Warm, Welcoming Websites – The New WWW

Cantilever works with senior managers who were feeling frustrated because their websites weren’t delivering the results they need. We design, develop, and support websites that get results for clients from local small businesses to IBM and American Express. We are passionate about providing “Digital Hospitality” for users and giving them a reason to come back.

We’re more than a technology company – we’re a hospitality company. We believe that websites are spaces that users enter, not billboards they see from a distance.

We help by overhauling those sites to meet users’ needs better, or by starting fresh with a new site built with our proven three-step process.

Every day, tens of thousands of people visit the sites we’ve built, and we are passionate about providing a great experience for each and every person. We are obsessed with perfecting and popularizing the art of “Digital Hospitality.”

 
$10,000+
 
$150 - $199 / hr
 
2 - 9
 Founded
2011
Show all +
New York, NY
headquarters
  • 229 West 36th Street
    New York, NY 10018
    United States
other locations
  • 2614 Santa Ana Ave
    Costa Mesa, CA 07410
    United States
  • 4 Squire Drive
    Richmond Hill, ON L4S 1C4
    Canada

Portfolio

Key clients: 

IBM, American Express, New York Times, Esquire Magazine, Droga5, Northeastern University, NYU, The IMF, American Cancer Society, Samuellson’s Red Rooster Harlem, In The Raw Sweeteners

Esquire Classic

When Esquire was developing their full page archive, featuring every story from every issue, they understood that the volume and breadth of their content was daunting. Their team envisioned creating a blog-like recommendation site to wrap the archive, surfacing timely, curated highlights according to the season and current events. Paired with the chronological issue database, this product would provide unlimited access while

remaining navigable and low-effort for the reader.

They brought Cantilever in to create and brand this site. We worked from the early stages of the project with editor Tyler Cabot and his colleagues at the magazine to outline a pricing model and business strategy, create an intuitive UX, and develop a visual aesthetic that was vintage Esquire.

We helped Esquire to derive the Classic brand name and copy tone, then provided a visual identity to reflect the characteristics we observed. Since Classic provides access to new issues (before it’s even in the mail), it was important to keep the brand fresh and modern while respecting the wealth of historical content available through the service.

The final result is a new notion in digital publishing: eternal, essential content, edited and curated so you know what to read today. We were thrilled to be a part of such an intriguing project.

The Weather Company, An IBM Business- Media Kit Image

The Weather Company, An IBM Business- Media Kit

IBM Watson Advertising (formerly The Weather Company, an IBM Business’s ad sales division) offers a comprehensive suite of advertising offerings from The Weather Channel website and mobile app. They use powerful data science and research to help brands spend better, and reach the audiences they want to speak to most.We worked with NJ-based firm By & Large to create a clean, usable media kit website. They crafted content and

led the visual design, we tackled UX, code, and design for secondary pages. We also got to collaborate with Eric Miller, inventor of UX Kits.

This site explained why IBM Watson Advertising has such a powerful edge, providing real-world outcomes to back up these claims. It served as a practical tool for clients to get data pertaining to the campaigns they wanted to run across The Weather Channel’s varied platforms. Finally, there is an active blog on the media kit, which provides unique insights into how weather can affect business.

We adopted a UX approach that emphasizes the connections within the site. Users should be able to drift from a case study to a technology used in that case study to a spec for an ad unit that utilizes that technology, to a news story highlighting one client’s use of that ad unit.

We built the site with an innovative WordPress methodology backed by Timber, the excellent framework from Upstatement, paired with our object-oriented CSS and JS approach. The result is a fast, fresh web presence that is poised to grow.

Conversations with Tyler

Conversations With Tyler (http://conversationswithtyler.com) is a podcast which is produced by the Mercatus Center, a research center at George Mason University, that exists to promote new and unique ideas about markets, economics, and the broader world by creating conversations with experts across various fields. We took the fantastic new branding created by our

friends at Adnauseum (https://www.adnauseum.net/) and turned it into a digital product to make it even more accessible to listeners.
Rustic Pathways Image

Rustic Pathways

Rustic Pathways is the leader in teen travel. They send thousands of students per year on engaging, challenging, and inspirational trips around the globe. Cantilever and Rustic have collaborated on several large sites in the past, and in 2018, we combined all of their web presences into a single, unified user experience. Bringing together dozens of distinct programs across three departments is a challenge, but our unique

architecture gets the job done.
NYU-Poly Year in NYC Image

NYU-Poly Year in NYC

This project was a fun challenge: we were asked to take two successful print brochures and devise a unique way to present them on the web. The site gives prospective students and faculty a taste of New York City from the vantage point of the campus and surrounding area.

