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( marissa berger interactive, inc.) / 925.969.9132


Akernet submitted by marissa berger interactive, inc. march 8th, 2013

MB/I-PROPOSAL-AKERNET / Š 2013 marissa berger interactive, inc. all rights reserved.

( marissa berger interactive, inc.) / 925.969.9132

executive summary Thank you for the opportunity to submit a proposal for the development of the new Akernet website. Our response provides a framework for developing an effective and engaging site to meet your organization’s goals, and—best of all—it ensures any programming foundation and key decisions do not have to be reversed to accomplish future functionality. We start with a strategy/planning phase to determine the true needs of the site and the best technologies to meet them, move on to the design phase to build an inviting and intuitive interface, and finish with the actual development and testing period. Our goals for this project are to: » Provide a user-friendly, engaging, and professional interface » Build a robust, searchable listing engine for all rental properties » Develop a secure, password protected area for document management and online payments » Provide a mechanism for Akernet, property owners, and renters to communicate » Deliver a robust yet easy to use Content Management System (CMS)—Drupal We strive to deliver a website with a solid, flexible code foundation that accommodates requested functionality scalable to future needs. MB/I has developed over 250 online projects in its 13 years in business. What makes us different is our strategic approach. We want to meet with your team, learn about your organization, and explore the possibilities so we can deliver a strong website plan. We know we are well suited to be the vendor for your project! We pride ourselves not only in our strategy, design, and programming but in our work ethic as well. We will bring our commitment, attention to detail, flexibility, and experience, and produce for you a stellar product. We would appreciate the opportunity to answer any questions you may have about our proposal or to provide any additional information you may need to make an informed decision.

Sincerely, Marissa Berger, President

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table of contents ABOUT THE WORK Budget Summary & Breakdown Statement of Work

4–5 6–11



Browsers, Platform, and Mobile Compatibility


Post-Launch Services


ABOUT MB/I Company Profile and References


About mb/i


About the Team (Key Members)


Short Biographies


Our Process


Comparable Work


APPENDICES Appendix 1: Tools and 3rd Party Vendors


Appendix 2: Open-Source vs. Proprietary Software


Appendix 3: Key Reasons to Use Drupal


Appendix 4: Responsive Design


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( marissa berger interactive, inc.) / 925.969.9132

statement of work Given the project requirements given to date, we estimate that a budget of $61,455.00-$76,835.00 will be needed to complete the project. The budget allocation would be as follows.

Description Planning Design Programming: Global Programming: Property Management Programming: Rental Management Programming: Roles & Users Content Entry & QA Project Management Grand Total

Team Members Marissa Berger Cameron Prince Marissa Berger Tony Huynh

Cameron Prince Lee Nakamura Marc Frechet

Aaron Rubman Amy Sanchez Marissa Berger Aaron Rubman

Est. Hours (LOW)

Est. Hours (HIGH)

Est. Cost (LOW)

Est. Cost (HIGH)





































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( marissa berger interactive, inc.) / 925.969.9132

statement of work PAYMENT SCHEDULE 30% to start 20% upon functionality progress 20% upon functionality progress 20% upon completion of all functionality 10% upon launch

$20,743.50 $13,829.00 $13,829.00 $13,829.00 $6,914.50– $14,604.50

NOTE: percentages are based on average cost of $69,145.00. Adjustments will be made as needed. COSTS NOT INCLUDED » Any third party vendor costs » Monthly web hosting (see page 12) » Merchant account fees » Payment gateway fees » Security certificate fees (see for pricing) ESTIMATED TIMELINE » We roughly estimate 12-14 weeks to completion. » An up-to-date calendar will be maintained in Basecamp* upon project kickoff. BUDGET/SCOPE DISCLAIMER The first step in the development process will be the discovery phase where we will determine— as a team—how the requirements listed in this proposal can actually be met given the set budget. MB/I reserves the right to analyze all of the functionality requirements in detail and determine the best course of action given the set budget, possibly leading to either the simplification of or the exclusion of low priority requirements (with the client’s approval).


See tools/vendors appendix on page 27 for descriptions and intended use

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( marissa berger interactive, inc.) / 925.969.9132

statement of work SUMMARY OF SOLUTION We propose to develop a new state-of-the-art website based on Drupal, one of the world’s leading open-source content management systems powering such websites as Drupal is developed by a community of 630,000+ users and developers. It’s distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License (or “GPL”), which means anyone is free to download it and share it with others. This open development model means that people are constantly working to make sure Drupal is a cutting-edge platform that supports the latest technologies that the Web has to offer. The Drupal project’s principles encourage modularity, standards, collaboration, ease-of-use, and more. Please see Appendix 2 for details on why we recommend an open source as opposed to a proprietary solution. As set forth in Appendix 3 to this proposal, Drupal offers an unmatched combination of design flexibility and programming efficiency with advanced functionality in such critical areas as custom theming, dynamic content development and taxonomy, user role and access management, search engine optimization, and application security. Detailed information about Drupal can be found at DRUPAL’S MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS Disk space » 15 Megabytes for a minimum base installation, 60 MB with many contributed modules and themes, and more for database content, media, backups and other files. Web server » Apache, Nginx, or Microsoft IIS Database server » Drupal 7: MySQL 5.0.15 or higher with PDO, PostgreSQL 8.3 or higher with PDO, SQLite 3.3.7 or higher » Note: Microsoft SQL Server and Oracle are supported by an additional module PHP » Drupal 7: PHP 5.2.5 or higher (5.3 recommended)--some of the modules require 5.3 » Drupal 8: PHP 5.3.5 or higher MB/I has been developing sites in Drupal for the past few years and has extensive hands-on experience with the Drupal core, modules, and the coding of custom functionality from scratch.

