Advancing User Experience and Audience Engagement
Forge Media + Design is a multidisciplinary UX design and development agency that specializes in advancing user experience and audience engagement in digital and physical environments to create impact for our clients and generate dramatic results.
Our services range from Web Design and Development to Multi Media Installations (from Kiosks to Art Installations), Environmental Graphics (Signage and Wayfinding) to Corporate Communications (including Branding and Print).
Fortune 500 and 100 brands
"What I like about Forge Media + Design is their great attention to detail."
Forge Media + Design provides technical capabilities for the client as they are needed. Their first project was for interface design and the agency has also contributed back-end work.
"What I like about Forge Media + Design is their great attention to detail."
Jul 31, 2015
Forge Media + Design contributed to an effective website that produced a huge surge in sales for the client. The agency is praised for their responsiveness. The client continues to rely on Forge Media + Design and recommends them to others.
A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.
Please describe your organization.
We are an integrated marketing agency. We do public relations, but we also do integrated marketing initiatives for clients. A component of that is digital. With our particular group, we do a lot of strategy, and we have worked with Forge to implement that strategy. It's generally been production and design, and I've worked with them on a variety of projects in that capacity. We collaborate very closely with them and introduce them to our clients.
What is your position and responsibilities?
I am a senior associate. I have a portfolio of clients and I run projects. One client in particular is one of those that Forge did quite a bit of work on, and I essentially run those accounts and put the teams together for them.
What business challenge were you trying to address with Forge Media + Design?
The first project that I worked on with them was a photography client. That client is an old Canadian company specializing in photo processing. They were purchased a few years ago. The new owner was trying to figure out what to do with this business. They went through a rebranding process and opened new stores, created a new retail experience, really shifted the focus of the photo-processing angle to one that was much more digital and smartphone oriented. The new process was more oriented towards creating giftware, wall art, and other photo products that were new and differentiated.
We were hired to build out the digital strategy and create the digital customer experience for the new brand. Our team did the strategy, and then we brought Forge in for the design portion and the interface design. We worked quite closely with them for a period of six to eight months in total. They relaunched the website and sales in the course of the year went up by almost 100 percent. Very recently, they decided to close all of the stores. They put the web component up for sale, and it has just been purchased by another company.
Please describe the scope of their involvement in detail.
I am working with them on a project right now where they're doing both the design and the back-end. They're developing the entire website. We've also worked on quite a large project with another large client, which was also design and build. On the IA [information architecture] front, we have tended to collaborate with them, so I would say that we both participated in that process. I haven't yet handed something to them completely and said, "Go do it." I've always worked with them very closely, and one of my colleagues here has worked with them in the same capacity and is currently working with them on another project, again design and development – generally those two components.
It starts with the wireframes. Our firm has tended to develop the strategy and have provided a lot of direction. We have worked on some photo shoots with the photography client as we are doing now with this new client. Then, we began building out the web requirements document, we have shared that process with them, and then doing the build. They're in the loop with that now.
How did you come to work with Forge Media + Design?
Prior to coming to my current position, I had already been meeting with Greg Neely, who is one of the principals at Forge and talking about some projects. Coincidentally, I then found out the integrated marketing agency had an independent relationship with Forge as well. I thought that was a good sign that we had independently found them. I was looking for an old-fashioned digital studio, a partner to work with who was very detail-oriented, who could deliver the design, deliver the back-end piece, had good processes in place, and was pleasant to work with. That has continued to be my experience. They had to be big enough. I've been in the business long time, and I wanted to work with a group of people who took it seriously, weren't going to be swayed by the latest and greatest, and that had a robust and more mature approach to everything.
What is the status of this engagement?
They have completed and delivered past projects. We have talked about looking for other opportunities together that bring in more of their print design component or the environmental design component, but there hasn't been the right fit yet.
Could you share any statistics or metrics from this engagement?
Website sales increased nearly 100 percent throughout the year after the new site was launched by Forge.
How did Forge Media + Design perform from a project management standpoint?
They've been good, they're very responsive, and they get back to me right away. I would say they are thoughtful about giving me the straight goods on what they can do and what my expectations should be, which is good. That's better in the long run. They don't say, "Oh, I can have it then tomorrow," if they can't, so I appreciate that. They're very thorough, which I also appreciate.
They will be flexible in how they do things. If one way isn't working or the client changes direction mid-stream, which happens pretty consistently, they are able to deal with that, and they don't get too agitated. It's important to me that I work with partners who are pleasant and easy to deal with from that perspective. It just makes the whole process a lot less stressful, particularly if we're on a tight deadline or the client is very demanding.
What distinguishes Forge Media + Design from other providers?
I guess what I like about Forge Media + Design is their great attention to detail. Particularly with some of these larger clients, I know that I'm going to get a team who are paying attention to all of the little details. In working with these larger companies and larger brands, that's very important. There's a whole level of things that I don't have to worry about because I know somebody on their team is worrying about it for me. If it's down to finding the right photograph, making sure that there's a change in the interface, or a button needs to be adjusted, I know that call to action is going to be in line with the rest of the website and the rest of the brand.
They're going to pay attention to details at that micro level, and that's very important to me. Right now, because we're designing for so many different platforms, being able to take that attention to detail and use it for the website as it appears on a computer screen is important. They are able to take all of that and apply it to the mobile experience or the tablet experience, so I know that all of those pieces are going to integrate well. Also, they finish what they start. I know that all of the components are going to be taken care of, and there's going to be a very thorough approach to all of the aspects of the projects.
Is there anything Forge Media + Design could have improved or done differently?
As they grow, the project management piece continues to be important. I know they've got good people in place, and they're beefing things up. As they grow and evolve, I'm sure they'll continue to grow and evolve that piece as well.