Where Technology, Business & Creativity Intersect.

Established in 1998, North Studio is a full-service creative agency located in Victoria, Canada.  While we've got a notriously glowing track record for fusing web & marketing wizardry into every pixel of our partners' projects, at heart we're all really just over-the-top curious minds mixed with grit and determination to keep pushing the boundaries of what's possible digitally.  

We create fiercly lasting and streamlined solutions in the non-profit, higher education, and health verticals, though in reality, we've built a heap of award-winning ecommerce sites, Best Buy's new global online platform being one of many.  In fact, we've also done some interesting things with Expedia, Sony, Harvard, and just recently also knocked a major project out of the park for The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Sure we've got some keynote lecturers, core contributors, and ninja-like dev skills on our team, though really we just love doing what we do help propel businesses to the top of their competitive food chain

... and if you haven't checked us out already, come have a look - https://www.northstudio.com/

 

 
$10,000+
 
$100 - $149 / hr
 
10 - 49
 Founded
1998
Show all +
Victoria, Canada
headquarters

Portfolio

Key clients: 

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Best Buy, Sony, Atari, AA Grapevine, Well Go USA Entertainment, The Carlyle Group, Emergent BioSolutions, Lethbridge College, London Film School, UBC, UVIC

Drupal 8 Rebuilt with High Value Feature Sets Image

Drupal 8 Rebuilt with High Value Feature Sets

The North Studio UX team worked closely with AA Grapevine’s key stakeholders and internal UX lead contractor to produce foundational assets such as:  User stories, content inventory assessments, page flow diagrams and low fidelity wireframes. These assets would set the stage for our UX design team to creatively bring the site to life. This included a visual redesign, making content accessible from every device with a focus on

mobile. The design had a modern publication aesthetic with tiled article teasers, full articles that are easy to save and share, searchable archives, and resources for existing members, potential members and organization representatives.

Migrating 60,000+ articles from Drupal 6 to Drupal 8 was not going to be a low-level lift – there was historical content dating back to the 50s!  But, North Studio is home to some of the best developers in the Drupal game which made the feat a task we’d tackle with excitement. Our experts custom-coded modules to keep up with the demands of the modern web, and guided a massive modernization of Grapevine’s digital archives, building a user-friendly faceted search app with custom sorting and display for articles dated as far back as the 1950s

1023% Year over Year Revenue Growth - Drupal 8 Image

1023% Year over Year Revenue Growth - Drupal 8

What We Did
  • Fully update all Drupal website and fixed minor issues after the updates, tested and deployed to the production environment.
  • Remedy Javascript errors which was causing most of the frontend functionality to behave in an erratic way.
  • Applied a number of security measures which stopped the site from being infected by spam bots.
  • Enabling Redis and Varnish on Pantheon, the load time of the
website reduced to a fraction of a second.
  • Easily changed the PHP version to 7.1 from the Pantheon interface.
  • As a second priority we focused on the tasks to improve the user experience and help the back-office administrators better manage the site and store.
  • Built a pricing calculator using the variables from the product fields and automated the pricing of every sub product and the main product which saved the client a lot of time.
  • Custom module creation to auto update sub products without dealing with the images, categories and pricing one by one.
  • Created a mechanism for the end users to contact the client directly on certain deals instead of forcing them to make a purchase online for the very expensive products.
  • Created another feature for sub products to easily override images on certain categories to save content managers time.
  • Big Data Converted to Drupal UI/UX Powerhouse Project Image

    Big Data Converted to Drupal UI/UX Powerhouse Project

    Drupal Rebuild with Performance Enhancements

    North Studio was tasked with designing and building a new Drupal 8 website to showcase Well Go USA Entertainment‘s corporate identity, while integrating and streamlining film listings. Additional requirements included upgrading to their back-end systems and giving content editors more flexibility and

    control.

    Well Go USA Entertainment required a true digital partner to help guide them through this journey by designing and building a new website. One which would stand out in the ultra-competitive marketplace, and appeal to diverse local and international audiences.

