Digital Strategy, Drupal, Wordpress, AR/VR, IoT

Taoti Creative is a Washington DC-based, full service digital agency focused on quality, innovation, and service.   Since 1996, our core mission has been to move the needle for our clients by creating websites, campaigns, devices, and any other digital (and not-so-digital) projects that create real impact for our clients.  We start by asking what success looks like.

 We ask questions like, “wouldn’t it be better if…?”  Once we understand the goals, we work backwards to figure out how to achieve those goals using any of the tools in our toolbox (and we’re constantly adding new tools!)  Then we plan, strategize, execute, and test to make sure we got the job done and the mission accomplished.

 
$25,000+
 
$100 - $149 / hr
 
50 - 249
 Founded
1996
Show all +
Washington, DC
headquarters
  • Taoti Creative
    530 8th St SE
    Washington, DC 20003
    United States
    202.546.8946
other locations
  • Taoti Creative
    United States

Portfolio

Key clients: 
  • USAID
  • World Bank
  • National Democratic Institute
  • Fordham Institute
  • American University
  • Credit Builders Alliance
  • National Multi Housing Council
  • Freedom House
  • Democracy International
  • Victory Fund
  • California State Senate
  • The Aspen Institute
  • National Democratic Network
  • Peoples of America Foundation
  • National Kidney Registry

Farm Credit Council

When Farm Credit Council wanted to lead visitors quickly and simply to state-specific information for their popular, annual Fly-In Campaign, they realized a typical map-based solution wouldn’t work. We agreed. Because as everyone who’s ever tried to click an onscreen map to pick a state in New England will tell you, if you tap Connecticut, chances are you’re going to open up the page for Massachusetts – or vice versa. And don’t even think about selecting a small state if you’re using a phone!

Another route entirely was the best way to go. So that’s what we designed.

The alternate design solution needed to work on any device. It needed to be engaging and simple. Last but not least, it had to fit the unique look and feel of the design system we were already developing for Farm Credit Council. Turns out, these factors meant the solution wasn’t a map at all.

We used big, beautiful pictures of the most popular Fly-In events so users would get excited about...

DCPCSB Website Redesign

The DC Public Charter School Board had what amounted to a long page of alphabetized charter schools, which for parents trying to find charter schools by way of traits like school quality, health or even location, was challenging–to say the least. Moreover, parents couldn’t separate information about the Board from information about the schools they were looking for.

Taoti conducted user testing to better respond to user needs. What’s notable in this case is the inclusion of a D.C. parent in that process. Parents need to use the DCPCSB website to target the District’s best schools. Their experience was critical to the redesign effort.

When we conducted user testing, what we found was that the difference between finding a school and evaluating one wasn’t clear to parents. We relabeled the navigation and made a clear call-to-action indicating where parents needed to go to find a new school.

Education Watchdog, a project of the Franklin Center for Government...

AFSA.org Website Redesign

AFSA.org remains a crucial touch point to AFSA members located throughout the world.

Taoti wanted to create a seamless experience for users between member services provided by Avectra and the content provided by the website.

Taoti partnered with AFSA’s Communications Team to update and modernize the website’s visual design, implement a fully responsive site layout to optimize the user experience for users on phones and tablets, and migrate the existing DNN website to the Drupal Content Management System to make the site easier to maintain. Unique site features include: FlippingBook integration for the monthly Foreign Service Journal publication, calendar of events, breadcrumbs, and a custom interior page navigation structure.

CNU.org Website Redesign

Through its members’ work in communities and regions worldwide, Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) imagines, refines and implements the means for making great places.

Taoti partnered with the CNU Communications team to re-architect and re-design CNU.org to reflect the organization’s extraordinary design tradition.

The website not only serves as a platform that invites a conversation with audiences who recognize the potential of New Urbanism, but also showcases high-quality photos of CNU members’ work. It also provides users access to important resources from members and partner organizations. The CNU.org homepage is a flexible, curated homepage that seamlessly integrates multiple content types in a series of ‘blocks’. The easily updated structure includes a mix of ‘evergreen’ and dynamic content that enables CNU to feature events, articles and graphics. The result is a responsive website that enables visitors to quickly and efficiently learn what CNU is about and...

AmericaAbroadMedia.org Website Redesign

America Abroad Media, especially their radio series, needed an online presence that engages both sight and sound through embedded photo galleries, videos, and audio players. AAM also needed the ability to showcase their annual award dinner.

Taoti sought to convey AAM’s energy and refinement through a new visual identity. Clean lines, sharp shapes, and bold imagery were used to highlight each aspect of AAM’s programming.

Taoti created a fully responsive website around this multimedia experience. Taoti also created a new brand, color scheme, and logo, both visible on the redesigned website. Taoti also designed a unique landing page for AAM’s annual award dinner and added a sitewide presence to maximize registration for this important event.

ChemIDP Web-Based Career Tool

So you’ve finished your degree in chemistry and now it’s time to figure out the first step in your career. What to do? ChemIDP.org was created to provide graduate students and postdoctoral scholars with direction for understanding and achieving their career goals. This individual development plan (IDP) was designed to be used by students and postdocs to facilitate discussion with faculty, advisors, and mentors.

Taoti worked with the American Chemical Society to develop a Drupal-based, Single Sign On (SSO) integrated, flexible tool that enables users to undertake the following tasks: Self-Assessment, where users identify their existing skills and the values that are important to them; Skill Strengthening, where users get recommendations for increasing their marketability; Goal Setting, where users actively chart a path forward; Career Exploration, where users can drill down through faceted filters to scope out their career options recognizing that users might want to start...