We started with writing and sketches, working closely with the Technology Director at NYU-Poly, Ardis Kadiu. We created a slick concept for how the site

should work and what should appear on it.

The primary visual element is a full-screen Google map that animates in the background, so we made sure to stay as minimal as possible with the rest of the design. Since the visual design was very intricate, we spent a lot of time in Photoshop to make sure we got everything right and considered all cases.

The site is built on Expression Engine, but in a non-traditional way. The frontend is almost entirely controlled by a Javascript layer which communicates with EE to gather markup snippets or data in JSON format and assemble it for the user. Navigation is handled by a Javascript router which uses HTML5 history states for a seamless experience. So instead of having ExpressionEngine build pages, we converted it into a pseudo-API.

As a result, the client is able to use the ExpressionEngine backend as they would a traditional website, but we were still able to create an advanced frontend. We saw using the latest web technology available as a branding technique: NYU-Poly’s core value is innovation, and so we wanted to innovate.

American Express InsiderHR Image

American Express InsiderHR

InsideHR is the internal HR newsletter at AMEX, a key way for their 800+ HR employees to stay connected. They wanted to transform this well-followed newsletter into an online publishing platform, complete with enhanced social features.

Our friends at Theo and Sebastian were the direct clients. They contracted us to design the site under their direction and to develop it.

The main design challenge was to create a

tone that was on-brand and clean, while creating a sense of fun and improvisation that elevated this site past stock corporate communication. We solved this problem by creating a hodgepodge of coordinating (but deliberately disparate) modules which tiled together on the page to create a collage-like effect. Each module style is clean in and of itself, but they clash just enough to differentiate this platform.

Users can like, share, and comment on the articles, and even add their own “community posts”. Curated content is merged with key calendar dates, job openings, and news feeds to create a unique mosaic on every visit. The system is private to HR employees, creating a “safe space” for discussion to begin.

The development had an added wrinkle: We needed first-class IE7 support. We tried to design as close to the IE7 version as possible – trying to create the nicest website 2006 had ever seen. This meant a cleaner, tighter codebase with less special considerations just for older browsers.

Reviews

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Web Dev & Design for Connector Manufacturer

“They’re smart, professional, and responsive. The team is creative and I like the work they do.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Jan. 2011 - Sept. 2011
Project summary: 

Cantilever replaced an antiquated site for a connector manufacturer. They built a new site from scratch, with improved UI and detailed product search options. They continue to provide site maintenance.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Brooklyn, New York
Dave Offerman
President, IEH Corporation
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The initial build was completed within nine months. Users are pleased with the UI/UX and find it easy to work with and aesthetically appealing. Cantilever performed well at every stage of the engagement.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

IEH is a connector manufacturer. We make printed circuit board connectors and interconnect devices primarily for military and commercial aerospace applications. I’m the president and CEO.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Cantilever?

We had an old website from the 90s that was very basic and antiquated. It didn’t have all the information we wanted and was a poor customer interface. We wanted a team to rebuild it.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We hired them about seven years ago. They completely redid the whole website from scratch. I provided them with graphic images of our products, but they did all the software and technical aspects of the site. They made it aesthetically pleasing and user friendly. They also created a search function that allows users to filter by attributes to give them the product that best suits their needs.

Since we finished the build, they have helped with a lot of maintenance. We’ve made both major and minor changes and we continue to work with them.

What is the team composition?

We’ve worked with two or three people over the years. It’s a small group, so I’ve communicated with everyone. Ty (President, Cantilever) runs things. He’s always been very involved and either completes tasks himself or has team members help him. I’m in communication with all of them whenever something needs to be done.

How did you come to work with Cantilever?

I wanted to work with somebody local who could come to us, see our production facility, and get a good feel for who we are and what we do. At the time, Ty was in Brooklyn, only about a 10-minute drive from us. We interviewed three or four companies, but they gave the best impression. They did a great job.

How much have you invested with them?

We spent between $10,000–$20,000 for the initial work on the website.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together around January 2011. The initial build took about nine months before we launched the new site in September 2011. They still provide maintenance and site support.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Customers say it’s very easy to use and find what they’re looking for. It’s aesthetically pleasing, user-friendly, and accurately presents what we do.

How did Cantilever perform from a project management standpoint?