    Drupal 8 Redesign with Streamlined Backend Image

    Drupal 8 Redesign with Streamlined Backend

    North Studio, through mutual collaboration with the Lethbridge College One Experience team built a customized Drupal 8 site with a smooth upgrade path for both minor and major level upgrades as well as future releases of Drupal 9. They were also able to adapt and fit current modules within the site to meet the client’s existing needs which decreased possible budgetary strain.

    By working with cutting

    edge frame-working solutions that empower content managers to build and scale their projects, North Studio was able to mitigate possible issues and to facilitate full project transparency. This included, but was not limited to, easily accessible information sharing, cohesive code, and tackling unforeseen development issues, ticket statuses, and bug fixes.

    By implementing these custom changes, Lethbridge College content managers are now able to independently make adjustments to the main site and, “Wider Horizons” sub-site which was designed to be scalable and tailored to their in-house team needs.

    The developers involved on this project created patches for several Drupal modules to fix issues that were encountered while building the new site, and contributed these patches in the module issue queues on Drupal.org for the benefit of the Drupal community as a whole.

    Drupal 8 UI/UX Web Development Project Image

    Drupal 8 UI/UX Web Development Project

    EBSI contracted North Studio to support their existing Drupal site in 2013. At the time, their site suffered from lack of responsiveness, lagging speed, and an outdated back-end that was difficult to manage and update.

    This provided for an ineffective and poor quality user experience, and it created difficulties for site editors and administrators. And, these pain points needed to be resolved in their Drupal 8

    rebuild. Features
    • Responsive design, which utilizes media queries to automatically adapt the website to any size of screen that it is viewed on.
    • Ability for content managers to easily create pages with complex structured content using Paragraphs.
    • Various custom designed elements which help EBSI showcase their products, and present information about the stages of development of new products and devices.
    • Full-screen vertical-scrolling responsive-friendly slideshow for the home page.
    • Automatic migration (import) of Press Releases from EBSI’s separate Investor’s portal into the main EBSI website.
    • Embedded real-time EBSI stock data.
    • Embedded videos from multiple third-party providers (eg. Vimeo, YouTube).
    • Responsive image and video slideshows/carousels.
    • Responsive Image Styles, which automatically serve images at an appropriate size based on the size of the screen that the website is being viewed on.
    • Improved performance and reduced page load times, due to Drupal 8’s internal dynamic page cache in combination with an external reverse proxy cache and web application firewall.

    Reviews

    Sort by

    Web Dev & Maintenance for Online Marketing Platform

    "The major thing that stands out is their experience and professionalism."

    Quality: 
    5.0
    Schedule: 
    5.0
    Cost: 
    5.0
    Willing to refer: 
    5.0
    The Project
     
    $10,000 to $49,999
     
    Jan. 2009 - Ongoing
    Project summary: 

    North Studio developed a flagship website and is in the process of developing an auxiliary site. They’ve become an ongoing digital partner, working within the Drupal platform to deliver increased features.

    The Reviewer
     
    1-10 Employees
     
    Victoria, Canada
    David Eng
    President, Connect2Dots Media, Inc.
     
    Verified
    The Review
    Feedback summary: 

    Tasks and meetings are executed on time, and North Studio excelled at translating requests from ideas to a final product. They focus on recreating the client’s vision and providing consistent communication. Customers can expect a fast turnaround.

    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 president of Connect2Dots Media, Inc. We’re an online marketing platform that offers free classified ads and a business directory.

    OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

    What challenge were you trying to address with North Studio?

    It had the most to do with software upgrades and maintenance.

    SOLUTION

    What was the scope of their involvement?

    They created my main website based on my schematics. They’ve stitched together some of the pictures on the site and put together a good front page too.

    Clients who want to post their items on a free classified ad platform. Our business directory is like a Yellow Pages for business owners. Users have total access to set themselves up with a free classified directory, but I have a bit more control and filtering power over the business directory.

    A few years ago, we set up a coupon website, and North Studio is working on that right now. It’s a cross between a Groupon and a free coupon site. All the sites were made in Drupal.

    I gave them my wish list like a kid in a candy store and we worked out a budget. They were very professional in that process. They showed great knowledge and experience. They’d worked with sites like mine before so they could show me what was practical and what would be successful. They helped with the prioritization.

    How did you come to work with North Studio?

    I did a Google search for website development companies. I had a meeting with North Studio and what they had to offer was the best fit for me.

