Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?
Awesomed has been with us since the beginning, so I couldn’t say how they’ve performed compared to what somebody else would have been able to do. I’ve worked with other agencies in the past, both large and small. Part of what encouraged us to keep using them as designers was that as a startup, our needs frequently changed, and they were able to adapt quickly. Their flexibility allowed us to pursue sudden opportunities with minimal transition time.
While the impact of their design is hard to encapsulate in any sort of metric, their landing page designs have competed head-to-head against many of our internally designed pages, and we continue to use their designs as our controls because they have performed better to date.
How did Awesomed perform from a project management standpoint?
They’re a small shop, and they seem to contract their work out to trusted designers and developers who they’ve taken through a quality process. Their 3 core guys have been easy to work with. Awesomed is very nimble, which really helped us as a small company that’s still figuring out things. They also have a strong ability to deliver and can build quickly. We’ve given them some fairly aggressive deadlines, and I’ve never wondered where something is. They’ve moved quickly and adapted, which has been excellent, and they’re curious to know the reporting numbers so that they can improve their work.
What did you find most impressive about Awesomed?
When we first started working with them, they were in Eastern Europe. Their English has been pretty good. I know that’s often a concern when working with people outside the country, but I’ve had no difficulty (and I don’t have an ear for accents). Because of their connections with Europe and new presence in California, they’re able to do constant work. I’m on the East Coast of the US, and when we gave them a task, they would create something new overnight, I’d give feedback in the morning, and I’ll have a new iteration before the end of the day. Rinse and repeat.
Are there any areas that Awesomed could have improved?
As a negative, I’ve never received any work that has blown me away from a creative standpoint. A lot of that is probably because we have not challenged them to really think outside the box (hard to do when we continue to move quickly and shift positions), but they have had ample opportunities to show something that is just completely different than anything you have ever seen. Awesomed’s work is usually pretty safe, and gets the job done. It looks clean, it performs well, and there’s little downside to it, but your unlikely to get that home run. Maybe it just requires a bit more of a mature company to challenge them.
What tips or recommendations could you share that might increase the likelihood of success with Awesomed?
You need to be a strong project manager who sets dates and defines the roadmap. They’re a small, agile group who are not afraid to give feedback and try something different, but that can often take you through unplanned iterations, and thus lose time. In addition, you need to be very forward with them about what you like, don’t like, and why. They have the ability to move and iterate quickly, so if you don’t give them quick feedback, you will not move at the speed and efficiency they are capable of, which is just a lost opportunity. You will make faster progress and feel much happier about the results if you give them feedback about their work.