Where Design, Dev, and Data Create Incredible CX

UpTop is a UX (user experience) design, product strategy, and software development company that helps businesses expand their reach, seize market opportunities, and improve efficiencies by building digital experiences that delight users.

 

Our clients are leaders with a problem, visionaries with an idea, innovators with a need, and teams with a deadline. Our team dives in to fill any gaps in knowledge, expertise, strategy, or speed to help them achieve their goals and propel their businesses forward.

 

Whether we’re building a children’s mindfulness app for the Catherine Mayer foundation, improving the user experience for Mattress Firm website visitors, or creating a partner portal for Microsoft, we excel at helping businesses solve complex problems and drive innovation through better understanding their users’ experience.

 

We employ user research, UX design, and software development to help our customers build better products, longer customer relationships, and higher revenue. We use qualitative and quantitative user research, data analysis, business value alignment, conversion rate optimization and design thinking methodologies to deliver actionable insights that uncover the right strategy for creating a better experience for your users, customers, or employees.

 

Tell us about your vision and together, let’s turn it into reality.

 
$25,000+
 
$100 - $149 / hr
 
10 - 49
 Founded
2000
Show all +
Seattle, WA
headquarters
  • 1501 Fourth Avenue Suite 2100
    Seattle, WA 98101
    United States
other locations
  • China

Portfolio

Key clients: 

Amazon, Microsoft, CenturyLink, Mattress Firm, Belkin, Disney, Intel, Pearson Packaging, Tulo, Paint Sundries Solutions, Colliers International, vXchnge, Sotheby's, Airbiquity

The L.A.U.G.H. App

Project Type: Mobile App

Project Services: Heuristic Review and Analysis, User Experience Design, Visual Design, App Development

The Catherine Mayer Foundation enlisted UpTop in 2016 to fulfill the vision and direction of the L.A.U.G.H.® App including the UX design, illustration, animation and development. The app combines visual art (drawing), music and breathing to create calming and positive energies for kids of all ages. 

The app has recently completed testing with Seattle Children’s Research Institute under the direction of Dimitri A. Christakis, MD, MPH, Director of the Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development. The team at Children’s conducted formative research to support the app’s development and tested a variety of approaches, measuring effects on physiological markers of relaxation and concentration. Results show significant cognitive engagement in users, as well as increased focus and concentration.

IdentityForce

Project Type: E-commerce, Website, Mobile

Project Services: User Experience Design,  Research Website Assessment,  User Behavior Monitoring, Analytics Development, Responsive Design Competitive Analysis, Heuristic Review

Project Summary: In conjunction with the new B-to-C focus, the IdentityForce website was redesigned and launched in collaboration with UpTop to optimize the sales funnel and purchase flow. UpTop performed a thorough analysis of the website in order to identify weak spots that were potentially damaging to IdentityForce’s sales. After carefully assessing a wide variety of user metrics and analytics, we constructed an outline of actionable changes that would increase conversions.

Diptic

Project Type: Mobile App

Project Services: User Research, User Experience Design, Front-end Development, Back-end Development, Mobile App Development, User Testing, Quality Assurance, Marketing

Project Summary: UpTop developed Diptic, the first iPhone and iPad app to let users easily combine multiple photos to create a photo collage. With over 3 million downloads, Diptic has been featured as an App Store App of the Week and positively reviewed by Macworld and TUAW. Diptic for Mac was selected as one of the Apps of the Year by Apple for both 2012 and 2013. Apple featured Diptic PDQ as one of its Best New Apps and in 2015 Diptic was featured as a demo app in all Apples stores in the US and UK.

Mattress Firm

Project Type: E-commerce, Website, Mobile, Omni-Channel

Project Services: Website Design Strategy, User Experience Design, Visual Design, Analytics, Front-end Development

Project Summary: Mattress Firm first engaged UpTop with the goal of assessing their recently created website, and addressing any trouble spots or shortcomings that may be hindering conversions and overall user appeal. We were confident that we could provide a thorough analysis, and improve the user experience of the site through our depth of knowledge and experience.

UpTop has had a successful partnership with this client and continues to help optimize their sites to improve e-commerce functionalities. Shortly following the launch of our dew designs, revenue showed a significant spike and shopping cart abandonment was reduced by over 70%, one of the main problems they had.