    How much have you invested with them?

    I’ve spent around $25,000.

    What is the status of this engagement?

    We’ve been working together since January 2009.

    RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

    They give you a timeframe for meeting and a start date for the work, as well as transitioning from testing to production. I was quite pleased with the turnaround.

    How did North Studio perform from a project management standpoint?

    Candance (Project Manager), who I’ve dealt with since day one is very organized and professional. We’ve had several meetings in-person and on the phone. I would work with her any done. Without Candace, I wouldn’t know what to do.

    What did you find most impressive about them?

    The major thing that stands out is their experience and professionalism. Often, customers and clients have a vision of what they want their website to look like but they can’t put it on paper. North Studio was able to take my ideas and recreate them in a visual form. They’re also good at reminding me about a lot of services I’m not taking advantage of, which I could use since I’m a one-man operation.

    Are there any areas they could improve?

    There’s always room for improvement, however, I’m very pleased with them.

    5.0
    Overall Score I usually don’t deal with a company for this long, but I always go back to them for their experience and knowledge.
    • 5.0 Scheduling
      ON TIME / DEADLINES
      They stick to the schedule, but my schedule gets in the way sometimes. They’re always there.
    • 5.0 Cost
      Value / within estimates
      They have multiple cost models and they stick to their quotes.
    • 5.0 Quality
      Service & deliverables
      Absolutely.
    • 5.0 NPS
      Willing to refer
      Absolutely.

    Web Dev & UX/UI Design for 3PL Consultancy

    “They cared about the success of this project just as much as we did internally.”

    Quality: 
    5.0
    Schedule: 
    5.0
    Cost: 
    5.0
    Willing to refer: 
    5.0
    The Project
     
    $10,000 to $49,999
     
    Sept. 2019 - Ongoing
    Project summary: 

    After a rebrand, a 3PL consulting company hired North Studio to revamp their website and overhaul the existing UX. Starting from scratch, they created a WordPress site that aligned with requirements.

    The Reviewer
     
    501-1,000 employees
     
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Jennie Malafarina
    Senior Marketing Manager, Transportation Insight
     
    Verified
    The Review
    Feedback summary: 

    The team created an intuitive product that accurately and clearly detailed the complex variety of service offerings necessary. By smoothing out the UX, clients are finding resources on the site more easily and the internal staff is more enthusiastic about sharing the platform as a helpful tool.

    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 senior marketing manager of a 3PL consulting company for shippers and manufacturers. We serve manufacturing, distribution, wholesale, e-commerce, and retail industries with software solutions and logistics management. While we are a 3PL, we also help with optimization all along the way to improve customer service and profitability. 

    OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

    What challenge were you trying to address with North Studio?

    Our website needed an updated look and UX as well as a way to drive appropriate content to customers. Our previous site wasn’t intuitive, so we wanted each type of service provider to have a clear, simple path on our site. We also needed someone to communicate our complex offerings in a clear and digestible way through our site.

    SOLUTION

    What was the scope of their involvement?

    As we rebranded, we needed to completely overhaul our look and feel along with our messaging. Their team was responsible for a lot of the design work that’s used in all of our digital content. North Studio was working in parallel with an outside branding agency, doing R&D for the website and understanding our SEO.

    To implement the work that the branding agency completed, North Studio ended up scrapping our previous site to create a new one from scratch. I presented them with requirements, and they recommended that we stick with WordPress. From there, they handled the creation of the site and UX.   

    What is the team composition?

    Candace (Senior Project Manager) is my account manager with them. I also worked with several individuals from their design, technology, and development departments while we were focusing on different site components. 

    How did you come to work with North Studio?

    Initially, I found them on a website that listed agencies that specialize in Drupal development. I hired them for the first time based on that specialized expertise. Based on my past work, I knew they could deliver a quality product with the transparency that I needed. I trusted their ability to stay within my budget and only schedule necessary meetings.  

    How much have you invested with them?

    We spent around $25,000 on this project with them.

    What is the status of this engagement?

    We started working together in September 2019, and they’re still collaborating with us.

    RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

    I was ecstatic to see what they did with the new brand that we devised. They brought our ideas to life within our website. Our company responded really well to the new site, praising the concise way in which it explains what we do. They’re more eager to share the site with clients than ever before because it’s easy to use. 

    Because of the hard work and coordination they did with our internal team, they provided us with a new platform that didn’t cause us to lose any traffic during the transition phase. Carriers and other companies are now able to find the information that’s most pertinent to them, but it’s too soon to provide any hard metrics on that front.  

    How did North Studio perform from a project management standpoint?

    I felt taken care of by their team. They always hit the necessary milestones on time. We were ready to launch the site according to the estimated timelines.

    What did you find most impressive about them?

    They cared about the success of this project just as much as we did internally. If something didn’t function correctly, they felt the need to jump in a fix it. That’s pretty rare to find in an agency partner. I really appreciated them serving as a true partner throughout this development. 

    Are there any areas they could improve?

    I’ve been very pleased with everything because they deliver exactly what they promise. 

    Do you have any advice for potential customers?

    Websites take several weeks to build. Don’t wait until the last minute to engage them if you have and upcoming deadline. If you leave an appropriate window of development time for them to properly work through the project, they’ll absolutely meet your deadlines. Make sure you’re being realistic on your end.  

    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

    Custom Web & Mobile App Dev for Student Empowerment Platform

    "We have an open, collaborative relationship. They haven’t fallen behind anywhere."

    Quality: 
    5.0
    Schedule: 
    5.0
    Cost: 
    5.0
    Willing to refer: 
    5.0
    The Project
     
    Confidential
     
    Jan. 2019 - Ongoing
    Project summary: 

    North Studio provides ongoing development services, building out a mobile app evidence gathering system to aid in Title IX investigations. They’ve also delivered complex privacy and encryption features.

    The Reviewer
     
    1-10 Employees
     
    Providence, Rhode Island
    Alex Romano
    CEO & Founder, EDJN
     
    Verified
    The Review
    Feedback summary: 

    Internal bandwidth freed up by North Studio allows for valuable peace of mind and time to manage other aspects of the startup. Stakeholders praise North Studio for professional and in-depth onboarding and cost-conscious development. Customers can expect a knowledgeable and responsible partner.

    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 CEO of EDJN. We specialize in the legal compliance and user-based technology to assist attorneys and administrators in managing multiple various actors in different roles who all participate in ensuring compliance with federal and state laws, primarily at higher education institutions with regards to Title 9, the federal law concerning sexual assault allegations at colleges.

    OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

    What challenge were you trying to address with North Studio?

    Our system is built by combining a variety of technology inputs so that either management teams in our corporate headquarters or school officials can help students be active and empowered. We wanted to build the technology system to allow for that to function smoothly while retaining user privacy and ensuring that the system empowers everybody to be informed and active participants.

    SOLUTION

    What was the scope of their involvement?

    They were very good about discussing our various options and working with us to figure out the best way of building. The platform is patent-pending, and it uses smartphone-based inputs to assist individuals in building evidentiary tracks and building a background of knowledge that they can then provide to professionals and legal experts if they become a victim of sexual assault or are accused of sexual assault and misconduct.

    Currently, schools are struggling to administer a system where people with the most access to information are students who often don’t have the resources necessary to hire large legal teams to assist them, putting them at a disadvantage. Our system was designed with lawyers and with North Studio primarily as our development partner to build the infrastructure needed so each student would essentially have the equivalent resources of a full legal team.

    The system consists of multiple components, but the backbone of it is the user application, which is then managed by two administrative portals – one that’s controlled by the school to maintain oversight of the full system and another company portal that will allow for interinstitutional cooperation.

    We worked with North Studio extensively to build a system where the user controls the data and who has access to it. We’re dealing with personal claims and personal trauma, so privacy is a hot-button issue. Users have intentional lockouts to prevent the school and our company from ever having access to any of the data that the student doesn’t choose to make available.

    EDJN network is a set of personal safety tools, evidence preservation technology, professional investigative resources, 3rd-party investigations, and training. The application is being created with the goal of empowering student communities to create safer and more accountable education systems globally.

    Under the hood is a robust, complex platform running on multiple technologies such as React Native, Drupal 8, and several iOS & Android languages. When launched, the solution will use geolocation paired with live event data to create industrywide case studies on sexual assault.