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statement of work SERVICE LEVEL AGREEMENT In addition to our formal contract, mb/i commits to the following: » »

» » » » »

» » » » »

Quality: mb/i strives to deliver not only a stellar product but an effective process from conception to launch. Communication: mb/i will communicate often and clearly throughout the development process. An effort will be made to communicate technical-speak so all project decision makers understand the functionality described. All team members will take a “no surprises” approach so any technical discrepancies are anticipated and solved before turning into issues. Schedule: mb/i will develop a realistic timeline for the project after the specifications document has been completed. MB/I will make every effort to keep established timelines and will only discuss extensions if quality of the work is about to be compromised for speed. Programming: mb/i will deliver thoroughly-tested code with future scalability in mind. We care not only about our code working for the end user, but about writing it as efficiently as possible. Compatibility: mb/i commits to delivering a website compatible with the browsers and platforms listed in this proposal. Minor display and positioning issues are to be expected. Estimates: all estimates given are “not to exceed” estimates. MB/I will only request additional fees should the scope of the project be clearly changed or expanded and will do so in writing. Changes in Scope: mb/i will deliver a detailed specifications document that will act as the blueprint for the site. However, it is impossible to put every detail in writing. MB/I will act responsibly in determining changes in scope and will provide/discuss possible alternatives to stay within budget and schedule. Project Management: mb/i will manage the project, team member, and client expectations pro actively and responsibly. Flexibility: mb/i recognizes that flexibility will be needed throughout the development process as specific functionality is discussed. We will make every effort to provide such flexibility unless budget and schedule start being jeopardized. Search Engine Optimization: mb/i does not guarantee search engine positions. However, we will build the site to be search engine friendly with search engine friendly URLs, XML site map, and title and meta tag management via the CMS. Hosting: mb/i will be responsible for selecting, setting up, and testing the hosting/server environment. However, we are not responsible for any losses due to post-launch hosting issues or downtimes. Ownership: all files (created or purchased) are the ownership of the client. MB/I reserves the right to use its code and any technical discoveries made during the project on future endeavors.

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statement of work DETAILED PROJECT SCOPE PLANNING Prior to starting development, mb/i will conduct a thorough discovery process to include: Task Description Analysis of site goals and metrics that will be used to measure them Building of site map and navigational scheme Setting of functional priorities to build effective programming schedule Development of project timeline and key milestones Writing of specifications document Key Deliverable: Detailed specifications document DESIGN MB/I will deliver a branded design within standard web guidelines with usability and conversion in mind. The goal is to deliver the right content to the right audience. Task Description Study/improvement of existing brand elements to retain consistency Establishing of key messaging/functionality to exist above the fold Setting of guidelines for font hierarchy (H1 through H6), bullets, numbered lists, links, etc. Establishing and searching of appropriate imagery Development of 2 home page options with up to 3 rounds of revisions on chosen option Development of main internal page template with up to 3 rounds of revisions Development of additional templates with up to 2 rounds of revisions, including: » Rental property detail page » Property management interface pages » E-commerce related pages (cart & checkout process) Design of fav icon Key Deliverable: Consistently branded home page and internal templates

NOTE: All design templates will follow the 960 grid system in case Akernet adds Responsive Design at a later time for an additional $11,200.00–$16,800.00. See Appendix 4 for more details. MB/I-PROPOSAL-AKERNET / © 2013 marissa berger interactive, inc. all rights reserved. | page 8

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statement of work PROGRAMMING: GLOBAL MB/I will deliver the following core functionality. Task Description Drupal installation and server/database configuration Drupal themeing per approved design templates TinyMCE editor setup and testing Global content blocks for relevant calls to action and internal linking Integration of video files on all pages (assuming actual video hosting on either YouTube or VIMEO) Links to social media channels/live feeds Site search Dynamic site map Google Analytics integration Search engine friendly URLs Per page title and meta tag management (to be entered by client after training) dynamic XML site map for Google Per image alt tag management (to be entered by client after training) Platform. browser, and mobile device testing Launch and final live testing PROGRAMMING: PROPERTY MANAGEMENT MB/I will assess the functionality items listed below and determine the best course of action to complete them within the set budget. Task Description E-Commerce functionality to accept payments from users to Akernet. Akernet is then responsible for paying the specific bills/services in question. Password protected client area Secure document management to handle client bills, financial statements, property tax documents, income tax documents, and title related documents Calendar for any bills/services requiring payment Archiving mechanism for paid bills and property tax payments Maintenance/remodeling system to request work, track progress in calendar form, view before & after photos, view/download associated PDF files, and pay for services Tracking of communications between client and Akernet Note: may not be implemented as email messages