We Are Apartments Website

The National Apartment Association, as part of its comprehensive We Are Apartments campaign, was looking for a fresh, interactive way to share its data.

Rather than developing a traditional infographic, Taoti developed a digital storytelling experience.

Users navigate through an animated graphic built entirely with HTML and CSS3 in the Drupal platform, an impressive use of resources to be sure. The site also features an interactive Apartment Community Estimator (A.C.E.) to calculate the economic contribution of an apartment community in a specific state. Taoti also created an interactive map that allows users to quickly read data through a pop-up and click on a link to see a full state-level fact sheet.

In addition to building this in a way that allowed the National Apartment Association to define what it felt was important, it was also done in a manner that recognizes the power of a modern digital campaign by allowing users find information by congressional...

Phillips & Cohen WordPress Redesign

Phillips & Cohen’s attorneys are well aware the journey a whistleblower takes is perilous enough. Its website needed to open itself up and clearly, quickly and discreetly convert visitors, and it needed to do so in a way visitors feel secure in every aspect of their decision-making process.

Phillips & Cohen relies on its website as a key means of generating new leads. Whistleblowers are a unique base of clients for a law firm because they are often only one-time clients and the firm needs a constant flow of new leads to stay on top. Our approach was to streamline the experience and reduce the number of forks on the road to secure contact.

The firm’s long record of success is best shown, not told. By calling out key statistics from big wins, highlighting attorneys, and telling individual stories of successful cases, the new design cements the brand’s notion that Phillips & Cohen, LLP is the most successful and most experienced law firm representing US and...

The Society for Science & The Public Website Redesign

The Society for Science & the Public is dedicated to providing concise, accurate, and inspirational science news and opportunities to its nearly 100,000 subscribing members, the 50,000 alumni of its competitions worldwide, and millions of unique online visitors and social media followers.

ScienceNews.org includes thousands of pages of content that cover the full spectrum of science news. However, it faced significant challenges with its navigation, internal search, and its ability to be effectively shared and subscribed to by an audience eager to better connect with its content.

The Society looked to Taoti to fundamentally change its digital presence to convert more visitors into members as a key part of its financial strategy. We undertook a variety of analyses and updates to multiple sites in its current Drupal-powered website environment.

Together, we developed a list of high-impact improvements. The first result of this ongoing relationship is the...

Alliance for Biking & Walking’s Annual Benchmarking Report

Since 2007, the Alliance for Biking and Walking’s biennial Benchmarking Report has represented a comprehensive, actionable collection and analysis of data on bicycling and walking in all 50 states, the 52 largest U.S. cities, and a select number of midsized cities. Over the years, the report has become a vital tool for public officials, advocates, decision-makers, city planners, transportation professionals, public health professionals, and researchers interested in improving mobility options for healthy, vibrant communities.

Taoti worked to simplify the story through compelling, engaging interfaces, paired with a range of back-end and front-end tools to help point people to most relevant datasets. We enabled audiences with a specific topic interest (environment, health, a specific location etc.) to quickly find and share content of interest to them, as well as providing pathways to make all data available for super-users.

It was also clear that the information in...

DC Water Website Redesign

“We want to have a website that makes it easier for us to connect with our customers and matches the innovative work we’re doing at DC Water,” said DC Water CEO and General Manager George S. Hawkins. George asked, and we delivered.

Perceptions of DC Water have grown, evolved, and improved ever since its days as WASA. Everyone knew it was time for the website to take a dramatic leap that furthers the DC Water brand; creates a smarter, customer-focused experience; and makes the case for DC Water’s rates and ongoing capital improvement projects.

We built the new dcwater.com in Drupal, an open-source content management system (CMS) that makes it easy for non-technical users to update and add content to the site. The bright, modern and airy new design is fully responsive, meaning it works great on any size of device (though we may have skimped on testing the Apple Watch).

The whole website is an intuitive user experience. All customer actions are accessible from...

American Institute of Physics Careers Toolbox

How would you guide an undergraduate physics student on how to start their career after school? The American Institute of Physics needed a fun and interesting way to present information about physics careers that had previously never been accessible online. However, AIP needed to launch the interactive Careers Toolbox quickly and with a limited budget, so we got creative. Taoti designed and built a responsive parallax scrolling site that presents the highlights of its Careers Toolbox program in a highly engaging and visually appealing manner. Through intuitive and easy to use navigation, the Careers Toolbox website encourages physics students to work through tools and exercises to get their career search organized. The site includes interactive HTML 5 graphics and unique navigation.

Arent Fox

Taoti adopted the Arent Fox website in the middle of a redesign, developing custom Drupal modules to improve caching and performance and creating a specialized mobile theme. We also launched a multisite configured blog that runs on the same Drupal codebase as the main site.

Loudoun Water

The vision for this website project began, "Loudoun Water is one of the most progressive and innovative water utilities in the country and as such, wants to convey this premier image through its website." Taoti partnered with Loudoun Water to achieve that premier image, producing what we believe to be the world's best water utilities site to date. First and foremost, the site serves the needs of the residential customer. The new design simplifies the user experience and focuses on key tasks like bill pay, account management, starting and stopping service, and the needs of the business and development communities. The main site integrates seamlessly with third-party vendors, so as to maintain a fluid user experience, but also includes a self-service customer portal called LW Connect, where registrants can view and pay their bills online, enroll in eBilling, see their payment history, and more!