    What is the team composition?

    We worked with 6–7 in addition to three teams of two developers, as well as a project manager.

    How did you come to work with North Studio?

    We brought on a technology partner early on because we recognized that we weren’t familiar with it. The learning curve was going to be too steep to allow me to manage the technology and the legal aspects at the same time, so we brought on a staffing company that works with North Studio. We interviewed a couple of teams through the staffing company, and in addition, I interviewed 3–4 other development teams. We ended up selecting two different development teams we thought would be good options, and North Studio put more resources on the ground early on to build out a robust discovery-proposal hybrid. Before we decided to go forward with them we had a lot of confidence in them.

    What is the status of this engagement?

    We’ve been working together since January 2019.

    RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

    The single most important aspect of the entire project has been the commitment of the lead developer. I’m the CEO of the company, and obviously it’s a technology platform, but behind that is a series of extremely robust legal and compliance mechanisms, content development, and relationships built with colleges and universities. I handle the investment and putting teams together, so I don’t have the time to truly hold the hands of the developers the way I like.

    They’ve proceeded clearly in regards to budget and shown that they can complete the work to a high level of quality within that budget. They also showed us the places where attempting to reduce the budget would start having negative impacts.

    How did North Studio perform from a project management standpoint?

    Their lead developer had already done a deep-dive into the system to understand what we were looking for. He didn’t sugarcoat any of what we were looking to accomplish. I knew the challenges going into it and North Studio was very upfront about the complexity. Being an attorney, you see a lot of contracts fall apart because of a lack of clarity in the beginning, and I was very impressed with how they were upfront.

    What did you find most impressive about them?

    So, their lead developer took a week at the beginning of the project to meet with me and we built the project brick-by-brick from the ground up. They built dozens and dozens and dozens of screens and discussed feature sets, computing capacity, and various solutions. At least once a week, we do detailed development calls with the developers where we’ve reviewed the status of the project, the design, and the various functionality. What the lead developer has done is understand the project and understand this aspect of the project with the same level of detail that I do. Therefore, I don’t need to be fixing mistakes or clarifying our needs because he takes care of 95% of it. I can focus on other things I need to be doing. There’s a limited amount of time in a startup environment, so knowing this is in good hands has been great.

    Are there any areas they could improve?

    As someone without a background in technology, it wouldn’t be fair for me to assess what does and doesn’t need improvement. I’m a relatively difficult person to begin with, and my requirements for people who work for me are pretty extreme because things move quickly and I don’t have time to be fixing other people’s mistakes.

    I will say that North Studio hasn’t made any mistakes yet. That’s why I said they couldn’t do anything better. They’re ahead of schedule, under budget, and good about keeping track with me regularly. We have an open, collaborative relationship. They haven’t fallen behind anywhere.

    Do you have any advice for potential customers?

    Be extremely invested in your project. Work very closely with them to provide extremely clear guidance and requirements. If you tell them what you really need, they can produce something even better than what you had envisioned.

    5.0
    Overall Score
    • 5.0 Scheduling
      ON TIME / DEADLINES
      I hate giving top marks to everything but I really can’t justify deducting points with where we are right now.
    • 5.0 Cost
      Value / within estimates
    • 5.0 Quality
      Service & deliverables
      They’re ahead of schedule and under budget. I can’t deduct any points on that.
    • 5.0 NPS
      Willing to refer
      We’re a building a system that will grow and adapt over time, and I wanted a vendor I could build a relationship with.

    Custom Drupal Web App Dev for Title Insurance Org.

    "I appreciate their ability to translate my needs into something can be implemented."

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

    North Studio provides Drupal development services for a title insurance support company. Their work includes adding Drupal functionalities, mobile UX design, and assistance with web application development.

    The Reviewer
     
    501-1,000 employees
     
    Auburn, California
    Ben White
    Division Manager, Mother Lode Holding Co. & Texas National
     
    Verified
    The Review
    Feedback summary: 

    North Studio’s efforts have met expectations across the board. The team is pleasant to work with and offers a highly strategic and thorough service. Customers can expect seamless communication from a vendor that takes the time to assess the best course of action for optimal performance.

