Essential services to harmonize your digital world

Digital Echidna works with organizations to help them enhance their interactions across a variety of digital channels and improve their overall online marketing presence. 

 
$10,000+
 
$100 - $149 / hr
 
50 - 249
 Founded
2002
Show all +
London, Canada
headquarters
  • Digital Echidna
    148 York St.
    London N6A 1A9
    Canada

Portfolio

Key clients: 
  • Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario
  • Dartmouth Alumni 
  • Fanshawe College
  • Imagine Canada
  • Lawson Health Research Institute
  • London Health Sciences Centre
  • Ottawa Heart Institute
  • TVOntario

Kingston General Hospital (KGH)

In alignment with KGH’s web renewal strategy the hospital was looking to embark on a multi-year, multi-phased redevelopment project. Phase one of this project saw the redevelopment of its public-facing websites: the KGH main site, the KGH Research Institute website, the KGH Learning website, the Southeast Regional Cancer Program site, and the KGH Connect news website. Phase two of the project consisted of the redevelopment of KGH’s Intranet solution.

This was a large, complex project. Digital Echidna provided Drupal expertise and development and launched sites on time, on budget and on point. 

Technical Features

  • Compliance to WCAG 2.0 Level AAA
  • Drupal Development
  • Enhanced Search Capabilities via SOLR
  • Graphic Design
  • Responsive Design
  • Social Media Integration

Confederation College Website

Confederation College requested a consistent design and unifying elements across the external facing website and the internal portal components. The visual framework and navigation strategy needed to put recruitment first, providing prospects with the quickest and most targeted information based on user behaviour while still maintaining access for all other audiences such as alumni, employers, community partners & media.

London Canada Drupal firm Digital Echidna partnered with London Canada design agency ResIM for this project. This joint bid brought together a unique combination of extensive post secondary education student recruitment experience and deep development resources and Drupal expertise that's among the best in the country.

Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO)

Digital Echidna partnered with AGO to launch a new means of experiencing art online. The Gothic Boxwood Catalogue Raisonné is a resource that presents every known example of boxwood carvings, documented with stunning new photography that allows you to zoom in and see incredible details alongside new research uncovering how these marvels were made. 

There are four key parts to this solution. The Scholar Tool is a series of functions to engage with the images such as a deep zoom and scroll functionality. The Collections API is a system for synchronizing data within AGO’s collections database systems with the website. User Accounts handles how one can register, contribute and manage personalized content. Site Administration allows AGO to publish new content and pages. Registered users have access to more tools such as the ability to save collections of images, add essays, notes and commenting on objects and collections. This solution was built using the most recent release of...

Revera

MyRevera serves as the internal communications channel for Revera’s 45,000 employees. Though management rated intranet importance to the organization high, usership was low. Struggling with this issue, Revera surveyed its employee base to discover content editors were discontent with publishing tools and overall flexibility of the myrevera.com system, whereas employees were most frustrated with slow load times and poor search results. Problems included a rudimentary search system, confusing naming conventions, and a non-intuitive site structure. 

Revera turned to Digital Echidna for help. Ultimately, the solution in this case would be a complete overhaul of the system and implementing EchidNET, which is a tailored to healthcare, Drupal based platform solution, on Acquia Cloud. 

Dartmouth College Alumni Relations

Digital Echidna delivered an online experience, built on Drupal, that aligns with the Dartmouth Alumni overall esthetic and highlighting key areas of interest. The site is demonstratively better in information sharing and interactivity over the previous static archival nature of the site. For example, the integration of the Reunion site into the main page following reunion season. This facilitates a more intuitive user experience and eliminates duplication of effort. 

Visit the site alumni.dartmouth.edu

The University of Ottawa Heart Institute

The University of Ottawa Heart Institute (UOHI) is Canada’s largest and foremost heart health centre dedicated to understanding, treating, and preventing heart disease. Digital Echidna was solicited to develop a redesigned, user‐tested Heart Institute corporate website and an intranet solution capable of enhancing their capacity to inform, communicate and manage effectively throughout a period of change and rapid growth. 

Technical Features

  • Compliance to WCAG 2.0 Level AAA
  • Consultation and Project Planning
  • Enhanced Search Capabilities via SOLR
  • Graphic Design
  • Information Architecture and UX/UI Recommendations
  • Maintenance/Support Contract Options
  • Migration Plan
  • Training and Handover

TVOKids.com

TVO used Drupal implementation service partner Digital Echidna, to assist with a rebuild of the flagship TVOKids.com. This new site replaced the older Flash desktop site powered by Drupal 6, and a separate Drupal 7 mobile site with one modern responsive site that delivered new branding, graphic design, a new user experience, and behind-the-scenes upgrades to various web technologies. The new TVOKids.com is evolvable, highly reliable, and safely accommodated production releases while remaining live.

View http://tvokids.com/

Innovation 150

The goal of this project was to develop a website celebrating innovation in Canada and to act as the hub for all information, events and activities related to the Innovation150 program during the 2017 year.

Digital Echidna was chosen to build a multilingual Drupal CMS website with complex integrations and a strong user interface to handle user generated content from the public.

