Caxy Interactive

Caxy Interactive is a web design and development firm in Chicago specializing in User Experience and Agile-driven software and technology development. We love helping clients break new ground, find new customers, and engage the ones they already have in unexpected ways.

What's important to us? Everything we build comes from User-Centered Design. We're passionate about running our projects using Agile principles. Why? Because it simultaneously gets clients the best products and makes Caxy a sane, efficient place to do your best work. Coders appreciate the value of the design process and designers appreciate the development process. 

Our mission is simple. We want to create digital experiences that tie brand experiences together. User experience, design, strategy and execution collide to form products that our customers and their customers love. We are committed to delivering value to our clients with every interaction and output.

Once upon a time, we started a web development company.
Caxy is a Chicago based web consulting and custom web development agency founded in 1999.

For over fifteen years we’ve navigated the changes in technology, continually innovating and delivering value to our clients. We’re open source specialists with expertise in user centered design, content management systems, e-commerce, mobile application development, database development and custom web applications. We believe that the future of human-computer interactions will be informed more by the concepts of user experience, machine learning and user feedback loops than the underlying technology itself. Caxy will always pursue the best and most current technologies that allow us to connect our client's customers to better digital experiences. 

We’re firm believers in an iterative approach to software development and manage our projects in accordance with Scrum and Agile practices.

 
$50,000+
 
$150 - $199 / hr
 
10 - 49
 Founded
1999
Show all +
Chicago, IL
headquarters
  • 212 W Van Buren St. 10th Floor
    Chicago, IL 60607
    United States

Portfolio

Key clients: 

Startups

  • Uptake Technologies
  • Best Money Moves
  • Broadcat
  • Green PSF

Publishing

  • International Code Council

Not-for-profit

  • The Field Museum
  • Chicago Architecture Foundation
  • The Stock Market Game

Healthcare

  • Community First
  • Rush University Medical Center

Reviews

Sort by

Multiple Projects for Brokerage Firm

“We've used them for a very long time, and they've never over-promised.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
2017 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Caxy Interactive supports greenfield Salesforce integrations, operations, infrastructure consulting, and frontend and application development. Their SEO and marketing services include keyword and link research.

The Reviewer
 
50-100 Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
Linwood Ma
CTO, Tastytrade
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 


Caxy Interactive offers innovative design and technical insight to enhance the products they support. Unwavering reliability and uniformly high-caliber services make them a trustworthy partner that can easily pivot between internal departments. The team is agile, flexible, and responsive. 

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I'm the CTO of Tastytrade, Inc., the parent company of several smaller firms including an online brokerage platform. The site itself is a content media company. We just launched a financial advisory service called The Quiet Foundation and are working on another futures exchange project. My job is to oversee everything at the top level. 

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Caxy Interactive?

We've done multiple projects together. Most recently, we engaged Caxy Interactive for assistance with a greenfield Salesforce integration for our financial advisory service. 

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Caxy Interactive has helped us with application development, frontend development, Salesforce integration, operations support, and infrastructure consulting. They've also done some straightforward web development for our Australian arm, Tastyworks Australia, including standard JavaScript, HTML, and CSS. 

During their SEO marketing and consulting work for Tastytrade, they conducted a review of the site and researched keywords and effective links. We often rely on their creative input to inform the overall solution, both design-wise and for specific aspects of features. We're currently considering them for some other projects, as well. 

What is the team composition? 

Usually, about four or five people from Caxy Interactive have been on the team depending on the project at hand. 

How did you come to work with Caxy Interactive?

We have a long history together. I knew Caxy Interactive from a project we did when I was the CTO of another financial brokerage firm. 

How much have you invested with them?

Our products vary in size in terms of dollar amount. In total, we've spent about $250,000. 

What is the status of this engagement?

I started using Caxy Interactive at my current company a little less than a year ago. We're still actively developing projects together and are evaluating new ones to pursue. 

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

The best result of using Caxy Interactive is my ability to hand them off to our business team and trust them to take care of all the details. Our company also does internal development, and we have as much work as we can possibly handle. 

The team offloads a ton of our in-house work, and we know we can depend on them to complete it. Their reliability also simplifies internal project management relationships. I can always suggest another department in our company use their services without having to get involved with the details. 

In terms of the overall expense, the team is cost-conscious and considers our best interests as part of the evaluation of the solutions they provide. They're careful listeners who always try to incorporate all of our input. We've used them for a very long time, and they've never over-promised. Caxy Interactive can take any project extremely far, especially a greenfield one.

How did Caxy Interactive perform from a project management standpoint?

We work together in an Agile fashion. Caxy Interactive is an excellent choice for companies who need quick results through nimble direction and discovery and iterating through experimentation. Since we use the same project management style in-house, they're a very good fit for us. 

