Gabriel Rodríguez

Art Directors Club of Europe Awards & Directory

June 2018 – January 2019 (8 months)
Graphic material
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Back end
Front end
HTML Artisan
Campaign Monitor

Art Directors Club of Europe (ADCE) is a non-profit organization created in 1990 by a group of design and advertising professionales from across Europe. Its a creative club that gathers multiple clubs from different European countries. Annually, they celebrate a gala of extraordinary awards for design and advertising, in which agencies, freelance designers and design students from all over the continent aspire to get one of the most prestigious awards in their field.

By its own nature, the ADCE was facing two main problems. On the one hand, managing the enormous amount of contacts they had (club members, newsletter subscribers, participants and awarded creatives from several editions, etc.). On the other hand, managing the awards and projects each year, in an easy and centralized way, and involving the least amount of extra work possible.

My proposal was to develop a joined manager for both contacts and awards, so that the former could be easily and directly related to the latter on a common admin panel. Moreover, the system would be connected to Campaign Monitor via API, so that they could keep sending and tracking their newsletters and campaigns there. Finally, I would develop a new section within their existing website, to display the awarded projects and creatives.

My role in the project:

  • Project direction and leadership from the beginning.
  • Design of a complex and highly interrelated database. Optimization to speed up advanced full-text searches.
  • Development of a custom centralized admin panel to manage both contacts and awards.
  • Integration with Campaign Monitor for newsletter management. Bidirectional automated synchronization of changes between the admin panel and Campaign Monitor.
  • Development of a smart CRUD forms module to ensure easy and comfortable editing of complex database relationships.
  • Development of the front-end sections to display editions, jury, awarded projects and creatives directory, in coordination with the team that designed the existing website.
  • Seamless integration of the front-end with the existing WordPress website, via proxy and a WP plugin developed by another colleague at Whads, who is specialized in said environment. This allowed the client to keep managing their website on their WordPress panel, while the Awards, Directory and their admin panel remain at a separate, more powerful server.
  • Development of a powerful, smart, self-invalidating cache system, capable of rebuilding itself selectively to respond dynamically to changes in the content, drastically reducing load times for complex listings that depend on many tables.
  • Development of a semi-automated project loading system, uploading an Excel file that's already generated by their awards participation platform. The admin panel handles everything else, completely erradicating all manual work that the ADCE team had to do every year to generate their online "Annual" of awards.
  • Duplicate contacts management system: automatic periodic detection of duplicate contacts, and management panel that allows for a detailed contact merging workflow.