We Design The Future Every Day

We make 21st Century brand experiences.

We make digital products and brand platforms for companies who know that technology and ideas are opportunities, but strategy and design create true disruption and sustainable value.

 

Our model is to assemble the fewest amount of people, but exactly the right people to form a hands-on, senior team specifically aligned to the challenge at hand.

altr is a close, proven network of independent, executive-level Strategists, Creatives, UX Architects, Designers, Writers, and Techno-maniacs led by partners Christine Pillsbury & Geordie McClelland. Every project is led by at least one of us from start to finish – no bait and switch after the pitch.

Think of us as your Special Ops team.

 
$25,000+
 
$200 - $300 / hr
 
2 - 9
 Founded
2014
Show all +
Salem, MA
headquarters
  • 201 Washington St Suite 205
    Salem, MA 01970
    United States
other locations
  • 45 Prospect Street
    Cambridge, MA 02139
    United States

Portfolio

Key clients: 

athenahealth, Bamboo Rose, Bentley University, Breas-HDM, Jitterbit, Iora Health, Twine Health, Wellist

Rental Beast

We rebuilt Rental Beast’s business on top of its
industry-leading database of rental properties.  From brand identity and brand positioning to completely redesigned consumer and B2B applications and CRM, we rethought and redesigned every Rental Beast touchpoint.

Brand Development : Product Strategy : Site Design

Divvy

Say hello to Divvy, a totally new collaborative lending service aimed at helping people break the cycle of high-interest debt.

Brand Creation : Business Strategy : Product Development : Site Design

Bentley University

In altr’s collaboration with Bentley on the University’s new MBA and Masters program website, we focused on creating a site that told that story: helping prospective students find the program that will best serve their career objectives and giving them the information they would need to make a thoughtful assessment on the ROI of a Bentley education.

Digital Strategy : Site Design

QMedic Brand Platform

Personal Emergency Response Monitoring has come a long way since “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” and QMedic is leading the way with low maintenance wearables and IoT intelligence to transform the old emergency button into the center of a more proactive, and effective care management network.

Strategy : Brand Platform : UX : Site Design

Bamboo Rose Rebrand

Consumers are driving change in the retail industry with digitally enabled, 24/7, global buying habits. In this increasingly complex, ever-accelerating new retail economy the old ways of getting new ideas and products to market simply don’t work. Bamboo Rose is creating the next generation of solutions that bridge the gap between the consumer experience of shopping for products and the B2B process of creating them.

Strategy : Brand Platform : Marketing Platform : UX : Design : Development

Breas-HDM Everyware - Healthcare Provider Ventilator Interface

With Breas-Everyware, we aren’t simply building a better GUI and data dashboard – we’re creating an entirely new way for patients, caregivers, and medical professionals to collaborate on and improve the outcomes of on-going care.

Twine Health Marketing

Healthcare is broken – Twine Health is fixing it. Twine delivers a collaborative care platform that connects patients with their care team, wherever they are, whenever they have questions.

Brand Platform : Patient Acquisition : Social : CRM : UX : Visual Design : Development

at&t CRM Platform Development

B2B brands are pushing thought leadership content on their targets everyday because, well… that’s what they do. We created a QuizUp style, game-based CRM platform that busy executives can play during their commute to drive voluntary engagement, continued learning and more effective conversions.

Game Strategy : Marketing : CRM : UX : Visual Design

(In partnership with Market One Digital)

DELAID Product Creation

So… funny story. It all started with an impromptu brainstorm between Geordie and Christine. Remotely of course, both stuck in their respective homes, snowed in, MBTA shut down, and about 3 feet of snow on the ground. There’s this thing people like us do. It’s called: What if…?  Geordie asked, what if we could fix the MBTA? We gave it serious thought. But… uh, we can’t fix that mess. Then, we actually did think of a way to make it at least slightly less painful.

Enter DELAID: it’s not going to be yet another way-finding, map-porn, tourist app. We’re going straight to Apple Watch too, it’s a perfect user context. We’re almost done with the beta, stay tuned for updates at delaid.me

Ditto Labs Application Design

Search on the web has traditionally been text-based, but text becomes less relevant in a world where 1.8 billion images are shared on social media each day. Ditto Labs has created the machine learning intelligence to search the visual web and altr helped design the interface so users can find meaning in what they discover.

Strategy : UX : Design

Reviews

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Website Overhaul for Wealth Management Company

“The look and feel of the new site is fun, current, and user-friendly.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Oct. - Dec. 2016
Project summary: 

altr provided website design services, completely overhauling the functionality, look, and feel of an existing site to improve the representation of the company’s services and their client-manager experience.

The Reviewer
 
11- 50 Employees
 
Boston, Massachusetts
Martha Bacigalupo
VP Marketing & Business Development, Howland Capital
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The site is set to launch very soon. altr created a design that is mobile-responsive, appropriate for its purpose, and an excellent representation for customers to understand the real-life experience of working with the business.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the VP of marketing and business development for Howland Capital.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with altr?

