We Make Custom iOS, Android and Web Apps

ORA is an award-winning user experience and digital product studio with a combined portfolio of over 300 native mobile app, web app and internet-of-things products.

For almost a decade ORA has been helping organizations large and small capitalize on new opportunities made possible by emerging technology.

 
$25,000+
 
$100 - $149 / hr
 
10 - 49
 Founded
2009
Show all +
Chicago, IL
headquarters

Portfolio

Key clients: 

Allstate, Subway, Southeastern Grocers, Mitchell's Salon, Covidien, McKesson, National Safety Council, Illinois Chamber of Commerce, Indiana University, DRYV, Fooda

Reviews

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Redesign for Pet Insurance App

"They've been very accommodating with our requests."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Jan. 2018 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

ORA redesigned and gamified an existing app with the main goal of increasing user engagement. Specifically, they created a dynamic dashboard for better displaying the app’s features.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
Kevin Ludden
SVP of Marketing & Brand Strategy, Figo
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

While the new version isn’t live yet, the quality of their designs suggests a boost in the usage rate. Working with ORA is characterized by their seamless communication and vast experience with UI/UX designs.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your company and your position there.

I'm the SVP of marketing and brand strategy for a pet insurance and technology company.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

For what projects/services did your company hire ORA?

We had an existing app but needed to increase user engagement. We hired ORA to create a new dashboard and to gamify the app.

What were your goals for this project?

We mainly wanted to create a more robust experience for the app's users.

SOLUTION

How did you select this vendor?

ORA was recommended to us, though we also did some online research.

Describe the project in detail.

They pulled all the elements from the existing app and created a dashboard that was much more dynamic. Additionally, since the app has many features, they created a badging system to move them around the app and get users to engage with all the different areas.

What was the team composition?

They assigned a project manager and multiple designers.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Can you share any outcomes from the project that demonstrate progress or success?

We haven't gone live yet with the new version, but are confident that the new designs and ideas will increase the usage rate.

How effective was the workflow between your team and theirs?

Communication was great from the start. They've been very accommodating with our requests.

What did you find most impressive about this company?

Their knowledge, UI/UX expertise, and ability to move in another direction based on feedback are significant.

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

Web Dev & Branding for Consumer Social Engagement Platform

“ORA held true to their word, gave us honest answers to our questions, and always delivered on anything they promised.”

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

ORA provided branding advice and redesigned a website to reflect an updated business model. They collaborated with an in-house team on design and performed all of the coding work.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
Tim Halfmann
Founder, The Like Machine
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

ORA’s team was attentive, detail-oriented, and offered excellent customer service. They worked within budget confines and pushed to ensure that deliverables rolled out on time. The new site was user-friendly and modernized the product image.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the founder of The Like Machine, Inc. We provide a piece of hardware to merchants that allows consumers to express their approval for different products or services inside the store and make buying decisions based on seeing that feedback.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with ORA?

We needed to modernize our website and update it to reflect the changes in our business model.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We didn’t know exactly what we wanted when the process began, other than to add some new features for the best possible budget. They spent a long time working with us to understand our business, what we wanted, and who are key constituents are. Based on those conversations, they helped us refine our brand and ensured that it was reflected on the new website.

Once we had those details settled, they started working on the design. Their creative team collaborated with ours to decide how the site would look, and then they built the site for us.

What is the team composition?

We worked with four people, including an account manager and a project manager.

How did you come to work with ORA?

We received referrals for and interviewed four firms that ranged widely in terms of capabilities and price points. ORA fell in the middle, and we felt like we got a great value for the money we spent. We’d actually hired them several years prior for another project, so we knew some of their employees and the caliber of their work.

How much have you invested with them?

We spent between $10,000–$15,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

The project took place in 2017 and lasted a couple of months.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

We don’t sell product through our site, so it’s mostly for informational purposes, but we’ve received a number of compliments on the redesign. We also receive a steady stream of traffic and I can tell from our analytics reports that people are navigating smoothly to the information they need.

How did ORA perform from a project management standpoint?

They were great about keeping us on track. We met in person often and used Basecamp to manage the project. Whenever they needed decisions from us, they made sure we provided that information, and they got back to us quickly with feedback or changes. Even better, they’ve continued monitoring our site even though the project is finished. They didn’t just come in, do the job, and leave. We feel like we have real friends at ORA who’ll support us anytime we call on them.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They understand what’s it’s like when you’re a startup and your budget has to be very precise. They never pressured us to do more or offered up suggestions that cost more than we could afford. They weren’t just there to build a website for us—they cared about our business and our success. I was also impressed by their integrity. It’s easy to like a lot of people, but trusting them is another story. ORA held true to their word, gave us honest answers to our questions, and always delivered on anything they promised.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

I’m a big fan of interacting in person, so I’d say to work onsite with them if you can. It’s easy to jump on the phone or do a video conference, but you get a much better sense of how engaged a company is when you’re face to face. I really liked ORA’s facility and work environment they create. I’d recommend them to anyone.