Digital Echidna used an agile project management approach instead of the typical plan, design, build, waterfall approach to project management. As new requirements arose and as different stakeholders became engaged in the project no wasted time or delays in development occurred.

A novel approach synchronized content creation tools enabling editing abilities between English and French language sites. Digital Echidna added custom language toggle and submission functionality to simulate an unbroken workflow for creating translations. This streamlined an otherwise user-unfriendly entity...

The Canadian Writing Research Collaboratory

With its digital repository of Canadian literature in place, the Canadian Writing Research Collaboratory recognized the need for a cohesive online experience to attract and engage its intended audience. The Collaboratory would find a solution by turning to Drupal development firm Digital Echidna to leverage the best features of Islandora within a Drupal environment. The result is an intuitive site that artfully empowers collaborative modes of scholarly research online.

Visit the site beta.cwrc.ca

Reviews

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Web Development for University

"From a technical perspective, I’d to be hard-pressed to find a better organization."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Mar. - May 2018
Project summary: 

Digital Echidna supplemented development resources for a website overhaul on Drupal. They built a solution that created new permission layers for 120 authors.

The Reviewer
 
1,001-5,000 Employees
 
Canada
JP Rains
Director of Digital Strategy, Laurentian University
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

They increased user engagement levels and in-house development efficiency. Always upfront about costs and challenges, the team had timely deliveries. Although follow-ups could have been more in-depth, Digital Echidna successfully leveraged their expertise to ensure functionality.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the director of digital strategy at Laurentian University.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Digital Echidna?

We were redesigning the website, but didn’t have the in-house resources to complete specific tasks in a certain time period. We decided to outsource part of the overhaul to leverage third-party resources and expertise.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Our in-house team upgraded the university’s primary institutional site to have better permission controls and content migration. Digital Echidna created a permission layers solution for our 120 university authors.

What is the team composition?

We worked with an account representative and a technical specialist.

How did you come to work with Digital Echidna?

I met them through a postsecondary education web conference. I knew they were the best Canadian firm for Drupal, having worked with similar education organizations.

How much have you invested with them?

We spent approximately 10,000 CAD ($7,600 USD).

What is the status of this engagement?

We worked with them between March–May 2018.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Our internal web community’s user engagement levels increased. The new permissions solution allowed us to decrease the amount of tickets for the larger overhaul project. Consequently, we saved considerable time while increasing capacity across the university for our decentralized web authors.

How did Digital Echidna perform from a project management standpoint?

The updates were timely and deliverables met the scope requirements. Overall, they managed the project very well.

What did you find most impressive about them?

From a technical perspective, I’d to be hard-pressed to find a better organization. I appreciated their expertise and forthrightness; the team was upfront about difficulties and cost estimates.

Are there any areas they could improve?

They could be more proactive with post-completion follow-up. That’s certainly not a criticism, because they did reach out and help with a few issues. However, the team could have checked in at a week and month via phone, as opposed to email. Phone calls enable real-time advice and more in-depth conversations.

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

Online Textbook Development for University Professor

" They took what I had in my head and translated that into an online resource that works exactly as I hoped it would. "

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Nov. 2017 - May 2018
Project summary: 

Digital Echidna developed a Drupal CMS to host an online textbook and other learning materials. The site is platform agnostic and is compliant with government-mandated accessibility standards.

The Reviewer
 
5,001-10,000 Employees
 
Ontario, Canada
Professor, University
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The website is impressive in its appearance and its functionality. Digital Echidna was respectful of the content and recognized its importance. They were communicative and were accepting of feedback and suggestions. They worked well with a small budget and delivered a site that met all expectations.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am a professor at a Canadian university.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Digital Echidna?

I was awarded a grant, and the contract was for an open-sourced online textbook on the topic of the French language, indigenous literature, and culture in Canada. When we wrote the grant application, I had a digital developer identified, but that individual changed positions and was no longer available to do the work. I needed someone in a rush to build the CMS for me in order to get my PDF textual information built into an online format along with art and digital quizzes.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

I had never built an online textbook, but I had a concept in my mind that the textbook would function much like an online course that could be used by high school teachers or college professors to inform themselves or their students about the subject matter. I envisioned an eight-module course, and each course would contain a written reading guide, a bibliography, an online multiple choice quiz based on that reading guide, as well as multimedia components such as videos and audio files that could make the material more interesting for a younger audience. They walked me through the entire process and outlined not only what my budget would allow but also what they could make the site do and what it would look like and feel like. The finished site is built with a Drupal 8 CMS using a book module.

We had strict parameters for what we had to do but also things we couldn't do. The site had to be compliant with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act so that it can be used with text readers, and it had to be platform agnostic and work on cell phones and most other devices. It also could not include any third-party content, meaning it had to be written by myself or other authors and artists named in the grant application. Digital Echidna’s recommendation was to have our multimedia linked to YouTube. That third-party content developed for me isn’t hosted on the CMS, but it exists on YouTube. Digital Echidna also coordinated for the site to be hosted on a separate server as it worked with the granting organization to establish a proper repository to house the site.

What is the team composition?

I worked with two project managers at Digital Echidna.

How did you come to work with Digital Echidna?

My husband was familiar with their work from his own job, so he gave them a strong recommendation.

What is the status of this engagement?