 

 

 

Reviews

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Digital Sales Enablement Platform for Microsoft

“We set the bar very high, and UpTop constantly impressed me with their quick ability to land value.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
2016 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

UpTop developed an onboarding and enablement tool to support the process of scaling up a sales team. They created the UX design, researching and working with stakeholders to choose the ideal technology.

The Reviewer
 
10,001+ Employees
 
Redmond, Washington
Katie Spring
Sr. Business Program Manager, Microsoft
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

UpTop delivered a tool that has the highest consumption rate of any enablement technology company-wide at 90%. Stakeholders admire its attractive design, and users appreciate their feedback being incorporated into the UX. The team’s innovation and reliability helped form a stable relationship.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am a senior business program manager for Microsoft. I work for an inside sales division of the Commercial Growth Organization. Our centralized, global organization is digitally transforming the way we sell to and build relationships with our base of medium-sized customers by moving the technology stack to the cloud.

A medium-sized company’s cloud migration is time-consuming and requires a reliable partnership with a technology provider. Inside sales have been propped up over the last couple of years to acknowledge that the journey to the cloud requires multiple deals, project management tool transitions, and extensive, long-term support and specialization.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with UpTop?

When I came on board over two years ago, we were starting a sales organization from scratch. As Microsoft launched a new sales model, we hired over 2,000 sales reps over an 18-month period. My objective was to help our sales team have successful client engagements. To effectively support customers, all the new hires needed to understand our robust range of solutions from Office 365 to Dynamics, Azure, and all our cloud services.

We needed a rapid onboarding process that empowered our sales team with the confidence and capability to perform their jobs. Consistently providing our team with the content, information, and enablement to keep up with Microsoft’s changing technology was a tall order. We partnered with UpTop to figure out a way to achieve these goals.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement? 

UpTop gave us the tools to onboard new sales reps and help them excel at and love their jobs. First, we sent them our business challenge; as we rapidly expanded our team, we had between 300–700 new hires across our seven sales centers each month. Our globally centralized sales organization had the benefits of a central operations arm and budget, but the other locations did not. Rather than creating custom solutions for each center, we needed one that could work at scale.

Together, we ideated on creating a digital experience for onboarding our sales team and beyond. They explored technology options to invest in long-term with our partners across the company. To secure buy-ins and support from all our stakeholders, they completed the research upfront with in-depth due diligence. Once we were past that hurdle, which was critical to our success, we created storyboards for how the UX would look and feel. We rationalized the design, content, and hierarchy for delivery.

Based on experience, we knew that sales reps aren’t guaranteed to use tools we build like SharePoint sites or CRM apps. From the very beginning, UpTop stayed true to the belief that our sales experience needs to be innovative and engaging for our staff. Interviewing our team with quick online surveys gave them ownership for the final product. UpTop scaled that input and feedback process to synchronize with development.

UpTop ushered us through the entire design process. Working collaboratively with our stakeholder base, they developed the first version of our tool, which we called DISH (Digital Inside Sales Hub). As soon the first version went live, it managed all our marketing for sales reps and managers and included education pieces. A notable feature lets our sellers land quick-hit, live feedback throughout the entire digital experience. They are constantly developing and launching new features, functionalities, and designs. We make it a point to prioritize seller input every month when we consider what to add.

What is the team composition?

At any given time, we've worked with at least 5–6 people from UpTop. As many as 12–15 resources have worked with us during heavy quarters. We can expand and contract the team based on work coming through the pipeline. They manage everything behind the scenes, which makes it easy to work together.

How did you come to work with UpTop?

I heard about UpTop through word of mouth from a consulting firm that we’d used for strategy and change management. My boss at the time had also heard of them.

We considered a few other vendors, but UpTop showed a willingness to be agile, innovative, and genuinely collaborative from early on. They made us feel comfortable going all in. Digital experiences they’d developed for other clients demonstrated their capability. 

They hadn’t used the Azure stack much, which was a bit of a risk for us, but they learned quickly and brought in developers with that experience. About 2–3 months into the project, their designs, style, and quick adaptation confirmed they were the right partner. They had a dynamic team and depth of experience.

What is the status of this engagement?