National Associations of Counties (NACo)

Taoti partnered with the National Association of Counties (NACo) communications team to both redesign and develop a fully responsive, Drupal-based website. The result is a world-class website with a fresh new look and enhanced user experience. The new website takes a topic-centered approach to the information architecture, which makes the website much easier to navigate. Related links are also used throughout the interior pages so that users can easily find information they may be interested in. A simple 'filter bar' appears throughout the site to let users quickly identify the type and topic of information they’re looking for. Results can be toggled between list and grid views, depending on viewing preference. A persistent navigation bar always stays on the screen so users will never have to scroll back up to the top to get to other parts of the site. Every page of the website also includes a unique morphing search function, which displays a full-screen "Explore" feature that...

Reviews

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WordPress Web Design for Nonprofit Organization

“Their knowledge base was impressive.”

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

Taoti built the WordPress website of a nonprofit organization, providing the wireframes and working on the visuals, branding, and graphics as well as the doing the backend development work. 

The Reviewer
 
11- 50 Employees
 
Washington, District of Columbia
Kids Comprehensive Services, Program Manager
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The completed website is attractive, user-friendly, and easy to navigate. It receives a good level of traffic and includes all requested features. The team handled the project well and were able to complete it within the very tight timeframe while communicating effectively and responding rapidly.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

Respondent 1: Our business is Kids Comprehensive Services LLC. The contract that we worked on is Childcare Connection, which is a childcare resource and referral for the District of Columbia.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Taoti?

R1: We needed someone to build our website.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Respondent 2: The goal was for the website to be user-friendly, easy to read, and easy to navigate. It’s a WordPress website. We had some ideas about what we wanted and didn’t want. As part of this process, we did an exercise where we looked at different websites and colors and had to answer questions of what we like, what was strong about the website, and what we didn’t like. That was a part of their information gathering process. 

After the project began, we met as a team for a brainstorming session. One of the challenges was that the website is a program inside of an agency that we administrate. We were concerned about branding being consistent across our agency and this program. For the second phase, they interviewed our staff and some of our external customers. They provided a summary based on the information gathered from the staff, as well as our external customers. Based upon that, they developed a sitemap and began to work. 

They gave us the wireframes. Then we did the whole page design and mockups. They did the visuals, the branding, and the graphics. We did the writing and picked our own pictures. We worked together; their job was to make everything look really pretty and functional, which they did. They did it very quickly. We had a staging in the last part of September and we went live at the beginning of October. It was a very short, efficient turnaround. 

What is the team composition? 

R1: We have around 12 consultants on staff.

R2: We had a project manager. We had somebody who works in the fiscal office, but we work very closely with the project manager, Susan [Director of Production, Taoti Creative]. It was a match made in heaven. She worked at the Childcare Bureau and so she understood our content. She also understands federal and state regulations because of a prior job, which is very helpful. 

We also had a graphics person, Amy [Art Director, Taoti Creative]. We’re clearly on the same page. She understands what we want visually. There is a web person that does backend work based in Seattle. We have an IT person on our side and their person was brought on to build the functionality part after we had the design. The team size stayed consistent.

How did you come to work with Taoti?

R2: I asked a staff member who had experience with building a website. I asked them to look at companies and bring me 3. They all wrote proposals. When we looked at Taoti’s work, we chose them because of the visual graphics of their site. A lot of the other sites had the same functions, but the appeal and visual response wasn’t there. 

How much have you invested with them?

R2: $50,000. 

What is the status of this engagement?

R2: We started working together in July 2017 until October 2017.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

R2: The website is very visually appealing. Everybody that goes on the website is very pleased. It’s easy to navigate, which is one of the main things that was important to me. 

We’re in the DMV [District Maryland Virginia] area. When you look at other websites, our is more visually appealing. We do analytics and notice that we have gotten a lot of visits. The website has everything we requested.

How did Taoti perform from a project management standpoint?

R2: We communicated once every two weeks. They’re very responsive. Our requests were met in a timely fashion. They were efficient and got the job done, but were relational too, which is important to me. Common knowledge of childcare and our goals made it a strong team from the beginning to the end of the process. It was almost like they knew exactly what our goals were and understood them. It was a good match. 

What did you find most impressive about them?

R2: Their knowledge base was impressive. They had knowledge in content about early childhood, but also on graphics. It was helpful they understood the program people and the backend people. 

Are there any areas they could improve?

R2: Absolutely not. They’re on the right path. 

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

R1: Check who has knowledge about your content areas, even though it’s important you have your own experts. That naturally seemed to make the process go smoothly. 

5.0
Overall Score It was a good match. We worked very well together.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They’re very responsive and flexible. They’re even willing to meet us Saturday morning.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    The cost was high, but I got what I paid for.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    High quality, efficient, and affordable.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I would recommend them. I’ve had people ask who did my website.

Website Dev & Design for Utilities Services Company

"They all have the success of our site at heart."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
June 2015 - Feb. 2016
Project summary: 

Taoti Creative redeveloped a water utility website, transitioning an outdated platform to a flexible, customer-focused solution. The team incorporated web forms, search features, and social widgets. 

The Reviewer
 
201-500 Employees
 
Ashburn, Virginia
Director of Communications, Utility Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

After the relaunch, the site’s bounce rate dropped from 75% to a much more comfortable value, indicating improved customer interest and retention. Taoti Creative’s transparent project management and team-wide responsiveness ensured a strong collaboration.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

We are a water utility company. We have a customer base of over 200,000. Basically, we provide water and wastewater services to these customers. I’m the director of communications. 