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( marissa berger interactive, inc.) / 925.969.9132

statement of work PROGRAMMING: RENTAL MANAGEMENT Task Description Searchable/filterable listing of properties Property detail page, including: rental availability calendar, multiple photos, Google map, description, amenities list, house rules, booking/rates Property review module Add ability for renters to pay for bookings to e-commerce functionality described on the Property Management section. All payments to be made to Akernet. Creation of a “renter” role to complete a rental transaction so renter can have access to secure documents after login (including text fields and photo) Ability to collect payment to perform a credit check. However, actual credit check is to be performed by Akernet offsite. PROGRAMMING: ROLES & USERS Task Description MB/I administrator: all functions Akernet administrator: all editing/managing functions Property owner: limited access » Ability to manage all content on listed properties plus leave feedback for renters on the Rental Management side » Ability to view all content on his/her Property Management account, make payments, and request service/maintenance Renters: limited access » Create account/profile » Ability to make payments for bookings » Ability to access secure documents after login » Leave feedback for property owner Personnel: limited access TBD Key Deliverable: Drupal website compatible with current platforms, browsers, and mobile devices.*


See compatibility specifications on page 13

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( marissa berger interactive, inc.) / 925.969.9132

statement of work CONTENT ENTRY, QUALITY ASSURANCE & TRAINING MB/I tests all functionality by entering real content. Content is to be delivered electronically in its final format. MB/I is not responsible for proofreading. Task Description Inputing and testing of enough content to test all functionality Quality assurance of all functionality Up to 40 hours of content entry (If more time is needed, client can complete after training or mb/i can complete at an additional hourly cost of $75.00/hour) Thorough browser, platform, and mobile device testing Up to 3 hours of online training sessions (up to 4 people per session) Written documentation on how to update the site Key Deliverable: Formatted content per approved design and properly tested functionality. PROJECT MANAGEMENT To ensure a smooth development process and accurate completion of all requirements, mb/i provides a lead day-to-day project manager, and a “big picture” milestone-driven project manager. Task Description Management of all tasks and deadlines Coordination of all client and internal communications Key Deliverable: Well-managed development process throughout all phases.

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hosting The following Standard Server Configuration Requirements have been proven to prevent downtime and and to provide the necessary full server access. HOSTING TYPE: SHARED, VPS OR DEDICATED » OS: Linux (Red Hat Enterprise v4 or higher or Centos v5 or higher) (NO WINDOWS) » CPU: 2.0 GHz or higher » Memory (RAM): 1GB or higher » Diskspace: 10GB or higher » Bandwidth: 10GB / month or higher » Control Panel: Plesk preferred, cPanel OK » Webserver: Apache 2.0 or higher » PHP: 5.2.5 or higher » MySQL: 5.0 or higher MB/I has done business for several years and can vouch for the following vendors. Note that pricing is a starting price only and can increase given anticipated traffic volume. HOST Processor Memory

Disks Notice/Uptime

Prince Internet

Servint Essential VPS

Core2Due E7400 2x2.93 GHz 3MB Cache

Dual Quad Core Intel Xeon L5300/L5400 Series CPUs

4 GB (DDR2)

32 GB 667 MHz DDR2 Dual Rank, Fully Buffered RAM (768 MB guaranteed, 1.5 GB Burst)

Dual 400 GB w/ Hardware RAID 1 (mirroring)

15K RPM SCSI/SAS Hard Drives in RAID 10

99.98% Uptime: Notice before any maintenance that might take server offline

99.99% Uptime: Hot-swap drive architecture allows for maintenance without downtime.

Bandwidth Usage

No preset quota

1 TB (expandable)

Disk Space Usage

No preset quota

60 GB (expandable)

IP Addresses)

Dedicated Static IP Address

4 Dedicated Static IP Addresses (expandable)

Control Panel

Plex w/ SSL secure access

Plex or cPanel w/ SSL secure access

Unlimited accounts w/ SSL protected secure SMTP/POP Unlimited forwards, aliases, and groups Unlimited auto responders Secure webmail

Unlimited accounts - email ports can be monitored by request Unlimited forwards, aliases, and groups Unlimited auto responders Secure webmail

MySQL database

Unlimited SQL databases

SSH Access



FTP Access






24-hour server backups maintained offsite

24-hour server backups maintained offsite for up to 1 calendar month

$49.95 per month $134.87 per quarter $509.49 per year

$49.00 per month $147.00 per quarter $588.00 per year



Backups Pricing

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( marissa berger interactive, inc.) / 925.969.9132

compatibility PLATFORM COMPATIBILITY MB/I builds and tests all sites to display and function well on both Mac and the PC platforms. BROWSER COMPATIBILITY The site’s functionality will be compatible with the browsers listed below. Minor display and positioning issues are to be expected. Per the latest statistics from asp (January 2013), these are the browsers to consider:

Internet Explorer 9 Internet Explorer 8 Firefox 18.0 Firefox 17.0 Chrome 24.0 Safari 6