We worked together from November 2017 through May 2018.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

The reviews from the people I have shared the link with have been incredibly positive. I've had strong feedback from people at universities around the country. I’ve gotten positive responses to how the website looks, how it functions, and how easy it is to use. They took what I had in my head and translated that into an online resource that works exactly as I hoped it would.

How did Digital Echidna perform from a project management standpoint?

They walked me through the project in a way that was sensitive to my needs as a newcomer to this kind of project. They listened to my feedback and allowed me to contribute my ideas to how the process should work. They gave me regular updates as to what we had accomplished and what still needed to be done. They provided frequent and clear feedback, and they met every timeline.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They were respectful of the content and understood the importance of the project within the academic community. I believed my project was in competent hands from the beginning. At the end, they trained me to use the CMS so that I could make additions or changes. Overall, they managed to do quite a lot with the small budget I had to work with.

5.0
Overall Score The team is professional and helpful.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I would recommend them to anyone for small and large projects.

Interactive Mapping Interface Dev for Public Library

“From the beginning, they understood what we wanted to achieve and put a lot of thought into the product.”

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
4.5
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Mar. - Sept. 2017
Project summary: 

Using the open source platform Islandora, Digital Echida built an interactive mapping interface that uses pins to link to audio, video and photo content in an underlying repository. They integrated a filter feature and suggested platforms that achieved the desired level of flexibility and responsiveness. 

The Reviewer
 
501-1,001 Employees
 
Canada
Kay Cahill
Manager of Digital Services, Vancouver Public Library
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Digital Echidna actively collaborated on the project to make the best possible product. They were proactive and innovative, creating a map that was both functional and engaging. They managed the project well and asked questions when needed.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

At the time of the project, I was the manager of the digital services department at the Vancouver Public Library, one of Canada's largest urban public libraries. I was responsible for all of the public-facing web services, digital collections, and community digitization projects.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Digital Echidna?

We’d recently won grant funding for the Canada 150 celebration to fund a project that would showcase people’s journeys through and interactions with Vancouver via an interactive map that would overlay our existing digital repository, This Vancouver. This also aligned with the library's strategic goal of providing platforms for people to share and discover their stories.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We did quite a bit of work building content for the project before hiring Digital Echidna. Our digital repository, This Vancouver, showcases a variety of content, including videos, historical photographs, and audio recordings. We wanted to provide a mapping interface that would allow users to search this content visually or filter it by the communities the stories came from, the neighborhoods they were about, or the time period in which they took place. This map is called Story City.

Our repository is built on the open-source platform Islandora, and Echidna built an Islandora module that created the mapping interface and enabled us to plot stories as pins on the map. Users are able to filter by the different facets that we’d identified. We initially suggested building the module through Google Maps because we had internal experience with this product, but Echidna encouraged us to explore different mapping platforms that would give us increased flexibility, customizability, and responsiveness.

What is the team composition?

We had three main points of contact.

How did you come to work with Digital Echidna?

We issued an RFP through our regular procurement process. Digital Echidna were the successful respondent to the RFP. 

What is the status of this engagement?

We worked together from March–September 2017.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

The map has been visited several thousand times, and the most popular story has been viewed or listened to over 150 times. The site continues to get regular traffic. When we launched the platform, we held a public event with some of the storytellers. The Q&A session at the end of the event turned into a broad audience discussion of how modern technology has led to social isolation and ways in which sharing stories can reconnect us with our city and community. Seeing the profound impact the tool had on people was satisfying.

How did Digital Echidna perform from a project management standpoint?

Their project management was straightforward and smooth. We kicked off with a discovery phase, which was helpful and clarified the goals, timeline, and deliverables. We weren’t able to give them access to our repository’s live service, so we had to figure out how they’d do the work and then deploy it on our end to test it. Once we established the process and timeline, the project went well.

What did you find most impressive about them?

From the beginning, they understood what we wanted to achieve and put a lot of thought into the product. It wasn’t just about the functionality but creating an engaging experience that would make people want to explore the content and browse further.

Are there any areas they could improve?

When things were running smoothly, they could have been more proactive in progress reporting. I sometimes had to check in with them just to make sure they didn’t need any feedback or input. In general, it was a successful process.

Do you have any advice for future clients of theirs?

Having a discovery phase to determine the scope of the project was incredibly helpful. Since we didn’t have internal experience with Islandora module development, working through the discovery process together allowed us to determine the best way to build what we wanted. 

4.5
Overall Score They’re friendly and approachable. I enjoyed working with them on a personal level.
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They’re skilled in the area we wanted to develop in.
  • 4.5 NPS
    Willing to refer

Website Rebuild for College

“We really feel that they support us.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Feb. - Sept. 2015
Project summary: 

Having redeveloped and redesigned a website with a Drupal-based CMS, Digital Echidna currently provides ongoing maintenance.

The Reviewer
 
1,001-5,000 Employees
 
London, Canada
Website Team Lead, Fanshawe College
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The website delivers a high-value online experience due to consistent branding, increased update and page load speeds, and an optimal hosting solution. Digital Echidna’s dedicated staff remains responsive while continuing to resolve issues quickly and provide thorough documentation.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

Fanshawe College is one of Ontario’s largest community colleges with four campuses in London, Simcoe, St. Thomas, and Woodstock. We offer more than 200 degree, diploma, certificate, and apprenticeship programs to 43,000 students each year. I’m the website team lead in the depart of Corporate Communications.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

 What challenge were you trying to address with Digital Echidna?