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

Web Dev & Design for Creative Advertising Agency

“Their design ability is impressive.”

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

ORA created a modern, nontraditional showcase site that is heavily video-based. The frontend is broken into different verticals and the backend allows for easy internal updates.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
Norm Bilow
Managing Director, The Escape Pod
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The final product is unique, lively, and full of movement. External entities use it as an example of a strong web presence. Communicative and creative, ORA completed and delivered the dynamic design within four months.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the managing director of The Escape Pod, a full-service advertising agency.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with ORA?

We wanted to build a very modern, nontraditional website to showcase all the work we do for clients and make it easy for new clients to find out if we are a good fit for their needs.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They designed our website and all the UX. They did all the wireframing and created the backend system for us to keep the site updated and add new work as we complete it.

We wanted the site to look very alive and full of video. It’s broken up into three verticals we’re known for. The whole site has video-based case studies and a ton of movement. It doesn’t look like any other website.

What is the team composition?

I spoke directly with a project manager. They probably had four or five people on their team, including some designers and a coder.

How did you come to work with ORA?

Someone on our team met one of them and brought them in to show us their work. We looked at a bunch of companies, including some we had worked with before. We liked ORA’s design sensibility and felt they could make us something unique.

How much have you invested with them?

We spent about $80,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started in January 2016 and they delivered the finished site about four months later.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

The site has done great things in terms of letting people know who we are. People use our site as a great example of an agency web presence. We’ve had no bugs or crashes since we launched.

How did ORA perform from a project management standpoint?

They’re really good communicators. I’ve become good friends with them and really enjoyed working with them. I usually reached them through the project manager at the time, Andrew [Chief Strategy Officer, ORA]. We also used Basecamp.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Their design ability is impressive. If you look at our site, you will see how different and nontraditional it is. We think it’s really cool.

Are there any areas they could improve?

Not that I can think of.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

If you’re looking for something different that really stands out and gets a lot of attention, hire them. It’s easy to find programmers to build you a backend, but it takes serious designers and artists to make you something truly unique. Everything they designed is special and really easy to use.

5.0
Overall Score I like these guys.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They provide a good value, especially compared to bigger digital companies.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

iOS Mobile App Dev for Mailroom Staffing Company

“They were amicable and flexible, and sensitive to our needs.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Oct. 2016 - Feb. 2017
Project summary: 

ORA built up an iOS app based on existing web software to replace an existing app for a mailroom and print center staffing company. They did extensive QA, and helped train the new internal developer.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
Technology Director, Outsourcing Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Users unanimously agree that the new system is easy to work with, straightforward, and more efficient. ORA kept up to date on timelines and budgets, and crushed any bugs. The app has had very few issues since its launch.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the technology director and head of IT for a company that outsources staffing to mailrooms and print centers.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with ORA?

We write our own custom software, but needed an outside company to help us develop an iPhone app to accompany what we could do in-house.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

The app was written from scratch, based upon web software we already had. It replaced an older app on a different device, and helps with our mailroom functions. We worked with them to scope out the work and identify best practices for iPhone. This was something we’d never done as a company, so they helped us release the app to the app store after following all the proper details and protocols for Apple development. They did a lot of QA work for us and transitioned control over to us once the contract was up. We staffed an internal developer during the process, so they sent us the codebase and trained him on it.

What is the team composition?

We interacted with the CTO and a project manager. There were also between three and five developers, a dedicated UI/UX person, and a team of QA testers.

How did you come to work with ORA?

I reviewed several development houses in Chicago and may have found ORA on Clutch. They had good talent and seemed like the best fit.

How much have you invested with them?

We spent somewhere between $50,000–$100,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together in October 2016, and they delivered the app at the beginning of February 2017.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

We’ve had a lot of feedback, all fairly unanimously agreeing that it’s much easier to use than the old system. It’s very straightforward and easy to learn, and it significantly helps people do their jobs faster.

After the initial delivery, they did a very good job crushing all the bugs, and we’ve had very few issues since we launched.

How did ORA perform from a project management standpoint?

They did very well. They kept us up to date on timelines and budgets, and we talked on a regular basis. We did have a project management system, and they were very responsive. I usually heard back from them within the same day.

What did you find most impressive about them?

This was the easiest firm to work with. They were amicable and flexible, and sensitive to our needs. They didn’t put us in a box.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No, I don’t think so.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

I don’t have any recommendations, but I really liked working with them.