What did you find most impressive about them?

We enjoy working with Caxy Interactive and will continue to use them. Their strongest points are great communication and related project management. We're always notified of changes and made aware of risks. They keep on top of all their responsibilities and are very trustworthy and reliable. The complete package they offer is a very good value. 

Are there any areas they could improve?

No, I don't think so. 

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

Drupal Dev for Product Designer & Manufacturer

“They’re always on top of everything and the team synergy is stronger than other companies I’ve worked with.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
2013 - 2014
Project summary: 

Caxy Interactive developed a Drupal site for a product manufacturer. Working from program requirements, they provided design services, layouts, ran content migration, and built the site from scratch.

The Reviewer
 
1,001 - 5,000 Employees
 
Oak Brook, Illinois
Suzanne Penn
Corporate Communications Manager, Federal Signal
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Feedback for the site was positive, thanks to regular meetings about the changes before the launch. Caxy Interactive was responsive and quick to make any last-minute changes ahead of important events. They provided useful tools for use after the handoff, and they remain communicative and available.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

We're a diverse manufacturer and publicly traded company with over 3000 employees worldwide. I represent the corporate headquarters and their public-facing website.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Caxy Interactive?

We needed a team to update the look and feel of our website and give us a platform we could manage in-house without the need for outside professional services.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We provided some program requirements, but they built the entire website from the ground up. They made recommendations of platforms they thought would work best for us and we decided to use Drupal. With a view toward long-term usability, they provided design services and layout options, and they ran content migration from the prior site. Since the site’s completion, they’ve offered ongoing support.

What is the team composition?

We worked with about half a dozen team members from different disciplines. The team included a project manager and some graphic designers that we were extremely happy with.

How did you come to work with Caxy Interactive?

A few people provided samples and examples of previous work. The salesman I spoke with initially from Caxy was very compelling and a great listener. They understood what I wanted to address and never tried to promote services we didn’t need.

How much have you invested with them?

The value of what we've received far outweighs what they've billed us for.

What is the status of this engagement?

The project started in 2013 and we rolled out the new website in 2014. They provide ongoing support for our updates.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

All the feedback has been positive, even though people usually fight change. Caxy encouraged us to hold regular meetings with our constituencies leading up to the launch. We kept everyone apprised of how things were moving forward and took everyone’s needs into account. They also suggested ways to handle critique and commentary once we went live. That allowed us time to evaluate feedback without being purely reactive.

How did Caxy Interactive perform from a project management standpoint?

They were wonderful, and so responsive. When we had important meetings or investor events, we could contact them the morning of to fix any last-minute issues. Not only did they design the site and talk us through it, they also prepared custom manuals to help us with updates and changes after the handoff. The project manager was very professional and detail oriented.

We used a variety of channels to communicate. We met occasionally in their offices, used video conferencing for updates, or spoke on the phone or via email for day-to-day needs.

What did you find most impressive about them?

It’s nice that they’re still responsive, even after we haven’t spoken in months. I can reach out to them and they always follow through. Our original project manager is no longer available, but they have assigned a new person for an upcoming project. They’re always on top of everything and the team synergy is stronger than other companies I’ve worked with.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No, they are definitely not a hard sell. I sought them out for a few years to do a new project, and I was the one who approached them.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

It’s important to understand and communicate well with the people you work with. If you ever feel that a team member doesn’t fit well with your needs, you can speak to them about finding someone else for your project within the company.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    The value is excellent.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I have recommended them.

Web Application Dev for Financial Services Firm

“Caxy Interactive is a fun group that’s young and determined to show their chops.”

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

Caxy Interactive designed, developed, tested, and implemented a mobile-first app for financial planning. The team deftly incorporated advanced technologies like Symphony within a MySQL database.

 

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
Angus Carroll
President, Best Money Moves
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Caxy Interactive delivered an app that’s currently rated 4.8 out of 5 stars. Sold on the B2B market for companies to provide employees, it has secured excellent feedback on the UX and design from end users and clients alike. The team of experts offers innovative insight to enhance results.

 

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the president at Best Money Moves. I run the company’s technology, operations, and sales. We created a financial wellness app that we sell to large companies to offer employees as a benefit. The tool helps users learn about budgeting and finances. 

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Caxy Interactive?

We decided to build this product to respond to market demand. Financial wellness is a hot topic right now in the HR world. Companies want to help their employees deal with financial stress because they end up paying the price otherwise.

Employees who are stressed about finances experience productivity issues, absenteeism, and higher healthcare costs as a result. Employers who offer methods to improve finances and make better decisions can hopefully lower their staff’s stress level so they can be better workers. 