We decided to undertake a site rebuild because it didn’t successfully market to several major constituencies, specifically prospective students. The site architecture was also not organized or presented in an intuitive or consistent manner, including some repetition and misplacement of critical information. It also didn’t take advantage of social media advancements and was largely a one-way tool. Finally, it required more technical assistance for maintenance and further development.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Digital Echidna completely redesigned and redeveloped our website. They created a consistently-branded website with a CMS that delivers a high-value online experience, reflecting the excellence, vibrancy, and brand of the college. Subsequently, they provided maintenance, further development, and hosting assistance.

How did you come to work with Digital Echidna?

We found them via separate RFPs for the initial build and maintenance after site migration. We had also had a previous experience with them a few years prior when they assisted with our first CMS migration. Digital Echidna has shown their support for the community in general—and Fanshawe College in particular—over the last 10 years.

What is the status of this engagement?

The initial build began in early 2015 and ended in late September 2015. They’ve continued to provide maintenance support since then.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

We’re proud of the end product. The launch was particularly seamless. We went with a selective migration process and we are glad we did because it forced us all to organize and deliver on time.

Improvements to some of our Drupal modules and web host have increased our productivity in terms of website update and page load speeds. Digital Echidna also ensures our security works to provide the optimal hosting solution for our large and complex website.

How did Digital Echidna perform from a project management standpoint?

We found that weekly meetings and regular follow-up worked really well. We doubled our call rate closer to launch, which was a great idea.

Overall, Digital Echidna was responsive and had great documentation. They quickly resolved any issues that came up, and in a positive way. The project manager acted as an intermediary to hold various parties accountable for deliverables on both sides. Now that we’re in maintenance mode, we have bi-weekly meetings with follow-ups as needed, and their staff is available to assist with any urgent issues.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Digital Echidna’s dedicated staff members consistently exceed expectations. For example, they’ve assisted us when serious issues have came up on weekends despite not having weekend coverage. We really feel that they support us.

Are there any areas they could improve?

We’re very pleased with their services and performance.

5.0
Overall Score Their quality of work and interpersonal skills are excellent. We feel comfortable working with their staff.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They've successfully met even very aggressive deadline.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They are excellent.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I would definitely recommend Digital Echidna for any web-related projects, and I've recommended them for teaching/training already.

Web Development for Research Nonprofit

"They try to fulfill every request and rectify any issues."

Quality: 
4.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
4.5
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Jan. - Sept. 2016
Project summary: 

Digital Echidna developed a website that scaled equally well for mobile and desktop viewing. They also optimized the site, gave accessibility recommendations, and managed requirements. 

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
Canada
Coordinator of External Relations and Communications, Research Nonprofit
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Employees loved the new site for its improved functionality and flexible content structure. Digital Echidna proved to be an outstanding development partner, managing both schedule and budget and explaining complex issues with ease. Their approach was comprehensive and flexible. 

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the coordinator of external relations and communications for a research nonprofit that funds infrastructure for universities and colleges across Canada. I manage online projects and work with the communications team.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Digital Echidna?

We wanted to refresh our main website.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We had worked with a different supplier to test user experience and design a few layouts. Digital Echidna built the technical side of the site and brought some new options to the table as well.

We had designed a whole architecture for the site with our previous supplier. Through onsite and conference calls with Digital Echidna team, we used those wireframes to refine our vision of how each page would function and what each user action would entail. They also explained how we could make the website more accessible and adaptable to different devices, including mobile phones and iPads. We have a huge desktop-only audience, which is not the norm right now, so that was great. They gave us a lot of good information to support our decisions.

On our home page, we switched from a carousel to a grid that highlights our main stories, news releases, and reports. Our previous supplier had described this feature as slightly easier to produce than it actually was, but Digital Echidna used a variety of technologies to simplify the implementation. Some employees wanted to take advantage of every option in that space, which just complicated the code and expanded the budget. They kept us on budget and schedule by explaining to some of our employees what they could and should not do. Some of those conversations were a little bit dicey, but they conducted themselves well.

In terms of SEO, they explained some changes and updates that they could apply to the site to increase our probability of being discovered. It wasn’t a huge extra project, but they guided us through the entire process. They had the technical background to support our decisions and offer us more options, even when we didn’t have enough data. Although SEO wasn’t its own project, we did come back to it quite often.

What is the team composition?

Since this was such an extensive project, we had a large team and a project manager. Andrew McClenaghan [President, Digital Echidna], was very involved in both projects we did with them.

How did you come to work with Digital Echidna?

We created a core team that involved each of our departments because we really wanted this to be a comprehensive refresh of the website. After sending out an RFP, we reviewed all the proposals that had been submitted.

From those top proposals, we scheduled meetings in Ottawa where companies could present their solution and respond to questions. In those meetings and their proposal, Digital Echidna answered all our technical questions, as well as our inquiries about usability, testing, and even content questions. Some of the other suppliers only shone in certain areas, but they offered a well-rounded approach.