We identified that we needed to overhaul our website, which had been developed a number of years ago. We were concerned with its functionality, the look and feel of it, and wanted to ensure that the end product was consistent with how we served our current clients. Moving forward, we wanted prospective clients to use it to determine if they felt as if they, too, would benefit from a similar relationship.

We also felt the functionality needed improving, as well as the representation of our services and how to deliver them to existing clients. 

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We began with identifying the scope of the assignment and developing a work plan, focusing on understanding who the website would speak to. The first step was getting as much info as possible to help create the direction for altr.

They then developed initial rough designs and functionalities for the site—headlines, subheads, and so on. They came back with a killer design and appropriate functionality. They intuitively knew how we should be presenting our services on the website. We also focused on the real-life interactions between clients and managers and tried to replicate that on the site.

We approved their approach with very few changes and they helped me identify a group to work with from a CMS perspective. They helped to communicate the site’s design and functionalities to them so that they could put the backbone together.

They also got involved with some logo development as we wanted to modify our logo and make it more mobile-friendly. The site hasn’t launched yet; it’s in the final stages and should be launching fairly soon. altr has been available and involved in assuring that the site is being built out in the way it was originally designed.

What is the team composition?

Initially, I worked with Geordie (Founder, Chief of Strategy, altr) and Christine (Founder, Chief of Design, altr), to identify and finalize the work plan. Christine and an external copywriter were involved in the design. After that, Geordie worked during the development, refining the designs, headlines, copy, and so on.

How did you come to work with altr?

I interviewed several design firms but ended up finding altr from a recommendation. We’re a pretty small firm and didn’t have an unlimited budget design and build, so we found altr to be the perfect solution rather than a large agency.

How much have you invested with them?

It was in the $10,000–$50,000 range.

What is the status of this engagement?

We worked with them between October–December 2016.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

I can speak to successes in terms of the functionality of the site, and the look and feel of the client­-manager relationships that are represented—it’s appropriate and truly replicates the real-life experience. That was the main intent and what we wanted the site to do.

The look and feel of the new site is fun, current, and user-friendly. It’s easy to navigate. It’s a lot less wordy than in the past and how we represent ourselves isn’t as conservative and conventional as before.  However, we don’t have any results, in the sense of how many people have actually gone to the site and then get in touch, because it’s not live yet.

I can speak to successes in terms of the functionality of the site, and the look and feel of the client­-manager relationships—it’s appropriate and truly replicates the real-life experience. That was the main intent and what we wanted the site to do.

The look and feel of the new site are fun, current, and user-friendly. It’s easy to navigate. It’s a lot less wordy than in the past, and we’re not taking ourselves as seriously anymore. However, we don’t have any results, in the sense of how many people have actually gone to the site and then get in touch, because it’s not live yet.

How did altr perform from a project management standpoint?

They were there for any need I had; at any juncture, aiding me with the positioning and messaging. They also made referrals to people with expertise when I needed it. Overall, they were outstanding. They got us right away, which was great and made it a lot easier to work with them.

I communicated with Geordie quite a bit, whether in the office or via phone, email, and conference calls. Initially, it was almost daily and then it became weekly. When we were handing the design over to the CMS group to be built out, I touched base with Geordie every two months or so. He was always available to me, at any point in time, whether the job was still going or not.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They listened well, and they understood us—in terms of what the challenge was and what it was going to be. Right out of the box they came up with the design that we now have. They understood who we are, what we do well, and what was important to communicate and reinforce. They didn’t misrepresent or overpromise anything within our messaging.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No. altr is intentionally structured to give us access to the skill sets we needed, without hiring or bringing on full-time people. Their structure is a little different, but it makes them nimble.

Do you have any advice for future clients of theirs?

An initial face-to-face with Geordie or Christine is the best way to go. Have an open conversation about what your challenges and goals. They will be able to guide you in almost any area. 

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They either met or exceeded the deadlines, in terms of both scheduling meetings and deliverables.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They provided a tremendous amount of value, at a cost I thought was reasonable. They stuck to the budget.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    Their deliverables clearly reflected their understanding of the challenge.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I have done already. I would refer people to them if I saw a good fit for both parties.

Digital Design for Diabetes Healthcare App

"They adapt what we’re trying to accomplish with the consumer into the end design they create."

Quality: 
4.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Jan. 2018 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Using findings from market research and stakeholder interviews, altr worked with an in-house development team to create UX designs for a mobile medical application.

The Reviewer
 
1,001-10,000 Employees
 
New York, New York
Ed Liebowitz
Digital Diabetes Product Leader, Becton Dickinson
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The application features an intuitive design and an upgraded UX, leading to increased engagement and a higher funnel completion rate. The altr team collaborates well and presents solutions with the end user in mind. Their dedication to exceeding expectations sets them apart from other firms.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the digital diabetes product leader for Becton Dickinson, one of the largest medical device manufacturers in the world.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with altr?

We needed outside design help as we built a mobile application for healthcare consumers that have diabetes.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

After interviewing our key stakeholders to understand the strategic perspective of our business, altr conducted extensive user research to identify unmet market needs. With those findings, they translated the needs into a digital experience—specifically regarding our curriculum-based content and how we present diabetes data to the user.