5.0
Overall Score We have no complaints.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Every time there was going to be a scheduling issue, we got a lot of advance notice.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They offered one of the lowest cost options we saw. The value we got was definitely the best.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    Everything they delivered looked pretty good.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    They did a good job.

Web Dev for Safety Products & Trainings Provider

"The platform turned out great and I hope to work with ORA again at some point."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Apr. 2016 - 2017
Project summary: 

ORA developed a web platform that matches buyers and sellers of safety training, using algorithms and user profiles. The UX automates lead generation and backend fulfillment.

The Reviewer
 
501-1,000 Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
Felipe Reyes
Director of Business Development, National Safety Council
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

User testers have provided positive feedback of the UX, which is simplistic, intuitive, and has a robust backend that can continue to be built on. ORA's team took a consultative approach, providing suggestions and creative solutions throughout the process.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I'm the Director of Business Development for the National Safety Council (NSC), a 104-year old nonprofit and founding member of the safety movement in America. My role involves managing workplace training and education and growing the business. Our self-sustaining economic model involves selling safety training products and services, with the proceeds going towards funding advocacy initiatives.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with ORA?

We were looking for a way to automate some of our lead generation and backend fulfillment by matching trainers with training opportunities. This is something our members—including a number of large corporations like Boeing, Caterpillar, American Airlines, and Disney—requested through surveys. We had been doing it manually for a while but weren't able to scale without a new software solution.

I came up with the plan, presented it to our executive team and board, got the funding, and then looked for a vendor to assist in launching the new product.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

ORA developed a web platform that matches buyers and sellers of safety training. The platform uses algorithms to automate the matching process through profiles created from both types of users.

The type of product does not lend itself well to mobile use, but we may explore the possibility of a mobile app version in the future.

What is the team composition?

I worked with two people on a daily basis, the project manager and the user experience contact. In initial project kickoff meetings, I met with a larger team of about six people.

How did you come to work with ORA?

I interviewed 14 different organizations from within the U.S. and abroad. I ultimately selected ORA, because they took the most consultative approach.

They were small and nimble enough to be able to do things quickly. Their team, including the CTO and CEO, took the time to sit down and meet with us and presented creative solutions. Competitors were less proactive in presenting new ideas.

How much have you invested with them?

We've spent close to six figures.

What is the status of this engagement?

Our relationship has lasted about a year and a half. The project launched in April, 2016, and we're in the process of marketing it.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

We haven't measured traffic or financial results yet, but the UX is very intuitive with a robust backend. As our minimal viable product (MVP), we plan to continue to build on this superstructure, adding features that weren't yet in the budget or that don't add value at this point in time. As is, the platform has the ability to take on several APIs and works smoothly.

I think it fits very well with our customers who are more utilitarian and need to have something that's minimalistic, functional, and easy to use.

How did ORA perform from a project management standpoint?

I liked that they used Basecamp for communication. They were meticulous in keeping notes and making sure that we kept on task, as well as the owners of individual tasks within their team. Occasionally, delays would occur on my end but ORA was patient and proactive in nudging us along in order to hit milestones on time.

What did you find most impressive about them?

ORA's consultative approach makes them stand out from the crowd. They really listen, try to understand the business and end user, and offer solutions or alternatives. I've taken them up on many of their suggestions. While other vendors appeared to want to rush through the project, ORA's approach made it feel more like a partnership.

The platform turned out great and I hope to work with ORA again at some point. Others who've looked at the coding work have given positive feedback.

Their CTO is an MIT graduate, so I was also very impressed with him. He really rolled up his sleeves and gets involved with his team. They were great to work with—not too large or too small of an organization.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I can't think of anything that they could possibly do better.

5.0
Overall Score They're a great bunch of folks—young, enthusiastic, and “in the know.” They were patient with my lack of digital knowledge and helped me understand the technology with a great attitude.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They stayed on task and budget, reaching out to me on a regular basis.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    ORA isn't the cheapest vendor we found, but the cost was fair. I think I got my money's worth for the quality of work they produced.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    User testers have provided positive feedback. It's intuitive and does everything we need it to do.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I've already referred them to others.

Web & Mobile App Dev for Dry Cleaning Delivery Platform

"They're very savvy and experienced in the changing world of mobile technology."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
2013 - July 2015
Project summary: 

ORA developed an application for iOS, Android, and the web to facilitate dry cleaning order scheduling, pickup, and delivery. They also managed the design and branding of the platform.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
Dan Parsons
CEO, DRYV
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The product was secure and user-friendly, featuring map integration and smart notifications. Hundreds of orders were placed shortly after the launch of the platform. Their project management and communication/collaboration skills are exceptional.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I'm the CEO of a platform for dry cleaning and laundry delivery services. 

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with ORA?

We were looking for a company with expertise in app development to build the first iteration of our platform. 

