Expert Python/Django Web Development

Imaginary Landscape is a Chicago-based professional web development firm that specializes in the development, support, and maintenance of Django-based applications and websites. Imaginary offers a multi-disciplinary team of senior technologists to assist your company. This includes highly skilled Python and Django programmers, systems/implementation specialists, user interface experts, and development consultants - all who are focused on the Django web framework.

 
$10,000+
 
$100 - $149 / hr
 
10 - 49
 Founded
1995
Show all +
Chicago, IL
headquarters
  • Imaginary Landscape
    5121 N. Ravenswood Ave.
    Chicago, IL 60640
    United States
    877.275.9144

Reviews

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WordPress Redesign for Hospital

"They did anything and everything that we asked for."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
June - Oct. 2011
Project summary: 

Imaginary Landscape provided website upgrades and SEO services to simplify navigation and improve functionality, adding gift shop delivery, GPS-based provider searches, and wait time features. 

The Reviewer
 
500-1,000 Employees
 
Urbana-Champaign, Illinois
PR Director, Hospital
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The revamped site supports 56 languages and continues to perform reliably, increasing traffic and views from local audiences. Imaginary Landscape’s on-trend knowledge, down-to-earth attitude, and accessible price point contributed to a productive engagement.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the director of public relations and marketing for an independent regional hospital in East Central Illinois. We service a 9-county rural area and rely heavily on our website to reach our audience.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Imaginary Landscape?

We wanted to contemporize our website and make it easier to use. We were doing this when websites were just starting. We wanted a 1-stop solution for making our website look and function better because we didn’t have the expertise in-house. We found our previous provider through a group buying agency, but some of my staff members and myself found it frustrating to work with them because changes took a long time to happen. I didn’t feel like they had our needs or best interests in mind, and the site was more like a brochure than interactive.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We needed an easy solution for our customers. We wanted to minimize the number of clicks the user had to use to get information. We wanted to streamline everything and improve the functionality. We wanted people to be able to register for classes and make their first appointment on the home page. We also wanted an online medical staff directory with photographs and videos at some point in the future.

The president of Imaginary Landscape, Brian, and I knew each other through an association, and we’d been talking about making a change for a couple of years. His team met with my team and some other people, and we mapped out what we wanted to achieve. Then, his team met with all the players in our area related to corporate compliance, HIPAA, security, etc. Everybody was comfortable moving forward.

Imaginary Landscape built the structure for us. Each week, we had a conference call with our representative, who trained us how to use our site. They really taught us in a gentle way about how to build our site. They moved some information over for us, but a lot of the content was rewritten on our behalf, and then we uploaded it and built it as we progressed over the years.

One item that we were able to build into the website is a gift shop. If people have a loved one in the hospital, they can go online and order flowers or a gift to be delivered to that patient’s room that day. We didn’t have that capability before. Also, we now have videos in our medical staff directory and GPS-related maps to help people find a doctor’s office without a problem. In recent years, when we opened walk-in clinics, we could link to our IS department and include the wait times. The user can choose which facility they want to visit based on the wait time. Right now, that function is down on our site because we just converted to a new system, so it hasn’t been built yet on our end. We’ve also been able to integrate our health library into the site.

Imaginary Landscape helped us build some microsites for different objectives. Those work very well and actually have quite a bit of functionality to them. One microsite is a community-based resource directory. We keep the information for all the service groups and non-profit groups in our 7- or 9-county area. It’s updated on a continual basis. Users can search for what they need, and it’ll list the options available in their community. It’s printable and available in 56 languages, as is our website. That’s important, especially when you live in a rural area. While our biggest population may speak English, the next largest speaks Spanish, followed by German and Hindi. There aren’t a lot of translators available.

We met with Brian and had a service representative. We didn’t interact with the resources that were working in the background. We’ve had a change in our service rep since 2011. We’re very pleased with their response rate. If we have an issue on a holiday, weekend, or even in the evening, somebody will take care of it. Most of the items on our website aren't dire, but we especially want to ensure that our wait times are functioning correctly. Imaginary Landscape has been very responsive in helping us with that.

How did you come to work with Imaginary Landscape?

I knew Brian for many years through our state hospital organization, and we worked on a board of directors together. I asked some trusted peers in much larger organizations who they use and why they like them. Three of the people that I served on the board with all worked with Brian. So, his company took care of our organization’s website. He was always easy to work with, reliable, and a can-do person. His company was the only firm we considered.

How much have you invested with Imaginary Landscape?

We spent $90,000 on the project. The annual hosting fee is $30,000, which is substantially less than what we were paying before.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with them in May of 2011, and the site was launched in October of 2011. 