How much have you invested in them?

We spent between $40,000 and $160,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We began working with them in January of 2016, and the collaboration ended in September of 2016.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

The quality of their work definitely met our initial objective. All our departments are happy with the website because it functions better and meets their requirements for online content.

How did Digital Echidna perform from a project management standpoint?

We thought they did very well. We should have set some project milestones sooner rather than later, but we discussed that with them and smoothed things out for our next project.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Their adaptability is impressive. They try to fulfill every request and rectify any issues, and they usually respond to urgent matters right away. We have been very happy with almost everyone we have worked with from Digital Echidna.

Are there any areas they could improve?

The only way that our relationship could have been improved was if they were located in Ottawa and could give us more one-on-one time. The distance didn’t present any production issues, but timelines and meetings would have been easier in the same space. Although we missed some of our gaits, we should have discussed that issue earlier.

4.5
Overall Score Overall, both collaborations were a great experience. Andrew had our best interest at heart. At the end of the day, that made the project effective.
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Although slipped gaits pushed stuff back, they rectified any previous issues.
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 4.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They are one of the best suppliers we have dealt with.
  • 4.5 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I would definitely recommend them.

Web Dev for National Charitable Organization

“They were very collaborative and helpful when giving support, guidance, and training our staff."

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
2012 - Aug. 2014
Project summary: 

Digital Echidna worked on a website build for a national nonprofit organization. They worked on the website from scratch, assessing the previous site and working on the backend, cataloging, and development.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Canada
Marnie Grona
Director of Strategic Communications, Imagine Canada
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The new site receives a good level of traffic due to the incorporation of a blog, increasing attention to the programs. They understood nonprofit organization realities and project requirements, coming up with creative solutions, taking care to meet deadlines, and sticking to the budget.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the director of strategic communications of Imagine Canada. We are a national organization in Canada that is focused on strengthening and supporting charities and nonprofit organizations across the country in a different number of ways. A majority of our communications and work is accomplished through digital.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Digital Echidna?

We had a knowledge dissemination challenge. We had an online library, which needed an extensive catalog built. We were trying to make sure charities have the information they need so they can make the best-informed decisions possible in their work.

For our main website, we needed to convey the brand and purpose of Imagine Canada, as well as support the different programs and initiatives we have. We have a number of business units and we wanted to make sure that we were able to communicate their benefits and services through content and engagement.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement? 

They helped us at the ground level for our website build, which we pretty much started from scratch. They went through an assessment and content audit of our previous site to see what our needs were and how they could meet them. From there, they developed the site architecture. They worked very closely with our internal graphic designer on the wireframes and design.

They took care of backend content, cataloging, and development. This involved setting up the search parameters, how things are tagged, the various taxonomies, various categorization of content, and how that content gets uploaded and stored, in addition, the guidelines and mechanics and the public-facing interfaces for how the different target audiences would approach those different pieces.

What is the team composition?

We had a main project lead and connected with others within the company as needed.

How did you come to work with Digital Echidna?

Initially, they worked on a platform of ours that went through an RFP [request for proposal] process in which they applied and were interviewed. When we came to this rebuild, we did talk to different firms, but because of our familiarity with Echidna, we brought them on to build the site.

How much have you invested in them?

We spent between $63,000 and $126,000. 

What is the status of this engagement?

We began working with them in 2012 and the project was completed in the summer of 2014. They still provide us with maintenance.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

We incorporated the blog from a standalone WordPress site as part of the initial build within our website, which has been something that has now been contributing to a good portion of our overall website traffic and bringing people onto the site. Participation in different programs has been going up.

They were very collaborative and helpful when giving support, guidance, and training our staff. If we do come into an issue where we forget how to do something, or need to add a new feature, they are very helpful in retraining us on those aspects.

How did Digital Echidna perform from a project management standpoint?

They were great. They performed well, kept to timelines, and were always very responsive and open with their communications. They were really understanding about our status as a nonprofit, creative in a lot of the general solutions, and tried to meet our needs while staying within our budgets and scope. They did an excellent job on that.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Their can-do attitude and their ability to understand the realities of what our organization is dealing with, and understanding the nonprofit space specifically. They are very creative with their solutions technically, they are creatively and technically capable, and are a great group of people to work with.

Are there any areas they could improve?

Our relationship is on an as-needed basis now, and we haven’t had any issues with the services that they provide.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Be open to what you are trying to achieve. When you are starting a project, have a clear idea in mind, but there are many ways to come at a problem. Be open to Echidna’s feedback and let them help you come up with a solution that is actually better than what you may have thought of. Let them take the lead on a lot of that.

4.5
Overall Score
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    All projects, especially web projects, can sometimes take longer than planned.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Drupal Development for Acute Care Facility

They provide great knowledge and support for any sort of issue or requirement we’ve had.”

Quality: 
4.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Oct. 2015 - Mar. 2017
Project summary: 

Digital Echidna rebuilt two Drupal sites, one external-facing and the other an intranet. The team actively collaborated and was involved from discovery to delivery.