They were excellent. We occasionally had web conference calls, and a handful of times we walked through different pages together. Now that they do mostly maintenance, we mostly use phone and email. We had a face-to-face meeting at the end of last year to catch up.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They’re smart, professional, and responsive. The team is creative and I like the work they do. We’re happy to work with them.

Are there any areas they could improve?

We’ve had no major issues. There were rare instances when I had to chase them to do little things.

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

Web Dev & Design for Religious Arts Non-Profit

"Cantilever cared about our mission and helped us to achieve our goals."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Oct. 2016 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Cantilever provided website design and development work for a nonprofit focused on community engagement, as well as helped to finesse their brand identity and messaging.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
New York, New York
Jonathon Roberts
Founder, Spark+Echo Arts
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Through a straightforward and thoughtful approach to collaborative work, Cantilever managed to create a website that crystallized the brand’s philosophy. An understanding and patient environment was a hallmark of their work, and ensured their continued engagement in the future.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the founder and executive director of Spark+Echo Arts, which commissions artists to create works for every verse of the Bible. We showcase the art on our website and at live events.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Cantilever?

We needed to create a new, mobile-friendly website that was more focused on our audience and on finding ways to better engage the community.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They built both the frontend and backend of the new website from scratch using Craft. Although they were familiar with our old site and all of the content we already had available, we did not provide them with wireframes or anything like that. Cantilever was instrumental in finessing our branding and messaging, effectively overhauling everything. They ended up becoming consultants to our organization as a whole within the duration of this project, particularly their founder. They did a lot of problem solving on how to better engage our audience and helped to identify what parts of our mission need improvement, as well as provided advice on how to enact those fixes.

When our work with them began, we specifically emphasized the need for better community engagement on this new site. They not only came up with simple ways to achieve that, but also established what was essentially a whole philosophy built off of our name. Cantilever tied the ideology of our organization into the design of the site, which we found extremely impressive.

What is the team composition?

There were about six people on the team as a whole, including a project lead, a developer, a designer, and a finance manager.

How did you come to work with Cantilever?

This project and our old website were originally inherited from another organization. Back at the foundation of this project, we were on a team alongside Cantilever to craft that larger app. When this project became separate, we asked that they continue working with us.

How much have you invested with them?

We have spent $25,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We officially engaged them around October of 2017. Although technically the main website project is complete, we intend to hire them again in the near future for general maintenance, as well as for further branding and identity work. Once we can raise the necessary capital, we would also like to engage Cantilever for a second version of the site.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Everybody has been really excited about the new website. It has made not only the artwork, but also the project as a whole shine. People are better able to understand what we do and why we are doing it, all thanks to Cantilever’s work.

How did Cantilever perform from a project management standpoint?

They are very easy to work with, due to their willingness to walk us through every step. We met with their project leader personally on a regular basis, and they were always just a call, text, or email away. We also used Basecamp for our communications. Sometimes there were delays on our end—such as not getting all of our content moved over by a set deadline—but they were always very professional about such things. Overall, they worked fast and were consistently both clear and patient with us.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They treated our collaboration as more than a simple website project. I cannot imagine a more dedicated team of people, and they became truly integrated with our organization. Cantilever cared about our mission and helped us to achieve our goals. Additionally, nobody ever talked down to us. Their team is very technically savvy, but I am not. During our work together, I always felt that I was being cared for and that I understood what they were saying.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I cannot think of anything; I am a big fan.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Do not be afraid. I was always afraid of asking for too much or asking a dumb question. As we worked with Cantilever, those fears disappeared, and I wish that I would have known not to be so reticent right away. You will get honest feedback if you just ask.

5.0
Overall Score They exceeded all of our goals.
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    We have already recommended them many times.

Web Dev & Design for Online Archive Publication

"If someone I knew needed a web designer, I would not hesitate to recommend them."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Apr. 2015 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Cantilever designed a website using WordPress. They continue to provide technical support for the website.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
New York, New York
Editor, Online Archive Publication
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Not only is the website sleek, modern and highly functional, but the technical support Cantilever provides is applicable to any level of technical literacy, with clear, concise and patient direction. They also exhibit an understanding and affinity towards the brand.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the editor of an online archive publication. 

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Cantilever?

They were hired at the online archive’s inception to build the website, as we didn't have the technical capabilities in-house. 

