Digital Product Strategy + UX and UI Design

Portfolio - http://portfolio.freshtilledsoil.com/

Fresh Tilled Soil is a user experience and user interface design company at the forefront of crafting digital and environmental products and experiences.

Our clients are industry leaders and aspiring challengers.  By putting humans at the center of our process, understanding their behaviors and how they interact with your product, we help you create memorable experiences that lead to discernible business growth.

We specialize in design and solutions for:

- Design Sprints

- Digital Products

- Web Applications

- Complex Marketing Websites

- Digital Web Strategy and Product Roadmapping

- Marketing Opportunity Analysis 

- Coded Style Guides

- Training and Workshops

- Check out our Portfolio

 
$10,000+
 
$150 - $199 / hr
 
10 - 49
 Founded
2005
Show all +
Watertown, MA
headquarters
  • 480 Pleasant Street Suite 4310
    Watertown, MA 02472
    United States

Portfolio

Key clients: 

FedEx, Titleist, Shorelight Education, E Ink, Silicon Valley Bank, Broadridge Financial, Boston Private Bank, TripAdvisor, Shopify, Harvard University, Eastern Bank, Cengage Learning, Intel, Extreme Networks, Embrace Pet Insurance, Wordstream, GE Healthcare, Intel

Wordstream.com Website Strategy + Design

We worked with the Wordstream team on a redesign of their website.

Cengage Learning Digital Textbook Strategy + Design

We worked with the 4LTR team to transform the physical textbook experience into a digital experience.

iOS - Mobile App

Mobile iOS wallet design and development.

ihiji - Web Application Redesign

Strategy, user interface and user experience design for the ihiji web application.

OfferLogic Dashboard Redesign

Redesigned the web application / digital product for OfferLogic.

Titleist.com Website Redesign

The Fresh Tilled Soil team worked with the marketing team from Titleist to create a new response digital team for the Titleist.com website.  

Reviews

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UX Designs for Electronic Ink Company

"They went above and beyond my expectations."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Sept. 2017 - Jan. 2018
Project summary: 

Fresh Tilled Soil offered UI and UX services. They designed the interface for a desktop application that enables users to design e-paper film with ease.

The Reviewer
 
201-500 Employees
 
Billerica, Massachusetts
Sr. Business Development Manager, E Ink
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Customers and potential channel partners have given positive feedback about the app's interface. Fresh Tilled Soil was professional and communicative throughout the collaboration, offering a capable team with diverse abilities to maximize work efficiency. They are experts in their field.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the senior business development manager for the architecture group at E Ink, which is a company that produces e-paper. In my department, we take e-paper technology and implement architectural and design installations with color changing film.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Fresh Tilled Soil?

We do a lot of animation with the films. The film hooks up to a controller. We program the controller to do different animations and color changing sequences. It can also show parts of the film at different times.

We wanted to develop software to assist our customers with design implementations for film, limiting our involvement in the design process. We needed to create a solid and intuitive UI for our software to enhance UX.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We went over our statement of work before putting together a contract. We walked them through the setup for an architectural installation. We presented them with film, controllers, and animation files. We discussed various aspects of these components. Our target customers include designers, architects, artists, manufacturers, and glass fabricators. After discussing all of our project requirements and an acceptable end result for the software, they started work and designed the program’s interface.

The design software is a desktop application. They delivered everything at the end of December, but we had a couple phone calls afterward to add some finishing touches. Our film laminates nicely into glass and acrylics; we are seeking channel partners in fabricators who have expertise laminating materials into glass. We’re bringing them on board to help them understand our controllers and software.

What is the team composition?

A person from their team handled business development and put the contract in place during the initial phases of our collaboration. We worked with four people on the project, including a program manager, a business analyst, and two designers. One of the designers was a PC and desktop expert.

How did you come to work with Fresh Tilled Soil?

I did an internet search for companies specializing in UX and UI. We ended up interviewing four different companies. I reached out to Fresh Tilled Soil because they’re UX experts, and I had heard about them from others.

We ended up hiring them because of the way they present themselves and the results of our meeting during the interview process. They were at ease during the interview. They understood exactly what we wanted and what we were looking to accomplish. Their proposal and manner of presentation made them stand out from the other companies we interviewed.

How much have you invested with them?

We spent approximately $90,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together in September 2017 and finished collaborating in January 2018.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

We’re still developing the software platform, so it’s hard to measure its impact. There has been a lot of feedback from potential channel partners and customers on the interface they designed; they have commented on its usability and potential.

We’re far ahead of where we would have been if we had designed the interface ourselves. Before this collaboration, our interface was not user-friendly and it did not encourage people to use the program. Now, it enables people to execute designs easily.

How did Fresh Tilled Soil perform from a project management standpoint?

Everything was excellent. During our first week collaborating, we met almost every day. Once the specifications and requirements were discussed and laid out, we had about two phone calls a week. They would update us frequently.

We worked through questions together and discussed any unexpected challenges. They would post project details on a daily blog, so we could see their activity and efficiently answer any questions. They went above and beyond my expectations.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Their expertise and professionalism stand out to me. They hire people with diverse skill sets. They assign a good mix of people with varied capabilities to a project, so they are able to capture every design angle and complete work efficiently.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No. I’m a skeptical person, and I’m typically hard to satisfy during these kinds of collaborations. However, throughout this project, I never had a moment of doubt. Whenever I had a question, they had the answer.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Give them all your requirements upfront. Package project specifications and requirements into a statement of work, giving it as much detail as possible. They’ll be able to approach a project better and quote accurate price estimates when you give them more details.

Our statement of work was quite complete when the project started. We met with them and answered any questions they had about it. It enabled them to aggressively price the project and give us top-notch results.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I’d definitely recommend them.

