Helping solve business problems through technology

DesignHammer is focused on solving business problems for both for-profit and non-profit organizations. We are a full-service boutique Web strategy, design and development agency. Since 2001 we have employed a documented, repeatable process to help deliver comprehensive Web projects on-time, on-budget and to spec. 

We want to help you:

  • Solve problems
  • Achieve organizational goals
  • Make data driven decisions
  • See measurable and effective results

DesignHammer does this by providing a fully integrated Web presence that is tracked and measurable. We integrate traditional CRMs, and build traditional or custom Web solutions to help your business suceed. Our specialties include, but are not limited to:

  • Drupal
  • Wordpress
  • Custom Web Design & Development
  • Mobile App Development
  • Salesforce and other CRM Integration
  • SEO and data analytics
  • Usability and Accessability
  • eCommerce Integration
  • Hosting and Maintenance 

We ike to begin each new engagement with an interactive discovery and online audit, helping both parties understand the business proposition and future value of your site.

$100 - $149 / hr
10 - 49
Show all +
Durham, NC
  • 1912 E NC HIGHWAY 54 STE 201
    Durham, NC 27713
    United States
other locations
  • United States


Key clients: 

Duke University, National technology Companies, Nonprofit Organizations, Healthcare Services, Research Companies & Educational Businesses.

Duke Health Referring Physicians Optimization Image

Duke Health Referring Physicians Optimization

Duke University Health System is a world-class health care network with three hospitals in central North Carolina (Duke University Hospital, Durham Regional Hospital, and Duke Raleigh Hospital), as well as outpatient, wellness, and hospice care.

The Challenge

Physician engagement is an important aspect of Duke Health's

mission. Previously Duke Health had worked with external vendors to deliver the Clinical Practice Today website and newsletter to physicians. They wanted to streamline these efforts into a single subsite, leveraging technology used for

To maximize physician engagement with the new subsite, Duke Health conducted market research and determined that the physician audience wanted their own dedicated web portal and online tools to make patient referrals. Physicians wanted the control to search by different criteria, such as physician name, or by specialty rather than condition/procedure, which was not supported by the patient-oriented “Find a Doctor” search tool on

The Solution

In order to provide a simple tailored solution for referring physicians that fit their clinical workflow and encouraged repeat visits, DesignHammer and Duke Health started the project with a robust discovery and planning process. This included competitive analysis of other top health systems to determine best practices in content organization and navigation, card sorting to identify appropriate content and navigation structure, and tree testing to validate the proposed navigation.

DesignHammer created the new website in Drupal 7, Duke’s preferred development platform. The new website provides users with multiple search interfaces including a mini Specialist Finder for the homepage, a full Specialist Finder, and a Search by Doctor’s Name–all to better connect referring physicians to Duke specialists. The system relies on Apache SOLR for search results. Specialist data, including Profiles and auto-complete suggestions, utilizes data provided for the patient facing “Find a Doctor” system to minimize staff overhead for data maintenance. The administrative interface also provides content editors with similar functionality to

To provide continuity and enhance SEO authority, the new site incorporated previously standalone Clinical Practice Today content (including appropriate redirection), adding landing pages for targeted specialties and CME (Continuing Medical Education) content. Clinical Practice Today delivers timely articles on Duke Health research, innovation, and other continuing education. To ensure access for all, the new website was developed in accordance with Duke’s latest standards for accessibility for users with disabilities. To this end, DesignHammer and Duke Health focused on delivering accessible navigation for all major site content.


DesignHammer created a new platform for physician engagement that fit seamlessly into Duke Health’s internal workflow and facilitated physician referrals to Duke Health. The new Specialist Finder provides referring physicians with instant access to the latest specialist listings, with the added benefit of reducing Duke Health’s staff time by leveraging the same data source as the “Find a Doctor” search. Most importantly, the project delivered ownership of the dissemination of Clinical Practice Today CME content in parallel with Duke bringing the ownership of email marketing of CME in-house. This consolidation provided the Duke Health marketing team with full control of previously outsourced content.