We’ve been working together since 2016.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Our most important metrics for success are usage and feedback. UpTop delivered a product that has generated excellent seller feedback and increased consumption numbers. We meet with the leadership team monthly or quarterly to review the product, roadmap, and metrics. Qualitatively, they’ve noted we are delivering the right content and value by helping the sales team perform better and drive more effective customer conversations. At a 90% consumption rate, DISH currently has the highest number of any enablement tool at our company. We feel proud of the work we’ve done.

We are so excited to continue innovating, developing, and maturing the content and UX with UpTop. We feel fortunate to have a stable relationship and will ensure that they always have a voice in our DISH product. I’ve enjoyed seeing it change from version one into its current iteration. They’re an excellent partner that’s agile about updating, expanding, and experimenting with the design. The user experience and exams are beautiful and innovative. Bringing our sales team along in the journey manifested in a final product that reflects their input, one that they can truly take ownership in.

How did UpTop perform from a project management standpoint?

UpTop embodies the spirit of collaborative partnership and understands what it means to walk alongside the customer in their journey. We have a constant feedback loop running that includes widgets in the digital experience, roundtables, chats, and weekly meetings with our sellers.

I have worked with many project management and design consulting firms over the years who claim to be the sole experts. UpTop always lets go of their egos, listen to our ideas, and incorporate our input into designs and storyboards. They're as motivated about the design and UX as we are, which is a rare and powerful experience. The quality and innovative work we've delivered speaks to the strength of our engagement. 

What did you find most impressive about them?

Microsoft is a fast-paced company with a high-intensity culture, so we are demanding clients. We set the bar very high, and UpTop continually impressed me with their quick ability to land value. We threw tons of work at them with tight timelines. Our high expectations for design innovation, user experience, quality, and uniqueness were difficult attributes to attain, yet they always found a way to deliver.

During the few times early on when they didn’t, they took our feedback well and were energized to make the right changes. I never expect them to be perfect. If expectations were unclear, timelines off, or quality or robustness subpar, they would fix it right away. 

UpTop has a wide range of capabilities. They had the rare ability to not only keep up with our speed but also bring unique and innovative ideas to the table. Their well of creativity never dried out in my experience. During the early stages of our product, they designed an excellent UX, then completely reinvented the product when we needed a refresh six months later.

Are there any areas they could improve?

For any business, it’s critical never to lose sight of the importance of operational rigor. Every couple of months we had to pause project management to make sure it was staying sound. Otherwise, things would get into a state of chaos quickly. Rushing and making extensive demands often comes with a trade-off. Accountability for maintaining processes and procedures keeps us all sane.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

An experience as positive as ours stems from building a strong foundation for a working relationship. This step is critical when engaging any firm for a full-scale partnership and solution.

UpTop is more than capable of delivering across project management, development, and design. From the client side, they can only be as good as the vision you communicate. The crisper your ideas, the better the output will be. Mutual accountability is critical, and UpTop is excellent at driving those conversations on a regular basis. If either one of us wasn’t meeting our commitments or felt unsure about the quality, we had transparent conversations. That’s what a real partnership is about.

5.0
Overall Score UpTop is a true partner that can handle hard conversations and helped us break through rough terrain to attain a new level of performance and quality.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    We are very demanding, but they managed the timeline realistically, so I never had to worry about hitting deadlines.
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    As a client with a large budget, it is my responsibility as the product owner to hold them to a high bar of value for the cost.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They truly embraced a spirit of collaboration. They maintained a healthy dialogue around our goals and target audience to deliver great work.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    UpTop is an agile partner that can provide engaging, innovative UX and design. They have the experience and expertise for any size client.

UX Design for Data Analytics Platform

"UpTop is boutique-y in a good way."

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
Sept. 2015 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

UpTop provides user experience design services to an internal team at Microsoft that builds a variety of analytics tools for specific needs. User research and copywriting services have also come into play.

The Reviewer
 
10,000+ Employees
 
Redmond, Washington
Joe Nguyen
Sr. Program Manager, Microsoft
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Usage of one of the tools has increased almost four-fold. Though UpTop initially struggled to prioritize functionality in their designs, they quickly implemented feedback and have excelled ever since. Their focus on the client relationship and the skill of their resources are impressive and unique.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I work at Microsoft. My team builds internal analytics tools that empower engineering and marketing folks to do their business. We have petabytes worth of data that we process on a regular basis. When you get to that scale, it becomes very difficult to manipulate it in Excel, etc.