Website Design & Strategy for Cane Selling Company

"I’ve never worked with another company capable of executing a project so seamlessly."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
June 2017
Project summary: 

Fresh Tilled Soil redesigned an existing website to optimize conversion rates. In addition to design work, they offered UX strategies to streamline the customer experience.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Salem, Massachusetts
CMO, The Handy Cane
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The new website and shopping cart design provided a significant increase in conversion rates immediately after launch. Effective project management ensured completion within an narrow timeframe. Experts in their field, their designs go beyond mere aesthetics to include best practices in UX and UI.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I worked with Handy Cane as Senior Marketing Director at the time of the engagement. Handy Cane, LLC is a start-up creator and manufacturer of a unique combination walking aid and reaching grasper sold directly to consumers and through home medical equipment distributors.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Fresh Tilled Soil?

When I came on board, the company was ready to sell the Handy Cane direct to consumers. We were generating high traffic with SEO and paid search, but conversions were low. We needed to create an e-commerce website and shopping cart designed for high conversion. Because the Handy Cane is an innovative product, the website needed to include elements to educate consumers, leverage the many awards and press the Handy Cane had received, establish trust and provide a world-class e-commerce experience.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We worked collaboratively on the design process. Fresh Tilled Soil provided detailed wireframes for the website, including the new shopping cart, and we provided feedback. Their designs were handed to a separate company for development.

We relied on Fresh Tilled Soil to share e-commerce best practices and UX advice to help optimize our content and shopping cart. The Handy Cane, for instance, comes in three different sizes, so Fresh Tilled Soil provided options on how to present information in a clear way to ensure customers purchased the correct size, thereby minimizing confusion and costly returns. They crafted a seamless layout and flow making it easy for buyers to understand and purchase the product.

What is the team composition?

We worked with three individuals. Dan (Senior Strategist, Fresh Tilled Soil) was my initial contact and determined the project scope, timeframe and other team members who would work on the project. We were assigned an extremely talented designer who had both design and UI, UX capabilities and recommended how to layout and edit our content to produce the best results. We were also assigned a project manager to keep communication open and the project on track.

How did you come to work with Fresh Tilled Soil?

There were three factors that ultimately led to our decision. I’d been aware of Fresh Tilled Soil’s work for years through the local grapevine. I loved their work, but assumed they’d be out of my price range as I typically work with startups. Secondly, one of the Handy Cane co-founders had an existing relationship with the founder of Fresh Tilled Soil. Finally, we asked for design firm recommendations from our SEO provider, and they, too, suggested Fresh Tilled Soil.

While we initially talked to four or five vendors, Fresh Tilled Soil blew us away. Dan responded immediately when I first reached out and we began the project the following day.

How much have you invested with them?

Between $10,000–$50,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We worked together in June 2017. We had an incredibly tight deadline and they were able to complete the project in a little over a week, which is unheard of in my experience. I’ve never worked with a company capable of executing a project of such high quality so quickly.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

We really wanted to work with Fresh Tilled Soil because of their past successes. We knew their designs would accomplish our goals and lead to more website conversions. This is exactly what’s happened. Our conversion rates increased tenfold immediately after launching the new website. The customer path through the site became very direct requiring less time and effort to make a decision to purchase. Returns decreased as well due to the clear sizing descriptions.

How did Fresh Tilled Soil perform from a project management standpoint?

We coordinated the project through Basecamp. This allowed us to easily monitor progress and provide feedback without worrying whether any communication was being lost through email. Every project detail was conveniently stored in one place.

Our project manager was incredibly thorough. Their responsiveness ensured there was no lag time between rounds, which allowed us to complete the project efficiently. We provided clear direction, and Fresh Tilled Soil was equally efficient in communication and the ability to quickly respond to feedback and execute changes.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They are great people. And, they are smart people who design with your goals front and center. They’re experts in their field, and their keen understanding of user experience allowed them to design a website that guaranteed conversions. I can't say enough positive things about our experience. I’m starting a new project with Fresh Tilled Soil for a different company and I plan to work with them as often as possible moving forward. Even if they can’t work a given project into their schedule right away, I’m willing to wait. They’re that good.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I can't think of a single thing.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Fresh Tilled Soil offers a number of services we didn't have the time to take advantage of. For example, we came with our own branding, market research, buyer personas and competitive research, but these are also some of Fresh Tilled Soil’s strengths. If you have a project that is broader in scope, know that Fresh Tilled Soil can help every step of the way.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They’re more expensive than some competitors, but worth every penny.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I recommend them constantly.

User Experience Consulting for Apparel Company

“The team was quickly able to think like our users, even though our work is not in their domain.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Jan. 2018
Project summary: 

Fresh Tilled Soil gave recommendations to improve the user experience and flow of a digital manufacturing platform. The team provided concrete rationale and wireframes to support internal development efforts.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Somerville, Massachusetts
Jack Minardi
Co-Founder, Voxel8
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The affordable, 10-day engagement yielded useful suggestions, annotated screens, and user testing and research. Fresh Tilled Soil’s efforts have helped the company prepare to design and implement the platform internally. Grasping the users’ mindset and an organized workflow made the project a success.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

Voxel8 is developing a new kind of platform to digitally manufacture shoes and other athletic wear. My position is co-founder and software lead.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Fresh Tilled Soil?

We've been internally developing a tool that allows users to share design ideas for our new machine. Over the past few months, we've been adding features based on user feedback and internal need. For our product to work properly, we needed a vendor to think outside the box and organize everything into an easy-to-use interface.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

During an initial call with their founder, Dan, I briefly explained the project and he expressed interest in working with us. I provided him with screenshots of the tool, a description of its functionality, and a 15-minute video walkthrough that was a screen recording of me using it. These guidelines helped him explain how it’s used to their internal designers.

Their main task was to understand the functionality and give us concrete recommendations to improve the user experience and flow. The list of suggestions included supporting rationale, as well. They also provided drawings and annotated screens for us to implement, which were essentially wireframes. Since we’re using the native widgets operating system, we didn't need user interface input on elements like colors, buttons, or icons.