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Taoti Creative?

We had an outdated, clunky, ugly website that was running on a CMS [content management system] that was also pretty archaic. It wasn’t working for us. It wasn’t flexible, and it wasn’t portraying us in the best light for our customers. We knew that we needed a change. Our customer base is pretty tech-savvy in our county, so we wanted to make sure that we redesigned a site that would meet their expectations and promote us, our brand, and our position in the community.

We also wanted to make the site a little bit more interactive and easier for people to find information, and we also wanted to integrate our customer portal on the website. 

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

It wasn’t part of the scope of the project, but there was an integration point with another company so that customers can go online, view their balances, and pay their bills. We do have a significant number of web forms where customers can ask questions, report problems, and start service and stop service. Taoti Creative helped us create those web forms. We used Drupal for project management.

Aside from the overall look and feel of the website, they also helped us create a robust search feature. They integrated some social widgets for us as well.

How did you come to work with Taoti Creative?

As a public agency, we have to go through a formal procurement process. We issued the RFP [request for proposals] in February of 2015. We wanted to stay local, so we researched some companies in our area and sent proposals to those companies. Aside from their great interviewing skills, patience, and ability answer all of our sometimes-annoying questions, Taoti Creative knows how to build a website from the start. By that I mean they were going to dedicate a significant amount of time to audience development, which is a huge priority for us, just to learn about some of our stakeholders and their needs. Their team, both technical and non-technical, had a great understanding of Drupal. They really took their time to learn about our company and what we wanted, and I think they gave us all the information that we asked for. They were very committed to the whole interview process. There was not a question that we asked that they couldn’t provide an answer to or even some support or guidance.

How much have you invested with Taoti Creative?

Unfortunately, I can’t share any of that information. What I can say is that they exceeded our budget expectation.

What is the status of this engagement?

We issued the RFP in February of 2015 and did the actual selection in June of 2015. The procurement process took about five months because we had a pretty significant response and had to go through two interview processes with some of the companies. We chose Taoti Creative in May, kicked off in June of 2015, and launched in February of 2016. 

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or impact of the engagement?

Our bounce rate went down significantly after the launch. I think our bounce rate from our old site was about 75%; it was ridiculous. The bounce rate went down right at the start. We had customers calling just to say the site looks so much better and is much more user-friendly. We have emails from the Contact Us forms on the website from customers who just really appreciated the new site design.

We’re a utility, so we’re not selling anything, and that makes it hard to have real stats. There are no purchases made on the site; it’s more for informational purposes. We don’t have any conversion rates or anything.

How did Taoti Creative perform from a project management standpoint?

Taoti Creative has a very good project management philosophy in place. Teamwork was the tool that they used. We had a dedicated project manager, Lisa Collins, who was the coordinator for the whole project. She worked with the developers. I don’t know exactly how many developers there were, but there was a significant amount of development that went into the project. I would say there were no fewer than four developers working on it at any given time. Taoti handled everything. They matched their best developers with our needs, and Lisa coordinated the workflow for them through Teamwork. It was a very transparent process. Through Teamwork, we were able to see the tasks that she assigned, deadlines, milestones, and conversations between the developers and Lisa. This helped us make sure that we all had the same set of goals and were all looking at the same sheet of music for the whole project.

They were excellent across the board and hit every single deadline. We built in time on our end where we’d need more time to reevaluate things; they were very flexible in their schedule. We never felt rushed, but they kept us moving along as well.

What did you find most impressive about Taoti Creative?

Company-wide, there’s nobody at Taoti Creative that I don’t feel comfortable calling, from the CEO to the project managers. They’re all really responsive and very helpful. They all have the success of our site at heart. I just think they are very good about responding. If anything happens with the site, they have an urgent email that they respond to within minutes.

Are there any areas Taoti Creative could improve?

We had such a positive experience with them. There’s really nothing I could point out for improvement. 

5.0
Overall Score There’s no question they won’t answer. They take their time; they’re patient; they explain things. They’re just a pleasure to work with.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They’re very good about their project management software and open in their communication to keep the project moving.
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    When we went in, we didn’t know what we didn’t know in terms of the budget we set. They recommended some site features that we hadn’t thought about, which had an impact on the cost. Overall, they were very good about meeting the budget.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I do it all the time.

Redesign for Science Nonprofit

"They were creative and really cared about our project."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Sept. 2016 - Feb. 2017
Project summary: 

Taoti Creative developed a central site for a scientific nonprofit group, collating multiple functions into a single, branded platform. The team assisted from initial wireframes to final updates. 

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
Washington, DC
Kathlene Collins
CMO, Society for Science
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The site’s key page has gained more traffic, driving visitors consistently to transaction pages. Taoti Creative’s attractive UX/UI designs and consistent motivation to deliver ensured a viable final product. 

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the chief marketing officer of the Society for Science & the Public, a nonprofit with several different functions.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Taoti Creative?

We have a website for each function, but none clearly conveyed the overall picture of what the Society does—our brand and our impact. We worked with Taoti to create a central society site that did that.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Taoti first performed key stakeholder interviews internally. They worked with a content strategist that we already had on board who had done some user research. We did card sorting and some other site organization exercises together. They came up with a really good design and wireframe, then used a product called Envision to show us wireframes and mockups. The entire site was built on Drupal. We didn’t have any custom functionalities on the site. We worked with them to ensure we had the correct coding and the ability to do analytics to be able to track various elements of what we were doing. We create our own content.