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

The publication worked with Bondi Digital Publishing to translate the physical issues into a digital format. Cantilever then created a WordPress website over top of those digital archives. It allows us to make TextEdit versions of the stories so the site isn’t a dormant archive, but instead exists to provide insight into current news. In order to convey the site’s purpose, the archives needed to feel vibrant and modern, despite focusing on older content, so Cantilever structured the site to look elegant and clean, as well as easy to navigate for our readers.

Since finishing the site, Cantilever has remained accessible for any technical questions. I’m not in touch with them every week, but I communicate with them on a frequent basis. We do intend to test a few new things on the site this year, so they’ll be integral to that process.

What is the team composition? 

I’ve worked primarily with Ty Fujimura [Founder, Cantilever]. 

What is the status of this engagement?

We began working with in April 2015, and we continue to partner with them for technical guidance.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

The site has received nothing but positive feedback from our readers.

How did Cantilever perform from a project management standpoint?

They’re completely transparent. They give us the reality of their capabilities, from a creative and technical standpoint to the finances. They have a very seamless system.

I’ve met Ty for meetings a few times, but mostly, we communicate through email or phone. He’s very patient and chipper when we speak. They’re also super timely and responsive — if something goes wrong on the site on Sunday afternoon, you could get someone to respond if need be.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Often, when you deal with people in IT, they know what they’re talking about, but they have a difficult time translating it for you. I had the opposite experience with Ty and Cantilever. There’s no question that’s too stupid for them to answer in a clear, concise way for someone who isn’t tech savvy. I’ve become so accustomed to their patience that I don’t think twice about asking them as many questions as I need.

They also understand our brand. They have more than just a working knowledge for what we do, but also an interest. That makes things more efficient because it can increase shorthand between us.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No, the work they’ve done for us is well-suited to our needs and taste. If someone I knew needed a web designer, I would not hesitate to recommend them.

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

App Discovery Process for Non-Profit

"Ty and his team really poured themselves into it."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Sept. - Dec. 2014
Project summary: 

Cantilever performed a compehensive discovery process on the mobile app. They provided a detailed report, presenting the business structure, designs, and potential market for the app. 

The Reviewer
 
201-500 Employees
 
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Matt Steinruck
Former Program Manager, American Bible Society
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

They brought unique perspectives and went beyond what was anticipated of them. They were competent, personally invested in the project, and never missed a deadline. They're up-to-date with market trends, which makes them an exceptional strategic partner.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

When I worked with Cantilever, I was a program manager at American Bible Society. 

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Cantilever?

We wanted a consultant for an app we were developing at the time. We didn't have in-house developers, so we were looking for someone with tech expertise to guide us. 

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Cantilever provided an extended discovery process for the concept of the app. They helped us work through the first phase and figure out how to push the app ahead to see what we could do with it. They laid out a business structure, how to make it work for our audience and provided advice on how we could monetize it. 

They didn't do the actual development work for the app; it was more of a strategic partnership. They gave us a large, well-thought-out document, presenting the next generation interfaces and designs, which helped us strategically outline how the app will fit within the current organizational space (there was a lot transition going on in our organization).

What is the team dynamic?

Most of the time, we worked with 2 people. 

How did you come to work with them?

I met Ty [President, Cantilever] through networking.

How much have you invested with them?

We spent within the range of $10,000–$50,000. 

What is the status of this engagement? 

The project happened in September 2014 and finished December of that same year, but we still interact with them.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Everyone on our team appreciated the unique business perspectives that Ty brought. He was, and still is, a valuable part of the process; he helps energize our team.

How did they perform from a project management standpoint? 

They're very competent and always on time, delivering when they said they would. They even over delivered. We had our own team for the project, so there was a lot of interaction between us and them. We primarily used email and phone to communicate.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They were personally invested and connected strongly to the concept. Ty and his team really poured themselves into it. They're well-connected and very aware of the market trends.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Great, no complaints.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They gave us much more than we were anticipating.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They performed well and provided something very substantial.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I would definitely refer them.

Front-end & Back-end Web Dev for Creative Agency

“Everything they’ve built for me has been solid, thought out, and thorough. They’re a reliable partner.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Jan. - July 2012
Project summary: 

Cantilever delivered the wireframe for a new website, with UX and e-commerce integration. Their Linux-based backend supported a standard HTML, CSS, and Javascript frontend.

The Reviewer
 
501 - 1,000 Employees
 
New York, New York
Justin Durazzo
Co-Director of Interactive, Droga5
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Their communicative, organized nature – coupled with a detailed understanding of scope and timelines – led to an extension of Cantilever’s contract. Their structured approach gave them an edge over competitors.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

Droga5 is a creative digital advertising agency. I am a Co-Director of Interactive Production.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Cantilever?