We build analytics tools that allow users to take the data we have and extract insight in a digestible way so they can use it for their business purposes. We do design and development for these internal tools based on requirements from various teams and then deliver that to our customers for them to be able to make informed business decisions. I’m the senior program manager.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with UpTop?

The key part of the design implementation is being able to have a UI/UX design that not only looks aesthetically pleasing but also is usable. We had developers who were good at building the frontend tools, but weren’t good at design, and we had customers who had a need, but weren’t able to articulate it.

We needed to find somebody to take the customer feedback, partner with our developers, and build out the designs, redlines, and workflows for these interactions so we could build them. The hard part of this project was bridging the gap between very technical folks who can build anything while making it simple enough for sales folks to understand and use.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We gave them the scope and then set up initial workshops for workflow and basic interactions. We started building out very lightweight tools like template tools in order to fake interaction.

From there, we walked through the tool with our customers and asked them to show us how they would build the report they needed without any guidance from us. With that, we were able to pick out pain points that we didn’t notice before and addressed them in the actual version. We modified to make it more intuitive for users and to achieve the objective that we wanted.

We delivered redlines to our internal development team so they could build out exactly what we were thinking. When we first started working with UpTop, we contracted out developers to help build some of the interactions in partnership with our engineers, and we actually ended up hiring one of the developers.

What is the team dynamic?

We’ve worked with two or three different designers, the last of which we’ve worked with for a year and a half. The one we ended up hiring was a frontend developer. Since we hired him, we haven’t used any more engineering resources from them. We used a copywriter as well for some of the components that required copy and content.

How did you come to work with UpTop?

There was another team at Microsoft that developed an internal portal. It was different than what we were doing, but the interactions were similar in that they required working with various organizations to give them information. We saw that portal and asked who helped design it. They referred us to UpTop.

We had worked with a couple of folks before them, but they were the first shop we hired on to run with the project. We had RFPs for a couple of other things, and UpTop is the one we chose.

How much have you invested with them?

The project has cost between $500,000 and $750,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with them in September 2015, and the relationship is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

This was a very new tool that is internal to Microsoft only and we were looking at a few dozen active users. We’ve easily tripled or quadrupled the number of users that were engaged in the tool.

Analytics tools are not easy to use because they’re required to do very complex things. Oftentimes people confused our internal tools with tools that were developed for external facing clients, meaning that our design was good enough to look professional and people understood that we were doing something for a particular purpose.

How did UpTop perform from a project management standpoint?

They have an account manager and a project manager, in addition to other individuals. It wasn’t perfect in the beginning because what we’re doing is fairly complex, so in order to make sure we were getting feedback, we checked in fairly regularly with the account manager. When things didn’t go as planned, I would send clear instructions of what I expected. They were very receptive to make sure they picked things up.

What did you find most impressive about them?

UpTop is boutique-y in a good way. They’re not a huge firm, but also not a small shop. They are very interested in the client relationship and they want to make it work.

We’ve worked with other vendors for different things and it often feels like they put an ad on Craigslist to find someone for the project. Working with UpTop is different. They give us actual employees that they’ve invested in to make sure they have the right skill sets. It didn’t feel like they were just off the street.

Are there any areas they could improve?

Design is very tough, especially when it comes to technical design. Graphic designers probably don’t go to school to design analytics tools. It took awhile to change the mentality from needing something aesthetically beautiful to needing something both beautiful and functional.

As we were building out the tool, UpTop delivered beautiful mockups, but it felt like the functionality was almost secondary. We had to sit down with them to tell them our goals and how we were going to get there, and after that, it was fine.

4.5
Overall Score
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Overall, they were really good. The hard part is since it’s a very dynamic environment, you get things thrown at you. It’s not their fault.
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They’re not the cheapest, but there’s a reason they aren’t.
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    I don’t know if anything is perfect. Perfect is an abstract value.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

UX Design for Independent Review Board Company

“From a design perspective, I’m satisfied with what we received from UpTop.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
n/a
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Aug. 2016 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

UpTop is collaborating on the improvement of an online client portal for an independent review board. They provided screenshots and wireframes.