The team conducted testing and research with our current users. We used screen sharing and a phone call so they could listen to the training. This enabled them to listen to questions the users asked, and see what made sense versus what didn't. The developers definitely used the tool independently, because they asked me about things I didn't specifically point out. We handled all the implementation internally.

What is the team composition?

They provided two designers and a project manager.

How did you come to work with Fresh Tilled Soil?

We actually found them on the Clutch.co website. I remember browsing your website and looking at different development providers. After contacting a few companies who didn’t express interest, Fresh Tilled Soil was willing to take on this project.

How much have you invested with them?

Our project cost around $10,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

I agreed to do a 10-day engagement, which was completed within January 2018. If things go well, I'm definitely going to continue engaging with them. As a small company, budget limitations preempted us from starting off with a very large engagement.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Just last week, we received their final feedback report. We're definitely still implementing the results of their work. I've shared screenshots with both our users and internal leadership, and they all seem very excited about the direction our project is taking. I've already talked to Dan about some larger future projects, but I wanted to do a small, self-contained one at affordable price first.

How did Fresh Tilled Soil perform from a project management standpoint?

They performed excellently. Tim was the project manager and he did a great job. He was very on top of things. To manage the workflow, they set us up with a Basecamp group.

What did you find most impressive about them?

The team was quickly able to think like our users, even though our work is not in their domain. When they used the tool, they really put themselves in the right mindset to imagine what a shoe designer might want to do. I found that really helpful.

Are there any areas for improvement?

Nothing stands out to me.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Definitely be prepared to spend lots of time working with them, and give them lot of material. They'll be able to work with whatever materials you provide.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I’m very likely to do so.

Web Application Design for General Electric

“The web app received tons of positive feedback from hundreds of our sales staff around the world.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Oct. 2017
Project summary: 

Fresh Tilled Soil designed and developed a beta web application to allow users to evaluate associated financial benefits of certain products, researching consumer behavior in the process.

The Reviewer
 
10,000+ Employees
 
Boston, Massachusetts
Mark Rush
Technical Dir. of Sales, General Electric
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Fresh Tilled Soil's creative approach resulted in a fresh, user-friendly, and unique design that can be iterated on by internal teams. The app was well received and delivered quickly thanks to the professionalism, simplicity, and thoughtfulness of their team.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I'm the technical director on the renewable energy sales team for General Electric.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Fresh Tilled Soil?

We were looking for a contemporary way to communicate how we evaluate our products as investments for customers and how they, in turn, could get the most out of our products in terms of financial returns.

Previously, we'd been using an internal web application, screen-sharing it with customers so they could view certain metrics. However, we wanted to empower them with a tool that they could access on their own. In order to do that, we were seeking creative ideas outside of our own team, as well as information about how our customers interact with or consider products.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

After explaining technical concepts and requirements of the project, Fresh Tilled Soil presented creative ideas for engaging our audience. Their team then developed a simplified beta version of the web application we needed, which allowed us to iterate as needed.

What is the team composition?

I mostly worked with two main points of contact. Chris Tucker (Project Manager, Fresh Tilled Soil) did a great job of keeping the project on time. I also worked with Jonathan Barker (Design Director, Fresh Tilled Soil), who came up with some very interesting ideas for the web application. His new concept received a lot of positive feedback from our sales team.

How did you come to work with Fresh Tilled Soil?

Through GE's Catalant service, our RFP process, third parties can submit proposals through our website. Within a few days of posting the project, we received about eight proposals, but Fresh Tilled Soil had the strongest pitch.

How much have you invested with them?

The total project cost was around $25,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

The project started in October 2017 and wrapped up about 5–6 weeks later.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

The web app received tons of positive feedback from hundreds of our sales staff around the world. The interface is a contemporary, user-friendly tool that we can now use to more effectively communicate highly technical information to customers.

How did Fresh Tilled Soil perform from a project management standpoint?

As someone who's been involved in project management for a long time, I can definitely say that Fresh Tilled's team performed very well. As a time-bound project, there were certain aspects of the work that were rushed, but they were very sensitive to our needs.

We utilized an internal system to share information back and forth every few days to keep the project moving along and provide their team with the feedback they needed. We're very happy with the professional nature of their team, along with the speed and simplicity in their approach in order to meet our deadline.

What did you find most impressive about them?

We felt we were paying for Fresh Tilled's creativity above all else—they brought a completely new way of thinking to our work. To limit any bias on our end, we'd provide them just enough information to get started on wireframes, but their team ultimately brought the app to life. I wanted to see something completely different from what we might have come up with in-house, and they did a great job in the end.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No. It was a great experience and I look forward to working with them again.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

They weren't necessarily the cheapest vendor on the market, but they offered quality work and a high-level of maturity in everything they did. We not only needed a highly creative partner, but one that could deliver within a short timeframe; Fresh Tilled gave us the most confidence that they could deliver on both.

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

User Research & Testing for Renowned University

“Their project management skills are excellent, and they delivered results.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
July - Nov. 2016
Project summary: 

Fresh Tilled Soil designed and executed research on a university’s key constituents to understand how to improve information architecture and to help design their digital content strategy.

The Reviewer
 
10,000+ Employees
 
United States
Sr. Communications Officer, Large University
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

A high level of expertise and professionalism allowed this team to excel in their engagement with the senior leadership team, the IT team, and other important community members. Fresh Tilled Soil helped to shape the strategy that will make using technology easier for all of them.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am a senior communications officer in the central administration unit of a renowned university.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Fresh Tilled Soil?