    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 division manager at Mother Lode Holding Company. We’re a support company for a title insurance organization. We have operations in Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Arizona, Texas, and California. My division provides IT support, but we also do accounting, HR, payroll, and things of that nature.

    OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

    What challenge were you trying to address with North Studio?

    We lost the vendor that was providing Drupal support for our original website that was built for us, so we needed a new vendor.

    SOLUTION

    What was the scope of their involvement?

    They’ve done a lot of different things for us. Our relationship began, they built an educational interface where they could schedule training classes on a calendar and track registration.

    They also customized different views depending on the region that someone’s in. For instance, in Austin, the marketing strategy is different than in Corpus Christi, so we wanted to provide a different experience depending on where they’re logging in from. It was something we couldn’t do in-house, so we relied on them very heavily for that.

    Next, they helped design the UX for our mobile app, but we also needed to design a corresponding web application. We have our own developers in house for the database and the business logic, but we don’t have our own UI people. So, we showed them our app and they built a control library so we could create the desktop version using whatever parameters we want for a number of clients.

    What is the team composition?

    I worked with Shallon (CTO), Brian (Lead Account Manager), Candace (Senior Project Manager), Nicky (Junior Project Manager), and Bekir (Senior Drupal Developer).

    How did you come to work with North Studio?

    Mike (VP of Business Development) was cold-calling potential customers that he saw had Drupal sites and asked if we needed support. The timing was perfect since there were a number of things we needed to be taken care of.

    How much have you invested with them?

    We’ve invested $50,000 – $100,000.

    What is the status of this engagement?

    We began working together in September 2017, and our engagement is ongoing.

    RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

    The work itself has been really good and we enjoy working with them.

    How did North Studio perform from a project management standpoint?

    Brian got me on their Slack channel so that we could communicate really easily. The communication is good because the project managers will jump in any dialogue with a developer that might be going off track and schedule a call to get us back on track.

    What did you find most impressive about them?

    I’ve worked with a lot of different vendors on projects, and I like their thoroughness. They really care about our needs. The expensive projects are challenging because we have a business requirement and translating that into a technical requirement isn’t always easy.

    I appreciate their ability to translate my needs into something can be implemented. They’ll always come back to me and ask if a particular requirement is what I really need; if it's not, they’ll guide me to the right solution. They think strategically about what our company needs.

    Are there any areas they could improve?

    Sometimes the developer will see something exciting and go off and work on it, even though we’ve only approved so many hours. With any project, there are road bumps to encounter. Any time I express frustration, they’ve always made it right. Whether that means crediting us back hours or providing a free service, it’s important to them that I’m happy at the end of the project, which I really like.

    Do you have any advice for potential customers?

    A big component of working with them is taking the time to review what they do. They do a great job putting together a statement of work and they’re really easy to communicate with. On the client-side, you have to invest the time to review everything that’s in the quote and make sure that you understand it and meet them halfway on the communication level.

    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

    Drupal Web Dev for Digital Marketing Company

    "We can tangibly value the turnaround time of North Studio because it translates into dollars and client retention."

    Quality: 
    5.0
    Schedule: 
    5.0
    Cost: 
    5.0
    Willing to refer: 
    5.0
    The Project
     
    $50,000 to $199,999
     
    July 2010 - Ongoing
    Project summary: 

    North Studio provides white-labeled Drupal web development services for a digital marketing firm’s clients. They also supply UX, design, and support as needed. 

    The Reviewer
     
    1-10 Employees
     
    Victoria, Canada
    Mike Kennedy
    Operations Manager, Stikky Media
     
    Verified
    The Review
    Feedback summary: 

    North Studio’s quick turnaround of quality Drupal development has enabled the client to keep their customers and achieve accounts otherwise out of reach. The team’s stored experience combined with their reliability and communication make them a valuable partner in every project.

    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 operations manager of Stikky Media, a digital marketing company.

    OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

    What challenge were you trying to address with North Studio?

    We partner on various initiatives that require web development and Drupal services that are beyond our scope.

    SOLUTION

    What was the scope of their involvement?

    North Studio provides mainly Drupal and open source development services that we then white label for our clients. This is the primary purpose we use them for, but they also have a good UX and design team that is baked into the development process. We’ll sometimes engage that team if we need something specific from a design or UX perspective. 

