What was the scope of their involvement?
There were a few very specific requirements. One that I should mention is that we asked them to do a website that is easily maintainable. We didn’t want to incur any more costs down the road for updating the website once a year. I also did not want to spend a whole lot of time on project management. We were also asking them to make the website look more pleasing, so there was a design element in there. Additionally, there was a user journey element in there as well, and there was also a project management element in there. The time I could spend on the solution was very limited, so we tasked them to cover all of these elements.
It was simply a web application that we wanted to transfer from something boring to something livelier. The conversation I had with them was more around bringing something to life. We were looking for a timeline and an experience that a user would have when visiting a museum. When you see a timeline of a certain technology or development that you see in a museum, and you walk down that line, you would learn as you go. This is very much what we were going after.
There are certain animation features that Aktiv came up with. We provided them an open book of opportunity, as we didn’t want to restrict their creativity. We told them that we wanted to transfer the list of names into a digital museum appearance. That was pretty much all we gave them.
I don’t know how many people were assigned to this project, but I worked with just two people. The business development manager, Chris Kosiba, was my first contact. I had a lead designer contact, and I think he also took a project manager role on this. My contact was limited to these two guys, as we preferred. We didn’t want to have a whole lot of contacts. This was a fairly expensive project, given the scope of it. We really only wanted to have one person to whom we could send questions and get answers. We didn’t want to interface with 5–7 people.
How did you come to work with Aktiv Web Solutions?
It is not easy to find an agency that delivers on all the needs we had. We found that the typical agency has one particular strength, a lot of mediocre abilities, and a few strong weaknesses. For every project, we typically look at our main goal. Is it a project management issue, a programming issue, or a design issue? If an agency fails on any of these items, which ones can we most easily live with? So, we have not found a lot of agencies that can deliver on all those fronts.
When we looked for this project, we looked for someone who had a credible client portfolio and a strength in design that we could rely on. We felt that design and user journey development were critical in this one. We didn’t feel that the programming was that critical because a lot of the programming was available in templates. So, the most critical part was coming up with an idea for the design. We looked at 10–15 agencies and the work they had done. We typically pick 2–3, where we prioritize one and the others would serve as backup.
In this case, Aktiv was one of the frontrunners that we wanted to have because of their strong client list. We looked at solutions they had developed for Intel and for Microsoft. These are the reasons we contacted them and picked them.
How much have you invested with Aktiv Web Solutions?
I think it was somewhere between $35,000 and $40,000.
What is the status of this engagement?
We started working with Aktiv sometime in 2016, probably the first half of the year. I think it was a 12-week project.