The IT group for the university was looking for an overarching digital content strategy. The challenge was to improve their digital presence by reorganizing their digital content. The intended audience for this content is the faculty and staff, students, and other affiliates such as alumni, retirees, and researchers. We initially reached out to Fresh Tilled Soil to conduct a research and discovery phase to interview our various end users for that project.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Fresh Tilled Soil designed the research and discovery approach and fully executed that plan. We had three members of the team working on this project. They conducted about 20 hours of interviews with a slice of our end user community. Faculty, faculty assistants, a few students, and some administrative staff were interviewed to better understand their pain points and how they wished to interact with the web content. Next, based on our current content and feedback from the interviews, Fresh Tilled Soil designed a moderated card sort and walked another 20 people through this exercise to understand how they would group the content. Then, Fresh Tilled Soil designed a non-moderated card sort that was sent out to about 300 people across the university along with the Treejack testing exercise. Finally, Fresh Tilled Soil created a report indicating recommendations for how we should group our content and how we should approach a digital content strategy project based on the information attained. They presented their findings and recommendations to our senior leadership team.

How did you come to work with Fresh Tilled Soil?

Fresh Tilled Soil had worked with the university before. In this project, we reached out to 3–4 vendors that had previously done work for the university with various clients. We chose Fresh Tilled Soil because they had the best understanding of the unique needs of higher education. We have some people here that have a very nuanced understanding of information architecture. I needed a vendor that also had that nuanced understanding and could really speak to our senior leadership team on the level that they are used to. Fresh Tilled Soil’s expertise was a good match for the level of expertise that was required for the IT group in particular.

How much have you invested in them?

We have invested $15,000—$25,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

Our three-month project with Fresh Tilled Soil began in July 2016, and we did some work with them into November 2016.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Fresh Tilled Soil played a key role in shaping what will be a strategy to make using IT easier. Their work was critical in kicking off this larger project to make it easier for our community to use Information Technology.

How did Fresh Tilled Soil perform from a project management standpoint?

Fresh Tilled Soil was excellent and played a key role in keeping the project on track. We used Basecamp for communication.

What did you find the most impressive about them?

There was no concern putting Fresh Tilled Soil directly in touch with our faculty staff and students at the university. I had great confidence sending them out into our community representing my team. Fresh Tilled Soil is very professional. Their project management skills are excellent, and they delivered results. The team was a pleasure to work with.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I think this project went really smoothly.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Frontend Dev & UX Design for Mobile Marketing Platform

"I don’t think there’s anybody ... who can do better than what Fresh Tilled Soil is doing in user experience."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Feb. - Apr. 2017
Project summary: 

Fresh Tilled Soil transformed sketches into high-fidelity mockups for the redesign of a mobile advertising data platform, later producing frontend code for implementation. 

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Boston, Massachusetts
Mike Ford
CEO, Skydeo
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The mockups have helped attract potential investors and attention in the industry. Fresh Tilled Soil was timely and communicative throughout the project. They were able to drive the project to completion and avoid delays by asking for updates and new deliverables. 

BACKGROUND

Please describe your organization.

I’m the Founder of Skydeo, a mobile audience data and insights company.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What business challenge were you trying to address with Fresh Tilled Soil?

We had a specific need in mind for a brand new frontend design and user experience, but we lacked the skill set internally to deliver what I wanted. We were looking for help and knew about Fresh Tilled Soil.

SOLUTION

Please describe the scope of their involvement in greater detail.

Our platform is a web-based app that targets mobile audiences for advertising. We outsourced the frontend user experience, look and feel and design. We gave Fresh Tilled Soil some rough Sketch mockups and they were able to produce really high fidelity designs. The second phase was to move those designs to frontend code.

Fresh Tilled Soil thought through the user experience without having any users to talk to and did a great job of that. We’ve been using the product for beta with real customers and it’s very intuitive. At its core, it helps people find and select beta building blocks to build custom audiences with. Alex [Co-founder, Fresh Tilled Soil] was the lead UX person and he had a couple people team members with him working day to day on it. Our project manager, Jayne, was very helpful.

How did you come to work with Fresh Tilled Soil?

We made a few attempts internally and then hired a contractor who failed to deliver. We were wasting time and money and potentially missing opportunity. I knew Fresh Tilled Soil and thought that they might be too expensive for us at our stage. FTS limited the scope of the project to fit our budget and we were able to deliver more than what we had imagined coming into the project. I’ve known the guys just from the Boston entrepreneur community for awhile and followed them on social media. I knew what Alex’s [Co-founder, Fresh Tilled Soil] work was like. I didn’t really look much further than them.

Could you provide a sense of the size of this initiative in financial terms?

$50,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with them February 2017 until April 2017.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any statistics or metrics from this engagement?

With the high fidelity mockups and very detailed frontend, we’ve been able to show the platform to potential partners, potential customers, potential investors. We've been able to really share the vision for what we’re doing, and help get those partners to want to contribute both financially as well as on a business development level. A picture paints a thousand words.

They've saved us a lot of time and it certainly has given a lot of people a unique and fresh approach to what we’re doing in the market. So far it’s been great and we’re going to keep adding to it as we go.

How did Fresh Tilled Soil perform from a project management standpoint?

They were great. Communication was really timely and frequent. They used Basecamp so we could chat regularly; Q&A back and forth between multiple members of their team and ours and weekly check-ins and calls. They did a good job of keeping us on track with what we needed to deliver to them. They kind of shepherded us through some processes where we need to get some deliverables to them and their work was either on time or ahead of schedule with the project.

What distinguishes Fresh Tilled Soil from other providers?

I think their strengths are they’ve got a core capability that they focus on and stick to and are experts in the field. I don’t think there’s anybody in Silicon Valley or anywhere else in the world who can do better than what Fresh Tilled Soil is doing in user experience and frontend.

Is there anything Fresh Tilled Soil could have improved or done differently?

It would always be nice to spend less money, but I’m happy with the work they did. I plan on using them again.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    I always wanted it faster, but we set the schedule and they met it.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    I would have said a three going in, but now with some time and the value and the fruition, I’d say a five. Higher risk for us, but the results paid off.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    Jokingly, a one, because I’d like to keep my secret weapon secret so no one else can use them and I could have them to myself.