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

As our development group of choice, Caxy Interactive fully support the build of our web application. They helped us with brainstorming, design, and coding. Our app is mobile-first, rather than just a responsive online web product. We still see a lot of desktop usage, but it was designed to be used on a smartphone. 

Caxy Interactive currently runs and manages the system which is hosted on the Amazon Cloud. They’re a PHP development shop and used a lot of open source technology for our product. We use Symphony as an admin system and MySQL for the database. The team carefully chooses opensource software to supplement with custom code to build the product. 
 
What is the team composition? 

About 6-8 people work on our project from Caxy Interactive. Early on, our standups included at least eight people. We have a project manager and a tech lead that I meet with every week. They’re not exclusively assigned to us, but I think we’re their biggest client. 

How did you come to work with Caxy Interactive?

My partner had worked with another company in Chicago. Based on their advice, we were using the wrong developers at first.  They suggested using a PHP shop and referred us to Caxy Interactive. We wanted a group that used agile development methodologies and was close enough to visit in person. I wanted the option to work in the same office. We interviewed many companies in Chicago and liked them best. 

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together in October 2016, and the work is ongoing. 
 

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Our app includes a rating pop-up that prompts users to leave up to five stars. Leaving less than three requires them to comment. We just sent out an email to our clients two days ago because we were so proud of the results. Out of five stars, our average rating is 4.8. Of the ratings we receive, 95% have been a four or a five.

The vast majority of our users find the app easy to use and intuitive. Since we moved into production with what we call real customers, we haven’t had any technical problems. Caxy Interactive caught any issues during beta testing.  They’re very strong on the design side. Many people have commented on how nice our product looks. It has a modern design and uses the right colors and standard conventions. The UX is excellent.

How did Caxy Interactive perform from a project management standpoint?

Caxy Interactive has been excellent. I’d give them a perfect score. We use email for communication, and I spend half a day at their offices weekly. We work on plans, specs, or strategies, which are all better done in person. They’ve been very responsive and have stuck to the timetable. When we’ve wanted to impress a customer, they’ve turned work around almost instantaneously. At times, they’ve even done hotfixes. They stick to the prices they quote. I can’t remember a time we’ve gone over the budget. We’ve actually frequently been under, which is unusual. 

We enjoy working with Caxy Interactive. The tech lead and project manager are very knowledgeable and customer-oriented. They’re always trying to figure out what they can do for us. We’ve had an excellent experience. They’ve contributed to the product itself as opposed to just coding. Since we use similar products, they’ve had useful input about what not to do. Their relevant experience added value to the engagement. 

What did you find most impressive about them?

Caxy Interactive is a fun group that’s young and determined to show their chops. We couldn’t be happier. They’ve done a great job for us. The team has been very responsive and straightforward about what it’ll cost. They’ve always been under or within the budget.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No. 

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

It’s always best to have a clear vision of your goals.  Showing up at a dev shop unsure of what you want will leads to a lot of unnecessary cycles. We knew what we wanted to build. Although Caxy Interactive contributed ideas, they were all within the context of what we already knew we wanted.

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

Website & Portal Design for Female Workforce Company

“The general feedback has been extraordinarily positive about the functionality and aesthetics.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Mar. - Oct. 2017
Project summary: 

Caxy Interactive revamped a website and online portal for an employment platform to facilitate scaling the business. The platform includes e-commerce functionality and has an updated interface.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
New York, New York
Founder, Job Finding Platform
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The redesigned website looks fantastic and is now a much more polished site for client’s to visit, while general feedback on the portal’s functionality has also been positive. They were excellent web development partners who expertly dealt with issues and were responsive, honest, and flexible. 

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I'm co-founder and CEO of a digital platform that connects women returning to the workforce with companies seeking talent and diversity. It provides a lot of content and resources for women returning to the workforce.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Caxy Interactive?

In the past, we would go to companies and have conversations with them, then if companies wanted to be included on our platform, we created their profile and posted jobs for them. We wanted to go to another level of making it much more digital and having the companies come to our site and see the different options for posting jobs, select one of those options, and do it themselves.

We had hired a local developer before, but they were a much smaller operation, and we needed somebody who was much more responsive, with a solid team in place.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We did a pretty extensive upgrade of our site with them. We had started off having them perform small tasks for us, and then when it came to develop this site and take it to the next level, I felt very comfortable using them as they had already proven themselves.

They provided and implemented our employer portal and our job board. It was complicated because it involves a lot of different steps and timings, as well as e-commerce. They also did a complete aesthetic upgrade of our site. They've taken it to the next level — it looks different and much more polished. I love their creative team and their graphics team who did a great job in that way.

What is the team dynamic?