"DesignHammer’s work gave us a strong platform on which our in-house team could further develop the website, based on user testing and analytics. Since launch, we have been able to further improve the Find A Specialist and specialist profile pages. Without the original development work, those enhancements could not have been possible.”

–Seamus O’Reilly, Duke Health Digital Engagement Director

Highland Composites Custom Wordpress Development Image

Highland Composites Custom Wordpress Development

Highland Composites is a division of Highland Industries, Inc. (see their recent Django Upgrade), who utilize a full range of braided, woven, and raw fibers together with proprietary, state-of-the-art technology to create composite products for use in a wide variety of structural


The Challenge

As a new player in the market, Highland Composites needed to demonstrate their unique capabilities and value proposition. Composites manufacturing is a complex industry that can utilize many different technologies. Highland specializes in braided composites, composite overbraiding, and proprietary open architecture composite structures. The Highland Industries website was not attracting appropriate customers for the brand and did not effectively feature their product offerings.

The Solution

DesignHammer built a custom WordPress website for Highland Composites to showcase capabilities and attract leads. The new site features high-resolution photography and videos to quickly educate prospects on how their technologies can make parts faster, lighter, stronger, tougher or more consistent. It also highlights the differences between composites and conventional process. To better position themselves and appeal to target prospects across multiple industries, the new website featured case studies with application examples tailored to the best use of Highland Composites technologies. Social sharing buttons were integrated into relevant content to facilitate multi-outlet media campaigns. Google Analytics was configured to track traffic and appropriate conversions (contacts from prospects). To help the business development team quantify results, custom reports were also configured for specific advertising efforts.


Highland Composites focuses their business development efforts on conferences, trade shows, and industry meetings. This team can now leverage the website to reinforce their capabilities with identified prospects. Highland Composites measures the success of these efforts by increased traffic and website interaction during and following targeted business development events. Following a recent trade show, Highland Composites tracked an impressive 100% increase in page views, a 50% increase in new users, and a 50% increase lead acquisition via the website.

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Full Frame Documentary Festival

Considered to be one of the premier documentary film festivals in the United States, Full Frame Documentary Film Festival is a program of the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University. Their mission is to enhance public understanding and appreciation of non-fiction film as a significant art form while making the films accessible to a wider audience. The multi-day festival, spread across multiple venues in

downtown Durham, NC, is an international theatrical event featuring a wide range of non-fiction films. In addition to the festival, the Center for Documentary Studies provides additional programming throughout North Carolina.


The Challenge

The Festival had a website that did not reflect the caliber of films showcased in the festival. The site was also difficult to maintain and had an extensive need for manual coding, particularly within the programming schedule page. The Full Frame website was creating a poor mobile experience that was frustrating to attendees attempting to access important information from the site during the festival.


The new website needed to draw national attention in a saturated film festival market while also delivering a compelling mobile experience to engage attendees before and during the festival. The Full Frame staff also expressed the need for a simpler site maintenance process, one flexible enough to support the need for changing content based on the different stages of the annual festival season. They wanted to take advantage of their website and use it as a tool to attract volunteers, donations, and supporters.


The Solution

DesignHammer began with a robust discovery and planning process in collaboration with Festival staff in order to create a tailored plan for the new website. This extensive process included strategic consulting, a user survey, two rounds of card sorting, tree testing, and a full design phase. WordPress was selected to be the Content Management System for the website and was developed using a combination of community contributed, and custom plugins programed by DesignHammer staff.



The new website provided improved usability on both desktop and mobile browsers. Streamlined workflows allowed for auto generation of festival schedules, as well as a greatly improved administrative system used by Festival staff for content management. With time freed up from laborious content entry, the Full Frame Festival staff could devote more time to creating content that would better connect with volunteers, donors and supporters throughout the year.


North Carolina Center for Nonprofits Revelopment and Salesforce Migration Image

North Carolina Center for Nonprofits Revelopment and Salesforce Migration

The North Carolina Center for Nonprofits is a nonprofit organization that serves as a statewide network for nonprofit board and staff members, an information center on effective organizational practices, and an advocate for the nonprofit sector as a whole. They offer services to all sizes and types of 501(c)(3) nonprofits and work closely with other local, state, and national groups that assist nonprofits.