Website & UX Redesign for IoT Company

"Fresh Tilled was extremely transparent and helpful."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Sept. - Dec. 2016
Project summary: 

Fresh Tilled Soil led redesign of the frontend of a website, including user experience and branding. They also performed stakeholder surveys and provide ongoing support.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
Boston, Massachusetts
Director of Marketing, Cloud Platform Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Fresh Tilled is collaborative and innovative, and their work has garnered positive feedback internally and externally. They were scalable, transparent, and put great care into every step of the project. They have well-structured and reliable processes, and are specific with their deliverables.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

We are a B2B company that provides IoT solutions for companies in the industrial and commercial spaces. I’m the director of marketing.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Fresh Tilled Soil?

We were going through a process of substantial review of our brand and product line. We needed to refresh our brand, and our product line was evolving in a manner that was extremely substantial because we were moving from being primarily a hardware-focused company to software-focused. We needed a complete overhaul of the visual design of our website as well as the user experience, and also required a series of easily manageable page templates with which we could continue to build out the site.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Fresh Tilled Soil owned everything in terms of conceptualization and design of the frontend of our website. We managed the backend work. When we first spoke with Fresh Tilled Soil, they presented us with a wide range of options of how they could be involved, which included everything from mapping out buyer journeys to creating the visual design, implementing backend technology, UX services, etc., but we chose to have them work on the frontend.

We had gone through a rebranding project right before hiring Fresh Tilled, so they spoke to the brand team and leveraged those materials in early design mocks. They engaged in discovery conversations with those of us who were managing the project and worked through a process that involved standard deliverables in terms of mapping out wireframes and presenting a series of visual concepts separately from the wireframes. They made sure that we were able to talk about the pros and cons of each, to end up with what we wanted to move forward with. They delivered a series of flat designs that combined everything we had agreed on. We reviewed those and made final changes before they moved into development.

Everything Fresh Tilled did was a tremendous improvement compared to where we were. We have a B2B audience in the industrial space so we needed to be careful to not get overly fancy. We needed the site to be compelling and engaging, but also straightforward. The team was fantastic. We were probably on the lower end in terms of client size for what Fresh Tilled is used to. But from the team that was assigned to us, you wouldn’t have known that. The total team consisted of six or seven people from Fresh Tilled Soil with other team members joining in as necessary. There was a project manager, 2 UX designers, 2 front-end designers, and 2 graphic designers.

How did you come to work with Fresh Tilled Soil?

We went through a rigorous process because it was a big project for us. We have a lean team and a lean budget. We spoke with five partners that we narrowed down from a larger list. The conversations with Fresh Tilled were pretty rewarding and compelling. Their approach around the structure of the project was especially appealing. Compared to some of the other design firms we spoke to, they seemed to have a very well-structured and reliable process that they followed for implementing projects like this. Other agencies were looser in what they said they could do for us. Fresh Tilled was more process-oriented and specific about deliverables, timelines and what would be required of us. They delivered a series of four proposals to us that each addressed various degrees of what we wanted to accomplish. We came up with a final proposal from those four.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with them in September 2016, and their deliverables were completed by December 2016. They stayed on after the project in an advisory capacity to continue to make adjustments to the site while we were developing the site in-house. We have ongoing communication with them around new options.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

One of the purposes of our site is to drive online web leads. We get a meaningful amount of organic traffic and have paid initiatives that are driving traffic to the website. Those visitors have the opportunity to convert into a marketing qualified lead for us. Improving that with our relaunch was probably our number two goal. We saw the percent of visitors that converted to web leads increase by 35%. We have a direct business and we also have partners and value-added resellers who sell our brand on our behalf. Feedback about the website from both of those groups has been extremely positive. Internally, the feedback and enthusiasm has been extremely positive. People who are not involved in the backend, those who don’t understand lead conversion and are concerned only with what the site looks like, all had extremely positive feedback from our C-suite on down.

How did Fresh Tilled Soil perform from a project management standpoint?

They were exceptional. We had a single project lead that everything funneled through. We did have communication with other team members. We had an option to use a variety of project management tools. The showed us how they operate but wanted to do what worked best for our team. We managed most everything through Basecamp and Google Docs.

What did you find most impressive about Fresh Tilled Soil?

I’ve managed five website launches or redesigns over the course of my career. This has easily been the smoothest and most successful. I would attribute a good portion of that to Fresh Tilled Soil. Once we kicked the project off, I was really impressed with the initial scoping meeting. Everyone from their direct team as well as some other people who had experience in our industry were involved in a four-hour meeting. We talked about our creative briefs and requests. They asked a lot of great questions that helped them understand what we were trying to achieve and who our customer was. I believe that set us up for a successful project. Those were things that weren’t discussed with other agencies that we talked to. Other companies were only concerned with what our thoughts were instead of thinking about the customer.

Are there any areas Fresh Tilled Soil could improve?

There isn’t anything. I would partner with them in a minute. There were things about the process that could’ve been smoother but most of that was because of our team. Fresh Tilled was extremely transparent and helpful.

5.0
Overall Score This has been the smoothest project I’ve worked on, and it’s largely attributed to them.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    We did not miss a deadline. We delivered on time considering this was a sizable project.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They were competitive with everyone else that we considered for the project, and delivered more.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    To date, they are the best design house I’ve worked with.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I would recommend them for anybody.

Website Redesign & Strategy for Market Research Company

“Fresh Tilled’s designs are clean, restrained, and sophisticated.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Sept. - Dec. 2016
Project summary: 

Fresh Tilled Soil modernized the UI of a website that provides market research reports. Assigned resources worked with an internal dev team within a limited timeframe. Fresh Tilled also provided QA services.

The Reviewer
 
201-500 Employees
 
Greater Boston Area
Director of Marketing, Research Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The new website led to a 25% increase in leads, which was attributed to Fresh Tilled’s simple and effective design. What was even more impressive was the smooth project management. Fresh Tilled’s PM was extremely organized and adept at extracting key information during meetings.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the marketing director of a small B2B market research company that publishes forecasting and analysis. We’ve been in business for about 45 years. We work in a variety of sectors, ranging from chemicals and plastics to biotech and pharma—about 19 categories in all.