We had a team of about 4–5 people. We had Hannah Deason [Agile Project Owner, Caxy Interactive] head our team, and she was amazing. It's so impressive to see someone young, incredibly talented, and such a leader. She did an amazing job. We also had a graphics person, a creative person, and a backend person. Other people came in and out as well. They aren’t a huge organization; they only have around 8–10 people in total.

How did you come to work with Caxy Interactive?

They were highly recommended to us, and I liked their founder, Mike LaVista, right away. He's an amazing person and a great guy. It’s always good to do a lot of research when you're hiring a web developer, so we also looked around a little bit.

In New York, web developers are pricier than they are elsewhere, so it was certainly an advantage to have someone in Chicago. Their prices were very reasonable, they're good people, and they offered a really good deal generally, certainly for someone coming from New York.

How much have you invested with them?

I've spent $75,000–$80,000 with them.

What is the status of this engagement?

I went to Chicago in March and had my first sit-down with them. However, it wasn't until this summer when I asked them to tackle the employer portal issue. It's been about 6 months, but there's been some ebb and flow. We're almost done; we're just finishing up things here and there and are in maintenance mode for a little bit.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

We changed our business model: we started monetizing our members and having employers come down to the site directly. As we implemented it a little while ago, it's hard to discuss the impact. I will say the general feedback has been extraordinarily positive about the functionality and aesthetics of the site. From a numbers perspective, it's hard to say because it's too early for that.

How did Caxy Interactive perform from a project management standpoint?

The world of web development is stressful. You're impacting someone's business, so when something goes wrong, we lose customers. Mike has an amazing disposition to deal with clients that are stressing out. He's a very even-keeled, awesome, responsive person. When you're dealing with a web developer, that's on top of the list of what I look for. I want someone who is going to answer my emails or calls immediately, and be able to discuss the issue in a very calming way.

I also have to mention Hannah, because she is relatively early in her career and she was amazing: super responsive and honest. I can't say enough about how great she was and how impressed I was with her ability to deal with any issues. Any time you build a site, there are going to be issues. It's no way reflective of their work; it's just the way that world is. When you build a site, when you develop a site, things can go wrong. It's how you deal with those issues that's critical.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They don't do a broad range of development. They do a certain type, and they do it well. They know what they're good at and stay in their lane.

Are there any areas they could improve?

They were everything that I wanted them to be and more. They were super great to work with, they've been very reasonable with me as a small business owner in terms of the payment schedule. They're flexible and wonderful. Anybody who builds a website wishes they didn't spend as much money, but that's the way it is.

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

Custom Web App Development for Building Association

"They certainly knew what they were doing from a technology standpoint and backend server standpoint."

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Feb. 2011 - Nov. 2012
Project summary: 

Caxy Interactive worked on a set timeline to design and develop an open source web-based application. The final application allows users to propose, view, and vote on building code amendments digitally. 

The Reviewer
 
201-500 Employees
 
Washington, D.C.
Former CIO, International Code Council
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The project transformed various processes to be more organized and efficient. Caxy’s team was knowledgeable on technological and backend options and suggested practical solutions to problems. They were communicative and responsive throughout the project and hit the app launch date.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I was the CIO at the International Court Council, or ICC as it is widely known. The ICC creates building safety codes and standards. These standards are adopted across the United States, and sometimes overseas. My mandate as CIO was to drive the company’s digital transformation.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Caxy Interactive?

We wanted to launch a new web-based application that would allow us to convert an analog process to a more digitized process that would allow for people’s virtual participation. It was a brand-new initiative and was high-priority for the company. The project had board visibility and had to be completed by a certain date for our business cycle. Time was not something we could negotiate on.

The ICC is a very content rich organization, so initially, we had Caxy create a database to manage our content, which had to be done as a foundational element for the main project. Shortly after finishing that, we started towards our goal of launching the web-based application.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Their scope to designing and developing our brand-new application, from start to finish. Initially, there were two different parties; we had a firm responsible for the UI/UX and Caxy was responsible for backend development. The UX agency created wireframes and Caxy implemented them.

The application has three major components. The main component includes an online collaboration function where users can propose building code changes. These changes have to comply with what we call ‘building safety standards’. Then, the application allows a segment of the public population to cast votes on those proposals. It’s a pretty elaborate process. 

How did you come to work with Caxy Interactive?

We found Caxy through a competitive process. We looked at various firms and requested information from those that seemed like a good fit. From there, we shortlisted a set of finalists. We had selection criteria when we were in discussions with the finalists. We wanted our application to be an opensource software solution, so that was a key criterion in our decision. Caxy had strong credentials using opensource software.

How much have you invested with them?