How did you come to work with Taoti Creative?

We did a request for proposal and looked at the 10 organizations who responded. We had face-to-face or phone interviews with six of them. Taoti sat down with us and walked us through several projects they had done. They had done a wide range of projects, and some of them resonated with what we were doing. Also, I like to work with people who are local so I can sit down with them. People who were remote were going to add another hurdle to the project, so the fact that they were local was really important to me. They had a great vibe and we liked them. We’re a Drupal organization, and they had deep experience in Drupal. They connected well with our developers and acted as an extension of our own team. The project was a joint effort.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with them in September of 2016. They did a site audit, and we spec’d out the specific website they built for us. The site was launched in February of 2017. Right now, our relationship with them is working well.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

We have seen more traffic to the joint page, which is the key page we want people to go to when they consider our organization. More importantly, the traffic that we’re driving to the Society’s home page is now pushing significantly more traffic through to the transactions pages. It’s a straightforward Drupal site, and we’re all used to working with it. The difference is night and day in terms of the way it feels to people experiencing the website.

How did Taoti Creative perform from a project management standpoint?

They delivered everything on time and within budget. A project like this always has moments of frustration, and when we had those moments, they were responsive. She was friendly and willing to work with us to get things where we wanted them to be. I communicated with them through Google Docs and phone calls. The rest of the team used Teamwork and Slack.

What did you find most impressive about Taoti Creative?

They were creative and really cared about our project. We didn’t feel like we did with other vendors, where they did the work and moved on. They continue to stay emotionally and intellectually engaged in it as we continue to make changes.

Are there any areas Taoti Creative could improve?

We had a great meeting after the site launched to discuss what worked and what didn’t. The key learning was to never make assumptions about our budget and timeline or that you know which way we’d go on a particular decision.

What tips or recommendations could you share that might increase the likelihood of success with Taoti Creative?

It’s kind of a mixed blessing for an organization like Taoti to work with an organization like ours, which has a lot of in-house talent. There are more resources to deploy to get a project done, but at the same time, there are more points of view. I would say that they would work really well for an organization that needs soup to nuts, but they’ve also been adept at working with us when it was more of a collaborative effort.

4.0
Overall Score I don’t give perfect scores lightly.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    I always feel like I should get more for my money.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They were creative and quick. They were very clear about what it was going to cost, and there were no surprises, which is a first with an organization like this. They were very invested in our project.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Drupal Design & Development for Educational Nonprofit

"It’s a very nice design. No one seems to notice that it’s a site built for a low bandwidth audience."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Dec. 2015 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Taoti developed a low-bandwidth site meant to help prospective students access learning opportunities otherwise unavailable to them. Ongoing enhancements are now the main focus.

The Reviewer
 
1001-5000 Employees
 
Washington, DC
Director, Int. Education Program
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Taoti stands out through the willingness to explain their process every step of the way. They over-deliver and communicate exceptionally well. 

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

We are a nonprofit organization working in international education. We believe that education transcends borders, opens minds, and enables people to go beyond. We’re building connections in their university or workspace, and promoting a peaceful vision of the world. I’m a senior program officer for the program. It is basically a platform where we catalog opportunities. It’s an online clearinghouse where we catalog educational opportunities for displaced and refugee students, to offer them an opportunity to reconnect with educational opportunities, specifically in higher education.

We’re currently focusing on Syrian students, due to the devastating impact of the Syria crisis, also the unprecedented number of Syrian youth who are now not attending higher education but were enrolled before the conflict erupted. We do a lot of scholarship management, management of international leadership programs, and really focus on education emergencies, but also empowering women, all in the sphere of international education.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Taoti Creative?

We were looking for a 3rd-party website developer who was able to develop our site and also the database for students to access and learn about opportunities.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We have one main point of contact, and additional people were added depending on the stage of our website development. All of Taoti’s team were available to provide their expertise, to ensure that they delivered what we had in mind. That said, I think it was great to know that we have one central contact person, who then pulled the people we needed into the project. We spoke to designers and developers as necessary. We had one designer pulled into the project, who we mainly worked with, and the same for developers. They made sure we had direct access to developers and designers, as well as their business team, so that our various questions could be addressed efficiently.

The audience we’re targeting is Syrian students, and many of them live in areas without high-speed internet access. The majority of our target audience is accessing the website through mobile devices. We wanted to build a website that is accessible for low bandwidth and for mobile devices. We recently had a meeting with Taoti during which we looked at Google analytics on loading times, who’s accessing the website, and with what type of device. They were very successful in building a site that is easily accessible for students on cellphones, as well as low bandwidth. They provided us with guidance on how to come up with a site that still has an appealing design, while not compromising on the loading times.

We’re still working on website enhancements, adding new features and pages. We knew the three months was a very short timeline for the end product we had in mind. It’s a constantly developing initiative on our end, so the needs of the website also constantly change. We will continue working with them on maintenance as well as building out new features.

How did you come to work with Taoti Creative?

We had a very competitive RFP process, and several developers submitted proposals. Taoti’s proposal really stuck out. We felt that they obviously had a lot of technical and development experience, and we also saw that they had worked with agencies similar to ours. In their proposal, they already understood the goals of our program. We didn’t expect that, as we’re in two very different fields of work. They really got what we wanted to achieve, and they had great experience and expertise. Taoti is in Washington, D.C., and we’re in New York City.

How much have you invested with Taoti Creative?