The Reviewer
 
201-500 Employees
 
Seattle, Washington
Patrick Ursino-Bosworth
Senior Manager, Quorum Review IRB
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Although the designs have not yet been implemented, UpTop has completed all deliverables. The team is competent and communicates their expectations well. They took the time to better understand the niche-industry business and maintained a mature, respectful, and professional approach.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

Quorum Review IRB is an independent board that reviews research studies prior to them entering the clinical trial phases. We monitor these studies throughout their lifetime to make sure they meet ethical standards and that participants are being protected. I’m senior manager of client services. I’m responsible for the end-to-end client experience, ensuring the accuracy and timeliness of those documents.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with UpTop?

We wanted to revamp our portal, which is our clients’ electronic experience with Quorum. We were looking for a firm that could give us the level of expertise that our IT group didn’t have at the time.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We’ve collaborated to revamp the look and feel of the portal, but not the functionality. They’ve provided us with screenshots and wireframes, but they have not done any development work for us. Since we worked with a different team last year, there is a lot of rework required.

Initially, we met over a three-day period to go through the whole process of exploration. While the whole process was new to me and felt time-consuming, I don’t believe that was UpTop’s problem. I think that was our company.

At first, we went through a lot of user stories. UpTop needed to know who our client base was and in order to do that, they needed to understand our business. We are in a niche industry, and it can get very confusing.

What is the team dynamic?

I was included in the meetings as the subject matter expert responsible for educating UpTop on what we do. At times, I was confused about who was responsible for what because I’m not an IT project manager. All of our meetings involved the complete group who was working on the project, but it was difficult for me to see who had ownership for what. There were people who made sure the project moved forward while others provided design ideas. There were some people leading the exploration phase.

How did you come to work with UpTop?

I didn’t hire them. As a key stakeholder, I was brought in after they were hired.

How much have you invested with them?

I’m not part of the budgeting so I don’t know.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with them in August 2016. The project was put on hold by Quorum and we didn’t pick it up again until March 2017. From then on, it was consistent for six weeks. I had many meetings with them over that time. The project is not done yet.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

UpTop delivered what they were supposed to deliver, but it hasn’t been implemented yet so I can’t give any results. I think the project is supposed to be done by the end of this year, but I think it’s being pushed back again by Quorum.

From a design perspective, I’m satisfied with what we received from UpTop. We don’t know yet how it will go with development. I really liked their team.

How did UpTop perform from a project management standpoint?

They are all very competent and communicate their expectations very well. They take the time to understand what we do, which is what took the most time at the beginning of the project. Unfortunately, our project manager in Quorum isn’t very helpful. UpTop does the best they could without much support from our project manager. They have a lot of deliverables.

What did you find most impressive about them?

I really like their work and who they are. Even though there were different people in our meetings, they all knew what their roles were and didn’t try to go outside those roles. Everything felt very mature, respectful, and professional.

Are there any areas they could improve?

It won’t be fair for me to say because we don’t have a great project manager on our side.

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

UX Development for Data Services Provider

"They've [UpTop] been very supportive, and they have helped us achieve our strategic objectives."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
Project summary: 

The client hired UpTop to help design and develop their consumer-facing portal. UpTop created renderings, recommended technologies, and developed the front-end and back-end of the platform.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 employees
 
Florida
CTO, Data Services Provider
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

UpTop excelled in the areas of project management, communication, and setting expectations. They are highly skilled, and the client considers themselves fortunate to have found them.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the chief technology officer of a data center services provider. We provide space, power, cooling, connectivity, and portal services to a wide range of customers around the country. Our clients include service providers, enterprises, and the like.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with UpTop?

Customers traditionally prefer to build their own brick-and-mortar data center facilities for IT [information technology] equipment. They want control over that part of the platform to guarantee the service levels that they need. Also, clients believe it's easier to deal with internal IT systems and IT departments as opposed to working with an external partner. Given this situation, an important pillar of our strategy was putting better visibility and control into our customers' hands. We wanted to build a portal that gives customers visibility, control, and confidence in the underlying infrastructure. Our portal had to be easy to use and navigate. It had to be natural and extensible, almost as if it were the client's own.

