What was the scope of their involvement?
Digital Echidna came in right before we started the design phase. They sent 2 people down to Cincinnati to meet with our sales team, our editorial team, and our technical team. Together, we sketched out a technology roadmap—the overarching goals of our website, how to achieve those using the latest technology, and how to best develop the website. It is a massive project involving conversion and migration.
After this discovery phase, we did the information architecture, design, prototyping, wireframes, navigation, content, theming, etc. They were given the wireframes, color palette, and other design elements of the brand, but they weren’t given a lot of flexibility with the placement of these elements. They were able to apply all of that to make a site that matched our brand identity.
They also worked with us to refine our navigation, making it simpler for people to find content on the site. Once people read an article, they could also find related things that were interesting to them. They helped with the tagging structure on the backend so that we could link content together based on taxonomies.
What is the team dynamic?
We had an assigned project manager, but I communicated with several members of their team directly. I got to work with Andrew [Owner, Digital Echidna] at the beginning of the project. He is incredibly knowledgeable about Drupal and user experience. Their content strategist, Jay, also helped us. Now that we’re working with the account executive and the developer, they really help us achieve our vision for the site. From the top down, they have a really strong team.
How did you come to work with Digital Echidna?
Initially, I vetted several companies, looking at their experience in the publishing world, their experience with Drupal, and their price, which was a big deal for us. I met Digital Echidna at a Drupal event for developers, where they had a table set up. I met someone from their team, and I talked to him. I had already chosen another company, but I told them if something doesn’t work out, I’d let them know. I contacted them after the first engagement failed.
What stood out was their experience with Drupal. Their technical expertise was impressive. When I described some of our biggest concerns, Andrew was able to fire off answers right away. They were able to address my concerns without having to think much about it, whereas other companies said they would have to sit down and do a $25,000 discovery session with us before they would consider it. They were also willing to work with us. I found it encouraging that they didn’t laugh at me after hearing that we were still on Drupal 5.
How much have you invested with them?
We’ve spent $225,000 so far.
What is the status of this engagement?
We started working with them in August 2016. It was supposed to be 7 websites, but we only contracted to do 4. So far, we’ve only done 3 websites. It wasn’t supposed to take this long, but it’s been our fault, not theirs.