    North Studio is willing to work with clients in different sectors, but they tend to focus on enterprises and nonprofits. For each project, we give them guidance around what we’re looking for. It’s mostly development, but it can also include support depending on the client’s needs. 

    What is the team composition?

    We work with 1–2 people per project.

    How did you come to work with North Studio?

    Our company worked with them before I started in my position. They’ve been around since 1998 and are a household name for Drupal web development.

    What is the status of this engagement?

    The partnership started in July 2010 and is ongoing. Our current project is a partnership; we handle e-commerce while they do some development.

    RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

    North Studio really partners us. They dig into what we need and have responsive, flexible, trustworthy people. The primary metric we use is their turnaround and responsiveness. We can tangibly value the turnaround time of North Studio because it translates into dollars and client retention. By fixing issues for our clients, they keep the clients happy, allowing us to retain those accounts. Working with North Studio also saved us time. We don’t have to invest in resources to add to our capabilities; instead, we can turn to their team and they got it covered. 

    How did North Studio perform from a project management standpoint?

    Our project manager is Candace (Senior Project Manager), and she’s phenomenal. She can answer our questions quickly and in detail, whether it’s an ETA or additional information. The team is also accurate with hourly rates and time spent, which is very important for our smaller company. We keep in touch through Teamwork, which North Studio invited us to. It divides the work by project and keeps us all on the same page. 

    What did you find most impressive about them?

    Their turnaround time stands out. I cannot stress how important it is.

    Are there any areas they could improve?

    Not really, North Studio just does a great job across the board. They make us look good to our clients, which is all we can ask for.

    Any advice for potential customers?

    Try to be as organized as possible; North Studio thrives on organization and keeping things on track. Being efficient on your side will let you see even more powerful results from their team.

    5.0
    Overall Score Any client of theirs will get reliability, communication, and good people to work with.
    • 5.0 Scheduling
      ON TIME / DEADLINES
    • 5.0 Cost
      Value / within estimates
    • 5.0 Quality
      Service & deliverables
    • 5.0 NPS
      Willing to refer

    Drupal Web Optimization for Chemical Company

    “They’ve done a great job managing all of the challenges we’ve faced.”

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

    North Studio helped take over, fix, and maintain the Drupal 8 website of a chemical and equipment supply company. Their team customized pages and continue to optimize the functionality of the site.

    The Reviewer
     
    501-1,000 employees
     
    Cranston, Rhode Island
    Bob Sheeran
    Digital Marketing Director, Technic Inc.
     
    Verified
    The Review
    Feedback summary: 

    The development work provided by North Studio is significantly more efficient and less expensive than that of their previous partners. Their team was committed to maintaining open and honest communication and providing innovative solutions to the challenges of a global company.

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

    BACKGROUND

    Introduce your business and what you do there.

    We are a chemical and equipment supplier to the technology industries, and I am the global marketing director.

    OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

    What challenge were you trying to address with North Studio?

    The goal we set out to accomplish was to upgrade our website from Drupal 6 to Drupal 8. We initially worked with a local firm to develop the site but weren’t quite satisfied so we decided to move to a different provider.

    SOLUTION

    What was the scope of their involvement?

    They immediately came into the project with a better understanding of the technical details than our previous partner. They were able to provide customization work for some of the organization and structural problems that we were having, and have continued to maintain and improve the platform since they took it over.

    What is the team composition?

    Two individuals from their team worked with us on the project.

    How did you come to work with North Studio?

    I reached out to North Studios because I had seen a lot of their advertising and marketing. They were actually one of the bidders on our website, but we decided to go local initially, and when that didn’t work out I decided to go back to them.

    How much have you invested with them?

    We’ve spent less than $10,000 per year, so a little under $20,000 in total.

    What is the status of this engagement?

    The project started in February 2018 and is ongoing.

    RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

    I don’t have specific statistics that speak to their work, but I can say that they are almost half as expensive to work with and nearly four times as efficient. They give me a price breakdown and quotes in advance which are usually very accurate, so I’m able to budget with them very effectively.

    How did North Studio perform from a project management standpoint?

