What was the scope of their involvement?
I gave them a written scope of work based on the design that I wanted, including some milestones. I asked a Canadian designer that I know personally to design some of the screens.
A2 started working after a small deposit, and they produced mockups right away. They ended up creating everything from scratch on a big SQL database. The previous developers that I worked with were trying to do the site on WordPress. From my own investigation, I knew what I needed was a SQL database.
During the development phase, I looked to A2 for guidance. I relied heavily on their input. They gave advice whenever I didn’t know what to do or how to get there. They were very instrumental in determining what the final product would look like. I did not have to dictate every step of the way.
The website has a number of screen menus that allow access to a lot of data. Two groups of people come to the site: job seekers who input the data and resource seekers who retrieve that data. The job seekers enter data using templated screen menus. The resource seekers use the same screens to do filter searches on that data.
What is the team dynamic?
A project manager handles direct communication. I started with one person and then it was turned over to Ev, the frontend person for communications. She isn’t a technical person.
How did you come to work with A2 Design?
I found a number of web designers on Freelancer. One of them wasted three months of my time before he abandoned the project. Luckily, I found A2. At that point, I was pretty disillusioned with the whole thing, but finding them was very helpful.
I sent inquiries out to a dozen companies, but A2 was one of the few that wanted to call me right away and talk in detail. Some of the others wanted to quickly set a price and promise things without having talked to me. In contrast, A2 wanted to understand the scope, which I believe helps in successfully executing a complex project.
They had someone based in Canada who fielded our initial call, and they included someone in Russia as well. The person in Canada spoke excellent English. The staff that I talked to in Russia had decent English, but they were a little harder to understand.
How much have you invested with them?
I asked A2 for an estimate based on what I had already, and it was very reasonable. After going through three other developers, I had a good feel for what was a good cost for a project like this. So far, we’ve spent CA$8,000 [$6,416] on A2’s services. They would send me a bill every two weeks.
What is the status of this engagement?
We started working together in August 2017, and the website was completed in September 2017. I have an ongoing relationship with them because we’re still tweaking the platform. Finishing the site was the first step, and the next involves marketing. I’m just getting into that now.