We’ve spent about $150,000 so far.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working in December of 2016, and the work is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

I don’t have the stats in front of me. We had a somewhat similar website that generated traffic of 10,000 per year. Within the first two weeks, the new site we built with Taoti had more than 20,000 users. We’re now able to track where our users are coming from, and we’re specifically targeting Syrians. Our top ten countries are mainly in the region, as well as top hosting countries, such as the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany. We see that we are reaching the target audience. We now know that the majority of our users access the site via their cell phones, and we have the numbers to prove that. The new site has a much lower bounce rate for mobile users, which is exactly what we expected to see.

The website has only been online for six or seven weeks, so we’re still in the initial phase. We work with partner organizations that are supporting our initiative, and we do a lot of outreach to promote the website. So far, we’ve had very positive responses regarding the structure and design of the site. On the whole site, we only have three images, which is very unusual but goes back to making it user-friendly for our target audience. At the same time, I think it’s a very nice design. No one ever even seems to notice that it’s a website really built for a low bandwidth audience.

How did Taoti Creative perform from a project management standpoint?

We were on an extremely tight, three-month timeline. They really over-delivered on that compressed timeline. We had weekly check-in calls to follow up on the timeline and technical requirements. They introduced us to the Teamwork platform, which was really easy. We were able to communicate as easily as email, but also upload documents and files. They involved everyone on the team who needed to receive certain information or documents. For the post-launch process, we were able to submit tickets through Teamwork for anything we wanted to be changed. We’re still using it for all the communication with Taoti that’s not over the phone. 

What did you find most impressive about Taoti Creative?

It was my first time working with website developers. I think Taoti was very helpful in walking us through the whole process from A–Z. They really tried to ensure that we understood every single step along the way. I feel they delivered on the design and development part, and they really understood our goals. Along the way, they made sure we were always included. We’ve been extremely pleased with Taoti’s work.

Are there any areas Taoti Creative could improve?

I can’t think of anything. We’ve had an extremely positive experience with everyone at Taoti. A lot of the people on our side didn’t know much about website development, and they were available whenever we wanted to talk, either via phone or online. They made sure to explain their work to us.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    I don’t have experience with other website projects to compare. They weren’t the most expensive proposal, nor the cheapest. It was a reasonable cost, and we had the budget for it.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    We recommended their services to a Fulbright team who is now working with Taoti.

Web Design for Nonprofit Advocacy Organization

"[T]hey were able to "get in our heads" and provide the best solutions."

Quality: 
4.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
Project summary: 

Taoti Creative designed an accessible, engaging website for a non-profit. They built a stronger site architecture, maximized cross-system performance, and streamlined publishing.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
Washington, DC
Matthew Fellows
Social Media Manager, National Association of Counties
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The high-quality website received positive feedback, represented itself well, and made the organization more visible and relevant to donors. Taoti Creative won praise for their intuitive management and timely delivery.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your organization.

We are a national, membership-based, nonprofit advocacy, research, and program initiative organization representing 3,069 counties. We're located in Washington, D.C.

What is your role at the company?

I am the social media manager.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What business challenge were you trying to address with Taoti Creative?

Our website did not adequately address the needs of our audiences and staff from a design, functionality, and maintenance standpoint. A complete restructuring of informational hierarchy was necessary after several years of patchwork backend maintenance with no defined management structure.

We were looking for streamline content creation, publishing, and curation. We wanted to enhance website functionality across all devices and minimize staff time in site management and administration. Our organization also wanted to provide a more dynamic, engaging experience for users.

SOLUTION

Please describe the scope of their involvement in detail.

They were tasked with designing a website with a completely new navigational, tagging hierarchy to facilitate ease of access to resources and promote further engagement with site content. The design needs to reflect the latest trends in web design and provide a more robust site architecture to facilitate back-end maintenance and content publishing. We needed to maximize site performance across all devices, operating systems, and browsers.

How did you come to work with Taoti Creative?

We did some internal research and comparison and got the recommendation from a friend.

Could you provide a sense of the size of this initiative in financial terms?

That is confidential.

When was the project completed?

July 2015 was the website launch.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any statistics or metrics from this engagement?

The feedback was overwhelmingly positive from all stakeholders and audiences. We are achieving a new level of relevance in DC.  Taoti Creative delivered an on-time project within the scope of the budget and executed well.

How did Taoti Creative perform from a project management standpoint?

More than other companies, they were able to "get in our heads" and provide the best solutions.

In hindsight, are there areas in which they could improve, or things you might do differently?

Not from their side of things.

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

Web Design for Trade Association

"Taoti Creative are natural storytellers."

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
Project summary: 

Taoti Creative rebuilt an outdated website on the Drupal platform. They created a scalable, feature-rich platform that could be easily maintained by staff.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Washington, DC
Senior Vice President, Trade Association
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The new site's responsive, functional design provided an accurate and engaging portrayal of the company. Taoti Creative's story-based approach, technical skills, and passion for fantastic design built an effective long-term partnership. 

BACKGROUND

Please describe your organization.

We are a trade association. We represent our members before Congress, the regulatory arena and the public.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What business challenge were you trying to address with Taoti Creative?

Our organization has grown in complexity and sophistication, and it is still growing. We needed an external facing platform for our members, for content aggregation and for burnishing our brand. We needed to live up to our promise of developing something better than our existing platform. The old site was really a bulletin board, nothing more—lots of scrolling, no prioritization. There was no way to tell the user what was important. Everything was important because everything was there without any sense of order or value. That’s why we talked to Taoti Creative.

SOLUTION

Please describe the scope of their involvement in some detail.

