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PLAYBILLEDU

Playbill is the global leader in Broadway theatre promotion. The iconic playbill, the booklet every theater aficionado receives at any play, is synonymous with theater, music, and the arts. Today, these booklets are treasured as keepsakes and collector's items, and Playbill itself has expanded its reach to over 4 million subscribers across the US alone.

The Challenge

The company is traditionally known for its patented yellow booklet, but has always been a trailblazer in the digital age. Every year, millions of high school students are applying for college, and rely on outdated, static and thick college prep guides from the likes of Princeton Review, Barron's, and others.

The question was simple: How could Playbill break into the education space and help students interested in Music, Dance, and Theater find a better way to search for colleges during application season?

The Analysis

From the onset, Playbill built a comprehensive database that catalogued hundreds of bits of quantifiable information about thousands of colleges. We analyzed the large dataset and started to brainstorm the most effective ways to give students, parents, and college counselors a set of data visualization tools to directly compare colleges. The result is a rich, interactive web application called PlaybillEDU.

Guided Search: PlaybillEDU was a pioneer in flat web-design. The site utilizes vibrant colors and re-invents the concept of a "wizard" to help students find matching colleges.
Compare Schools: Students can interactively compare sets of schools using the massive amount of collected information to see how they stack up against each other.
To Dos: A filterable set of automated to-do's allows students to look at what deadlines and requirements are needed to submit applications for bookmarked colleges.

Development

Icreon worked with Playbill to migrate a massive database of university information into SQL. The application, written in PHP, uses the Code Igniter framework. On the frontend, PlaybillEDU utilizes the latest in HTML5,
relying on features like Canvas, SVG and web workers to create a standards-based interactive application. To increase performance of the site, Memcached is used, ensuring stability during periods of high traffic.
  • Experts that engineer scalable database-driven applications across multiple industries & numerous technologies.
  • 15 years of PHP Development Experience, utilizing the latest frameworks like Zend, Cake, CodeIgniter & Yi for rapid development.
  • A cutting-edge set of technologies that we use to develop website & mobile sites that do more for your business.
  • Experts that engineer scalable database-driven applications across multiple industries & numerous technologies.
  • 15 years of PHP Development Experience, utilizing the latest frameworks like Zend, Cake, CodeIgniter & Yi for rapid development.
  • A cutting-edge set of technologies that we use to develop website & mobile sites that do more for your business.

Key Features

  • A Robust Backend

    A enterprise-scale content management environment enables Playbill to rapidly change University Information and immediately reflect it on the frontend.

  • Data Visualizers

    The product gives students, parents, teachers and counselors multiple ways to compare large datasets in beautiful and engaging charts and graphics.

  • HTML5 Powered

    Students and parents are increasingly using mobile devices to access the web, so HTML5 components like SVG and Canvas are used to render objects in all browsers.

  • Rich Data from Universities

    Each University automatically gets its own microsite when administrators add new colleges into the PlaybillEDU system.

A Robust Backend

A enterprise-scale content management environment enables Playbill to rapidly change University Information and immediately reflect it on the frontend.

Data Visualizers

The product gives students, parents, teachers and counselors multiple ways to compare large datasets in beautiful and engaging charts and graphics.

HTML5 Powered

Students and parents are increasingly using mobile devices to access the web, so HTML5 components like SVG and Canvas are used to render objects in all browsers.

Rich Data from Universities

Each University automatically gets its own microsite when administrators add new colleges into the PlaybillEDU system.

Results

M+
Playbill Subscribers
Data points available to capture for a single school
K+
Universities in the system so far