I was trying to build a brand new dot-com for a company with an outdated website, and wanted to tie in new UX [user experience] design and e-commerce.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

I hired them as my lead technical team on frontend and backend development. They were responsible for UX, while my team skinned our visual design to their wireframe. Their tasks included content strategy, experience design, frontend development, backend architecture, and integrations with the client's existing email and e-commerce platforms.

The frontend was configured in HTML, CSS [Cascading Style Sheets] and Javascript, while the backend was a Linux-based server with a LAMP stack on an AWS [Amazon Web Service] instance that would auto-scale. The skinning we did was static, so Cantilever was responsible for interaction design and animation.

We kept a fairly structured schedule of two or three weeks of UX, visual design, and then iterative development cycles based on client reviews and feedback opportunities. After that pattern, we had two to three weeks of quality assurance testing and then deployed, going live upon client approval.  

What is the team dynamic?

They had a three-person team. We had regular in-person meetings twice a week, and daily email communication.

How did you come to work with Cantilever?

I worked with Ty [President, Cantilever] at another company, and wanted to work with him again. We typically have a triple-bid process, so we did speak to other potential partners. Cantilever delivered the best bid, based upon the technical and creative plans, budget, timing, and staffing.

What is the status of this engagement?

We worked together on this project between January and July 2012. We had an initial release at the end of March or April that year.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Our clients were very pleased with their work. When we finished our contract, the client extended their arrangement directly with Cantilever. They still work together.

How did Cantilever perform from a project management standpoint?

I really enjoyed working with Ty. His understanding of the scope of work and project timelines were very detailed. He was communicative and organized.

I typically give them projects with longer timelines. They like to plan advance, so when I need a website built in two weeks, I don’t usually use them.  For long-term website, apps, and product-based builds, they’re a reliable partner.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Everything they’ve built for me has been solid, thought out, and thorough. Their code is clean, and they have an amicable, organized approach. Contract negotiations with them were flexible; they’re particular about their product, and they set themselves a high standard.

4.5
Overall Score I think they will continue to improve as they take on more clients and more work.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They hit every promised milestone, and were communicative about changes. Anytime we added work that would affect timeline, they alerted us ahead of time.
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They were comparable to other vendors when we hired them. They bid higher than some of their competitors, but we chose them for their quality.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They always deliver on time and within budget. The product always works bug free.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I have referred them multiple times to different partners.

Web Design for Law School Innovation Laboratory

"… [P]eople love the design, which was even nominated for a Webby."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Jan. - Dec. 2014
Project summary: 

Cantilever crafted a digital identity for a university project through website design (including interactive mapping features) and reimagining the project’s logo, which had been mishandled by a previous firm.

The Reviewer
 
5,0001 - 10,000 Employees
 
Boston, Massachusetts
Dan Jackson
Executive Director, Northeastern University NuLawLab
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The award-nominated design has been lauded by both internal and external users and justifies the significant investment. Their deep engagement in understanding project goals and overall business strategy informs their proactive, curious, and creative work, which is always delivered on time.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I'm executive director of the NuLawLab, an interdisciplinary innovation laboratory at Northeastern University School of Law.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Cantilever?

We wanted a design team to work alongside a separate development company to create a custom website for attracting collaborators.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They crafted every aspect of the design, doing a beautiful job from start to finish. One particularly notable functionality is the use of interactive maps to convey statistical legal data and case studies. While the backend could be simplified somewhat, in general, they created an interesting, successful aesthetic for what turned out to be a fairly complicated feature.

They also redesigned our logo after another firm had given us a logo already being used by another company.

What is the team dynamic?

We worked almost exclusively with Ty [Fuimara, President, Cantilever]. Initially, we also worked with his partner, who’s since moved on, but Ty’s brought in more people now.

How did you come to work with Cantilever?

We did an RFP for potential designers and developers and received between 15–20 applications. We narrowed it down to three finalists through a series of interviews. Cantilever was the only company to put forth actual ideas in their proposal, so we chose them for the design side of the project, with another firm doing the development.

How much have you invested with them?

We spent between $150,000–$175,000 for the whole project, but that also includes the cost of the development firm.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started in January 2014, and the project carried through to the end of the year.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Our site has served our purposes well. Plus, people love the design, which was even nominated for a Webby.