    Their whole team is very efficient, but they’re also very responsive. It is very rare that they don’t respond immediately to whatever questions or needs that we have, and even in those cases, it is well within reason for a company juggling a lot of different projects for different clients.

    What did you find most impressive about them?

    North Studio is very easy to talk to and communicate with. Some of the projects require a really intimate understanding of their programming abilities and our site needs, and they’ve done a great job managing any of the challenges we’ve faced.

    One particular challenge we’ve faced is with development in China and figuring what is seen, what isn’t and what errors come up. They’ve been really good at coming up with innovative solutions for those problems.

    Are there any areas they could improve?

    No, I really have no issues with them. We’ve just changed personnel on the project, and I haven’t worked with this team as extensively, but so far, they’ve been just as good with communication.

    Do you have any advice for potential customers?

    I think when it comes to Drupal in particular, the customer should have a better than average understanding of how it works. They do best when the customer is well informed about what they’re asking North Studio to do and handles most of the design on their end.

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

    Web Dev & Digital Marketing for Building Materials Company

    “The number one benefit of working with them is their response time. It really is phenomenal.”

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

    North Studio completely overhauled the static website of a sub S corporation, making it more responsive and user friendly and integrating it with APIs from other businesses to streamline product delivery.

    The Reviewer
     
    1-10 Employees
     
    Morris, Il
    Ray Tuminello
    CEO, Quality Glass Block
     
    Verified
    The Review
    Feedback summary: 

    The website work performed by North Studio has significantly boosted a variety of business operations, including decreased bounce rate as well as increased ad click-through rate and overall ad revenue. Their team is dedicated and responsive, taking initiative to improve all aspects of the site.

    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 owner of a glass manufacturing corporation.

    OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

    What challenge were you trying to address with North Studio?

    We had built our original website in 2011 and wanted to move to a more responsive site because of the direction Google was going. Most companies at the time felt they couldn’t handle the requirements, but North Studio was more than up to the challenge.

    SOLUTION

    What was the scope of their involvement?

    They were able to turn our existing static website into a fully responsive site. Some of the things we wanted to change including the online ordering process, how products and shipping were calculated, and tying in a couple of APIs from other companies involved in manufacturing and shipping so that we could tie in some of their services, all on a fully responsive platform.

    Since then, they have run all of our digital marketing including social media, and they handle updates and maintenance on all of our website modules. We give them update tests to run on a monthly basis and they run those on a staging server to make sure they’re ready before we go live.

    What is the team composition?

    I work with about 4 different members of their team. We have a developer, a project manager, a marketing specialist, and a PPC and blog writing specialist.

    How did you come to work with North Studio?

    They actually cold emailed me at just the right time. I had been turned down by several companies who felt they couldn’t handle our project when it came along, and I went to their website and was really impressed. They are a growing company that has never given up their small-town feel, and it was a good fit from the beginning.

    How much have you invested with them?

    We’ve spent around $30,000 with them in total.

    What is the status of this engagement?

    The project began in October 2016 and they are continuing to provide maintenance and upgrades to this day.

    RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

    Their work has generated improvements on our website in almost every regard. We’ve been able to reduce our bounce rate, increase click-through rate on advertisements, and increase overall ad revenue. They’ve also helped us to find issues in our backend that are causing slowdowns and to be able to fix those before they become an issue.

    How did North Studio perform from a project management standpoint?

    Their very task-oriented, so you can use their user-friendly task system to enter a ticket and then someone immediately follows up with you. I have three open tasks at the moment for little changes here and there, and I have three individuals following up on each of those items. They do a really impressive job of staying on budget and making sure everything gets done on time.

    What did you find most impressive about them?

    The number one benefit of working with them is their response time. It really is phenomenal. If I have an issue, I can flag it as critical and have someone responding and taking care of the problem immediately.

    Are there any areas they could improve?

    I really don’t have any room for improvement. Their services are worth every dollar I’m paying them.

    Do you have any advice for potential customers?

    I think most people go into these projects thinking that they’re going to hire a company and then have a beautiful website like magic. If you want to get the most out of your site and its marketing and functionality, you have to be as involved with them as they are with you. The more engaged you are, the better the outcome will be.

    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