They’ve been instrumental in developing the visual design language and the consumer experience for the mobile application. When we first launched, we had a true MVP in that we thought more of the technology than the design. But, now, the design is much more refined.

What is the team composition?

Although I’m sure they have a large team, we communicate primarily with the co-founders and a UI/UX designer.

How did you come to work with altr?

I searched through many lists of top firms before coming across altr’s LinkedIn profile. They had a demonstrated experience with healthcare projects, so I connected with one of their co-founders. We had a great conversation, and the engagement followed from there. 

What is the status of this engagement?

Our engagement began in January 2018 and is ongoing. We’re currently wrapping up the current statement of work and have to discuss what our next needs are. We will likely address the functionality to connect with third-party tracking devices, as well as the process for getting data we collect back to physicians.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

By working with our UX lead, altr’s design team came up with a wonderful visual interface with intuitive designs for certain features. This has helped triple engagement in the platform. We’ve seen our funnel completion rate increase 10%–15% since we've redesigned the onboarding experience with altr’s help.

How did altr perform from a project management standpoint?

They tend to work as an extension of our team, which was important in the vendor selection process. This involves regularly coming into our office and working almost hand-in-hand with our UX lead. They also hold product reviews with our technology team to ensure that the design direction they’re recommending is feasible from an execution standpoint. altr utilizes Sketch InVision to present their updates to us, and they are ardent to stick with their timelines. Their team always aims to exceed expectations.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They take the time to understand the strategies and priorities we have as a business. They adapt what we’re trying to accomplish with the consumer into the end design they create. altr has not shown to be an agency that wants to do something cool just because it’s cool; at the end of the day, they want to do what works for the consumer.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No. In terms of the technical scope and the depth of partnership we were looking for, altr has hit a home run.

Any advice for potential customers?

We found that the interviews with stakeholders were a valuable exercise to ensure alignment across the organization and build faith and credibility with altr. They have since picked up additional projects across Becton Dickinson. The meeting helped empower them and set them up for success.

4.5
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 4.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

WordPress Web Redesign & Dev for Healthcare Company

"They remained flexible and efficient throughout the entire project, even when the workload increased."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
May - Sept. 2016
Project summary: 

altr designed and developed a multi-location WordPress website to attract a new audience and better portray a patient-focused approach to primary care.

The Reviewer
 
201- 500 Employees
 
Boston, Massachusetts
Senior Manager, Regional Marketing, Healthcare Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

altr created several templates and a framework that allowed internal staff to efficiently develop pages as needed. The new site is easy to update, which helps drive business growth. The team’s small size enabled them to remain nimble, scaling to meet project requirements while keeping on schedule.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the senior manager at a healthcare organization with several doctor’s offices around the country. We focus on Medicare patients, providing a better, team-based approach to primary care.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with altr?

Our previous website was antiquated and not user-friendly. It didn't serve even it’s basic purpose of providing information about who we are, what we do, and how we help patients. As a result, we needed resources to help us redesign the website to better serve our goals.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Initially, altr executed a discovery phase, interviewing our team along with current and potential patients. After those interviews, we worked together to solidify requirements that would enable us to meet our goals. altr built wireframes and provided us with creative concepts to review such as color scheme, page design, and copywriting. From there, they created templates and developed a multi-location WordPress website.

What is the team composition?

We worked primarily with altr’s two founders, and they had a team of two developers supporting them.

How did you come to work with altr?

We vetted a few web design firms, but altr stood out because of their portfolio and work culture. The examples they provided of their previous work reflected what we were looking for. Additionally, their values aligned with our passion for helping people, and they understood how to implement that in a website.

What is the status of this engagement?

We worked together from May–September 2016.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

Not only do we have a multi-location website, but we will also be opening ten new locations this year. We’re able to do this in-house because altr provided us with a flexible website that we could easily manage and quickly update. Using the templates and framework altr built, our digital team seamlessly creates new websites and landing pages. Because we use these landing pages for marketing and advertising, they have helped us drive growth.

How did altr perform from a project management standpoint?

They were communicative about timelines; we had a progress update on a weekly basis at a minimum. They stayed on top of the project and made sure that we met all of our business, budgetary, and scheduling goals.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They were a small team when we worked together, and I was impressed with the amount of work they took on, especially with our short timeline. They remained flexible and efficient throughout the entire project, even when the workload increased.

Are there any areas they could improve?

Nothing comes to mind.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

With any web development project, it’s important to establish all of your requirements prior to the engagement. That will prevent any surprises later in the project, and help it continue seamlessly.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    The project was completed on time, altr didn’t miss any internal deadlines, and they kept us on schedule in terms of reviewing their deliverables.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They were affordable in comparison to other organization and worked well for our budget.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    We are very satisfied with our site, it’s output and design, and the copy that altr drafted.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    Our website is proof that altr produces results, so I would easily recommend them for similar projects.