How did Cantilever perform from a project management standpoint?

They were excellent. We communicated primarily through phone and email, but also collaborated through a project management platform they managed.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They helped us discover our identity. They did a remarkably good job of getting to know who we are as an organization and what drives us. We have a bit of a niche audience, but Ty was able to embed himself to understand what we were looking for. That was a great gift that I see as an example of their going above and beyond.

Ty’s a true artist and he brings that into the work, and it shows.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No, nothing I can think of.

Advice for potential customers?

Be ready for a very honest, open, and genuine design/discovery process. It can sometimes be uncomfortable, but that means it's working.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They never missed a deadline.
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They cost more than some competitors, but they’re worth it.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They're responsive, helpful, and patient.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Intranet Dev for Real Estate Consortium

“There is no way I would be able to accomplish everything that I am able to accomplish without their assistance...”

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
June 2015 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Cantilever manages all development for an extensive Express Engine website. The team built the website with both an external facing and internal intranet, implemented a search tool, and performs upgrades.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Richardson, Texas
Claudia Crow
Director of Marketing & Brand Strategy, TCN Worldwide
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Cantilever is responsive to feedback and collaborates well to implement improvements, value-added tools, and upgrades within budgetary limits. The team is open and transparent in tracking work hours and with quarterly evaluations and reports. They are professional and easy to work with.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the director of marketing and brand strategy for TCN Worldwide. Our organization is a consortium of independent brokerage firms. We are large in scope, but our headquarters is very lean. Cantilever is our web developer.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Cantilever?

We were looking to upgrade our website to current design standards.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Our website is rather extensive. They’re involved with all aspects of doing the web development and acting as a consultant to advise us on the best and most efficient ways to accomplish our goals and add new features. They built the website on Express Engine. It has both the external facing and the internal intranet for our member firms and member agents. There’s also assignment tracking, proposals, documents, and an email system. It’s our primary hub of communication to our member firms on keeping them aware of what is available and what is going on with TCN.

We’ve always had our internal system for our members to be able to communicate. We recently added a search/find a broker tool. This takes the information, adds to it, and moves it to the external facing frontend of the website. It allows visitors to search for broker’s contacts within various markets by designation and specialty. They did a fantastic job in coordinating that effort, developing it, keeping me in the loop as it moved forward, testing, and making sure it was flawless when we took it live to the site.

They did the design work as well. We have discussed doing a redesign of the frontend without necessarily redoing the entire backend of the site. They also help with incremental upgrades to the design and an assortment of enhancements that we continue to make to the website as time moves forward.

They now continue to provide maintenance and support. 

What is the team dynamic?

I work with Ty [President, Cantilever], Chris [Director of Operations, Cantilever], and there’s another gentleman that’s pulled in quite frequently on anything regarding the email system. There are at least three on their team, but I’m sure there are many others that I do not interact with.

How did you come to work with Cantilever?

I was not on board with TCN at the time Cantilever was hired, but I’ve been working with them over a year now. We’re a corporate client. The review process would have involved looking at three to five web development firms and critiquing based off design capabilities, the expense of initiating the new design, and their ability to maintain and continue to address anything that popped up that needed to be taken care of. We would have been looking for a full-service web development firm, not just a design firm.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together in June 2015 and the work is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Everybody is very happy with the design. Our clients and members contribute ideas on how we can improve the tools, not necessarily the design of the website because people are happy that it is responsive. It has all been positive feedback. We’re always looking to add enhancements that are beneficial, value-added tools for our members. As we receive feedback from our members, we evaluate that internally as far as budget, the benefit to the group overall. We work with Cantilever on the budgets and find out what it would take to implement these improvements. They’ve been instrumental in allowing us to make those types of upgrades.

There is no way I would be able to accomplish everything that I am able to accomplish on the website without their assistance and knowledge on the consulting standpoint.

How did Cantilever perform from a project management standpoint?

I work very closely with Ty. He is fantastic about keeping me in the loop on where we stand. We evaluate things on a quarterly basis, as we are on a retainer with them that we use for maintenance and enhancement. I track that internally as well to make sure we’re making the most of the hours that we have allotted. I keep a running list of enhancements that I’d like to implement as time moves forward. He sends me quarterly reports showing what we’ve done, the time it took to do each of the elements, where we stand, and how we can roll anything, that hasn’t been able to be accomplished, into the next quarter. If we’re running ahead on hours, which happens quite frequently, we can fit more into a quarter than we had originally anticipated. They’re efficient in what they’re doing to upgrade the site. I look at them as our outsourced IT department.