We needed help with designing and thinking through the appropriate user experience for that portal. Other than the person you're speaking to right now, we literally had no internal development, software, or design capability in-house. We needed a partner we could depend on completely. Since user experience was critical, we sought out UpTop.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

First, we spent time explaining our near-term and long-term objectives to UpTop. We showed them what we had and where we wanted to take the portal, both technically and visually. UpTop then helped us through the visual design and addressed technical design issues. They laid the foundations for the back-end systems as well. After taking all of that information, they gave recommendations on pieces of the technology platform. UpTop also made a number of initial renderings to help us visualize what the end product would look like. In the process, they refined that visualization to meet our expectations.

UpTop did all the front-end and back-end development work for version one of the platform. We could basically relaunch ourselves from what we had that day. They gave us the option to leverage them as a partner as required or we could continue the development at our own pace as we matured our capabilities in-house, which we've done. We succeeded in launching the platform they built for us from day one. As the platform evolves, we continue to collaborate with UpTop for small piece parts and for tangential support. We've been making incremental investments so that we can have our own development capability. This has allowed us to enhance and expand the platform ourselves.

How did you come to work with UpTop?

My sister happens to be a graphic designer by trade. It's a science and discipline in and of itself. All I knew was that we did not have the experience to make a judgment about our platform's design. Since she was very familiar with the user experience industry, I asked her for recommendations in the country. She also contacted a few colleagues in the industry for additional referrals. Then, we went through a round of interviews with those organizations, and we got a few references along the way. UpTop was one of the companies on her short list. When we were originally introduced to UpTop, we were introduced as a user experience firm. At the end of the day, UpTop just rose to the top. They had the capabilities and the mindset that we were looking for.

How much have you invested with UpTop?

We've probably spent $500,000 or more on UpTop's services.

What is the status of this engagement?

Our engagement with UpTop probably dates back to Q2 of 2015. We had our initial launch in January of this year [2016]. We've continued to do incremental work with them as recently as a week ago [September 2016].

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

UpTop invested time and the resources even before we started writing a line of code. We worked hard to define the requirements and the scope very well. As a result, there were very few, if any, surprises when the delivery came. Our expectations for the scope and schedule were pretty tightly aligned. It helped that we provided enough details upfront before we moved forward with the project. That gave them confidence in developing timelines and delivering our expectations. As a result, they met our expectations in terms of scope, delivery, and being on time.

How did UpTop perform from a project management standpoint?

We've had the good fortune that project management is one of the strengths that UpTop brought to the table. UpTop assigned us a project manager who was very disciplined and organized. He tracked the scope, schedule, and budget items. As our liaison, he translated our expectations into requirements and got answers directly from development resources. He also knew enough technology to be very effective in his role. He always made sure we were aware of where we stood, where the jeopardy was, and what UpTop needed from us. We appreciated the status reports he provided. We've had the opportunity to maintain relationships with that one PM, so he's had continuity from the start. This helps him continue to be effective for us.

Until the later stages of our initial work with them, I was the primary contact and liaison. That meant I spent time in their offices and had electronic communication multiple times a week. As we were getting close to launch, we had a formal status and technology review once or twice a week. Eventually, I brought an architect on board to step in and take some of the final roles. I still retained the primary business relationships. As we've done incremental work with UpTop, I've re-engaged them, helped scope out the work, and kept the business relationship going.

What did you find most impressive about UpTop?

The other firms we talked to had more Ph.D.s than I've seen in academia. UpTop certainly had those credentials, and they had people who truly understood the discipline. But, what we liked about UpTop was that they balanced those credentials with practicality. We weren't just spinning our wheels talking about theory and user behavior constantly. They balanced theory with practical application in our industry. We found that valuable, and it distinguished them from the others.

The other thing I'd say that set UpTop apart was that they were clear, honest and set expectations fairly. They knew when to push back and ask us to think twice about a request. On the other hand, they were able to take pressure from us since we're still the customer. Compared to a lot of partners that I've worked with, there really were no surprises from UpTop. It doesn't mean everybody bats 1,000, but they had a pretty high batting average. Across a large number of partners, not just in this discipline, they're on the top of my list. I give them credit for that. It's why they've been the first ones we've considered when we've had incremental needs. This may sound like they must've paid me a very large fee to give them a glowing review. But, in all honesty, they've earned it. I don't usually like to do these kinds of interviews, but they've treated us well. We were very fortunate that it was a very good match.

Are there any areas UpTop could improve?