Redesign of Cloud-Based API Integration Platform

"They made themselves experts on our space and our offering in a very short time."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
Jan. 2017 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

altr refactored and modernized the UX for a cloud-based API integration platform. They studied product training and documentation to provide brand-new design, wireframes, and comps.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
Alameda, California
Betsy Bilhorn
SVP Product, Jitterbit
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Their level of expertise is highly valuable. They were two to three times more cost effective than an internal team. They are broadly aware of UX/UI trends and are easy to understand. They are eager to learn about user needs and system functionality and understand the technical aspects.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

Jitterbit is an enterprise Integration Platform as a Service (eIPaaS). We have a cloud platform that allows businesses to connect and to integrate all of their data and systems such as business applications, data repositories, cloud/SaaS apps, IoT, mobile, and more. I am the SVP of Products.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with altr?

We had a complicated, desktop-based studio that was over 10 years old. It was very sophisticated, but couldn’t run in the cloud. The cosmetics and user experience were dated and it was beginning to create problems for us in the market. We wanted to completely refactor both the user experience and the look/feel of the studio so that it reflected the modern and intuitive experience that our customers expect.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Integration can be very technical and complex, with a steep learning curve. This is not a consumer or business-end user application. Altr needed to get up to speed very quickly - within 60 days - and learn not only the industry, use cases, and personas but also have hands-on training with the product itself. Altr took it upon themselves to read all of the technical documentation, take our online courses, attend multiple demos with our Professional Services and Sales Engineering teams, and talk to customers. They had full access to all of our development documentation as well.

The project was comprehensive. We didn't want to do an exact copy of the existing studio. We literally started from scratch and re-designed the entire studio as if we were a brand new startup. Altr was intimately involved in the entire process from design through development and QA.

What is the team composition?

We worked directly with Geordie (Founder, Chief of Strategy, altr) and Christine (Founder, Chief of Design, altr) along with various members of their team as needed for design, comps, etc.

How did you come to work with altr?

We were referred to Altr by the founder of another design firm I had worked with in the past on a similar project as the one we were going to do at Jitterbit. That firm wasn't available and he strongly recommended Altr. We included them in the selection process along with 3 other firms who came to us by board referral, previous contract with Jitterbit, and an outside firm via google search respectively. Experience with deeply technical, enterprise applications and a strong design aesthetic were the primary criteria. UI development expertise and/or a relationship with a good UI firm was also a requirement.

Of all the contenders, altr was the only firm that thoroughly read through our website, downloaded the trial, watched all the demo videos, and educated themselves on the space during the selection process. They had a very tight and well-delivered proposal that reflected their work ethic and dedication to the customer. They were the only firm that had a proven relationship with a strong UI development firm with a deep technical bench that we needed. They were the only firm that "got it" on the scope of what we were trying to do and answered with a sound plan. Christine and Geordie were very personable, easy to talk to, inquisitive, and genuinely seemed to care about our business. They were honest with us on the time frame and cost where other firms were overly optimistic and/or simplistic about the actual effort it would take to accomplish this. We knew speaking to them that we'd be a priority and we wouldn't be flipped to entry-level staff.

How much have you invested with them?

To date, we’ve spent around $500,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started in January 2017. We will launch version 1 of the project in the first week of April 2018 and have signed a retainer with them for the rest of the year.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

Hiring an internal team would have cost us two to three times more than we spent on this project. Altr provided a level of speed and expertise that we could not get in-house in the time frame we needed. Christine and Geordie worked alongside the team as if they were full-time employees and showed the same level of dedication and care to building a world-class offering.

We got tremendous value from their quality, modernity, and depth of expertise. There was no way we could have hired a team of similar experience and talent. It would have been impossible to meet the aggressive time frame we gave for building a brand new studio. We didn't go down the rat hole with missed or muddy designs that required multiple cycles to get right. We didn't have the infighting and friction that you can sometimes experience between development and UX/UI. Altr were honest with us and respectfully challenged us on potentially poor decisions - they weren't afraid to speak up and show alternate ways to achieve the same thing.

How did altr perform from a project management standpoint?

They were excellent. I didn’t even have to think about project management. They’re very organized; everything was easy to digest. All of our discussions were forthright and they delivered what they said they would on time. If an item was delayed, they communicated right away. The whole process was very smooth.

What did you find most impressive about them?

The caliber and depth of the entire team was impressive. Everyone we worked with was professional and the work was very high quality. They’re very hands-on and really want to understand our business, our product, and our customers. They made themselves experts on our space and our offering in a very short time. It really felt we were working together as colleagues versus a vendor-customer type relationship.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I really can't think of anything.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

I would treat altr as any other member of your team - let them embed and work directly with your customers, developers, and product/project managers. Spend the time upfront to educate them as much as you can from all angles - market, product, customers, competition. Don't be afraid to give them the tough material and trust them to understand.

5.0
Overall Score They have a very specific methodology and really have their act together.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They’re crisp on deadlines and made sure the process was smooth.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They’re very good at project planning and will try to really understand your business.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Website Dev & Design for Graduate University

"They were able to simplify a fairly complex site and do a really effective assessment ..."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
3.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
May - Aug. 2017
Project summary: 

altr developed and designed an admissions website for a graduate university. They wanted an updated design that optimized performance for their intended users and showcase the program's strengths.