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Our website really supports some great features. I don’t look at unique users. Instead, I notice the amount of time that people spend looking at articles, information, or videos. We have probably better than average success. Between the new site and the incorporation of our health library, we have great performance.

Imaginary Landscape also helped us with the SEO and was an amazing resource. I was looking for some new technological things in the healthcare industry. I asked Brian about trends, and he provided a list of 15–20 items that we could do. He even told me about how it would happen. For instance, we once considered doing podcasts, so Brian put together information and spent more time on my request than I ever anticipated, coming up with some superb ideas. We put some of those into practice.

At some point, we talked about creating share sites where people could chat with each other through the site. We haven’t gotten there yet, but we did include some blogs over the years. We worked with WordPress, and Imaginary Landscape was accustomed to Django. They worked with us to make it happen. They did anything and everything that we asked for.

How did Imaginary Landscape perform from a project management standpoint?

Their management wasn’t perfect, but it was pretty close. If I ever felt like my request wasn’t being responded to or had been forgotten, I would talk to Brian. Even though it’s not his responsibility to manage those items, he’d give me an answer the next day. I’ve never been disappointed.

What did you find most impressive about Imaginary Landscape?

They’re not pretentious. We’re in rural Illinois, and there’s a dividing line. South of Chicago, you’re pretty far into the countryside. There’s a pervasive assumption that if your organization is located in this area, you aren’t well-connected. We’ve felt it from other companies that we don’t work with. Imaginary Landscape listens to our needs, offers suggestions and solutions, and back them up. They’re not an expensive company to work with.

Are there any areas Imaginary Landscape could improve?

I don’t have any concerns, and my web administrator hasn’t said anything either.

What tips or recommendations could you share that might increase the likelihood of success with Imaginary Landscape?

Have a clear idea of what you want your end product to be before you start. Some companies can’t do everything you want. Some of them may say they can, but they can’t. In my experience, we really didn’t know exactly what we wanted, and Imaginary Landscape helped us narrow our options. We were a small marketing department when we started with them. For our needs, they’ve been outstanding. I really enjoyed working with them. I haven’t looked at other web companies since we started with Imaginary Landscape, and I don’t intend to. 

5.0
Overall Score I trust them. I can call them about anything digital and get an answer or a definition. They’re a great resource for our work.
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They haven’t missed any deadlines, but as they’ve become a larger company, they have other priorities as well, and things take a little bit longer to finish.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    Developing a website can be expensive, but they’re a low-cost provider.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They deliver what they promise. At the start of the project, they provide an outline, and they follow through on that timeline.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I’ve referred them many times to other organizations. They’ve been a great partner of ours and hopefully will continue to be.

Various Development Projects for IoT Systems Company

“It’s rather hard to find people who are really good at Python, and Imaginary is, so that’s one reason I stay with them.”

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Ongoing
Project summary: 

Imaginary Landscape mitigates project overflow for an internal dev team, working on the system architecture, deployment, and code implementation of cloud-based solutions.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
Fishers, Indiana
Jason Horn
Manager of Development, ClearObject
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Assigned developers are very attentive, which is helpful especially when the combined team uses unfamiliar systems. They consistently deliver solid code within the deadline. Imaginary Landscape can also scale up and down depending on the project’s staffing requirements.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I work for Clear Object. We are an IoT [Internet of Things] enabler and a cloud services provider. I’m the manager of both the development arm and the development operations, so the automation of operations procedures.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Imaginary Landscape?

We first engaged with them before my time, but the original intent was to build a managed billing platform. We needed the ability to take usage tracking from heterogeneous cloud-style environments, collate that usage data, and then put billing and invoices rules on top. This would allow us to have consistency in the invoices we send to customers.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They have worked with us on more than just that original product, but that’s the one we still hold a contract on with them. They provide services from both an architectural review and assistance in developing the system architecture, along with 100% of the development effort. So, we’ve completely outsourced to them for development on this tool. They’ve been the primary deliverers of all the code implementation as well.

They’ll do their own development QA, then throw it back to us for user acceptance testing. After we agree on a ship date, they perform the actual deployment and support the deployment as it is. When we get defect reports, we submit those back to Imaginary Landscape. They handle any needed adjustments for extra servers or virtual hardware. They also monitor the system. A couple other projects have run in parallel. They’ve helped us when we needed to augment our staff.

How did you come to work with Imaginary Landscape?

Our CTO found them, but I don’t know the history behind that. It was before my time.

How much have you invested with Imaginary Landscape?

The cost is project-based and sold in blocks of hours. We try to keep a minimum number of hours running throughout the year, so it’s almost like a retainer type of agreement. We use that as a discounting mechanism for the total of hours we purchase.

What is the status of this engagement?

We first engaged them three or four years ago, and the relationship is ongoing. We have an open contract with them.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

As we go through our testing, the things we find usually correlate back to a design type of issue. We’ve had both code reviews and reviewed the product as it gets pushed to a QA environment. The work is generally pretty good and solid consistently. That’s the reason we keep them onboard. They consistently deliver good products. We’ve run into issues from time to time, but those are usually due to a missed requirement from our side. I sometimes wish our requirements were better and our thoughts were more forward-thinking, but that’s us, not them.

How did Imaginary Landscape perform from a project management standpoint?

When I took on the project, they were operating on a different development methodology than what I used internally. I requested they move over to something that would work with our internal process, and they walked with me every step of the way. They brought in some of their higher management, making sure we were all in agreement. They really adopted what I needed from them and got used to a new tool. I’ve nothing but kudos for them. They’re very responsive.

There were a couple times when we introduced a new system, and we had no way of knowing the impact it would have. They stuck with us, and we had daily calls, even hourly calls initially, to figure out the root cause and bring everything home. They’re very attentive, and they’re a great company with whom to work.

This year, we’re doing some work on our side to manage our budget, so they’ve scaled down with us for now. We anticipate being able to scale up again soon. Throughout this time, they have kept the same project manager available to us, which I greatly appreciate. We’ve slowed down our Scrums to only once a week. They’ve kept someone on the project who has a history with it—was a lead and architect who can go into questions as needed—and a project manager throughout.

When we had UI [user interface] we wanted to tweak, they brought more people in. They’ve been very good at that. I’d like to see more of the scale up. I know that Brian, the higher-up person who comes in now and then, said they can have elasticity with us when needed. That’s reassuring. I feel confident that they’ll have the resources ready when we get the budget approved.

What did you find most impressive about Imaginary Landscape?

We've decided to be a Python shop for internal reasons. We do a lot of stuff with analytics and machine learning, and Python is one of the best languages for that right now. We wanted a common stack for all our projects. It’s rather hard to find people who are really good at Python, and Imaginary is, so that’s one reason I stay with them. I really like Brian and Amy, our project manager, and Joe, the lead developer. I’ve established a good relationship with them that I don’t want to replace unless I must. I don’t want to start over. I really enjoy working with them, and they’re good people. So, it’s a mix of the expertise they have in that stack and the great people. I love working with that group.

Are there any areas Imaginary Landscape could improve?

A lot of things are from a design or missed requirement standpoint. The only ding here would be that maybe we missed something because we don’t know the full history of how something was laid out. They’re excellent with the deployments, implementations, and working through things, but the documentation is the one thing I caught. We have a lot of domain knowledge in this tool right now, and I leverage that quite a bit. One initiative we have is to code develop with them, as our upper management thinks we should be able to save cost by working on some issues ourselves. So, we’re in the process of handing over the reins. Imaginary has pushed out a couple documents for me. That whole documentation thing is one thing we need to work on together. They’ve been good about that, so I don’t want this to be too much of a hit. I guess I was looking for more when I took over the project. I was looking for it to already be fully documented, but we’ve had to build some of that along the way.

4.5
Overall Score It’s been wonderful.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    I don’t think I’ve ever had a missed deadline.
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They’re pretty tight on their estimates.
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    We don’t have a lot of implementation issues to send back to them. All the code they do, all the logic structures they put in place, and how they orchestrate architecture is of very high quality.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I’d recommend them for a Python project.

Website Development and Migration for Bank

"Imaginary Landscape's ability to take our specifications and turn them into a functioning website was their strongest skill."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
n/a
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Mar. 2016 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Imaginary Landscape was hired to consolidate, rebuild, and rebrand the websites of two merging banks to create a single site for the new institution.

The Reviewer
 
201-500 Employees
 
Austin, Texas
IT Director, Bank
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Imaginary Landscape stuck to deadlines and budgets. According to the client, the deliverables were of very high quality and the goals of the engagement have been met.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

Our bank was merged with an equally-sized one, forming a much larger institution. I am the IT Director.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Imaginary Landscape?

Both of our banks had separate websites with different hosts, including Rackspace. Imaginary Landscape was tasked with the consolidation, rebuilding, and rebranding of our sites.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Imaginary Landscape developed our new portal using Python. 

How did you come to work with Imaginary Landscape?

One of our initial developers found Imaginary Landscape after interviewing a few firms. We chose them because of Imaginary Landscape's familiarity with our tools.

How much have you invested with Imaginary Landscape?

This is confidential.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with Imaginary Landscape in March 2016. Our first core conversion was done in July. It brought over the legacy customers to a new processing platform. Our second conversion migrated the second bank's customers. As a part of this process, there were links on the site for the new online banking provider. Imaginary Landscape continues to support the development and maintenance of our website.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Overall Imaginary Landscape's quality of work was outstanding. The site had only minor problems, requiring very little reworking. Imaginary Landscape could resolve any issues in a timely fashion. 

How did Imaginary Landscape perform from a project management standpoint?

Project management was handled by our designer, who made sure that Imaginary Landscape received all necessary components in time and met deadlines.

What did you find most impressive about Imaginary Landscape?

I don't have a base for comparison; our previous providers had more of an out-of-the-box offering. From my perspective, Imaginary Landscape's ability to take our specifications and turn them into a functioning website was their strongest skill.

Are there any areas Imaginary Landscape could improve?

No.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • N/A Cost
    Value / within estimates
    I don't have any comments on cost.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Development Partner for Healthcare Network

"Imaginary Landscape cares about the relationship, not just the money and an individual project."

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
2008 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Imaginary Landscape is the client's long term web development partner. Their primary focus is on the development and improvement of the client's CMS.

The Reviewer
 
10,001+ employees
 
Peoria, Illinois
Michael Vujovich
Director of Digital Marketing, OSF Healthcare
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Project Management, communication, and responsiveness are key strengths of Imaginary Landscape according to the client. Their affordable service has produced well-performing deliverables.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

OSF HealthCare is an integrated healthcare network consisting of 11 hospitals. We are based in Illinois and Michigan. I am the Director of Digital Marketing, overseeing social media development for the company.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Imaginary Landscape?

We needed a web vendor partner that was agile, flexible, and that wouldn't nickel-and-dime us. We wanted a company with which we could have a good and strategic relationship. At the time, all of our websites were home-grown using Microsoft FrontPage and internally hosted. It wasn't a very forward-facing technology, so we needed to find a platform to address this.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Imaginary Landscape is our web development partner. The primary focus is on our content management system, Landscaper, which was built and supported by Imaginary Landscape. The newest version was built using the Django open-source framework.

At one point, Imaginary Landscape also performed some frontend development for our company, when we needed to fill in the gaps. We had a small team then, but have grown it since, and mostly handle everything ourselves.

We have also initiated our first technology roadmap using Imaginary Landscape. We now have an active process for quarterly upgrades to the content management system, and all online applications. We're coming up with 10 to 12 ideas every quarter, which are sent to Imaginary Landscape, scoped out, approved, and sent to production. The development phase is a lot more proactive now than it was in the past when we only modified features after someone complained.

Imaginary Landscape also advises us on web strategy from time to time.

How did you come to work with Imaginary Landscape?

I wasn't a part of the company when we started working with Imaginary Landscape.

How much have you invested with Imaginary Landscapes?

We've had a package of 10 to 12 upgrades to our system per quarter, for a cost of less than $25,000. The cost of Imaginary Landscape's services is around $100,000 per year, including maintenance.

What is the status of this engagement?

We've been working with Imaginary Landscape for over 8 years and have an ongoing relationship.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

We have moved to a Trello ticketing system, where we can enter any request. We used to have weekly calls with Imaginary Landscape, but we've come down to bi-weekly ones, which only take about 15 minutes. Our ticketing system is quick and fast enough to allow this.

We also use a Trello board for our technology roadmap and follow a strict quality assurance and testing protocol. Imaginary Landscape can build working products inside of a 90-day vetting and approval process, going through testing and quality control.

How did Imaginary Landscape perform from a project management standpoint?

I can get a hold of Imaginary Landscape's team at any time of day. They're great and personable people, and we meet for lunch whenever we're in Chicago. Imaginary Landscape cares about the relationship, not just the money and an individual project.

We've had a great project manager who recently left the company. Our current manager from Imaginary Landscape has also been phenomenal to work with. She can turn things around quickly and knows how to align resources.

What did you find most impressive about Imaginary Landscape?

Imaginary Landscape focused on custom solutions when possible, without sacrificing the core code. In the healthcare space, there are many elements which aren't present within day-to-day websites. Imaginary Landscape has been very reasonable regarding cost, and it's improbable that we had been able to find another company that offered the same services, for the cost. Imaginary Landscape provided solutions in an affordable and fair way.

What Imaginary Landscape misses regarding team size, they make up for in droves by being flexible, creative and quick to respond, coming up with solutions that meet our needs, not the general needs of their clients.

I have the ear of Imaginary Landscape's founding partner and can talk to him directly at any time of day, but I haven't had to do this, beyond just being friendly. He also reaches out to me to touch base, around twice a year.

Are there any areas Imaginary Landscape could improve?

Imaginary Landscape has had tremendous strides at being proactive with the technology, but we've had to push them at times. When we did, Imaginary Landscape responded positively and involved us in the process.

Imaginary Landscape has a smaller shop, which is fine, but it would help turnaround times and attract additional clients if they had a couple more people.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I would refer Imaginary Landscape and have done so.