The Reviewer
 
1,001-5,000 Employees
 
Canada
Matthew Manor
Strategic Communications Advisor, Kingston Health Sciences Centre
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Flexibility and a willingness to adapt to changing needs and goals made Digital Echidna an invaluable partner. They successfully navigated a complex workflow and clearly communicated solutions, problems, and concerns.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m a strategic communications advisor for Kingston Health Sciences Centre, a regional tertiary healthcare organization affiliated with Queen’s University. We’re publicly-funded and provide services to patients and families in the south-eastern Ontario region. I provide development and management of our digital and creative services.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Digital Echidna?

We had a number of user-experience issues with both our corporate, external-facing website, as well as our intranet for staff and volunteers. Those platforms were built using different technologies, which made management difficult and compounded our ability to update content and ensure it was relevant, thereby providing a less than optimal user experience. The challenge was to rebuild both of those properties in order to improve the overall user experience and delivery of communication information.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We ran through a long discovery, development and testing process, first with the external-facing website, and then with the intranet as the second phase. We followed the same methodology for both the internal and external version. We constructed the information architecture for the site and did some design and development for the theme. We finished by filling it with content with the help of our team. Before going live, we conducted user-acceptance testing, before going live.

Throughout that process, Digital Echidna was with us every step of the way. They provided best-in-class information around ideas of what we could or should do, and how we could improve things.

What is the team composition?

I worked with three main people on a regular basis, but we’ve worked with members of their design and development teams. We had an account manager as a central point of contact and were also in regular conversation with the person managing Echidna’s support desk, who takes and triages information.

Occasionally, I’ve also worked with Michael Grant, one of their vice presidents. He was the one who started the relationship with our organization. We continue to chat about broader web development issues, not specifically related to our site, but rather ideas on how to develop new web-based technologies and tools for stakeholders.

How did you come to work with Digital Echidna?

We ran through a rigorous RFP process, out of which Digital Echidna came through as the winning vendor. They came in with the right solution and were able to meet all the criteria we were looking for. Digital Echidna, with the Drupal platform, seemed like a natural fit—a progressive, flexible solution brought by a team versed in how it could work, how it could be setup and adapted for enabling both a great outward-facing user experience, as well as a straightforward management platform for developing and sharing content, adding on technologies like social-media-channel integration or the ability to host and share rich media. Echidna was able to describe all of these in their proposal, and help us understand what would achieve a robust and flexible result.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with Digital Echidna in October 2015. The external-website project ended in August 2016. After that, we took a brief pause, reorganizing our team and prioritizing the effort for the intranet development, and launched it shortly thereafter, around the fall of the year. It was launched in the April 2017.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Digital Echidna understood the feedback and information we discovered through the engagement process, and they were able to interpret it, delivering something which provided an optimal presence for both our brand and the actual people looking for information on healthcare services. Partnering with them in order to improve our digital presence has been a great experience.

I don’t have specific numbers at hand, but, for both the external site and the intranet, users appreciate the functionality, the effectiveness of the search capability, and how easy it is for users to find specific information. Our staff says the site has improved their ability to do their work on a daily basis, since their access to information is a lot easier. In a healthcare setting, staff will be looking for forms or specific clinical information on a regular basis. It was problematic to find and access that information before, but it’s much easier now. We also receive information from our administrative users, saying that it’s much easier to update post-change content on a regular basis.

How did Digital Echidna perform from a project management standpoint?

Working with a large, complex public-sector organization like ours, with multiple moving parts and departments, can be challenging for a vendor, as it involves different review and approval steps. Fortunately for us, Digital Echidna was great in this sense. They proposed an aggressive development plan initially, but we relayed that we couldn’t meet those targets. It didn’t pose a problem, even though their organization works differently for developing and completing projects. They were flexible in adjusting the schedule, accommodating any delays, and ensuring we had the right materials and assets to go forward, present information and review different pieces of the process with our stakeholder groups, bringing feedback for revisions and changed. Echidna accommodated our process, and didn’t force us into a situation of working specifically with theirs.

Their ability to manage the project from the vendor side was good. They were efficient and helped us stay on track, making sure we completed all the tasks we needed to complete, in order to maintain the quality of the end-product, as well as our timelines and resources.

What did you find most impressive about them?

We have and do work with digital-solution vendors on a fairly regular basis. What makes Digital Echidna stand out is their responsiveness and the ease with which they make working together accessible. They provide great knowledge and support for any sort of issue or requirement we’ve had.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No one’s perfect, and there’s always room for improvement. The initial challenge for them was figuring out how best to work with us. There was a bit of a learning curve, but, working with Echidna over time, they’ve gotten to know our organization and processes. It’s still the number one thing they need to focus on—how best to accommodate clients’ needs, while working inside their own corporate structure and processes.

4.0
Overall Score
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    hey were always flexible in accommodating any sort of project changes and always met our timelines.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    The value for money for the work we received was excellent.
  • 4.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    Everything they delivered was excellent, but there’s always room for improvement.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Digital Solutions Partner for Food Education Charity

“They ensured that our content was categorized well, laid out neatly, and suited to our brand.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
May 2012 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Digital Echidna built a nonprofit website on Drupal, providing greater backend flexibility and a clean, organized UI/UX with improved content offerings. They continue to provide support maintenance.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
London, Ontario
Andrew Fleet
Executive Director and Founder, Growing Chefs! Ontario
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The new site has improved end-user engagement considerably, leading to a 700% growth rate in the number of service participants over the past 5 years. Echidna’s professionalism, dedication, and enthusiasm have made them an ideal long-term partner.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I'm the founder and executive director of Growing Chefs! Ontario. We run children's food education programs across London, Ontario, where kids receive opportunities to cook with professional chefs.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Digital Echidna?