The Reviewer
 
1,001-5,000 Employees
 
Boston, Massachusetts
Valerie Fox
CMO, Bentley University
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

altr scaled down the existing site from 450 pages to 75. The client saw a 10% increase in pages per session, and session duration almost doubled. Bounce rate went down, and the amount of people click to apply online increased. They were extremely pleased with the frontend design.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the chief marketing officer at Bentley University. We are a business university outside of Boston, Massachusetts, with both graduate and undergraduate programs.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with altr?

We needed a new graduate admission website. Our existing site was over 4 years old and really suffered from significant content sprawl and no longer adequately served key audience needs. The original site was built be someone else.

A couple things were driving the redesign of the current website. Our audiences are increasingly web centric. So over 50% of business school applicants are seeking information and making decisions without ever contacting admissions. They’re using and relying heavily on a university’s website. Websites have to work harder than ever before. We believed our website could be optimized to improve performance for users, better showcase each program’s unique value proposition, support specific persona motivations, and ultimately drive more leads.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We wanted to create a program driven storefront approach. We wanted a site that was organized around our programs rather than our internal departments. We felt that’d improve the user experience and ultimately help visitors find the information they need.

Our site is built in the Drupal CMS. Altr chose to partner with a 3rd party web development shop to build the site in Drupal so that they could hand code over to us. Altr focused more on design and outsourced the development work.

What is the team dynamic?

We interacted with three people. One of the principals was predominantly focused on user experience and design. The other principal was focused on overall strategy. The third was a designer.

How did you come to work with altr?

It was an internal referral. One of the people on the team knew of their agency. We looked at 8-9 different agencies. We did a very thorough vetting. We sent out an RSP. We accepted proposals. From the proposals we received, we brought in about 3 agencies and we chose altr from the 3. The principals of altr are still very heavily involved in the decisions and would be serving as our primary point of contacts. They really had an approach that made us confident that they could deliver given the timeline and budget in a very agile, rapid prototyping kind of approach.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together in May until August of this last year

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

One of the things that I’m happiest about is that we really contained the sprawl. We went from 450 pages on the site to about 75 pages. Even though we went down in pages, we saw a 10% increase in pages per session. We saw session duration almost double. We saw bounce rate go down by 15%. For our kind of “add to cart” analog is clicking on “apply online” and we saw 2X growth in the amount of people going to apply online.

We were highlighted by our peers. There was a higher ed marketing conference and we were commended by some peers who understand how valuable a streamlined, user centric site experience is. I haven't not noticed any bugs.

How did altr perform from a project management standpoint?

I would give them high marks for the work they did on the frontend design. They really project managed and hit all the dates and milestones we had set out. When the work was scoped with their own team, we faced some challenges when they brought in the 3rd party development shop and they were less involved in the project management. We definitely hit a lot more speed bumps. I had to run interference a few times to get the project back on track.

What did you find most impressive about them?

I was impressed with how quickly they were able to get their head around our audience and our business objective. They were able to simplify a fairly complex site and do a really effective assessment and content map and site audit in a very short period of time.

Are there any areas they could improve?

They could be more transparent when we started hitting speed bumps on the development side. They could have had more regular check-ins at that point rather than assuming their 3rd party partner was effectively project managing that. They could have owned more of that and that would have resolved some of the issues. There were miscommunications on the prioritization of some of the development effort. Having altr more involved and advocated for some things over others and steered the ship more, it would have resolved a lot.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

I would recommend that they consider altr for frontend design, strategy. I they want to have complete turnkey backend work too, they should either provide their own development partner or use whoever altr brings to the table very carefully. I would recommend them without any reservation for frontend design.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 3.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

UX for Health Web Portal

"They take the time to find out how to deliver the best possible product for the client."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Fall 2016 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

The altr team provided UX/UI design for member- and physician-facing digital platforms, streamlining functionality based on head-to-toe research to create new member experiences. 

The Reviewer
 
501 - 1000 Employees
 
Boston, Massachusetts
James Cuoco
Business and Product Analyst, Best Doctors
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Thanks to altr’s robust feedback gathering process, the streamlined portals will support international healthcare services. Their constant accessibility, seamless brand and workflow integration, and rapid delivery timeline led to impressive results. 

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

Best Doctors is a virtual second-opinion company for large employers and insurance providers. We have a global reach and offer a variety of services for clients. Depending on where they’re located, we can provide services for finding the best doctors in the US; on a global level, we’re more insurance-based. I am a business and product analyst. 

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with altr?

We needed a professional organization that had experience working on UI/UX design for digital platforms, specifically for healthcare companies. We didn’t have the resources to build these wireframes ourselves, so we looked for an experienced group of individuals who would be able to help us complete our goals. 

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We have been working with altr for 10 months on a variety of projects, including a larger member experience web portal and mobile app. Before this, we worked on a clinician portal, which was designed to help large employers and health plans that already had clinicians on staff to create and initiate cases on behalf of their members.

The other one is a physician portal; altr built a new design and helped streamline those physician cases. They are currently working on a 2.0 global initiative of the portal. It will touch all regions of Best Doctors, from the US to our offices in the UK, Portugal, Spain, Australia, and New Zealand. They’re also helping us launch our first Canadian portal.