We communicate mostly via email and whenever I send an email, Ty always responds back with what we have left to accomplish. We do also have quarterly calls and use video conferencing as well.

What did you find most impressive about them?

I really appreciate their responsiveness. They are incredibly professional, polite, and easy to work with.

Are there any areas they could improve?

One thing that they’ve recently improved on is their project management. They’ve implemented an online system to help track the ongoing ticket requests. That is something they have been continually working on. I’ve seen them improve their project management abilities in the time that I’ve worked with them over the last one and a half years.

4.5
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They’re very good about meeting their deadlines.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They do a fantastic job. I always believe there is some room for improvement.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Web Dev and Maintenance for IT Services Firm

“They’ve been unbelievably important to us being able to maintain our site, keep it alive, and rebrand it.”

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

Cantilever worked on the backend coding and development of an IT firm’s WordPress website, focusing on the media kit. They provide maintenance, design, and upkeep services as well as one-off projects.

The Reviewer
 
10,001+ Employees
 
United States
Senior Brand Marketing Manager, IT Services Firm
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

They provide unparalleled support for the technical development of the website, which functions very well. They are always available for any issues that arise, and are happy to explain developments in layman’s terms as needed. Overall, they are organized, flexible, and professional.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I'm the senior brand marketing manager at an IT services firm.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Cantilever?

Our primary purpose was around our website and media kit. We needed maintenance, design, upkeep, coding, and all of the work that goes into the backend of a website.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They did the original development along with another design firm that scoped them out in terms of the look and feel. The two worked hand-in-hand in the beginning. Cantilever provided backend coding and development services, adding different functionalities to our website. If we need to add an image gallery, or a carousel that shows animations, or different graphic areas, they are able to tell us what's possible within the framework we have and get it done quickly.

It is managed within WordPress, which I co-manage. They make it easy for us to have a role, so I am able to edit text or a product name if needed. They are also responsible for working with me alongside our internal web teams on hosting changes.

Most of the things we've done have been within the media kit. There's a section on our website about our technology solutions. One of them involves a carousel of different examples of one of those solutions. It was a very involved project to basically take what used to be its own separate website and integrate it into a rotating carousel, that includes not just imagery, but is interactive.

What is the team dynamic?

I communicate with three people.

How did you come to work with Cantilever?

Our original design team brought them in as a scoped partner. That then developed into our independent relationship with Cantilever. 

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with them in June 2016, and we're still working with them. We now have a quarterly agreement. There's basic maintenance that goes into the media kit as well as one-off additional larger scope projects.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

We rely on them beyond words. They work on the technical side of things that, as a marketer, I don't always understand completely. They’ve been unbelievably important to us being able to maintain our site, keep it alive, and rebrand it.

The new site is tremendous. It looks really great. It's functioning really well, and we're in constant contact about any kind of improvement, hiccups, or issues that might come our way. Internally, everyone is very pleased with the results.

How did Cantilever perform from a project management standpoint?

They're excellent; very organized and they keep track of everything. Their response rate is very fast, and they're always willing to discuss an idea, even if it may not be completely feasible. 

We typically communicate through email and phone. They are starting to integrate Basecamp to keep their communication streamlined. They are always available to take a quick phone call or answer a quick email. We had a meeting in the middle of the night before our launch date for our new company name. They were eager and willing to be on the phone and on Google chat, working to make sure that the website was perfect.

What did you find most impressive about them?

It feels like you're working with a small firm that does big things. They handle themselves very professionally. They’re very personal yet independent and they do a great job.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I don't think so. On occasion, because I don’t work in tech, I ask them to explain things to me very simply.

5.0
Overall Score We're having a good time.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They're always on time.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    It has been a really great relationship and a great rate. They've been good partners with us.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They are constantly on the ball, keeping track of things in a very timely way.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    They're great. We do such great work with them and rely on them so heavily.

Web Dev & Design for Coding School

"...their team is positive, fast to respond, pleasant and easy to work with."

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

Cantilever built a WordPress website and CMS that allowed an online school to display their courses. They provided architecture, development in JavaScript and HTML, and ongoing maintenance.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
New York, New York
Nicole Kroese
Director of Marketing, Flatiron School
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The new website's polished design drew higher conversion rates, and its powerful CMS allowed internal staff to make continuous improvements. Cantilever's reliable communication, easygoing attitude, and responsive planning set them apart. They always offered thorough advice and explanations.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the Director of Marketing at the Flatiron School. We are a coding school and have both online and in-person classes to teach people how to learn to code.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Cantilever?

