What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
We didn’t track any metrics or conduct testing, so I can’t report on quantitative metrics. They developed and designed the website exactly as I asked, but I would have appreciated more creative feedback from them.
How did DOIT Software perform from a project management standpoint?
The team was responsive and easy to get in touch with. Most of our daily communication was over Skype. Once the development process started, we switched to Jira so that I could see the process. It was helpful to see wherever they were in the project at any given point. We also used Google Docs as a checklist and another forum for communication.
Once a week, I would have a call with the whole team through Google Hangouts or Skype, and we would address any problems. With everyone on the call, they could internally discuss what happened and find solutions.
Having said that, I had to get a little more involved than I would've liked. Toward the middle and end of the project, we were falling behind schedule, and I had to spend a few hours out of my week doing QA analysis and crosschecking the project. Some of the issues were showing up on my end but not theirs, so I had to get involved and figure out what was going on.
What did you find most impressive about them?
They communicate well internally and with their clients. The web development team is professional and efficient. The developer we worked with finished the website in record time. They were flexible and responsive to our feedback whenever we addressed an issue with the product or the development process as a whole.
Are there any areas they could improve?
It would be helpful if they provided more creative advice for clients like me who have limited development experience. The designer created the website exactly as asked, but sometimes that actually ended up being an issue. A few of our plans and suggestions were not the best in terms of functionality and user-friendliness.
Based on the design we gave them, certain pages—such as the call to action page—required too many clicks for the user to get to. Without much personal website development experience, my plans were based on my vision and user experience. It would have saved time and money if they had offered their perspective as developers before executing the work.
They could also improve their billing system. I had to prepay for every milestone, and if there was an issue or concern, I would have to pay extra to have it fixed. Most of the time, the amount of work required for a fix didn’t seem equivalent to what we were charged. I believe that we should have been charged per development stage instead of hours worked because, as clients, we don’t have control over how quickly the developer works. We addressed this challenge halfway through the project, and they modified their approach. As a young company, they’re still learning, and it was encouraging that they took our advice.
Do you have any advice for potential customers?
Have your needs and expectations solidified ahead of time and don’t change the scope of work; that could drastically increase the cost. Clients should be specific in terms of their ideas, the message they want to send, and their billing expectations. DOIT Software's team will do exactly what you ask of them, so if you just want a team to develop a website, tell them that. But if you want their advice and creativity, you need to let them know and insist on their input.