We first provided a basic overview of what we were looking for, gave altr access to our stage sites, and sat down with them after reviewing all the information needed. They proposed that we try to find internal and external people to guide the project to the best of its ability. Then, altr sat down with 8–10 internal people from different global departments, including operations, marketing, sales, account management, operations, products, and so on. They did head-to-toe research, put together scripts, and learned the process of what it would take for our company to provide help to its members. Based on the feedback gathered over a 3-month process, altr pitched a completely new member experience.

How did you come to work with altr?

I did not have any insight into finding altr. The vice president of products and our CTO were in charge of this.

How much have you invested with altr?

I only have a rough estimate in my head and know that one of our projects cost about $18,000. It was for one of the biggest clients we could have had. Altr was given 2 weeks to build something, and they did it in a week and a half. We’re still using that work today as a baseline for prototypes.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with altr in late-Q3 of 2016. We’re still working together and plan to continue the collaboration well into June of 2017. 

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or impact of the engagement?

We have yet to go live with our member portal, and we don’t track metrics for the physician one.

How did altr perform from a project management standpoint?

The work was always delivered either on time or before deadlines. They are always willing to go the extra mile and work overtime to get the best prototype wireframes for us. altr has been on calls with us at 7:00 AM and 7:00 PM, when we needed to change a deliverable. They’re always there, and I feel like their phone is attached to their hip.

We didn’t have too much insight into the project management perspective, but altr always kept holds on our calendar in order to show how they worked and when each of our sprints would end. We didn’t know how sprints were organized or how the whiteboard sessions were being run. altr sent us weekly updates every Monday and Friday on their progress. Anytime we emailed them, they gave us a detailed response within the next 20–25 minutes. We were able to download all the work materials associated with altr.

Their team visited us over our 8-month collaboration. Whenever we needed them to come to Boston, they were there. We had around 10 in-person meetings in total. Even though we weren’t in the mud with them, working on the whiteboard sessions, I would say that altr’s project management skills are impeccable.

What did you find most impressive about altr?

I have worked with other vendors in the past and found that they only wanted to finish the product and get their money. With altr, it was an astonishing process. They wanted to know the people at Best Doctors and what we represented. I’ve been here for 4 years and feel that altr may know more about the company than I do. They take the time to find out how to deliver the best possible product for the client. I would love to see what altr has done for clients outside of the healthcare space and how they can change their ideas and approach for other industries. It really is impressive that they were able to come in and figure out our workflow and branding.

Are there any areas altr could improve?

I can’t think of anything. 

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    I don’t know the exact cost, but my boss would probably give altr a 5.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Web Dev for Cloud-Based Health Company

"They asked all the smart questions upfront."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Sept. - Nov. 2016
Project summary: 

altr created a web-based tool for exclusive tradeshow use to assess attendees’ financial performance as a conversation starter. The team managed UX and design by partnering with another firm for development.

The Reviewer
 
1,001-5,000 Employees
 
Boston, Massachusetts
Stephanie Saia
Campaign Planning Manager, athenahealth
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Operating within an aggressive timeline, altr prepared detailed scopes and maintained a disciplined pace to meet objectives. Their expertise paved the way for a second collaboration to update the tool. 

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

Athenahealth is a cloud-based, health IT company. We produce electronic health-record software and other services for use by medical groups, hospitals, and health systems. I am in a campaign planning management role, working within the broader marketing department. 

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with altr?

We were going to participate in a big tradeshow for the Medical Groups Management Association (MGMA). The conference was held in late October and early November of 2016. Over the summer of 2016, our senior management decided that we needed to rethink the whole on-site experience for attendees at the booth. One thing they wanted was to develop a web-based tool to help these organizations assess their financial performance. We had a tight timeline to do that—about eight to nine weeks to train our sales team appropriately prior to the tradeshow. 

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We needed to build a web-based tool to assess financial performance. Once the attendee’s badge was scanned for the event, it would match to their email address so they wouldn’t have to enter separate demographics. The tool then presents the user with a series of questions to get details about their organization. We gave them multiple-choice options or sliders to choose the appropriate answers. Based on their input, the tool made calculations behind the scenes based on data provided by our internal research team. The results were served up in a graph that showed users how they compared to top performers on the athenahealth network. It offered tips and advice for how they could improve.

It was basically used as a conversation tool between our sales team and the prospect at the booth. The pieces altr did for us included the upfront discovery—stakeholder interviews to determine the final business requirements. They came up with a scope of work out of that, with all the requirements clearly defined. They handled all the UX and designs aspects. They worked with a close partner that handles all the actual web development.

We were not specific about the technology it needed to be built on, due to the short timeline. We allowed the developers to make that decision, but I don’t recall what technologies were used. We then worked with altr on a separate engagement to create version 2.0 of the tool.

How did you come to work with altr?

Two of our directors had worked with altr previously. We did RFP [request for proposal] other agencies. One reason we went with altr was because they were a smaller shop, and we knew they’d be scrappy. We thought we may have gotten lost if we went with a larger agency. Also, altr had worked with athenahealth before, so they understood the health IT industry and our business specifically.

How much have you invested with altr?