January 2013 5.9% 6.4% 12.4% 8.3% 26.5% 2.7%

December 2012 5.9% 6.8% n/a 16.3% .7% 2.6%

November 2012 6.5% 6.8% n/a 2.5% .6% 2.6%

October 2012 6.8% 7.6% n/a .4% .3% 2.3%

MOBILE COMPATIBILITY MB/I builds all sites to display and function well with the most used mobile devices: iPhone, iPad, and Android. Minor display and positioning issues are to be expected. Testing is performed as follows: A) Actual devices » iPhone 3GS » iPad 2 » Android 2.2.2 B) Simulators » iOS Simulator: covers iPhone 3GS, iPod Touch, iPhone 4, iPad (Tablet) » Android Emulator: covers generic devices using 1.1, 1.5, 1.6, 2.0, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 3.0 O.S. platforms If Akernet wants support for another device not on this list, mb/i can provide such support as long as there is a simulator/emulator to test our work. Such work would be considered additional and would be built at an additional cost per each additional device. It’s important to note that being mobile device compatible is not equivalent to developing an actual .mobi site. MB/I can provide an estimate for such work if needed.

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post-launch services SUPPORT ($100/HR) MB/I staff is available for phone and e-mail support Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Both phone and e-mail are checked periodically during non-business hours and over the weekend. Issues are handled in order of priority. CMS TRAINING ($100/HR) All projects include a specified number of hours for online CMS training. We are happy to provide additional online training as needed post-launch for one to eight participants at a time. MAINTENANCE USING EXISTING CMS ($100/HR) Includes all work that can be completed within the existing CMS (i.e. no new programming is required). MB/I staff can create new pages, lay out content, manage images/files, edit menus, etc. NEW PROGRAMMING ($140/HR) Includes any new functionality requested of the programming team to enhance the current CMS. CMS SECURITY, VERSION, AND MODULE UPGRADES ($140/HR) We recommend a quarterly maintenance package of 4 hours per quarter for $504 (a 10% discount). Please note that additional work may be necessary to successfully complete all upgrades since mb/i can’t predict compatibility issues that may arise in future versions of the CMS. MISC In addition to supporting and maintaining a website post-launch, mb/i can also help with the following additional services. Service Identity, Stationary & Collateral Materials Email/Newsletter Templates Social Media Branding Social Media Postings (not including content creation) Google Analytics Analysis PowerPoint Presentation Design Web Discovery

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Hourly Rate 120.00/hr 120.00/hr 120.00/hr 85.00/hr 85.00/hr 120.00/hr starting at $2,940

( marissa berger interactive, inc.) / 925.969.9132

company profile COMPANY NAME Marissa Berger Interactive, Inc. Also referred to as mb/i In business since January 1st, 2000 A California certified small business; minority and woman-owned CONTACT INFORMATION 1640 Whitman Road Concord, CA 94518 925.969.9132 phone 801.749.9306 fax COMPANY WEB PROPERTIES REFERENCES Warren Adams, Managing Partner, Advisors LLC 650.218.8538 / Leslie Leach, Vice President, Marketing, vCom Solutions 925.415.2115 / Meg Sheldon, Information Technology Associate County Welfare Directors Association of California (CWDA) 916.443.1749 / Stuart Oppenheim, Executive Director Child & Family Policy Institute of California 415.317.4568 / Tracy Irwin, Public Affairs Manager First 5 Contra Costa 925.771.7300 ext. 13 / For client recommendations, visit our LinkedIn profile at

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about mb/i OUR VISION MB/I partners with businesses and organizations to solve marketing and information needs via creative and practical technology-based solutions. COMPANY INFORMATION Marissa Berger Interactive (mb/i) was founded in 2000 as a full-service Web development company. Our core competency is the development of beautiful, functional websites with an unwavering attention to detail. We blend clean, elegant designs with the right technologies to meet our clients’ online needs. Our services include strategy and concept development, design, production and programming, testing and deployment, multimedia presentation development, search engine optimization and social media branding. We know that the right process is crucial to the end result. We pride ourselves on knowing how to listen, on meeting all deadlines and budgets, and on maintaining a high level of professionalism and business ethics. In its 13 years in business, mb/i has accumulated a portfolio of over 250 unique online projects, including websites, blogs, email templates, and multimedia presentations. In addition to such projects, we have maintained long-term relationships with many clients adding functionality to their sites on an on-going basis. On average, mb/i serves 20-25 new clients per year in addition to our existing clients. PROFESSIONAL STANDING AND FINANCIAL STABILITY MB/I is a privately held company. We have shown revenue growth throughout our history—even in the downturn economy of 2009-2012. Our key financial indicators meet or exceed industry guidelines for our size and geographical location. We maintain a healthy cash flow level by keeping 87% of our Accounts Receivables at 0-30 days. MB/I is also properly insured for General Liability and Errors and Omissions. Insurance certificates can be provided upon request.

