the ideation phase began with a discovery workshop to engineer the architecture of the site. Building from the ground up, we first needed to define the site's functionality. The Juilliard store has a 3-fold purpose. First, it is the eCommerce storefront for the physical Juilliard school bookstore. Secondly, it offers greater latitude for marketing their school's faculty and educational products. And lastly, the site acts as a way for Juilliard to easily drive donations to their school. With a homepage that can be easily updated to reveal current special offerings and Juilliard news, the Juilliard store is a great space to encourage customers to support a lifeline to music culture.
In order to seamlessly accomplish each objective for the Juilliard store we chose to build the site using the open source framework, Drupal. Drupal offers many built-in features and tools that we were able to leverage including a commerce component and content management system. Most importantly, we utilized the open source enterprise search platform Apache Solr to create a highly dynamic search engine. The search process had to be easier than a physical bookstore, with thousands of products that needed to be queried quickly without delay. Apache Solr’s search platform allows for complex indexing of content, which creates an unbelievable speed of responsiveness. The site does not run a real-time text search of 25,000 different products, rather it creates a mapping of the relationship between keywords and content, allowing it to return a product for a search term within seconds. Apache Solr is designed for scalability, a perfect choice for the ever-growing library of scores and products.
After our initial meeting with Tina, the Juilliard store website was up and running in just six months. For the last seven years, Singlemind has provided hosting and support for the website, ensuring that it functions as intended.