Even though we’re a B2B, we’re built like a B2C model online. Our customers include major companies, investment banks, manufacturers, universities, and libraries. The primary reason people go to our website is that they are searching for something specific that we happen to sell. They might also know our name and just search on the site for the topic that’s of interest to them. We do have an e-commerce site. People can buy an individual report or subscribe and get access to our entire library. Subscribers are our ultimate goal.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Fresh Tilled Soil?

I was part of a turnaround effort for our branding and our website. We have a well-known and established brand, but the way our website looked was getting in the way of attracting new customers. It was urgent that we fix this problem. I needed to swiftly modernize our public face—the website—while making it easier for people to find what it is they were looking for. We needed design expertise; however, we didn’t have anybody in-house who really knew much about website design or best practices.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

There were many parts to the project, and the website was only a part of it. We ended up going with 2 different agencies. We picked Fresh Tilled for the website, and we picked someone else for the digital email help that we needed. We didn’t move to a new content management system since the project was just a redesign of the site. The project lasted for 6–7 weeks. Initially, our designs went through several iterations. When we didn’t like a design, they would quickly change things. They put the final designs into a form that my dev team could work with.

The design side was just the surface of what Fresh Tilled did for us. They made a point of inserting a thoughtful foundation into every conversation we had. They asked all the right questions. When we talked about making our website “look prettier,” they helped us realize what we wanted our users to experience. For example, search is one of our key features. That existed before, but Fresh Tilled made it function better. It is now easier for people to see if we have what they need.

The scope widened beyond personas and buyers on the marketing side to include some consultation for the development side. We had a team of developers, but they were on the other side of the world. That meant we sometimes experienced cultural, language, geographical, and time barriers. Fresh Tilled helped us figure out what our development team was capable of.

For a while, Fresh Tilled was out of the process while my dev team built the site. We then asked Fresh Tilled to do a QA check to see if we kept the integrity of their design. They caught a few things that we were able to fix. A few weeks ago, I needed to redo a few pages. Those changes were beyond the abilities of my internal team, so I re-engaged Fresh Tilled for additional work which they had done in 48 hours.

We worked with a project manager and 2 designers from Fresh Tilled, both of whom had coding experience. They didn’t need to do any of the development, but having people with coding experience was extremely helpful. I’m non-technical, so having them speak directly with our developers was immensely helpful. Fresh Tilled’s team had the skill sets needed for the project. When a person couldn’t make it to the call, someone else did.

How did you come to work with Fresh Tilled Soil?

We met with about 4 different agencies that were personal recommendations to our CEO. Some of the meetings were in person. We pitched what we were looking for, and the companies came back to us with proposals. There were some agencies that did both design and digital campaign management, but we decided to go with people who were really experts in one thing instead of generalists in several things. The shortlisted companies came back to us with proposals that helped us refine our scope based on the budget we had to work with. It came down to choosing between Fresh Tilled and another agency. We ended up selecting Fresh Tilled. They had come highly recommended. My CEO might have been inclined towards them as a result of that. He knew their work and thought very highly of it.

How much have you invested with Fresh Tilled Soil?

We spent approximately $40,000 on their services.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with them in September 2016, and the site went live in December 2016. Since then, we’ve kept in touch with Fresh Tilled. They’ve answered our questions about how some things should work versus how it actually works. They’ve also given input about best practices.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

Fresh Tilled made the site look more modern and credible. It’s important to note that in the first quarter of 2017, nothing else changed about our business except for our website. After Fresh Tilled redesigned our website, we saw a year over year increase of more than 25% in our incoming leads. We’re owned by a parent company who had sort of given up on this company’s marketing prowess, so that impact has been noticed by people high above my level.

I could not speak highly enough about the entire experience with Fresh Tilled. They had an ability to keep things simple. They were not trying to dazzle us. Fresh Tilled was instrumental in making this project successful. They wanted to do things the right way, but we were eager to get things done quickly. They met us halfway and helped us to do it quickly yet thoughtfully. Their temperament is a good fit for folks like us who did not have the clearest plan but needed something quickly. I would pick them again in a heartbeat.

How did Fresh Tilled Soil perform from a project management standpoint?

The project management impressed me more than anything else. It was tightly organized and well done. We had some very strict deadlines that we needed to meet internally. Chris was our project manager, and he was reliable and efficient. He was organized in a way that I’ve seen rarely. I was really more impressed with that than I was with the design. I think that’s a real skill. Even in a roundtable session with people talking about 20 different things, he always managed to capture and distil what the takeaways were and who would follow up on what. I never left a meeting wondering what the takeaway was or what would happen next. Things were always very clear.

We used Basecamp for communication. It worked very well as a communication tool between teams that are not in the same place at the same time.

What did you find most impressive about Fresh Tilled Soil?

Fresh Tilled’s designs are clean, restrained, and sophisticated. I knew their design would be simple and effective because their proposal was. I looked at 4 different company’s proposals, and Fresh Tilled’s was the only one where I understood clearly what was going to happen. The other proposals had so much clutter—extra words and market speak.

Are there any areas Fresh Tilled Soil could improve?

I can’t think of anything.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Everything that I wanted was delivered on time. Any delays were our problem, not theirs.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    This sort of work is expensive in general, but they were worth it because it was more than just the design. It was the thoughtful approach to what we were trying to do beyond “make it pretty.”
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    It was better than I imagined.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

WordPress Blog Design for Real Estate Offshoot

"We get everything we want under one roof."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
2011 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Fresh Tilled Soil provided a full suite of services for a blog site and a subsequent blog upgrade a few years later. FTS was available for tweaks and improvements as necessary.