I suppose that the right answer is that no one is perfect, and there are always areas to improve. However, our partnership with UpTop works, so I can't say that there are areas for improvement. If it didn't, we wouldn't continue to be doing business with them. I can't say that there is any area where an improvement would make our relationship better.

5.0
Overall Score Overall, they've been a pleasure to work with. They've been very supportive, and they have helped us achieve our strategic objectives.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They hit all of the timelines and deadlines that we agreed upon.
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    I will always try to squeeze blood out of a turnip. I will always try to get more for less. Generally speaking, they are fair.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They clearly defined the scope, schedule, and budget. They delivered all of the expectations we set.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    If I thought that the match was right as it was for us, I would have no hesitation. My willingness to give this interview would be a reflection of that.

Website Development and Design for Sothebys

"UpTop has been amazing. I would never go with another company."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
1991 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

UpTop developed the original website for a top real estate in the ‘90s, and has maintained and upgraded that site ever since. The site’s purpose is to serve as a marketing tool for potential clients.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Santa Barbara, CA
Suzanne Perkins
Real Estate Agent, Sotheby's International Realty
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

UpTop’s work brings in massive revenue and constantly guarantees visibility. Their graphic design expertise sets the bar high for real estate websites. The team is highly responsive and doesn’t hesitate to provide personal attention.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your organization.

I work for Sotheby's International Realty, which is associated with Sotheby's Auction House. We're the largest luxury real estate company in the United States as far as volume goes.

What is your position?

I'm the top Sotheby's real estate agent in California.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What business challenge were you trying to address with UpTop?

I entered the real estate business in '91. I didn't have any connections or clients. I was a brand new agent with no referrals or background to help generate clients. At that time, there were no agents who had websites. I was the first agent in the area to have a website. 

SOLUTION

Please describe the scope of UpTop's work.

UpTop manages my sites for me. We just finished our fourth redo of my website. 

How did you come to work with UpTop?

I forget how I hooked up with UpTop. We've been working together for years. 

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any statistics or metrics from this engagement?

My website has been huge. I sell between $100 million and $200 million a year in real estate. I really equate a lot of that success to my website and my Web presence. We are able to update things instantaneously. I also have a horse website that's managed by UpTop for my horse business. UpTop has been amazing. I would never go with another company.

What distinguishes UpTop from other providers?

UpTop's graphics design has been very impressive. This last year, we went through a redo. UpTop came out and spent a couple of days reviewing websites with me. It took about six months to build the updated site. UpTop is very responsive. I can send them information to update anything, and it's done within the day. They're a class act. Most real estate websites are crap. In my business, you only have a few seconds to grab a client's attention, and you better make it good.

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

No.

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

Intranet Development for CenturyLink

"UpTop is focused properly on solving the business need even if it's a very seemingly pedestrian solution."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
Project summary: 

UpTop is a long-term strategic partner for a Fortune 500 company. Two major projects were a website redesign, and a web-based tool to streamline internal communications. UpTop always favors functionality over aesthetics.

The Reviewer
 
10,001 + Employees
 
Los Angeles, CA
Bob Christopher
Senior Manager of Communications, CenturyLink
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

UpTop is a competitive provider with a combination of a strategic approach and creative solutions The Intranet system increased productivity by 25%. They are practical, down-to-earth people, and always focus on getting the job done. Their solutions are built with ongoing optimization in mind.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your organization.

CenturyLink Telecommunications is an international Fortune 500 provider of telecommunication, cloud, networking and managed services for a large- and medium-sized businesses, the federal government and so forth. 

What is your role and responsibilities?

I work on the business side of CenturyLink – not the residential or the small biz side. We're specifically focused on business services. I'm the senior manager of communications. I handle internal communications for our business unit, which means communicating, managing information for all of the various stakeholders from product, marketing, and pricing groups to our front-line sales people.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What was your goal for working with UpTop?

UpTop has been a strategic partner with CenturyLink for years. We've had a long-standing relationship with UpTop. But, the specific thing that I engaged UpTop on was that we needed Web-based tools and improvements to our communications processes.

SOLUTION

Please describe the scope of their work.

There's been so many projects we've done with them. When I think back to the big one that was an intranet redesign and the whole rethinking of our internal communications platform, we were working with the consultant McKinsey and Company at the time.