Our website is quite complex in that we are directing people from our site to our products so that they are able to get started with a coding course. We have an engineering team on staff, but they are more focused on building out our product.

We were looking to outsource a reliable company to help us maintain and build a new version of our site. As we launched new courses, we needed to build it again from the ground up. Diverting the in-house engineering resources to take on this task would have slowed down the process.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

In terms of our website, Cantilever actually came in and did a series of interviews with the staff to understand our needs. Then we started to build things out. They did the original design and thought about the architecture of the site, working in collaboration with marketing. They also worked with our product team to think about all the complexities of how the site interacts with our products.

After we rolled that project out, it was still a static site. They used JavaScript, HTML and CSS. We ended up switching the design aesthetic of the site and did a design overhaul, which they helped to implement.

With the CMS aspect of the project, Ty [President, Cantilever] took a similar approach and asked us about things we needed out of the CMS. It became clear that we needed a lot of flexibility. They ended up building quite a robust CMS in WordPress that would make us really self-sufficient. There were hiccups along the way, some back and forth, but we ended up being really pleased with it. This has been a really great project for us, and as a marketing team, we are able to update the site ourselves. Andrew, one of the WordPress engineers they have on staff, was our point person there.

I really like the CMS because we are a school and have really intense programs with a lot of information to display. Our pages were becoming really long, un-wieldy scrolls, and Cantilever developed some dynamic units that allow the user to toggle between two things. The interactions were quite complex, designed by our in-house designer, but they implemented them and made sure it was flexible. The units they developed could be used across different programs and use cases. I thought they did a great job of building the flexibility into the CMS with some of these dynamic complex layers.

Overall, we have ramped up and down with Cantilever when we have bigger needs, page rollouts, and site redos. We have had them on a larger retainer, and now we are in more of a bug fixes and maintenance mode. They recently moved us over to WP Engine for our server. It has been helpful to have them managing and keeping things up to date.

What is the team dynamic?

We worked with Ty as well as Andrew. I have also had interaction with people from the accounting department.

How did you come to work with Cantilever?

Our co-founder had worked with Ty before and trusted him and Cantilever. We recognized they were on the more expensive side, and a more premium service, but given the complexity of our project, we didn’t want to risk going to a cheaper and less reliable solution.

How much have you invested in them?

We have spent at least $100,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

I personally started working with them in June 2016, and the work is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Our first version that launched added a lot of new features to our site. The site was more robust as we added so many new courses and more things to do. We saw our conversion rate increase. Moving into the second version, it had a new sleeker design, and again, we saw the conversion rate increase. We have been excited about that.

With the CMS, we have been able to continue to increase our optimizations of the site, as we have the flexibility to run tests on our own in addition to making changes. The CMS functionality has been a real win in allowing us to be more agile, a little bit smarter, and to optimize on our own time. It has been good.

How did Cantilever perform from a project management standpoint?

Communication has been really good. They are very responsive and it has been awesome for us. They are very easy to work with and keep us in the loop, jumping on calls when we need. We have refined our process overtime working with them. We used to do a lot over Slack, but they recently moved to using Basecamp, allowing things to be more trackable. It has been a learning process, but overall it has been good.

We had a couple hiccups with one of our larger projects which was poorly scoped, as we didn’t have some of the right stakeholders in the early conversations. The fault was really on both sides. They definitely followed through to the scope, but it was just off.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They are really nice to work with. Ty and his team are awesome and they are great communicators. Sometimes when you work with a contractor there is tough communication, but their team is positive, fast to respond, pleasant and easy to work with. It has been a win overall.

Are there any areas they could improve?

We encountered some of the same challenges anyone would with any contractor, occasionally not knowing the right stakeholder for what, or not looping in the right people into the conversation. Sometimes things get lost in translation when you are working with an outside party and there have been times we have had to clarify things by jumping on a call.

One of the main challenges, which is probably a bit of a fault on our side as well, has been figuring out the right relationship between marketing, the engineering and product team and the Cantilever team. It is more of making things clearer on who to go to for what on our end, and better stakeholder management on their end.

5.0
Overall Score We enjoy working with them.
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    There have been a couple times we were a bit late, but usually it is really great and on time.
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They are on the pricier side, but you get what you pay for.
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They were really great.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I would definitely recommend them.