The Challenge

The NC Center for Nonprofits identified obstacles related to advocacy, member services, communication efforts and capacity. In pursuing its mission to support North Carolina’s nonprofit community, the Center relied on an antiquated website including a very complicated, largely custom, and undocumented Salesforce integration which no longer functioned correctly. With limited resources the Center struggled to manage client interactions, often due to confusing or broken website features. The site couldn’t just be repaired as it was built using Drupal 6, an obsolete version of the CMS that was no longer supported. These factors threatened to compromise the Center’s fundraising abilities.

The Solution

The project began with a discovery and planning phase, including strategic consulting and business process analysis. Usability and user testing methodologies were employed to improve overall user experience and usability including site architecture and navigation structure. Business processes were simplified and customer functionality was extended to decrease the need for staff to perform customer service tasks. The integration was simplified with much of the previous custom code replaced or removed in favor of community supported Drupal modules. A new Drupal 7 site was built featuring a mobile optimized, responsive theme. As part of the rebuild some features were removed to provide better-defined workflows. Finally, content was migrated from the Drupal 6 website and data was synchronized from Salesforce.


In the four months since deployment of the new website, the North Carolina Center for Nonprofits has tracked a 21% increase in the use of Job Boards, as well as a 7% increase in organizational membership.

With the new website working as a resource multiplier rather than an overhead liability, staff members are now better able to allocate their time supporting the Center’s mission as opposed to being inundated with website-related customer support emails and phone calls.


Carolina Theatre iOS App Creation & Drupal Integration Image

Carolina Theatre iOS App Creation & Drupal Integration

The Carolina Theatre is a performing arts and cinema complex in downtown Durham, North Carolina. The facility is operated by a nonprofit organization named The Carolina Theatre of Durham, Inc. under a management agreement with the City of Durham. The professional staff, along with more than 300 volunteers, executes a comprehensive performing arts program including live performances in music, dance, theater, and

educational programming, as well as a nationally-respected film program that includes the county’s only first-run independent cinema, which operates 364 days a year, as well as four dynamic festivals – the North Carolina Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, the Retrofantasma and Retrofantasma Classics horror series, the Nevermore Film Festival and the Escapism Film Festival.

The Challenge

The Carolina Theatre wanted to connect with their most engaged members through a mobile app. In order to be a viable channel for reaching their customers, it needed to serve users the exciting content already present on the DesignHammer-created Drupal website, while allowing the Carolina Theatre to have greater interaction with users through the mobile app. But, they did not want to double their workload in maintaining online counter by entering information in two systems.

The Solution

DesignHammer’s team of designers and developers created an elegant and exciting solution—a slick, professional iPhone app with content dynamically pulled from the Carolina Theatre Drupal website. DesignHammer’s developers created the app from the ground up, delivering a robust user experience on a variety of iOS devices. The fully-native app allowed us to create an extremely responsive user interface and to take advantage of iOS features like Mapping and Push Notifications. In addition to delivering the Push Notifications (via the Urban Airship API), the Carolina Theatre App provides photo galleries, seating charts, ticketing information, and Facebook integration.

After updating the Drupal content management system powering the Carolina Theatre website, the Theatre staff was able to deliver content to the iPhone app without changing their workflow. At the same time, DesignHammer’s designers created the app’s visual style to complement the Carolina Theatre’s existing website.


The Carolina Theatre App exceeded expectations with nearly four times as many downloads as the Carolina Theatre expected. DesignHammer’s success is obvious through the clear, intuitive navigation and sharp visual design of the app’s user interface. The Carolina Theatre App is an integral component in the Carolina Theatre’s customer engagement efforts, which have resulted in a 400% increase in traffic to the Theatre’s website and significant increases in ticket presales.