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They built the full first version of the product, including iOS, Android, and web applications. All of the apps were native and created the online experience for consumers and vendors. Our vendors and their drivers use the app on the road to execute the pickup and delivery, while consumers use it to schedule and manage the pickup. The apps have such features as map integration, smart notifications, and more. They also did the design and created the brand for the first version.

We worked closely with their team and gave them a wireframe, so it was a very collaborative process.  

What is the team composition? 

We had a primary design lead, an engineer, and an iPhone engineer.

How did you come to work with them?

We connected through a mutual contact. 

How much have you invested with them?

We spent within the range of $50,000–$200,000.

What is the status of this engagement? 

The project started in January 2013 and ended in July 2015.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

We processed hundreds of orders right after the launch. The product was very stable, had no security issues, and enabled us to take on enough capital to support our ongoing development.

How did they perform from a project management standpoint?

We had open communication, and they regularly asked for feedback. They did a lot of intermittent builds, so we could see the progress. They use Basecamp and other modern tools for project management.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They're very savvy and experienced in the changing world of mobile technology.

Are there any areas they could improve?

It would be good to have a deeper bench. They used to have a small team, but they grew substantially in the past year.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Look at their past projects and the real case studies.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They delivered everything we agreed upon. Any changes happened only when we introduced new requirements or reset our expectations.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Mobile App Development for Equine Management Tool

"Work with ORA while they still have availability. They’re amazing, and I’m sure the demand for them will only get higher."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$1,000,000 - $9,999,999
 
Mar. 2016 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

ORA built an iOS application with native software, focusing heavily on aesthetics and user customizability. They are now building an accompanying Android app and web platform.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
San Francisco, California
Co-Founder, Equine Management Application
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

ORA built an extremely impressive team that includes skilled developers and a highly organized project manager. As a result, since its release less than a year ago, the app has garnered 26,000 users. Three weeks after its launch, it was nominated for best industry app on the market. 

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the co-founder of an equine management application for iOS. 

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Ora Interactive?

When we were ready to build our app, we didn’t want to hire in-house developers because the size of the project would require us to hire a very large staff. Instead, we reached out to Ora to assist us in developing our app from start to finish.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We had a very clear idea of what we wanted our app to look like. We came to Ora with a blueprint and from there, we worked closely with their designers to ensure our features and wireframes would translate to a positive user experience. Ora had everything we needed in-house, so they built us a team that developed the application using native software. 

We initially developed solely for iOS, but we’re now in the process of developing both an Android app and a web version.

How did you come to work with Ora Interactive?

One of our advisors had a list of companies he believed would be a great fit to develop our app. We spent a lot of time vetting companies, and we really liked Ora. They seemed to really understand our vision. We were very concerned with aesthetics and user experience, and although the companies we interviewed seemed more than capable of engineering a great product, Ora was really ahead of everyone else we spoke to as far as our biggest priorities.

How much have you invested with them?

We invested just over $1,000,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We began working with them in March 2016, and the engagement is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Our app has been out for eight months, and we currently have 26,000 users who have created 42,000 horse profiles. Only three weeks after our launch, we were nominated by the most reputable equestrian magazine for building the best equine app on the market. 

How did Ora Interactive perform from a project management standpoint?

We have a really fantastic project manager, which is one of the most significant parts of our involvement with Ora. Our project manager handles all of the engineers and designers so we’re able to build out other parts of our business without worrying too much about the day-to-day application development.

We have five weekly check-ins with our project manager during periods where we are minimally involved with development, but they’re quick to respond to our immediate needs. We are able to set up more calls when we feel necessary, and our project manager will, at our request, give us updates on various parts of the project. If we need a comprehensive summary of everything that’s been done in the last month or so, they’ll provide us with that. We communicate primarily through Basecamp. 

What did you find most impressive about them?

Ora has blown us away in their efforts to bring our app to fruition. They work well with our vision and do their best to make things happen. 

Ora may make suggestions, but they will always respect our vision and knowledge of our market. At the beginning of our partnership, we emphasized that we wanted a heavy focus on the app’s design. They pushed back on us a bit, but we explained that well-done aesthetics will be a hit in the equestrian community. They were very receptive to that and had their designer focus heavily on the app’s look and its ability to provide users with customization options. When the app launched, we received an immense amount of positive feedback on those features, particularly on social media. 

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Work with Ora while they still have availability. They’re amazing, and I’m sure the demand for them will only get higher.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Ora keeps up a consistent rate of work, delivering limited releases until the point of final deadline.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    Other companies quoted us a much higher price than Ora. Considering how much quality they deliver, Ora is extremely cost-effective.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They have fantastic client relations, and we could not expect any more than what they’ve delivered us.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I’ve recommended them many times.