It was a large project and a significant investment for us, but the figure is confidential.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started the project in February 2011, and it was launched in November 2012.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

This was one of our flagship projects for digital conversion of our processes. In that sense, it was a fundamental transformation of the business. Between the content database and this web application, we were able to launch other supplementary applications using the same fundamental architecture and design. In high-level terms, the work we did with Caxy was strategic. It was transformative in nature and helped move the company up several notches.

How did Caxy Interactive perform from a project management standpoint?

We used an agile development process, which was relatively new to my team. I brought some people on board who were adept at the methodology. It was a learning process on our side more than on theirs. In terms of overall project management, they were decent at keeping us appraised. They knew the date was immovable. I won’t deny that we had some anxious moments, but we launched it successfully on time. All in all, I would say it was a good job executed all around.

Basecamp was the primary tool we used for communication. According to the Agile method, we had daily standups. Since this was a brand-new application, there was estimation as to how much development could be done in one sprint. Early on, we were further away from our estimates, but we got better as we moved along.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Their leadership team was open and candid. I appreciate openness in such partnerships. That worked well for us. They also came to us with many solutions. They certainly knew what they were doing from a technology standpoint and backend server standpoint. They would give us options and recommend which way to go. As the client, we would make the final decision.

They are technically strong. On longer projects, there is always a transition and adaptation process, which is to be expected. But they put a strong team on our project.

Are there any areas they could improve?

One of the factors we were looking for during the selection process was a local partner since we wanted to do more face-to-face meetings. They were in Chicago and so were we ICC. I sometimes sent my team to spend a day with them and they would come to our office as well, but I would have liked more face time for the teams.  

5.0
Overall Score We delivered what we set out to do, completing all goal results, which was very transformative. It’s continued to evolve and has been a cornerstone for the company.
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    We met the launch date successfully, which was the most important.
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I would have no hesitation in recommending them.

Drupal Development for Chicago Law Firm

"I don’t think we could’ve launched the site without Caxy."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Nov. 2015 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Caxy Interactive was hired to analyze and improve the Drupal platform that the client received from a previous vendor.

The Reviewer
 
200-500 employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
Director, Law Firm
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The site was able to be published much sooner thanks, in part, to Caxy's development knowledge. They are very responsive and creative, at times. The client recommends them to anyone looking for experienced Drupal experts.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the director of practice innovations for a law firm headquartered in Chicago. We are based in the US. I oversee knowledge management initiatives and practice management initiatives.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Caxy Interactive?

We had worked with a different Drupal vendor and we were not able to cross the finish line for launch. This involved an internal website, an intranet portal. We had worked with the other vendor for many months but we had a number of things outstanding. At the time, we were working with a stack that didn’t quite make sense for Drupal. The optimization of our site performance-wise was an issue. There were also some UI things we still needed to finalize, plus our Drupal core needed to be revived. 

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

It’s all Drupal-focused; that’s the underlying technology. They reviewed some of our custom code that was embedded into Drupal. After they’ve analyzed that, they provided us with some suggestions. The Drupal core is really what Caxy helped us with. They figured out what modules needed to be turned on, what needed to be turned off, and how we could improve performance. All that helped us get ready for production and to go live. There was definitely a project manager involved. There were a couple of devs who were Drupal experts and assistance from the UI team. There were people who handled some of our front-end design aspects. It wasn’t about aesthetics per se; it was about mapping the business requirements to our portal’s features.

How did you come to work with Caxy Interactive?

To get the project done, I needed a firm that understood Drupal and could be relied on as experts. I simply looked online. I contacted a number of firms and met with them. We chose them based on the conversations and some work they did initially to help map things out. That set the stage for our next steps. Caxy’s office is also 3 blocks away from ours, so that helped.

How much have you invested with Caxy Interactive?

In total, we paid $30,000 to $50,000 across all projects.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with Caxy in November 2015. The engagement is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

I don’t think we could’ve launched the site without Caxy. When we transitioned to Caxy, we were able to launch fairly soon after we engaged. Their involvement was critical. When we use them, we are able to get things done more quickly than we would without them. We do have folks in-house that are trying to be more knowledgeable about Drupal, but getting Caxy to do it takes a third or fourth of the time it would take us to do it. The turnaround and pace are definitely faster.

How did Caxy Interactive perform from a project management standpoint?

They’ve had project managers assigned to our projects before, especially when we were working on the core. That was very helpful. However, there does seem to be less of that in the subsequent projects. That being said, it’s not like there is a gap in responsiveness. They still followed our timelines. We use a Slack channel with them and we’ve communicated through that.

What did you find most impressive about Caxy Interactive?

Our use case is very specific to Drupal, and I would say that Caxy has expansive experience in this area. They know which things work and which don’t. They’re also willing to reflect on the limitations of Drupal and think creatively about our requirements. They were able to do things beyond core Drupal deployment or configurations.