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about the team GENERAL INFORMATION MB/I is a team of committed and experienced Web developers who use a combination of business knowledge, marketing savvy, and technical expertise to develop a solid and consistent online presence for our clients. We educate ourselves so we can educate our clients, keeping up with ever-changing technology to offer the best solution at any given time. Our clients are our partners. We pride ourselves in having long-term and successful business relationships. Our services cover the entire range of online needs, from strategy and concept development to production and programming to testing and deployment. What differentiates mb/i from other Web service firms is our recognition that the process is just as important as the end result. We are great communicators, problem solvers, and we get the job done well the first time. Our core team is local and full-time with the addition of two out-of-state members. At times— depending on specific project needs— mb/i works with independent contractors who are engaged with us on an on-going, long-term basis. Such a combination of employees and contractors allows us to remain flexible, quickly adjusting to changes. MARISSA BERGER Project Manager, Creative Director, Founder & President Over the past 15 years, Marissa has provided Web development services for organizations both large and small, including Aidells Sausage Company, ASUC Auxiliary of U.C. Berkeley, California Academy of Sciences, JDS Uniphase Corporation, Prudential Realty of California, Siemens, Visa, Hewlett-Packard and Intel. As a Web design expert, Marissa has worked in graphic design, production and coding, Flash development, databases and e-commerce. Marissa graduated from U.C. Berkeley and holds an MBA with a focus in Marketing. The combination of her in-depth knowledge of the Web’s possibilities and her education and professional experience allows her to deliver creative thinking, creative design, and a creative approach to each client’s online needs. Project management tools: iPlotz, Basecamp Design tools: Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, InDesign, Flash Content Management Systems: CMS Made Simple, Drupal, WordPress Marissa is based in California.

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short biographies BEATRICE STONEBANKS Biz Opportunity Seeker Beatrice is a sales management specialist who believes real success is about taking a look at what-works and what-doesn’t-work on a company’s sales team, getting egos out of the way and under-performers off the team. Raising the bar and reaping the benefits, leading by example using straightforward communication and bleeding edge technology mixed with a powerhouse work ethic. Beatrice loves creating new revenue streams for her clients and is a natural top performer in B2B sales, both online and in print. She is an author, a public speaker and a community outreach leader. Her formal sales training awards include: » » » »

Miller Heiman, Strategic Selling Achieve Global, Professional Selling Skills Michael Bosworth, Solution Selling Holden International, Power Base Selling

She has provided award winning services for organizations around the world both large and small, including: Microsoft, Google, Oracle, Sybase, Visa, Hewlett-Packard and the U.S. government. Beatrice is based in California. CAMERON PRINCE System Architect, Lead Web Developer Cameron’s Internet career began in 1995 with the conversion of his multi-node computer bulletin board system (BBS) into a full-fledged Internet Service Provider (ISP). While initially acting as a system administrator, client demand and his personal desire to expand his skill set lead Cameron into programming. Cameron’s first shopping cart system was brought online in 1998 and a few years later he became a Red Hat, Inc. employee when the company bought out the Perl-based Interchange web application/shopping cart system he had been using to create e-commerce systems and dynamic web sites. Cameron is completely self-taught and continues to expand his skill set by keeping up with ever changing and ever expanding Internet programming technologies. Languages: Perl, PHP, XHTML, CSS, JavaScript (including AJAX, jQuery,, SQL (including Oracle, MySQL, PostgreSQL) Content management systems: Interchange, WordPress, CMS Made Simple, Simple Machines Forum, Drupal Cameron is based in Alabama.

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short biographies LEE NAKAMURA Web Developer, Software Engineer Lee brings to mb/i 20+ years experience on the design and development of products within the electronic discovery and regulatory compliance arenas at IBM. This work leveraged his years of experience with DB2, CM, and IBM text search technologies. Lee has both a B.S. and an M.S. in Computer Science from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and has received several awards and patents for his work over the years. Web development toolkits/technologies: Dojo, Ajax, JSP Operating systems: AIX, Windows Languages: Java, JavaScript, C++, C, XML, DHTML, CSS Database technologies: IBM DB2 Content Manager, DB2, some FileNet P8 Development tools/methodologies: Rational Tools, WSAD, Eclipse, Visual Studio, CMVC, agile Lee is based in California.

STEPHANIE HIDER Web Designer, CSS Production Artist Stephanie is a visual/graphic/web designer living in Oklahoma who has been designing for over 12 years professionally. She has been in the web development part of the industry for 8 years. Concepting a marketing campaign, or figuring out how to code the back end of a website are both passions of hers. She’s extremely organized, infatuated with details, and driven by learning new skills. Languages: HTML, CSS Content management systems: WordPress, Expression Engine, Concrete5 Design tools: Photoshop, Illustrator Stephanie is based in Oklahoma.

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short biographies WENDY WENTZEL Web Developer, Drupal Specialist, Technical Support Wendy has 13 years in Web design and HTML development, 3 years in CMS (PHP/MySQL) site development and 20+ years in graphic and information design. She has built over 30 Drupal corporate websites. Website features include: product management, product search, location search, event management, membership management, portfolio management, social media integration (Twitter, Facebook, email), e-commerce, feeds, blogs/articles/news, glossaries, slideshows, back-end interfaces (some very complex), and client training. Wendy’s experience in information design, which involves translating large amounts of complex information into easier-to-grasp, visually-based chunks, gives her an advantage when creating user interfaces for complex Web systems. Languages: CSS, HTML, jQuery, PHP/MySQL, XML Content management systems: Drupal, CMSMadeSimple Server environments: Apache Design tools: Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, InDesign Wendy is based in Pennsylvania.