Our portfolio was pretty limited at the time, so we initially kept a very tight focus on the new website. We have lately been working with them through a maintenance agreement to help us make sense of some things that we want to be able to do on our own, but no one here knows Drupal, so there’s been a bit of a learning curve internally. However, we’re slowly becoming better and more proficient.

One of the things that we always wanted was to create a site that we could grow into quickly and then outgrow. That was one of the strategic decisions that Taoti clearly understood. We don’t want to rebuild the site in six months. We just want to add custom features over time.

How did you come to work with Taoti Creative?

Although we had issued a Request for Proposal [RFP], we found them by word of mouth through a colleague here on the team. They applied the same day the RFP was due, which was a testament to their sophistication and subject matter expertise. We admired what they had done for other clients in ways we thought could really tell our story. We’re such a small part of the Washington scene, and such a small part of a very large super-structure called the financial services industry, that we wanted to put some narrative around our part in that larger picture.

With Taoti we created a clickable map, and with another third party vendor we populated the map, which helps us tell the press, the Hill and the public the impact of our members in states around the country. We help our members help their consumers. So helping to bring all of that to life has just been incredibly impactful for us.

Could you provide a sense of the size of this initiative in financial terms?

We’ve spent between $100,000 and $125,000 working with Taoti for development and launch. We had to pull back on some things to keep within our budget, which is a reflection of our internal budget cycle.

What is the status of this engagement?

We launched three weeks after our annual meeting. The same people that were involved in producing the annual meeting were involved in producing the website. So at one point Taoti was actually ahead of us in development. They thoughtfully worked with us to create the space we needed to do our work so we could have a beautiful launch after coming off this huge annual meeting.

We began working with Taoti in the spring and finished everything in about six months. In the beginning we wanted to launch the new website at our annual meeting, but, when we saw that that was not going to be possible, we just slowed everything down. What further complicated the process internally was that our internal project officer who was running this for us got a great new job and left us. He was really the brains behind a lot of this work and deserves the lion’s share of the credit. But when he left in February, he handed it off to me and we finally launched by May.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any statistics, metrics or other feedback from your work with Taoti?

We are very proud of the responsive design component of the new website. We are a trade association and we represent our members in many different ways and they look to us for insight and analysis. They’re busy people trying to help consumers with their financial needs, while we’re up here taking a careful look at how all of these rules, regulations and laws impact their ability to do that. We’ve been able to tell the story of how our private student loans are performing, how responsibly consumers are meeting their obligations and how our banks are working with them to help them do that.

The bottom line is that it’s just a great site. It is leagues away from our old, perfectly serviceable site but one that had no energy, no passion, and no narrative. Taoti Creative gave all that to us, and we were able to leverage that, use it and we’re going to continue to use it.

We’re working with them now to redesign our weekly newsletter so that it is smarter and more responsive to the end user and takes people back to the website for a deeper look. It has energized everyone here. My colleagues here are thinking differently. They’re thinking web first now and trying to apply things on the site. Although we’re small, we have people who are content owners who need to publish certain pieces on the website. Our Public Relations [PR] shop is prolific. We have a point person whose job is to publish our letters to the Hill and publish our comment letters to the regulatory bodies. After we figure out the new newsletter, I want to continue to integrate all these elements into the website.

What distinguishes Taoti Creative from other providers?

Taoti Creative are natural storytellers. They’re very good at helping us frame a narrative and think through the story line. That’s really what our website has enabled us to do—to become better storytellers.

Is there anything Taoti Creative could have improved or done differently?

One thing that I give them a great deal of credit for is that they have really big brains and really big hearts. But sometimes their Drupal brains go faster than us who don’t speak Drupal. We sometimes have to slow them down, but they’re great about that. The one thing they need to remember is that although they love their customers and think they’re really great people, their customers don’t speak Drupal as fluently as they do—I hope that feedback is well received.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They were always waiting on us.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I’ve already done that.

Drupal Implementation Nonprofit Business Support Services

“They understood what our business line was, and they were able to stay in sync with that.”

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

Taoti Creative completed a design overhaul of a website, to include re-creating information architecture and content. The project also involved backend development, data preparation, and UI/UX testing.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Washington DC Metro Area
Former Operations Director, Nonprofit Credit Bureau
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The website was rebuilt on the Drupal platform. Taoti Creative had an excellent understanding of startup businesses and provided helpful, patient guidance to lay a scalable foundation for the website. They were available, responsive, and consistent and kept the project within manageable parameters.

BACKGROUND

Could you briefly describe your company?

Credit Builders Alliance is a national nonprofit that has almost 400 members across the United States. It’s a nonprofit that supports other nonprofits with back office services that help build credit for vulnerable and low-income communities across the United States. CBA has a unique relationship with the credit bureaus, and they actually report the data of those nonprofit lenders to the credit bureaus.

What is your position?

I left the company at the end of December, so I’m not with them anymore, but when I was there, I was director of operations.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

Could you describe the business challenges you were attempting to address when you initiated the relationship with Taoti Creative?

We had a website that had been developed when the organization started that was very simple, clunky, and difficult to use, and we needed to overhaul it. We wanted a more dynamic and interactive forward facing presence. We had a couple of false starts with Web designers before we distributed our RFP [request for proposal] to potential vendors. 

SOLUTION

Could you describe the scope of this project?