Our total investment to date is in the range of $75,000–$100,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

The project ran from September 1 to November 1, 2016, and is complete. We started working with them again in late November of 2016, based on the success of the first project. 

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or impact of the engagement?

The tool was made for use exclusively at tradeshows. Due to external problems at the initial tradeshow, the numbers would look artificially low. It had nothing to do with the implementation in which altr was involved. I have nothing but positive things to say about altr, but I don’t think the results of that show would reflect that.

How did altr perform from a project management standpoint?

They were extremely detailed in preparing project timelines. They clearly defined what was in and out of scope. They asked all the smart questions upfront. We had regular scrum meetings, and they were very clear in outlining what was needed from us. The scopes they prepared were thoughtful. I think they had a structured approach that made sense.

What did you find most impressive about altr?

They’re a small agency led by deeply experienced people, and we knew we were getting the best of the best. We knew their top people were involved in the process throughout, and we could go to them no matter what we needed. They were always concerned about meeting our needs, and they delivered everything they promised. Their responsiveness, overall availability, and senior experience on the account were factors that we truly appreciated.

Are there any areas altr could improve?

I can’t think of anything. 

5.0
Overall Score They delivered on everything.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    We met our timeline, which was ambitious at best. We couldn’t have done that if they weren’t so disciplined.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    It was a great value.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They definitely heard all the requirements from many stakeholders and translated those into workable designs.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Web Design for Healthcare Startup

"The speed at which altr delivered work ... was very impressive."

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
4.5
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Mar. - May 2016
Project summary: 

Altr refined the client's existing site, focusing primarily on the design and user experience. They completed wire framing, two rounds of testing, and final designs.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Boston, Massachusetts
Head of Product, Healthcare Startup
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Although the site has not launched yet, the client has been very pleased with the product, and is much more confident about the new design. Altr was flexible and accomodating to project changes, and adhered to all deadlines.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your organization.

I work at a Boston-based healthcare startup. We have a website to help connect patients and their family members to nonclinical resources that they need outside of the hospital. We partner with local hospitals to help customize a tool for their patients' needs.

What is your position?

I am head of product.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What business challenge were you trying to address with altr?

We had built a website and gone through a couple different rounds of feedback and user testing with our hospital clients. We knew that we were solving an important problem, but our website experience wasn't quite right. We wanted to work with someone who could redesign our web experience and navigation.

SOLUTION

Please describe the scope of their involvement in detail.

We already knew that we were confident in our brand and our logo, but we needed help creating additional messaging to represent us. Altr was focused on the design and user experience of the overall web application. They did wire framing, two rounds of testing, and delivered final designs for our engineering team to implement that were very high quality.

How did you come to work with altr?

We connected with altr through a third-party service that made the introduction. We had a pretty extensive RFP [request for proposal] process, and altr stood out from the other firms that applied. They asked questions before turning in the RFP and took care to present it to us. I was impressed with their dedication to want to meet us in person and make sure they addressed our needs properly. It was clear from the start that that was very important to them.

Could you provide a sense of the size of this initiative in financial terms?

We spent between $50,000 and $200,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We began working with them at the very end of March 2016 and just recently wrapped up with them at the end of May [2016].

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any statistics or metrics from this engagement?

We haven't launched this new product yet, but we have shown it in a few sales meetings and to some of our current clients. Everyone is very excited about the progress and, internally, we are all more confident about these designs than we have been with any other designs in the past. I also did a round of testing with a few users that have been with us throughout the process, and they agree that it's a huge step forward. That is very exciting for us.

How did altr perform from a project management standpoint?

They were great at accommodating the changing needs of our business as a startup. Things can really change between the start and end of the project as our needs and our clients' needs evolve. Even with those changes, altr moved very rapidly and were diligent to adhere to all our deadlines. We started the engagement with a hard date that we needed it delivered to our engineers and altr went above and beyond to make sure that happened.

What distinguishes altr from other providers?

They jumped into our culture. The speed at which altr delivered work and their diligence in terms of keeping everyone on schedule was very impressive.

Is there anything altr could have improved or done differently?

As a startup, we knew we were working with a very limited budget, so trying to work that out with altr's price point was the trickiest part of our engagement. I think it would have been more fun for everyone if we could have gotten the logistics out of the way earlier, but we had limited resources on our end that made that difficult.

5.0
Overall Score – We enjoyed working with Geordie [McClelland, cofounder and chief of strategy at altr], Christine [Pillsbury, cofounder and chief of design at altr], and everyone that they brought in. It was a great experience for us.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    – They were really speedy and responsive. We appreciated that.
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    – Their rates are definitely on a similar tier to some of the top agencies in the city, and they're a small team. They're just getting their feet under them, but we thought that it was worth the quality.
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    – They delivered very high-quality materials. We were maxed for time, so there were a few things that we would have liked to give more attention to.
  • 4.5 NPS
    Willing to refer
    – We enjoyed working with them, but my only hesitation would be regarding cost. Being in the startup space, many people have a limited budget.

