NuStep is an exercise equipment company, located in Michigan, focused on improving cardiac health for individuals one step at a time. They inspire consumers to live an active and healthy lifestyle by providing equipment and support for their customers. NuStep was founded in 1987 by the current CEO, Dick Sarns. He started his first company to build a heart/lung machine for cardiac surgery patients. He then began research about exercise products for cardiac rehabilitation. The company continues to innovate and expand their product offerings to include new cross trainer models along with a full line of various accessories. NuStep is headquartered in Michigan, and they are set on keeping their operations in America, in order to ensure the high quality of their products. This website was created for NuStep by Enlighten, using Drupal.

Enlighten, located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, is an integrated Digital Marketing Agency that collaborates across multiple disciplines to create integrative and compelling solutions in order to deliver the most value to their customers. Enlighten’s engineers build websites, Facebook pages, Smartphone apps, coupon apps, games, product visualizers, banners and other applications and products that will engage customers and strengthen a company’s marketing strategy. This company was founded in 1983 and was one of the first digital marketing firms that emerged, transitioning from the Floppy Disk, to the CD Rom, to the Internet, and now on to new emerging media outlets such as applications and social media. They focus on digital marketing needs by producing websites, banner ads, and mobile applications for companies like Audi, Fruit2O, Hunter Douglas, illy, and many more. They believe that every website has a unique story to tell and should be based on the client’s needs. Enlighten has 15 active large clients, 15 smaller type clients (that they handle maintenance and support for), and 100 employees.

Why Drupal was chosen: 

Enlighten chose Drupal to develop the NuStep website as it proved to be the most beneficial content management system for NuStep. This small company needed an easy-to-use web content management system that did not require intensive maintenance on a regular basis. Drupal allowed this small company to have a powerful website, without having to make a large investment. Although Drupal can be limited in function, it does not require any licensing and can be maintained on a low budget. Also, for this small staffed company, maintaining a Drupal site would not require them to allocate many resources towards it. With the site created and developed by Enlighten, NuStep can now manage their own content with ease.

Describe the project (goals, requirements and outcome): 

The goals of the NuStep site vary from showcasing products to providing information regarding their personal goals. NuStep has two markets that the website must cater to: individuals and companies. Each segment has different needs, and the website effectively caters to both. The following is a list of goals the company wanted to obtain:

● Showcase work
● Attract new companies
● Allow potential customers to see “Does this company fit for me?”

Content Types
Enlighten and NuStep have decided on various content types to be used on the Drupal site. Some of the most notable ones include:

● Product content type
● Product attribute content type
● Compare page content type
● User story content type

At Enlighten, they try to use a standard set of attributes for each content type. For instance, they provide content types relying on these fields to set the framework of the content types. Included are Field Name, Type, Attribute Name, Large Image, Thumbnail, Heading, and Blurb.

Challenges and Solution
Enlighten said some of the challenges they faced included having difficulty creating custom code for specific features they wanted to utilize in their websites. They also had trouble configuring certain modules to meet their needs. Some modules often come with an abundance of supporting modules that need to be downloaded as well, and it can add a lot of bulk to the website. One of the things Enlighten focuses on are its customer needs. They believe that social media sites are good for figuring out what consumers want and improvements the company should make. Social media is mainly a medium for conversation where consumers discuss their opinions on various topics. The website, however, displays what the company has to offer, and allows the consumer to make purchases.

Enlighten doesn’t use Drupal on a regular basis but they offer it to many of their clients because it has limited software licensing constraints and has the right tool mix for bigger players. Drupal worked well for NuStep because it is free, has special features, and high quality built in. It can benefit many companies without a lot of capital to invest in making a website. However, it is not as easy to implement a Drupal site because it involves custom code, custom modules, and limited functionality if one isn’t familiar with Drupal. When Enlighten works on a Drupal site for a customer, they will help them with the template layouts and adding new features, but the clients will handle the extra content loading and updating themselves. NuStep’s website was a success; it will help attract new customers, and retain those already satisfied with the company.

Why these modules/theme/distribution were chosen: 

Enlighten has utilized many additional modules outside of the base Drupal installation. Open Source CMS, while they are free and provide a robust framework for the base websites, often require additional modules to support sophisticated and advanced functional features. The project has many functional features including Personalization, SEO, Caching, Breadcrumbs, and Country/Region selector. To provide additional support for these features, Enlighten added many other modules.

● Page Manager - Provides additional support in order to manage pages within the site.
● Devel - Adds various pages, blocks, and functions for developers.
● Media Gallery - Ability to add images to the website.
● AddToAny - Helps readers share, bookmark, and email your articles and pages using any service.
● Pathauto - Provides a mechanism for modules to automatically generate aliases for the content they manage. It makes URLs easy to remember and search for.
● Panels - Allows a page to be customizable and add different layouts to different webpages.
● Google Analytics - Allows this site to be tracked by Google Analytics.
● jCarousel - Includes a developer API that other modules use so this website can turn any list of content or images into a carousel.
● Superfish - This module provides a drop-down menu with JavaScript enhancements. Menus can open with various animation styles, easing algorithms, and display features.
● Webform - Enables the creation of forms and questionnaires.

Project team: 

Enlighten is the developer of the NuStep website. NuStep stated the requirements and they worked closely with Enlighten to create a website that worked for NuStep.

NuStep Business Page