JENNIFER HELLER Web Designer, WordPress Specialist Jennifer has been designing for the web since its inception and developed her first website at the age of 16. She discovered WordPress in 2007 and loved the way it empowered clients to manage their own websites and content easily. She has developed over 50 websites and blogs on WordPress and relishes each as its own separate challenge. When not designing and coding, Jennifer can be found engaging in a variety of creative tasks—anything from reorganizing her closets to painting pet portraits. Languages: CSS, PHP/MySQL, HTML Content Management Systems: WordPress, Joomla! Design Tools: Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, InDesign, Flash Jennifer is based in California.

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short biographies AARON RUBMAN Content Manager, Administrative Assistant, Instructor, Technical Support Aaron has 3 years in teaching and instructional design, 5 years of website and forum maintenance, and a wide array of artistic skills from cartooning and photography to choreography and lighting design. In addition to keeping MB/I’s corporate office going, he brings his teaching experience to bear when training clients on WordPress, Drupal, CMS Made Simple, and various 3rd Party services. Aaron’s strength lies in identifying functions with immediate application, and structuring his training sessions to highlight those elements new users need to hit the ground running. Languages: HTML, CSS, XML Forums: Simple Machines, phpBB Content Management Systems: CMS Made Simple, WordPress, Drupal Design Tools: GIMP, Photoshop, Dreamweaver Aaron is based in California. MARC FRECHET Web Production, Site Maintenance, Quality Assurance Marc has 6 years experience in website development, 4 years in database design, and dabbles in graphics, 3D modeling, and animation. He has traveled to five of the seven continents, and plans to eventually hit them all. While performing ongoing site maintenance, he ensures that all projects meet company standards of quality and function, and helps transition content into MB/I’s new designs. Languages: HTML, CSS, SQL, PHP Content Management Systems: CMS Made Simple, WordPress, Drupal Design Tools: Photoshop, Dreamweaver Marc is based in California.

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short biographies TONY HUYNH Web Designer & Illustrator Tony graduated from the California College of the Arts in 2009. He has since been published in ComArts Magazine and Creative Quarterly. Although Tony came from a background in illustration, he found his way into design through a course on typography. He was fascinated by the interplay of image and copy and the added complexity that comes from considering how different typefaces can impact the way accompanying images are viewed. Languages: HTML, CSS Content Management Systems: WordPress, Drupal Design Tools: Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign Tony is based in Virginia.

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our process In order to produce a high-quality product, mb/i applies a proven development process based on best practices. This process can be simplified or expanded depending on the project. NEEDS ANALYSIS MB/I will conduct a series of in-person meetings to which all key decision makers are invited. Client will be given guidelines regarding how best to prepare. Our project manager, lead designer, and programming lead will participate, and both functionality and design needs will be discussed. WEBSITE SPECIFICATIONS DOCUMENT MB/I will then develop a website specifications document to include a site-map, page-by-page website description and technical specifications for the site. We will conduct a Thrashing Session to review the document with client’s team, gather input and “thrash out” specification details and potential pitfalls for the project. After the document is revised, all key decision makers will sign-off. WIREFRAMES Based on the specifications document, mb/i will create wireframes using iPlotz*. A website wireframe (also known as a page schematic or screen blueprint), is a visual guide that represents the skeletal framework of a website. The wireframe depicts the page layout or arrangement of the website’s content, including interface elements and navigational systems, and how they work together. The wireframe usually lacks typographic style, color, or graphics, since the main focus lies in functionality, behavior, and priority of content. In other words, it focuses on “what a screen does, not what it looks like.” WEBSITE DESIGN Based on information gathered and approved wireframes, two mb/i designers will each render one home page design mockup. Based on feedback, we will make revisions to the chosen design or combine elements from both designs. Through a process of reviews and revisions, mb/i will create a final collection of home page and inside page mockups for approval. WEBSITE DEVELOPMENT Approved web page mockups will be handed off to a our production artist who will turn them into web page templates for CMS integration. Programmers will assemble and customize various Drupal* modules and components so that data input and display on both front-end and back-end of the site match Akernet’s needs. Akernet may be asked to alpha test vital features for approval.