Are there any areas Caxy Interactive could improve?

I think that the Drupal world’s a bit challenging to begin with. Sometimes, I get the impression that they’ve done similar work before but they don’t repeat that solution. We’re not benefiting from that in terms of time and the money saved. Maybe this is just a Drupal challenge generally, but I want them to sometimes do better at taking their knowledge from prior projects and repeating some of it.

5.0
Overall Score They’re very responsive. They can be creative.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They’ve always been responsive. They make themselves available.
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They could work in a way that’s more favorable for pricing if they use knowledge from previous projects more effectively.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    Very knowledgeable/capable with Drupal and show creativity when it comes to solutions.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I would definitely tell people who are doing Drupal work to contact Caxy and meet with them.

Web Dev for Medical IT Company

"We feel like we’ve got a site that’s worth more than we paid for."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
June 2015 - June 2016
Project summary: 

The client needed to modernize their website and make it user friendly. Caxy Interactive was involved with the design, strategy and development of the site on Drupal.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
Jack Berkery
VP, Intelligent Medical Objects
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Traffic to the site has consistently increased. Project management was a highlight of the engagement. The client is pleased with the final product and plans to engage Caxy again in the future.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

IMO, Intelligent Medical Objects is a clinical interface terminology company. What we do is develop a diagnosis, problem, and procedure content that makes the electronic health records a lot easier to use for physicians. We’ve been doing that work for about 22 years and have upwards of 70% of the providers in the US that use our product every day within their particular workflows. Then we also have non-US customers in Canada, UK, Middle East, South Africa, Singapore, and Australia.

My role is Vice President of Marketing Strategy and International Sales. I also manage our account management and channel partnerships teams, so I have overall responsibility for our customer-facing functions. One of my primary roles is the Head of Marketing.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Caxy Interactive?

We had received feedback from customers, from partners, from friends and family, from employees that number one: our website is the face of the company, so that gave us a sense of the importance of our website, number two: that our website was bad. It wasn’t engaging regarding the design or the content. It wasn’t something to be proud of. It was copy-heavy in places that it shouldn’t have been. We identified an opportunity to do a complete redesign of our website to address all of the concerns that our constituents had raised. One of the first parts in engaging a third party was to have them do an analysis of our site compared to other companies within our industry as well as competitors and make that comparison to look at it more objectively.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

The first order of business was actually having Mike make that comparison. I said, “Hey, Mike, we’re interested in doing a website redesign. To do that, I’d like to tap your expertise.” I wanted an assessment of our current site compared to other sites within the industry, including our competitors. That was the very first part of the engagement before we even signed an agreement with them, to show us in an objective way how we compared to others.

Mike came in and did a presentation for me on our website’s comparison to other companies in the space and industry. I thought that it was impressive. Then he also further went on to present his recommendations regarding what the priorities should be for a website redesign for IMO. I had him come in and do his presentation; he did it for me one on one first and then presented it to the team. The scope included an assessment and an analysis of our current site relative to others in the industry as well as some recommendations regarding changes and best practices. That was phase zero.

Then, we agreed with the assessment and based on our assessment of Caxy’s capabilities and the early meetings that we had with them, decided that they were the right firm to partner with for a soup to nuts website redesign. We signed an agreement with them to take us from the current site through a complete pre-design phase, design phase, and build phase of new content. We worked with their development team to take on a customized CMS. They used Drupal and their developers did 90% of the coding up to the point of testing and then handed it off to our development team right before go-live. It was design, build, and test, and then finally the development work that went with that.

How did you come to work with Caxy Interactive?

I engaged Mike, who is the founder and President of Caxy, directly through a mutual industry colleague. Caxy didn’t pull any punches regarding their assessment. They provided a very honest assessment of our current site. The other piece I really liked was that Mike came up and met with us in person and introduced us to his team that would be working on the project in person also.

He appreciated that we’re a 22-year old company and folks that have been here for 20-plus years are still with the company. The change that we were proposing from a redesign standpoint wasn’t going to be easy. So, he offered multiple times to come out and meet with many of those senior executives that have been with the company for 20 years, including the chairman and CEO, to help socialize some of the ideas that he had, and we had together. That personal touch and appreciation of the culture situation that we were in really made Mike and his team a great fit for this project.

How much have you invested with Caxy Interactive?

Between $200,000 and $225,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

The project was done from June 2015 to June 2016. We don’t have a maintenance agreement with them in place, but we would use Caxy again for an optimization project when we get to that point to incorporate some of the parallax features that we decided that we weren’t ready for as an organization. We’re not using them for maintenance, but we certainly are planning to go back to them for optimization work.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Those same constituents from customers to channel partners to employees to friends and family that were critical of our previous site have had nothing but praise for the new website. It’s a site to be proud of for the team that worked on it; it’s a site to be proud of as an IMO employee. Anecdotally, nothing but positive feedback.