We needed a website that promoted our business and provided information about what we do. We also wanted to offer new resources related to our services, such as supplemental recipes that families could use at home, as well as information and online school participation sign-ups for teachers.

Another major issue was that we couldn't control our own content with our previous website, so we also wanted backend access to the new site in order to make updates ourselves as the program evolved.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

After Echidna contacted us, they did a great job of breaking down our business model, understanding our needs, and anticipating where we might go in the next few years. They even sent some employees out to see our programming in action and volunteer with us. It was important to them that we'd have room to evolve with the new website rather than outgrowing it, which is what happened previously.

They agreed to work with our very limited budget and built our new site from scratch. We signed a memorandum of understanding and a partnership agreement, and then they began putting together some design ideas. We collaborated to determine how to aesthetically represent our business online, and after that, we gave them almost 100% creative control. We didn’t need much back and forth as the design evolved, and I think that's a testament to how much time and care they put into getting to know us before they started programming.

Their goal was to build a site that would be well-organized and easy to navigate for all of our constituent groups. For us, it was important that we'd be able to update information as needed. They ensured that our content was categorized well, laid out neatly, and suited to our brand. They also trained our staff on how to use, update, and manage the website, which was built on Drupal. As the project drew to a close, we also discussed how we'd track and manage any future needs that exceeded the current capabilities of the site, and how we'd execute those changes.

What is the team dynamic?

We're assigned a project manager and have a lead contact. As with any business, that contact has changed several times over the last five years. Every time that's happened, the new contact has been organized and well-informed by their predecessor. There's been no relearning or backward momentum.

How did you come to work with Digital Echidna?

We met Echidna by reaching out to a few different companies to see if anyone was interested in partnering with us — meaning they'd be willing to donate part or all of their time building the website in exchange for being promoted as our sponsor. Echidna was looking for an opportunity to contribute positively and give back to the community.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started in May 2012, and building the site took a couple of months. They perform major updates once or twice a year, but we handle everything else.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Prior to working with Echidna in 2012, we had about 1,000 children per year in our programs. As of June 2017 we’ve worked with over 7,000 children per year, and that growth started with the foundation Echidna helped us build with the website. It's our primary method of advertising and allowing people to engage with our programming, and that 700% growth wouldn't have been possible without the new site.

On the backend, it's been an amazing change. The system they built isn't just easier for us to maintain; they also provided us with training and support documentation so we have the tools to handle nearly all of the editing ourselves. They were so thorough that even our volunteers and co-op students feel confident making changes. Echidna only handles major updates that we don't have the power to do ourselves through the CMS.

How did Digital Echidna perform from a project management standpoint?

If we need to talk about anything specific, we get a response right away. They're easy, enthusiastic, and always a pleasure to work with.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They see their relationships with clients as mutually beneficial. They weren’t obligated to prioritize us, but they were enthusiastic and treated us like any other client, which has been unique in my experience of partnering as a nonprofit. They really take the time to understand their customers' needs, and then they work to address those while striking a balance with their own needs on the job.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No — we often cite them as an example when looking for ways our own organization can improve!

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
    I just referred them recently.

Web Dev and Design for Airport

"Their pitch had a very personal touch, which showed that they really wanted the work."

Quality: 
4.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Jan. - Jun. 2014
Project summary: 

Digital Echidna revamped an outdated website to bring it up to speed with its new branding and the latest tendencies. They handled the framework, architecture, and design of the site.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
Canada
Manager of Commercial Services and Passenger Experience, London International Airport
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Traffic to the website has increased dramatically thanks to their involvement. It has a clean look and is easy to use, which was the main goal. The team was easy to work with, provided frequent updates, and was open to ideas and suggestions but the best thing about them is their industry knowledge.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the manager of commercial services and passenger experience at the London International Airport in Canada.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Digital Echidna?

The airport had an older website and we were looking to refresh it so that it would have the same feel as our new branding.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We went in with our new logo, our branding colors, and the feel of our new strategic plan and walked them through all of that. We had a morning workshop together on the things we thought about the airport; it was almost a SWOT [strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats] analysis. At the end of that, they gathered all of our ideas and some of the stuff we liked from other areas and combined all that to start developing a new website for us. They handled all of the framework, architecture, and design.

Since we’re an airport that has an awful lot of competition around us, we wanted to add some simple things that would make us more competitive such as fast click-throughs, a booking engine through a third party company, and some of the comparative logic of driving as opposed to flying. Integrating all of that into our website in only 1–2 clicks for all of our audience was a key thing.

What is the team dynamic?

There were a couple of project liaisons during the course of the assignment that were our actual points of contact. We also had access to talk to the president if we wanted to. They were all always available.

How did you come to work with Digital Echidna?