It was a total overhaul. A complete redesign from beginning to end, so we had to go through the process of completely redoing our information architecture, all the content pretty much had to be redone. We began with requirements gathering and project scoping. Once we'd devised a deployment strategy, they began to create custom designs for us. Then came the actual implementation, which involved significant backend development, data preparation and migration, systems integration, UI/UX [user interface/user experience] testing, performance and scalability testing, training, and support.

On what platform did they construct your new website?

It's a Drupal-based site. 

What content management system powered your previous website?

Joomla.

Could you describe the rationale behind transitioning from Joomla to Drupal?

We were having a lot of difficulty making changes to our website and updating things, or putting in images without the formatting going completely haywire, so the old website was just not user friendly, and didn’t give us the control and customization options we wanted. It also wouldn't interface properly with our Salesforce solution. 

How did you select Taoti Creative as your solution partner?

We distributed an RFP to several potential vendors with prior Drupal experience. Taoti Creative responded with the most compelling offer. We then invited them to demonstrate their relevant capabilities and, after being successfully vetted, we decided to bring them on. 

Could you provide a sense of the size of this initiative in monetary terms?

It was between $50,000 and $100,000.

When was the new site launched?

We launched it December 31 of last year [2013].

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

In terms of results, could you share any statistics, metrics, or user feedback that would demonstrate the effectiveness of the work Taoti Creative has delivered?

The big thing is that they understood our business. Sometimes, we have a technical line of work, and it’s a very specialized area that nobody else does. The thing that I liked the most about them is that they understood what our business line was, and they were able to stay in sync with that. We didn’t have to keep explaining to them how our business works. That was a crucial factor. But, the other thing is that they understood that it’s an organic, evolutionary process. Especially when you’re a startup, and you’re constantly redefining your business parameters as you’re going along. They were very patient and very helpful throughout that process. They helped keep us to try not to do too much, but to lay a foundation where the website could evolve and grow if the organization evolved and grew. Those were the two big things that we wanted out of it, and they very much delivered that.

In retrospect, are there areas that you think they could improve upon, or are there things you'd do differently as the client before approaching this type of project?

No. When you utilize small firms you have to remember that they have limited resources. It's a real constraint that needs to be managed with keen awareness. Taoti Creative made themselves extremely available to us and they were always responsive to our requests and inquiries. I admire that level of consistency from vendors, especially in the software development space. 

5.0
Overall Score I was very pleased with them.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They stayed within budget. To me, they were very careful about that.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    Yes, for sure. I think that they have to be a good match. Depending on the project, but I think that for a project like ours, it was a really great match, and for another organization that would be similar to us, it would be a really good fit.

Organ Donation Web Development

"They’re experts in everything."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
n/a
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
2007 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Using the client's business model, Taoti designed and developed a custom website. The site was completed about five years ago, but Taoti provides ongoing revisions and maintenance on a monthly retainer.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
New York City Metro Area
Director of Technology, Hospital & Health Care Firm
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The client has been extremely happy with the partnership and Taoti's work. They are willing to take on any project or challenge and maintain a good working relationship.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

Can you give an overview of the work Taoti did for you?

We have a custom develop application. It’s not one of your standard, off-the-shelf Drupal or WordPress apps. It’s custom code, it’s written in PHP, and it runs on top of on MySQL database. It’s a very standard but everything that we have our custom layouts. All the work that goes on behind the scenes, the Intranet portion of it versus the public website, it’s all custom built. It runs from standard technical specs that we designed with their assistance. They pretty much program what we want and, if they think that we’re not making the best decision, or they think they have a better way of doing something, they talk to us about it first so that we’re not wasting development hours.

What was your main goal going into creating this application?

Just to get a website originally. Five years ago when we started, the National Kidney Registry didn’t even exist. The concept didn’t even exist. We wanted to be one of the first people out there with the idea and, once it was out there, then from there we just wanted to grow. Our business model kept changing, and they were able to adapt with us. 

SOLUTION

What scope of the project was Taoti involved in?

They helped with the design, and they helped with the development. The only thing that they essentially didn’t do is create the business model.

What would you say was a general cost range for their project? 

The initial development was definitely less than $10,000, but we spent about that and maybe a little bit more per month now on maintenance. Like I said, we’re in constant revision. We outsource the Taoti along with internal staff as well. There’s me and then there’s another developer that works with me. We use our knowledge to enhance what Taoti provides as well, so we all work in collaboration otherwise, we’re probably spending $20,000 to $25,000 a month.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

How satisfied are you with the finished product that they developed?

The finished product was on four or five years ago. We constantly do revisions. We have a monthly budget for maintenance. It’s a significantly sized budget. We basically keep one of their programmers almost full-time employed for the entire month.

When working with Taoti, is there anything that stands out as being unique or special compared to other developers you’ve worked with?

They’re experts in everything. There’s not a thing we can’t bring up to them that they don’t bring somebody to the table and say yes, we can do this, and show us what they can do.

Do you think there’s anything they could improve or do a bit better?

No. The only problem I’ve ever had is on occasion something takes an extra day or two to get done, compared to what it was scheduled. But, I’d prefer to have it done right and done within budget than done on time anyway. If I have to suffer by waiting a day or so once every three or six months then, believe me, if that’s the biggest complaint I have, then I’m very blessed.

5.0
Overall Score We haven’t switched for five years. For me, in the past, before I had worked with them, I switched Web vendors pretty much yearly. A company starts up, they do a great job and then, all of a sudden, they move you to the back corner. Not with Taoti
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Every once in a while, there’s something that comes in that takes a little bit longer to do.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • N/A NPS
    Willing to refer
    Yes. Without a doubt.