When we look at some of the metrics that we’ve been tracking, we had a significant increase in unique page views and unique visitors post go-live. That increase tailed off a little bit, but year over year, it continues to outperform. For example, August-September 2016 compared to August-September 2015 regarding unique visitors, is up. Year over year, the trends are looking really good. What we’ve also looked at is the number of pages per visit, and that number has increased for certain pages. It’s also gone down for other pages. When we look at those individual pages, the pages where we wanted the increase to happen has come true. The pages where we wanted a decrease potentially because people were spending too much time looking for the information they need or having to go to too many pages have decreased. We view both of those metrics as trending positively.

How did Caxy Interactive perform from a project management standpoint?

They were excellent. I would say that the challenge was more getting the IMO team aligned. We could’ve gone live with the website had we had our ducks in a row in the December-January timeframe. Caxy would've been ready. They certainly were very good with the project management. They used a tool called JIRA which we also used, so we had this integrated system that we were using to manage what we projected. That was incredibly helpful.

Hannah, who was our project manager, really pushed us hard to keep moving forward and held us accountable in a good way for the pieces that we were supposed to deliver on the resource side and the tasks and phases. They did an excellent job, and Hannah did in managing the project and dealing with sometimes a culture that took a little bit longer to make decisions than we would’ve hoped for as a company.

What did you find most impressive about Caxy Interactive?

Their ability to integrate with our team through the use of tools like JIRA, Skype, jumping on Google Chats with video when we weren’t able to meet each other in person is great. I’ve worked with other teams on projects that were just not as integrated as Caxy was into our operations. We all felt like we were on the same team versus them being a vendor or agency or consultant and us being their client. We were really an integrated team throughout the project, and that allowed us to more smoothly make that transition from the legacy site copy and some legacy thinking that we had to what we have today.

Are there any areas Caxy Interactive could improve?

I don’t think so. Dealing with our culture was one of the hardest parts, and they just did an outstanding job. We didn’t ask for this, but after we were finished with the project and went live, we did do our post go-live or post mortem review. It would’ve been good, even a couple months after that, to go back and look at the very first assessment that Mike had done and look at our site now compared to our competitors. Part of that falls on us, but I would’ve loved to have reached out to them and say, "Hey, can you now go through and do this assessment and see where we stand relative to our competitors and other companies in the industry?" That wasn’t in scope. It’s not something they did poorly at all, but it would’ve been nice to have.

Mike, at the senior level, did a great job of making sure that he closed the loop with me, he sat down with me one to one, two or three months after the site was launched. He tried to get together with me two or three weeks after the site went live just to make sure that we were happy with the work, and that was a positive thing as well, so nothing negative to say about the experience.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    We felt like we got the value for money. We feel like we’ve got a site that’s worth more than we paid for.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    I am absolutely thrilled with the product they delivered.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    If anyone comes to me and asks me who did your design or who would you recommend for design, I’d say hey, talk to Caxy and the team.

Drupal Development for Chicago Nonprofit

"The constant theme of the project was, 'Caxy just gets it.'"

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

Caxy Interactive developed the client's website on Drupal 8. They were involved in the discovery and design phases and made the site mobile-responsive.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
Edgar Quintanilla
Manager, Chicago Architecture Foundation
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Feedback from users has been very positive, and the customized features have been well-received. The client is impressed with Caxy's expertise and thoughtfulness throughout the project. 

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

Chicago Architecture Foundation is a non-profit dedicated to inspiring people to discover why design matters. We do that in a variety of ways. Mainly we do that through our on-site programming that happens in Chicago and at Chicago Architecture Foundation. We do lots of tours. We do the riverboat tours on Chicago’s First Lady. It’s kind of the thing we’re most known for. We also do a lot of really exciting programming. We’re going to be opening Open House Chicago next week, or in a couple of weeks which is when we open up all the really iconic buildings in Chicago to the public and people can experience the buildings they see every day.

We’re going to be launching an architectural scavenger hunt, which is a big public program that we do. We also do a lot of educational programs for all ages, especially for youth from early elementary to high school to get students prepared and ready to pursue design education in the design field.

My role is Method in the Education Department. I’m part of a team of three now which is just dedicated to digital engagement. My role specifically is managing our online digital learning platform which is called discoverdesign.org.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Caxy Interactive?