What was your process for selecting UpTop?

UpTop was essentially the incumbent, we did put out a request for proposal, but UpTop knew our business. They were cost effective. Really, it was the presentation, the strategic approach, and the good, strong blend of creative solutions. The focus was functionality versus cool. It was really the right blend for us of functionality, usability, design and, of course, the cost effectiveness. UpTop just really understood our business.

Can you give a sense of the size of the initiative?

It was $200,000-plus for the intranet project, but our partnership with UpTop is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Do you have any statistics or metrics on the project?

Qualitatively, it was a big home run. We were really a generation behind on our intranet, and the new site was just amazing.

Quantitatively, we did some surveying and asked the salespeople how much time they were spending on reading emails, finding information, and finding resources. It was ridiculous. It was more than two hours a day. In the first year of creating this centralized communications process and relaunching the intranet, we dropped that by more than 25 percent. 

The cool thing is, after the launch, UpTop continued to be a vendor of ours. We could say, "this is working real well, but I wish we could do this or this or these things." In many cases, they had already, in their initial design, thought through where we might want to go. It made it much easier to add functionality to the solution because they had designed it with some forethought. We just kept adding to the platform and making it better.

What differentiates UpTop from other partners?

The folks at UpTop are really down to earth. They never seem to be about the latest, flashiest innovations. They're not trying to dazzle you with design. UpTop is  focused properly on solving the business need even if it's a very seemingly pedestrian solution, but they ensure it works.

Looking back on the work so far, is there any area that you think they could improve upon or that you might do differently?

I have told UpTop before not to hesitate to bring solutions to us. We tend to come to them with a problem and say here's something we're trying to solve. They know our business pretty well and they know what I would like more of – because I consider them a trusted vendor – is if they see something, say something. Are there things we might benefit from? It would be great if they came and solved problems that we didn't know we had.

4.5
Overall Score They're very good. The balance of cost and value is there – very high.
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    The lower rating would be a mutual result of us being the client we are. They have changed in size and capability since some of these larger projects. They have more scalability now.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    Very few surprises. They have a master service agreement with us. It's pretty easy to do business with them and get good rates.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I have no problem recommending them.

e-Commerce Website Redesign for Mattress Retailer

"We can go to them with any problem or task we have, and they're always willing to figure out a way to solve it or get it done."

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

UpTop redesigned the website for a mattress retailer after a disastrous replatforming campaign. The goal was to make the website highly competitive and improve conversation rates.

The Reviewer
 
1001-5000 Employees
 
USA
Director of Digital Development, Mattress Retailer
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

UpTop’s strength was their eagerness to solve any and all business challenges. They consistently delivered more than expected and did it with a flexible attitude. The team had expansive digital knowledge spanning UI/UX, design, and development.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your organization. What is your role and responsibilities?

We're a bedding retailer with more than 2,500 stores across the country. I'm the director of digital development. My team supports all of the e-commerce and digital properties.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What was your goal for working with UpTop?

We had just replatformed one of our digital properties. The design of our site was subpar to say the least. We needed to get it updated so we could start optimizing and converting leads at a higher level. We're always looking to add new features. 

Please describe the scope of their work.

It was website redesign.

SOLUTION

What was your process for selecting UpTop?

We had heard of UpTop previously. We looked at other companies, but I was not involved in the immediate decision. What sold us on UpTop were their personalities. We thought they would mesh well with us. We had also seen examples of the work they had done. They had knowledge about everything from user experience to Web design and  Web developing to Web hosting and everything in between. 

When was the work completed? Can you give a sense of the size of the initiative?

Our partnership is ongoing and, at this point, falls between $50,000 to $200,000.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Is there anything unique or special about UpTop that really makes them stand out?

I worked with a lot of partners in all parts of the digital atmosphere. One of the things that makes UpTop special is that we can go to them with any problem or task we have, and they're always willing to figure out a way to solve it or get it done. Every discussion we've had they've said yes. They've delivered on every project beyond expectations. The flexibility and the amount they're able to deliver on their promises is incredible. We haven't seen that with anyone else.

Looking back on the work so far, is there any area that you think they could improve upon or that you might do differently?

I can't think of anything.

5.0
Overall Score We've had a great experience so far.
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    We gave them some tough deadlines, but they always seem to get it close.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer