Could you share any statistics or metrics from this engagement?
We admittedly didn’t have great analytics for our previous site, unfortunately, so we’re a little dubious as to the comparative numbers. Anecdotally, we’re really happy with the end result. There are still things that need to be done. Any of the dissatisfaction we had stemmed from the fact that both parties did not have the same understanding of what would be part of the end delivery. I’m willing to believe that was a mutual misunderstanding.
In general, our numbers are still high, and if anything, our mobile traffic has skyrocketed, because our previous site was mobile friendly. The amount of mobile traffic we’re getting now is pretty huge, and we’re convinced that’s due to the new site. I think our users are surprised by how simple it is. Sometimes they can’t find stuff because they don’t assume it’s as simple as it actually is. That’s a credit to the design.
We’re still looking to develop some other pieces that we knew would be phase two and three, but overall I’d say we’re really quite happy with where the work has gotten to. We’re looking forward to comparing month over month as we go forward, but unfortunately we don’t have a lot of hard data from our previous site.
How did Locomotive perform from a project management standpoint?
The budget issues were somewhat mutual. I think it’s possible that some of the confusion was language based. We always did better when we met in person than on the phone. Part of that certainly could be that French is their first language in general, and English is the first language for most of our staff.
We did have what seemed to be fairly large chunks of vacation that happened on their side during our project, and although the project may have been progressing during those times, we didn’t have the same confidence that it was. The communication on their side would drop during the times when key people were away. Even if they did have coders working away, we didn’t know that. So from a learning perspective for their sake, I think that would be important.
Although the project didn’t hit its deadline entirely, I feel like we were equally comfortable with making sure that it was right before we launched. Some of the reason it didn’t hit the deadline was probably on us. We all underestimated some pieces, and none of us wanted to launch the site without those pieces being fixed.
What distinguishes Locomotive from other providers?
One of their people, the art director/head of design, seems to be a pretty magical force. When we did the request for proposal [RFP] process, their pitch was far and away more advanced compared to all the others because he took the time to mock up what it could look like and how he envisioned the site moving. That visual presentation definitely helped sway us.
In the beginning, they challenged us on a lot of stuff. Instead of just saying, ‘Yeah, you’re the client. We’ll get you what you want,’ they challenged us on some things and made good arguments for why we shouldn’t want some of the stuff we wanted. They gave us some good ideas and solutions as to what we should consider instead. The Locomotive team is all very creative, and they’re very passionate about what they can deliver. I’d say that they did deliver what they said they would, which is very meaningful to me. Basically the overall design, vision, and the application of our brand onto a really elegant website, can be credited to their art director. He seems to be a bit of a website whisperer.
Is there anything Locomotive could have improved or done differently?
I think what I mentioned probably sums it up, and everything that I’ve said is for their improvement, not out any sort of malice. We’re pleased to have them as a partner, and I think they’re a really excellent group. Even though they’ve been at it a while, they’re young guys that are pushing hard, and we’re happy to be with them.