As a non-profit, our goal is our mission. If our mission is to inspire people to discover why design matters, we wanted to make sure that we were able to do that, specifically to our online audiences of teens interested in design, also using technology in the classroom and outside of the classroom. Our work was funded largely in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services as well as the Chicago Community Trust through the Hive Network here in Chicago. The big goal is connecting learning that happens in and out of school. We wanted to be able to meet the work that we set out to do, and that our funders awarded us to do, to be able to start creating value and currency in learning institutions that are in and outside of school.

That was the main goal, and we were able to do that. Part of the way that we’re doing that is through badges on our site. We’ve got badged experiences on the site the students can apply for as they use the site. The intent is that they would unlock opportunities with local public schools as well as other opportunities that are happening. That’s kind of the platform that we built to set ourselves up to start truly creating value in these in and out of school experiences. That’s the main driving business goal. We built the platform that I think is headed in that direction in the online space.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Caxy was a full-service firm. They did everything from discovery, identifying needs, identifying goals to partnering conceptually with us on the infrastructure on the site all the way to information architecture, front-end design, back-end development, all the way to ensuring that our site is mobile friendly. They really pulled out all the stops. They did everything that we set out in our RFP [request for proposal] to do the things we weren’t able to accomplish. We’re still able to account for and follow up on how we’re going to keep working on things like that.

If there’s a textbook case study of how a web develop and design should go, I’d say that Caxy definitely hit it out of the ballpark with that.

We built the site off of Drupal 8, the latest installment of Drupal. The previous site was a Drupal 6 environment. We were open to getting off of Drupal altogether just because our experience with it wasn’t very positive. It wasn’t very good. We ended up putting up the RFP leaving it open to see what else was out there. Maybe we were we going to go with WordPress or we were going to go with any of the other open source constant management systems. Caxy came out and made the case to stay on Drupal and reassured us that the newest version of Drupal is light years ahead of what we were on.

It helps that Benjamin Doherty, their lead developer, is an active Drupal Corp. contributor. It was helpful to have an understanding of who was working on it and work in a way where Ben could explain to us exactly why this was the recommendation.

How did you come to work with Caxy Interactive?

We put out an RFP, and Caxy won the bid to work with us on that platform. They were the ones that carried the development and design of the new version of Discover Design to full fruition. We’re really happy with the results. We’re pumped that we were able to get in there and start using the platform how we intended to use it.

How much have you invested with Caxy Interactive?

We have invested between $50,000 and $200,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started in March 2016, and it is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

I’m not sure. We’re kind of in the early stages of developing those reports.

As far as user testimonials, a lot of it has been pretty anecdotal when we’re sitting in front of teachers and showing them the new teacher-specific features which we didn’t have in the previous version. The system was built specifically for teachers. In the new version, we’ve built in some pretty robust things that teachers can do and use to manage their classrooms. The feedback that we’ve gotten from them has been really positive. There are some emails saying, “This is exciting.”

How did Caxy Interactive perform from a project management standpoint?

Rosamund Lannin was the main project manager. We were the main liaisons between our organizations. If there were questions, she’d know the answer. The constant theme of the project was, “Caxy just gets it.” We don’t have to do a whole lot of explaining. We can just tell them what we want, a couple of questions might get asked, and then they’d come back to us with exactly what our intent was as far as what we were trying to communicate.

As far as technologies, we used Jira. It was my first run at Jira. It’s actually been really helpful. It’s how we’re currently managing a lot of our post-launch deliverables and checklists. Jira has been helpful in that. We used Google Drive. In previous projects, we’ve been used to using things like Basecamp. We’ve used some pretty proprietary stuff for other web development projects that we’ve been a part of. I think that mix of Jira and Google Drive hit the sweet spot for us. We knew where all the files were, and we knew that all issues were being tracked and assigned to somebody on the team. I’d say from a project management perspective it was awesome.

What did you find most impressive about Caxy Interactive?

I think the phrase, “We’re going to give you something that works” gets thrown around a lot. I do believe that with Caxy, they stand by that. A lot of times you work on a project and the bare minimum of those deliverables are hit but the summation of that bare minimum is something that doesn’t work all that well. With Caxy, it’s very much like, “We’re going to make sure that we’re going to give you what you asked for, and we’re going to make sure that it’s all encapsulated in a working, thought for a working, and coherent website.”

That was comforting and good to know that no matter what, at the end of the project, our agreement showed that the site works. It was amazing to see them come together and work around issues that would have otherwise prevented projects entirely.

We’ve worked with other web development companies where you only get what you asked for. With Caxy, they’re definitely more partners in thought than the “you get what you asked for” mentality. That was really helpful.

Are there any areas Caxy Interactive could improve?

This whole experience was pretty much the gold standard. For us, this is the model of what we want to work with, work on, and how we want to work going forward. As far as anything that could have been done differently, I would say if there was it was more on our side than on Caxy’s side.

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