See tools/vendors appendix on page 27 for descriptions and intended use

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our process BETA TESTING For features upon which the proper function of other website features relies, beta testing is often performed in the middle of the development phase. All other beta testing will occur during the period directly following the main development phase. As beta testing comes to a close, mb/i will conduct a walkthrough presentation for Akernet’s staff to orient them to the website before activation. SITE ACTIVATION Site activation will take place following beta testing and when mb/i changes the server settings on the live server to make the site accessible via Akernet’s domain name. A one-week revision request period will allow Akernet the opportunity to discover and correct any final necessary edits to site content and formatting. TRAINING Directly following site activation, mb/i will conduct a step-by-step web-based training session. … throughout this process, mb/i will provide: PROJECT COMMUNICATION & ORGANIZATION Not one, but two project managers will be assigned to this project. One will focus on the day-to-day needs, while the second will focus on key milestones. In order to insure efficient project communications between all parties, mb/i will utilize Basecamp*, a web-based project management and collaboration tool. It is highly intuitive and will allow for both mb/i and Akernet to share files, messages, timelines and tasks. Most other communications will be conducted via email, telephone or online webinar-style meetings. In most cases, Akernet staff will communicate directly with Marissa Berger, project manager and Aaron Rubman, content manager. When appropriate, mb/i will provide for direct communication between client’s staff and mb/i’s technicians to expedite the development process.


See tools/vendors appendix on page 27 for descriptions and intended use

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comparable work MB/I has developed over 250 online projects since 2000, several of which have been site re-designs as is the case with Akernet. Key considerations for a re-design: » Alignment of focus and business/organization model » Increased customer experience and engagement » Consideration of new technologies » Industry-appropriate branding » Flexibility for future updates SAMPLE WORK » Online Portfolio (can be viewed by client name, industry, or solution provided) » Before and After (design) » Identity » Business Cards » Brochures/Collateral » Email/Newsletter Templates We’re including a brief summary of vCom Solutions, Inc.—our latest award-winning Drupal site; example on page 26. CASE STUDIES » ASUC Auxiliary, University of California, Berkeley » Hara Software, Inc. » Travis Medical Software

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comparable work

Name URL Services Provided Testimonial

vCom Solutions Strategy and planning, custom web design, HTML/CSS production, Content Management System (Drupal) “Marissa and her team did an awesome job rebuilding our company’s website from scratch. Their project management process was extremely well-organized, and the entire company is thrilled with the end result. Although large website redesigns can often cause conflict and angst, I never once felt that we couldn’t resolve an issue together in such a way that all parties were satisfied. She just knows her stuff, is super reliable, and does stellar work in a sensible way.”


Leslie Leach 2012 Interactive Media Council’s Outstanding Achievement Award 2012 Marcom Gold Winner Award

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appendix 1: tools and 3rd party vendors Name Function URL Cost Summary

Basecamp Communications Free. MB/I will absorb the cost of this product. Basecamp is the internet’s leading project communication tool. It provides an easy interface to share files, track timetables, send messages, and leave comments.

Name Function URL Cost Summary

Google Analytics SEO & Website Analysis Free. Google Analytics is a free service. Google Analytics is a free Web traffic analysis suite we will install to give you insight into your visitors, and how they navigate your website.

Name Function URL Cost Summary

iPlotz Wireframes & Mockups Free. MB/I will absorb the cost of this product. iPlotz is an interactive tool that allows you to click through a website wireframe while it is still in development to get a real feel for how the site will be constructed.

Name Function URL Cost Summary

Gliffy Site Map Development Free. MB/I will absorb the cost of this product. Gliffy is an interactive tool that allows you to quickly develop site map diagrams as the structure of the website is finalized.

Name Function URL Cost Summary

Drupal Content Management Suite Free. Drupal software is free to download. Drupal is a popular open source CMS with a vibrant developer community with thousands of members. The nearly 10,000 Drupal modules make this CMS customizable to almost any need.

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appendix 2: open-source vs proprietary software Open-source software (OSS) is computer software that is available in source code form for which the source code and certain other rights normally reserved for copyright holders are provided under a software license that permits users to study, change, and improve the software. Open source licenses often meet the requirements of the Open Source Definition. Some open source software is available within the public domain. Open source software is very often developed in a public, collaborative manner. Open-source software is the most prominent example of open-source development and often compared to user-generated content. The use of an Open-source solution has the following benefits: cost-effectiveness, flexibility, and an expansive set of knowledge and resources. MB/I does all of its development work using Open-source Solutions due to the following limitations of the proprietary alternatives. LIMITATIONS OF PROPRIETARY SOFTWARE Contracts. With proprietary formats, the costs of setting up your website CMS are considerably higher than open-source options, and a contract is often required. Paying this expense gives you the assurance that you’re hiring professional website developers who know how to make your site work for you. However, the contract option offers less flexibility. In some instances, you may need to pay cancellation fees or charges to extract data if, in the future, you decide to go another route. Sustainability. The CMS company you choose is doing great now, but what about when or if the owner sells to another company or the company goes under? Your site is still dependent on their staff to exist. What kind of guarantees in your investment can the site provider make? If the time commitment is shorter than you’re comfortable with, you might review other options or more carefully research the company you’re considering. Hosting and Lack of Ownership. You need to ensure you have ownership and access to the content and design should you decide to move on for any reason. Many companies will not provide this by default. In addition, most proprietary solutions must be hosted with the vendor and the website can’t be moved in the future. Programming Limitations. You may have little option for software enhancements or customizations or they may be very expensive. You are likely to be limited to the standard modules and functionality available, so make sure the solution is comprehensive and expanding (even if you don’t need all of it now a comprehensive product suite is a good sign for the future).