Since we’re a nonprofit organization airport, we’re mandated under a lease from Transport Canada—the equivalent to the Federal Aviation Administration in the U.S.—to get 3 quotes for any project that will be over a certain amount of money. We had a company in place already helping us with our rebranding and strategic plan, so they researched multiple vendors and obtained several bids.

The best thing about Digital Echidna was their presentation and their follow-up. Their pitch had a very personal touch, which showed that they really wanted the work. They also knew our airport and had traveled out of it.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together in January 2014 until June of the same year.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Our website went from getting several thousand clicks per month to hundreds of thousands of clicks per month. People use it as a reference as well as a guideline for the airport. We also see a lot of repeat visitors, which is quite surprising for an airport.

Digital Echidna really raised the profile of our website; we got a lot of comments after it launched about how clean it looked and how easy it was to use. Our mission statement is “to be easy and comfortable”, so it’s worked out really well. They met and exceeded our expectations; they had to go against the grain for us and were really great about it.

How did Digital Echidna perform from a project management standpoint?

It was really interactive and great. They kept us frequently updated, asked a lot of questions whenever they were at a crossroads, and did a phenomenal job of including us all the way through. The presentation they did for our team was really good; it showed exactly what we were going to do and the platform they wanted to use along with its functionality.

Digital Echidna always asked for our input and were open to our ideas and suggestions even when it went against the grain in the web world. There were a few things we wanted to do differently that kept us in tune with the airport culture and they also offered a lot of insight into the web world is. There are guidelines around accessibility, colors, and what not for websites. They were experts on that, which was very helpful.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Their knowledge of the industry itself stood out to me. They knew what was going on in the trends and how people saw things, which was very good. They were also easy to work with.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No.

4.5
Overall Score Again, there’s always room for improvement.
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They exceeded all my expectations in this area; we got great value for the money we spent. They went above and beyond because they really wanted the project. Other companies bid a lot higher on it.
  • 4.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    There’s always room for improvement.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Drupal 8 Dev for Publishing and Media Company

“They never seem frustrated with us, and they are always considerate and respectful.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
Aug. 2016 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Digital Echidna developed four Drupal 8 websites for four unique brands. The technology roadmap included optimizing the sites for advertising and developing an improved system for managing and uploading content. 

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
Cincinnati, Ohio
Kari Freudenberger
Director of Online Media, ST Media Group International
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Even at this early stage, one site's advertisement impressions increased by 30%, and for another, traffic to key pages increased 97%. In general, the time it takes to post and manage content has been reduced, and advertising is more flexible. Digital Echidna is patient and works tirelessly to find solutions. 

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the director of online media for ST Media Group International, a publishing and media company. We are in the visual communications market, offering magazines, events, websites, and e-products. We focus on selling advertising, sponsorships, and custom content. We have 7 different publications, including Signs of the Times.

I’m responsible for the strategic direction and the daily execution of our online initiatives. I handle our websites and our email products, including advertising and content delivery. I’m also the liaison between the editorial and sales staff at my company and the technology people at Digital Echidna.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Digital Echidna?

We were still on Drupal 5 for several of our websites and were looking for a firm to move us onto the latest version. We needed help redesigning and completely changing the technology. Our goal was to get people engaged and keep them on the site longer to increase ad impressions, traffic numbers, and click-throughs to our advertisers. Those basic numbers were important to us, but our priority was to get people to convert rather than just landing on the page. We wanted to get more subscriptions to our email newsletter, our digital editions, and our magazine.

SOLUTION

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.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

I was really impressed with their work.

We have seen a 30% increase in our advertisement impressions on our Signs of the Times site. The month after BXP launched, traffic to advertiser-sponsored sections of the website was up by 97%. We are also seeing higher click-through rates on our advertising. I know things are better on a lot of fronts, but there are some things that have not improved yet. 

There has been a significant reduction in the amount of time it takes to post and manage content. The speed with which we can find our content on the backend and on the frontend has been helpful internally. Previously, we had to use the Drupal search function just to find our own content, but they were able to implement a module that allows us to search by title, date, author, etc. Before, you had to remember a word from the article, and that was the only way you could search for it. Since our staff is now able to find our content faster, they can reference legacy content more easily.

Thanks to the search function, we can now display advertising in a more flexible and variable way. Before, we could only show content on 1 primary channel, and the ads were based on this. Now, we can target ads on different channels so our advertising sales opportunities have increased. While this hasn’t translated to increased sales yet, we are training our sales force so that we can increase our advertising.

How did Digital Echidna perform from a project management standpoint?

They are communicative about active projects, with weekly meetings and regular follow-up. They have been prompt and very thorough, and they keep meeting minutes about everything. The only drawback is that they use email rather than a project management system. I’m used to Teamwork or Basecamp where all the communication is in 1 location so it’s easy to reference back.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They are super patient, kind, and empathetic. Every single one of them has a fantastic attitude. It has been a difficult project, but having friendly people at all times made things easier. It is so nice to have them just constantly reaffirming, “This is how we can work through this situation.” They never seem frustrated with us, and they are always considerate and respectful. They’re a good, solid company that has been wonderful to work with.

Are there any areas they could improve?

It would be nice to have a centralized location for communication and everything that we’re trying to manage. Communicating through email is difficult.

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