The Reviewer
 
10,001+ Employees
 
Toronto, Canada
Kurt Stout
Practice Head, Colliers International
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

FTS has an efficient and battle-tested communication style that streamlines the process. They proved their reliability and the quality of their service, giving attention to even small clients and projects.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the head of the practice group named government solutions for Colliers International. Our company is a multinational real estate services firm. We focus on representing property owners and investors in government transactions. For example, if you want to lease your building to the government, you would engage a group like us. We’re a niche specialist entity within this much larger company.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Fresh Tilled Soil?

Last year, we decided that we needed to refresh the blog. We wanted to improve the look and feel of it while adding a little more functionality. I wouldn’t categorize it as a huge project, but I would categorize it as a refresh, a facelift, if you will, for our blog.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We first approached FTS [Freshly Tilled Soil] in 2011 to build a website that would feature our blog, CapitalMarkets.com. We’ve used that blog platform for the past few years and they helped us with small tweaks along the way. To be honest, I don’t recall the specific process they implemented on that original website work in 2011 or how long it took. FTS provided the full suite of services needed to construct the blog and establish it on the web. In addition, they’re sorting out small tweaks and improvements as we go.

They’ve also just refreshed our blog. After focusing on it deeply, there are a few things we’re continuing to tweak. Once we get beyond that point, we’ll probably fall back into the rhythm we had previously. They take a pretty full-service approach, taking care of what needs to be taken care of. We would ask them to troubleshoot, add a widget somewhere, touch base about security upgrades, and so forth.

How did you come to work with Fresh Tilled Soil?

We just googled for groups that appeared capable and met whatever criteria we established at the time. It wasn’t a very formal process. After interviewing several groups, we decided on Fresh Tilled Soil to help us build that initial blog site.

The way we think is like this: We’re a small firm, so we’re not going to be a huge customer to anybody. But although we’re a small customer, we still want good results. That’s why we were looking for a company that we felt was small enough that we would get some attention among their customers. We didn’t want to go to a huge firm and just be an insignificant customer of theirs. However, we were wary of going to a single freelancer. We wanted a firm that was professional but was oriented to small companies like us. At the time, we felt like Fresh Tilled Soil fit the bill on that. The other thing we looked at was their web presence because it was an indicator of their skill and experience. They clearly had a presence that was in line with the kind of image that we wanted to project.

How much have you invested with Fresh Tilled Soil?

I'd estimate we've spent a little under $50,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We began working together in 2011 and the blog launched on the first business day of January 2012. We continue to work with them now, and they’ve just been the perfect fit for us. We have this relationship where they’re available even when we’re not working on big projects. They’ve been on call, if you will, to help us with assignments here and there.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

One of the things I like about working with FTS, aside from the fact that they’re good and talented people, is that you’ve got a shop that has design as well as backend development. You feel like you get the best of both worlds. They’re just big enough that they have people focused on customer relationships as well. In terms of hard evidence, at this point, I have not perceived any data that would demonstrate the impact of FTS’ work. I think that’s less having to do with the blog itself and more to do with the rate at which I post on it. But we’re happy with the platform.

How did Fresh Tilled Soil perform from a project management standpoint?

What I like about working with them is that they have a simple process to take care of business. We do everything through Basecamp. If I want something from them, I just log the request in Basecamp, they respond, and it’s done. It’s a pretty clean mode of communication. I feel like nothing ever slips through the cracks.

I thought they were very well organized with larger projects like this blog redesign, which required specific schedules and milestones. They have a battle-tested way of leading their clients through the project—from scoping through design, testing the user interface, and ultimately, to deployment. For groups like ours who don’t do this stuff every day, it’s very useful to have someone be your Sherpa. They made us confident that we were being efficient and we were driving toward a good result.

What did you find most impressive about Fresh Tilled Soil?

It comes back to their size and structure. They have all the capabilities that we’re looking for, so in terms of scope and scalability, they’re great for us. We get everything we want under one roof. Their customer service has been fantastic, which is very important to us. Their responsiveness is terrific. I know that if I ask for something, I can forget about it once I’ve asked for it because it’s going to get done. They’ve proven that they’re reliable in that way, and they’ve got skilled people. We’ve been pleased with the relationship that we have with them. We made a good decision at the outset.

Are there any areas Fresh Tilled Soil could improve?

No, not really. We may get to the point one day where we test them a bit more, where we really stretch their capabilities, but we haven’t found that point yet.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    If anything, they were driving us. They hit all their marks.
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    I suspect that there are cheaper groups that could produce similar content, but we’re happy to pay what we pay.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    We’ve always gotten exactly what we’ve expected. They were always listening to us.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

UX & Web Dev for Child Research Nonprofit

"I truly felt like we achieved everything that we hoped, and even beyond that."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Jan. - Sept. 2015
Project summary: 

After a thorough discovery phase involving user interviews, Fresh Tilled Soil produced wireframes, tested, and built a new website for a children's research nonprofit in order to reflect a new mission.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Boston, Massachusettes
Asst. Director, Center on the Developing Child
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Traffic to the site and engagement with educational resources have steadily increased. The depth of Fresh Tilled Soil's research process and thoughtfulness resulted in an outstanding website that exceeded expectations. They implemented feedback quickly and were flexible.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the assistant director of digital strategy and technology at the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University. We’re a nonprofit with about 30 full-time staff members.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Fresh Tilled Soil?

We first sent out an RFP [request for proposal] to different web design and UX [user experience] firms in the Boston area as we were looking to do a complete redesign of our center’s website. Our mission had shifted, and we had recently reorganized ourselves, so we were looking to reflect that on the new website.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

The beginning of the process was what they call a deep dive workshop, which was led by Fresh Tilled Soil. It was designed for them to get familiar with us, our mission, and our target audiences. I thought it was impressive that Fresh Tilled Soil took the time to do that. I know that the discovery phase in this type of project is common, but I think Fresh Tilled Soil stands apart regarding the level of thought and care that they put into those sessions. We then established the scope and goals of the project and identified some of what we considered to be our primary target audiences. We had done some work internally to create personas of each audience, but Fresh Tilled Soil took it one step further and conducted user interviews with a couple of representatives in each of those audiences.