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appendix 2: open-source vs proprietary software Relevance. Many of the proprietary platforms have simply not kept up with changes like social networking and Google’s many updates to search algorithms. Many of them are simply woefully inadequate and/or difficult to use – solutions aimed at vertical markets (like real estate or plant and machinery) are often in this bucket as they made a grab for market share early on and then simply stopped developing. Again, make sure your technology partner continues to invest. Search Engine Optimization. Open Source CMS developers have keyed into the importance of sites ranking well on search engines, so each of the platforms offers special SEO modules that get your site started on the right foot. As for Proprietary CMS platforms, depending on who built it and when, they may not provide the tools you’ll need to optimize your site properly. Extremely Limited Developer Community. Depending on the size of the proprietary solution there may be very few, if any programmers actively working on keeping it secure as vulnerabilities evolve along with web technologies. Has it really been tested, and by who, with what bias or agenda? You won’t know what issues the proprietary system has had in the past, or is having currently, because the provider isn’t going to voluntarily divulge this information.


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appendix 3: key reasons to use drupal Open Source — Open Source means that the code used to run Drupal can be copied, modified, and shared with others. Anyone with the skill can download and use the Drupal code, make whatever changes they want, and send those changes out to anyone else, or even contribute the changes back to Drupal for others to use and share. The advantages of the open source model of software development are numerous: » » » »

Free to download and use. No licensing fees. No proprietary “black box.” (Everything in the Drupal framework is transparent to a programmer with the knowledge to look at the source code.) A community of developers. (More on this below.)

Drupal Community — While the above advantages will be mostly true of any open source project, some of the unique stats about Drupal are listed below: »

Huge developer community: » Nearly 1000 developers contributed code to Drupal 7 » Over 8000 modules are listed on » Over 10 years of development » 600,000+ users on » Nearly 400,000 websites run on Drupal

Why should the size of the community matter to a client who is considering Drupal for their next web project? The main reason is because someone with a Drupal website has leveraged the work of thousands of developers in the production of their site. There aren’t too many companies in the world who could bring together that many minds to work on one project. Drupal Websites — Some sites that you may recognize that were built using the Drupal CMS: » » » » » »

The White House Examiner Fast Company The Pulitzer Prizes Popular Science MTV UK

» » » » » »

The Economist Symantec Connect New York Observer Warner Brothers Records Amherst College Digett

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appendix 3: key reasons to use drupal (continued) Key Features — The Drupal CMS (Content Management System) has the following key features: » » » » » » »

Clean, Extensible, & Modular Code High Performance Easy integration with 3rd party applications Search Engine Friendly Unparalleled Security Management of Content by End User Commercial Support

Business Case for Drupal — All of these features are nice, but why would your business benefit from a Drupal website as opposed to any other type of site? It really boils down to these three things: »

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants. Your website benefits from the work of many great minds who laid out the foundation, built great modules, and left ways for everything to be customized for your needs.


No Lock-In. Your website and data will not be stuck inside a proprietary system that only a few select companies or individuals know. And while Drupal-specific developers are currently in high demand, there is a much bigger pool of PHP developers who can get up to speed on Drupal relatively quickly and assist you with your ongoing support.


Extensibility. A programming methodology may not seem like a business case argument, but actually Drupal’s extensibility means that it is usually not necessary to rebuild a website when new features need to be added. The modularity and extensibility also facilitates the option of phases during development in order to break down cost into manageable portions.


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appendix 4: responsive design Responsive web design (RWD) is a web design approach aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing experience—easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling—across a wide range of devices (from desktop computer monitors to mobile phones). Mashable called 2013 the Year of Responsive Web Design. For the first time since 2001, PC sales are projected to be lower than they were in the previous year. Tablet sales are expected to exceed 100 million this year. Their sales numbers may top notebooks next year. Smartphones, of course, are also a hot commodity — according to Nielsen, the majority of U.S. mobile subscribers now own smartphones, not feature phones. Meanwhile, the shift to mobile is happening at an extraordinary speed. For those of us who create websites and services, all this leads to a singular conclusion: a million screens have bloomed, and we need to build for all of them. The solution, of course, is to make a website that works equally well on every device. Enter responsive web design. A responsive web design uses “media queries” to figure out what resolution of device it’s being served on. Flexible images and fluid grids then size correctly to fit the screen. THE ADVANTAGES OF RESPONSIVE DESIGN »

The advantages of responsive design are numerous. This technique allows a website to adapt itself to the different screen resolutions available. This technique allows the universal viewing of a website using the CSS 3 new rules and properties (Media Queries, micro formats ...), supported by the vast majority of browsers.


Columns and images are automatically adjusted, resized and moved automatically according to the screen resolution. This technique allows optimum ergonomics in preserving the layout and the display of the information from the website.


Responsive design is a strategic long-term solution and you don’t have to worry about redirecting users to the appropriate version of your website.

The Responsive Design is definitely an effective solution to provide an optimal user experience. This is a major evolution of web design inviting designers to take a new challenge.

Visual examples are provided on page 33.

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appendix 4: responsive design


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