Investors Title Drupal CMS Platform Image

Investors Title Drupal CMS Platform

Investors Title is a holding company for both Investors Title Insurance Company and National Investors Title Insurance Company. These both write policies to protect mortgage lenders and homeowners from unforeseen claims made against titles to real property. Investors Title specializes in residential and commercial title insurance, reverse exchanges, title agency management services, and trust and capital management


The Challenge

Investors Title's affiliated agents receive the majority of their business through referrals and education on their respective websites. Many existing agent websites were aging and new agent websites needed to be created. Investors Title wanted to provide a consistent platform for launching a host of new agent websites. The sites needed to be launched with custom form support, enhanced customization, and they needed to cause as little disruption to agent business as possible.

The Solution

DesignHammer created a new platform for ITMS Agents’ websites. The Drupal 7 multi-site has a customizable theme allowing for a unique but consistent design for each website. The multi-site platform reduces ongoing maintenance costs for the sites and reduces the per-agent setup costs. Each agent site provides a better user experience through increased usability, mobile design, and search functionality. DesignHammer combined careful planning and project management with some intelligent tools to ensure that every agent site deployment went smoothly.

The William Blake Archive UX/UI Design Image

The William Blake Archive UX/UI Design

The original website was designed in 1996 to provide access to the works and images of William Blake, a seminal figure in the history of the poetry and visual arts of the Romantic Age. The Archive provides scholars and the general public access to high quality color corrected images of Blake’s art as well as the text of Blake’s works, commentary, and research tools. It was designed as a professionally edited site for

scholars who want to study Blake, not to make Blake accessible to the lay user and amateur scholar. The Archive engaged DesignHammer to create a new UX/UI experience that maintained its prestigious status, but also presented a more contemporary, user-friendly look to non-scholars.


The Solution

DesignHammer created a slick, uncluttered interface to make all of the image information readily available. We then streamlined the navigation across the archive. To create this desired user interface, we went through a discovery process, created wireframes, recommended design concepts, and completed the HTML/JS/CSS build out. The result was a modern, easy to use custom interface, which brings forward the well crafted works of William Blake.

Labor Notes Drupal-Salesforce Integration Image

Labor Notes Drupal-Salesforce Integration

The Labor Education and Research Project (popularly referred to as Labor Notes) serves as the voice of union activists in the labor movement. Since 1979, Labor Notes has promoted grassroots organization to empower union workers in transforming the labor system. Through an online store, the organization offers magazine subscriptions, handbooks, and registration

for conferences and workshops. Previously, order information was manually entered into the organization's Customer Relationship Management (CRM) database. Besides creating significant overhead for Labor Notes staff, human error often caused duplicate customer entries.

The Challenge

Labor Notes wanted to reduce the amount of manual data entry and duplicate customer accounts, and to automate as much order fulfillment as possible. Previously, each online order was manually entered by Labor Notes’ business manager into an archaic custom database. Because a majority of the orders come from repeat customers, the automated workflow required robust deduplication and contact matching. Challenges with automating their business process included:

  • Special criteria for how order-data is handled and stored.

  • Matching integration to desired workflow scenarios.

  • Prevent duplicate contact entries in database for repeat customers.

The Solution

Drupal and Salesforce are powerful tools on their own. When properly synced, they can seamlessly exchange information. However, by default, they do not natively exchange data. Our extensive experience with Drupal’s Salesforce Suite and Salesforce’s API allows us to bridge the gap and integrate an array of Drupal modules and Salesforce. Syncing Drupal and Salesforce performs automated exports of order information from the Labor Notes Drupal website to their Salesforce account. Order information is exported based on a complex set of rules that can create new contacts or update existing contact information. The automated export removes the need for Labor Notes staff to manually enter or manipulate information in order fit their customer information storage requirements. Follow here for more detailed information on the integration process.


DesignHammer created an automated workflow to export customer information from the order form into Salesforce, a powerful online CRM tool used by thousands of companies and organizations. The end result is a simplified business process for managing subscribers and contacts. Our work significantly cut down the amount of manual work the Labor Notes staff needs to keep up with the subscriptions and orders received through their website. The end result is improved business processes for Labor Notes in managing subscribers and contacts.