Fresh Tilled Soil then took all of their findings and the work we had done in the deep dive workshop and created the initial information architecture. We did some remote usability testing on that as well, and then slowly moved forward into wireframes and the visual design. We had weekly meetings with the design leads and a project manager, which we took all the way through. Then Fresh Tilled Soil built the entire framework of the site for us, and we populated it with content. Fresh Tilled Soil did play a part in the development of the site, which is built on WordPress.

How did you come to work with Fresh Tilled Soil?

I had been doing a bunch of research into different design agencies and UX firms in the Boston area, and Fresh Tilled Soil was one of the ones I sent our RFP to. Their proposal stood out to me because they had built user research and usability testing into their entire process. A lot of the other design firms that we spoke with considered that to be an add-on service. That really stood out to me. Also, I was impressed with the examples of the work that Fresh Tilled Soil had shared with us. Their employees also seemed curious and genuinely interested in understanding our center and our mission and what it is we are trying to achieve. It felt like Fresh Tilled Soil were invested in creating a strong final product. We were reorienting ourselves around our mission and thinking carefully about who our target audiences are and what their needs were in terms of coming to our website. We thought Fresh Tilled Soil could help us with that.

How much have you invested with Fresh Tilled Soil?

I honestly can't remember the exact number off the top of my head. We spent somewhere between $50,000 and $200,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

I think we first engaged with them in October 2014, then we kicked off the project in January 2015, and we launched the site in September 2015. That’s a pretty long process, but that’s not Fresh Tilled Soil's fault. The contract process takes a while to get up and running at Harvard. We haven't worked with Fresh Tilled Soil at all since the site was launched, and that was what we were hoping for — that we would have the capacity to do all the maintenance ourselves. I feel like they set us up with a framework and a system that can grow with us and that we can customize over time. It has been great because we have done some enhancements since the initial launch. I feel like Fresh Tilled Soil built a strong foundation for us.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

We received positive responses from a user survey we conducted after the launch of the site. We asked the users to rate the overall site experience and to cite design and ease of navigation. In all cases, close to 90% of the users said they were either extremely satisfied or very satisfied by each of those three factors. We asked if they encountered any technical issues, and close to 95% said they did not have any issues. The ones that were reported were actually mostly things that we would not be able to troubleshoot, meaning they did not seem to be related to the actual design of the site. We also asked, “Were you able to find what you were looking for?” and over 80% said yes.

In general, we’ve seen continued growth of traffic to our site including web traffic, increased downloads of publications, and video views on our site. A big piece of what we do as a center is we create different resources that translate the science of child development in a way that can be applied to policy and practice in the early childhood field. Therefore, a big piece of the project with Fresh Tilled Soil was creating a resource library that can be filtered and sorted by different categories, such as media type and topic. That was a big improvement for us over our previous site. It allows a lot more flexibility for the users to find what they’re looking for and to view different ways that resources are aggregated for them, depending on what they’re looking for. That’s been a huge improvement for us as well.

How did Fresh Tilled Soil perform from a project management standpoint?

From a project management standpoint, Fresh Tilled Soil was fantastic. I think the one piece of feedback that I had for them, and I shared this with them at the time, was the following: we had weekly meetings with them during the entire initial discovery and design phases, working on the wireframes, everything, up until the development. We signed off on everything and then handed it over to the developers. At that point, we stopped having those weekly meetings, and we were communicating mostly on Basecamp. For me, as the project lead on our end, at that point, it became a challenge to feel like I had regular status updates on where the developers were. I shared that feedback with Fresh Tilled Soil, they adjusted, and we started using the to-do list functionality in Basecamp, which I really appreciated. The developers had a list that they updated as they progressed through the project, and I was able to view it, which made me feel a lot better about knowing where we were on a day-to-day basis. That was important because we were developing the content for the website at the same time. For me, it was vital to be able to communicate with the rest of our team about how things were progressing with development, and when we were going to be ready to enter content into the website, etc. That was a piece of feedback that I shared with them, and I appreciated how quickly they responded to it.

Also, Fresh Tilled Soil was extremely flexible regarding scheduling from a project management side and also in allowing a member of our senior management team to be involved. She was interested in being involved in the process, but she didn't necessarily have the time to come every week. Fresh Tilled Soil was thoughtful enough to determine, according to her availability, what was the most effective use of the time that we had with her.

What did you find most impressive about Fresh Tilled Soil?

What I found most impressive about Fresh Tilled Soil was their approach to those deep dive workshops and taking the time to understand the goals of our project and our organization. The way they built usability testing and user research into their process was also remarkable. Fresh Tilled Soil came back to that throughout the entire process. I also appreciated Fresh Tilled Soil's flexibility in the final stages of the development piece, because we identified several things that we wanted to tweak near the end, and they were flexible with us about doing those and not being nitpicky around, “Is this beyond the scope of what we had agreed to?” I appreciated that flexibility.

Are there any areas Fresh Tilled Soil could improve?

I think the frequency of status updates during the development phase was the only thing they could have improved, but as I said they were very responsive to the feedback at the time. I prefer having the same level of communication and status updates that they have throughout the rest of the process and during the development phase as well.

5.0
Overall Score Fresh Tilled Soil's work was above and beyond our expectations.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Fresh Tilled Soil is incredibly flexible with us on our internal timeline.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    I will say that Fresh Tilled Soil was more expensive than some of the other proposals we received, but I feel like it was well worth the investment.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    I truly felt like we achieved everything that we hoped, and even beyond that. We’ve been able to continue growing with this site over a year later without having to reach back out to Fresh Tilled Soil for help, and that speaks volumes about their work.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I've provided several references for Fresh Tilled Soil already.