Branding for Retail Software Company

"The altr team is incredibly bright, creative and collaborative."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
May 2015 - Feb. 2016
Project summary: 

Altr provided software services for a company merger, as well as the re-branding and marketing campaigns. They built a new website and created a unifying flagship theme for the new company.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
Gloucester, Massachusetts
Sue Welch
CEO, Bamboo Rose
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The new brand and website have received outstanding feedback, with one of the site's videos going viral. The new brand is representative of the company, and has been a morale booster for their employees and sales team.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your organization.

Bamboo Rose is a solution for retailers involved in designing, developing, and delivering products to their markets.

What is your position?

I am the CEO.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What business challenge were you trying to address with altr?

We had two different companies that were owned by the same management team, but had different cultures, different products and totally different looks and feels. We had to merge those two companies into one company and come up with a brand as well as a go-to-market strategy.

SOLUTION

Please describe the scope of their involvement in detail.

altr started by helping us think of a new company name. They surveyed our customers, prospects, analysts, and other industry people to see what the perception of each of our companies was in the market. Based on their research, we decided to make Bamboo Rose the umbrella company and retire our other name.

After that, altr started working with us on a logo, brand, and persona of the company. They got an idea of the information that we wanted on the website and the message that we wanted to convey and built out our website from there. They helped us through the entire process and found a flagship theme that we could rally the organization around. Finally, they introduced us to the market and helped create marketing campaigns for customers and prospects.

How did you come to work with altr?

I had been interviewing many marketing and branding companies, but got a message from Christine [Pillsbury, founder and chief of design] at altr and liked her thought process.

Could you provide a sense of the size of this initiative in financial terms?

We have spent more than $200,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We began working with altr in May or June of 2015 and finished up this February [2016]. We took a step back to address other parts of our organization, but are starting to re-engage with them now for another project.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any statistics or metrics from this engagement?

We have received an overwhelming response from employees, customers, and prospects on the brand and website. The brand is perceived as gorgeous, modern, and hip, with the edge that we were looking for. We're very excited about the messaging and it's been a real morale booster inside the company. The sales team is also excited because of our positioning in the new retail economy.

How did altr perform from a project management standpoint?

altr was excellent. There were many moving parts and a lot going on, but they kept us on track the whole time, which is not an easy task. They did a great job.

What distinguishes altr from other providers?

The altr team is incredibly bright, creative, and collaborative. One of the videos that they wrote the script for has gone viral within our customer base. One of my customers told me that they've circulated it to their senior executives and use it to start their meetings.

Is there anything altr could have improved or done differently?

They need to make sure that they have the bandwidth to handle projects, particularly as they grow.

4.5
Overall Score – One of the things I've found with altr is that you need to have a point of view. As long as you're invested, they'll exceed your expectations.
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    – For the most part, timelines were met. We certainly got to the fingernail biting stage, but they met all the dates.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    – They're expensive, but they're worth it.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    – They went beyond what I thought would be delivered.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    – I would refer them unequivocally to anybody.

UX Design for Software Development Company

"The quality of the work is very good."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
3.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
Project summary: 

altr redesigned a medical system's user experience. They mainly provided creative design, information architecure, and comprehensive data conceptualization. 

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Rowley, Massachusetts
Mark Carleo
Managing Partner, Elyxor
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The app received rave reviews at an industry conference for its innovative concept and intuitive design. altr offered responsive communication, technically adept designs, and ability to prioritize tasks. The team was highly cohesive and organized. 

BACKGROUND

Please describe your organization.

My company is Elyxor. We are a software development company.

What is your position?

I am the managing partner.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What business challenge were you trying to address with altr?

One of our clients' project required a rethinking of the user experience for a very complicated medical data systems application.

SOLUTION

Please describe the scope of their involvement in detail.

They provided end-to-end work of the user experience design. That included the full creative design, information architecture, and a rethinking of our client's product for the application that simplified the way to present very complicated medical data.

How did you come to work with altr?

They were recommended to us.

Could you provide a sense of the size of this initiative in financial terms?

It cost between $100,000 and $150,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

The project is completed.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any statistics or metrics from this engagement?

It's not in production yet, but it will be soon. The whole user experience branding was presented at a large conference this year. The reaction from the conference was more than overwhelmingly positive. People were stunned at the radically different way of presenting this kind of feedback. It was received very well.

How did altr perform from a project management standpoint?

The quality of the work is very good. Christine and Geordie complemented themselves well, with one being more on the creative and the other one more on the information architecture. The work that they did drove the development of the applications that we were building. Four main applications had to be built on this.

altr was very responsive.  It was a very integrative process to get to both the requirement and the design approvals: the creative, the look and feel, and the applications themselves.

What distinguishes altr from other providers?

altr has a good mix of both creative and what's technically possible on different platforms, so they have good technical skills that match well with the developers. You get some creative teams that do the creative, but they don't consider what developers will have to do to try to implement that. They're very cognizant of the fact that, based on what we were trying to do, we'll start mobile first and work our way back to the web.

Is there anything altr could have improved or done differently?

The scope of the project grew a lot from the initial planning, and we should have had more control of it.

5.0
Overall Score They did a good job, and we'd recommend them to other people. The quality of their work is good.
  • 3.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer