Let's Play

Kalamuna makes the Internet for rabble-rousing organizations driven to tinker, critique, and change things for the better. We like to play with the existing state of affairs by testing strategies, coming up with new solutions, new paradigms, and new ways of doing things. It’s this restless, change-making mindset that gets anything worth doing done. We have it and our clients have it. And it’s what drives our work in design, strategy, user experience, and development.

When we play, mission-driven organizations win.

 
$10,000+
 
$150 - $199 / hr
 
10 - 49
 Founded
2013
Show all +
Oakland, CA
headquarters
  • 363 13th Street, suite 300
    Oakland, CA 94612
    United States

Portfolio

Key clients: 
  • American Foundation for the Blind
  • Fair Trade USA
  • Linux Foundation
  • Fine Arts Musems of San Francisco
  • City of San Francisco
  • San Francisco Zen Center
  • UCSF
  • UC Berkeley
  • GreenBiz
  • San José Water
  • National Association of Science Writers

Reviews

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Drupal 6 to 7 Migration and Redesign for Media Company

"They have really awesome folks on their team."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
2013 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Kalamuna redesigned a website and migrated it from Drupal 6 to 7, and continue to provide maintenance and updates. Added features include a comments section, speaker registration, and new program display.

The Reviewer
 
11- 50 Employees
 
Oakland, California
Technology Director, Media Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

With increased traffic leading to scaled-up events, Kalamuna has achieved the original goal of the project and continue to provide technical support. They show passion and enthusiasm and are very cooperative given the limited budget for their work.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the technology director at a company that does media and events for sustainability professionals through our website.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Kalamuna?

We needed a partner to redesign our website and migrate it from Drupal 6 to Drupal 7 after a sudden break with our old web design partner.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

After a discovery and planning process with a lot of collaboration and back-and-forth from our end, they executed the redesign and migration of the website, and since then they have continued by adding new features and performing general site maintenance for the past two years. The migration and redesign was a pretty large job because the site has a lot of historical content, some of which dates all the way back to 2006. Some of the features of the site now include a comments sections, an overhauled process for handling speakers and registration, and a new program display. They also got us started using Paragraphs in Drupal, which was a big change, and they made the site mobile-friendly.

What is the team composition?

The exact number varies and sometimes we've had multiple teams, but generally, I work with about four or five people. They usually pull in team members who have particular skill sets when they need them. I speak to all of them and write tasks in Jira, so I am the de-facto project manager.

How did you come to work with Kalamuna?

They were selected before my time here but I suspect they were hired for this job because of their expertise in Drupal, their location, and the fact that they see their work kind of as a vocation, to help nonprofits and companies that are trying to do good things in the world.

How much have you invested with them?

I don't know exactly, but probably in total somewhere between $500,000 and $800,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

Their work began in 2013 and is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

We've been able to scale our events to be larger since our site has increased traffic and thus more people deciding to attend. The difference between Drupal 6 and Drupal 7 is absolutely huge.

How did Kalamuna perform from a project management standpoint?

They are definitely very strong. We've been working together for a while now so we are in a good rhythm, and they are quite responsive. Their approach is very holistic in that they can answer almost any technical questions we have relating to the website, and they are open to our suggestions.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They care about what they're doing and they'll speak up if they feel like there's a better approach. They have really high standards for user experience and user testing. They also must treat their employees well because they have really awesome folks on their team, and they've stuck around for a long time. It's nice to have that consistency. They are also accommodating to our tight budget as they are honest about the time they spend and will work hours pro bono if they feel like they've made a mistake.

Are there any areas they could improve?

Not exactly. We would like to be able to do more, but we have a limited budget.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Communicate frequently with whoever the account person is. Make sure they understand the objectives really well and don't be afraid to let them into the design process, because they are experts.

5.0
Overall Score I enjoy working with them. They have a great process and are always improving.
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    There's a lot of unforeseen things in software development, but they're good at estimating.
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    It feels like the cost has gone up in the last couple years, but I think its on par with their competitors.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They didn't originally have expertise in our area, but gained it along the way.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Web Redesign for University Department

"They weren't perfect but they were pretty darn good."

Quality: 
4.0
Schedule: 
3.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
4.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Jan. - July 2016
Project summary: 

Kalamuna did web redesign on Drupal 7 to modernize appearance, functionality, and compatibility with external databases. Post-launch bug fixes were organized for future in-house maintenance.

The Reviewer
 
10,000 + Employees
 
California, United States
Manager of Administrative Computing, University Deptartment
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Responsiveness and visual appeal generated unanimous praise. While personable communication benefited collaboration, unrealistic planning caused scheduling delays. The project went over budget.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the manager of administrative computing at a university engineering department.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Kalamuna?

Our website hadn’t been redesigned or reorganized since its launch. We wanted it to be more professional and easier to maintain.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

The project had highly-involved discovery and information architecture phases. We used analytics to review content and identify audience demographics. Subsequently, they did visual design during the development and implementation stages. Per our agreement, the team created the site’s skeleton on Drupal 7 but did not assist with content migration. While we have an in-house development team that does some Drupal work, their imported our events calendar data into the frontend. We expect to use this system until the eventual Drupal 9 launch.

The team linked our in-house databases – which we use to generate static web pages – with our backend to blend content created with CSS and JavaScript. The menus on our static pages and live site are refreshed nighty, which has proven to be a useful feature.

What is the team composition?

There were 7 members on the team, but not all were engaged at every phase; only a couple people worked on discovery and information architecture. We moved into implementation and development with a separate team. The development team included: a backend developer, a senior developer, and a frontend developer. Andrew [Co-founder, Kalamuna] served as project manager. However, he was more involved in development than discovery and information architecture. Overall, Kalamuna’s resources were very stable with significantly less turnover than other companies.

How did you come to work with Kalamuna?

We had 6 companies submit proposals through a formal RFP cycle and met with 4 finalists. Coincidentally, Kalamuna submitted a proposal for another project the year before, but did not get the contract. But we chose them this time because their size was appropriate for the collaboration and scope. Furthermore, they had the requisite Drupal expertise and a good work culture. Prices were reasonable and cheaper firms did not possess the same skill levels.

How much have you invested with them?

We spent between $160,000 and $180,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

Work started September 2015 and the site launched July 2016.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

The site is responsive and visually appealing across multiple devices. Our faculty was unanimous their praise. I felt proud that they approved.

How did Kalamuna perform from a project management standpoint?

They had good communication skills; we used Slack. I participated in the weekly standups, which helped me work with individual team members more closely. I would have preferred the project be done in smaller redesign and migration phases, but its urgency prevented that option.

However, there were some problems. They underestimated the time certain tasks required as well as the final cost. We experienced delays and went over budget.

What did you find most impressive about them?

While I’m not convinced about Drupal, I do know that I like everyone on their team. They’re good people; I trust their integrity.

Are there any areas they could improve?

They were too optimistic about expectations for scheduling. As a result, their assessments on time allocation and deadlines were not always accurate. We also went over budget for similar reasons, but I had anticipated that happening with money set aside.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Factor in wiggle room for the schedule and budget. While they’re very good at communicating progress and rationales, their timeliness and budgeting are not completely consistent.

4.0
Overall Score They weren't perfect but they were pretty darn good.
  • 3.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They didn’t do horrible, but they were not great.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    Compared to other bids, they had high value for cost.
  • 4.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    While some bugs occurred post-launch, I’m impressed with the responsiveness and coding.
  • 4.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I would warn people about making sure that the schedule and the budget have some wiggle room.