How did you select this vendor?
We asked for proposals from a number of companies, outlining our goals and needs. Three companies submitted proposals that put them in the final round, but SAVAS won out on the strength of their proposal.
They had really listened to what we needed, created a proposal that addressed our concerns, provided a great deal of helpful background information as part of their proposal, outlined a specific approach upfront and really seemed to be listening to us.
In addition, their price for a usability study was very competitive. They were upfront about what we would get for our money, what might be needed in the future, and what could be cut if our budget needed trimming. Not once have they ever pressured us into contracting for more then we needed. In fact, their entire communication style is to be upfront, frank, and transparent. It is very much appreciated.
Describe the project in detail.
We had a website originally designed by an in-house university-wide team that served us to four years but nonetheless had created confusion among our stakeholders because of its architecture, design style (non typical treatment of links), and complexity.
We brought SAVAS in to conduct in-person and online usability studies and focus groups with our parent, educator, student, and alumni stakeholder groups. After conducting this research for us, SAVAS presented recommendations on what our actual users felt about the website along with recommendations for how we could prove it.
Their recommendations included things we could do internally at no extra cost, short-term strategies for improving the existing website, and a longer term plan for redesigning it.
What was the team composition?
On my end, my content manager served as point person for the project. i was heavily involved, and other team members rotated in and out as needed. Our Executive Director wanted to be a hands-on member of the project team toward the end and SAVAS accommodated her nicely.
From a SAVAS standpoint, I was aware of two SAVAS principals plus various developers, focus group and survey leaders, and support staff on the project.