Web Design, Development & Digital Strategy

Gold
VERIFIED

We champion your mission-focused organization by creating beautiful and flexible websites and applications. We do this by providing strong project leadership, honest advice, thoughtful design and technical best-practices.

We plan, design and create innovative websites using open source web content management systems like Drupal and WordPress. 

Value Proposition: We bring the project management leadership, design sophistication and technical expertise of a larger firm, at the price point of a boutique agency.

Urban Insight was established in 1997 and has successfully completed over 500 projects for a wide range of clients. 

 
$25,000+
 
$100 - $149 / hr
 
10 - 49
 Founded
2000
Show all +
Los Angeles, CA
headquarters
  • 3530 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1285
    Los Angeles, CA 90010
    United States

Portfolio

Key clients: 

American Library Association, Causeway Capital Management, City of Los Angeles, CA, Gilcrease Museum of Art, Japanese American National Museum, Kennedy Wilson (NYSE: KW), Legal Services Corporation, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Planetizen, The Broad Museum, The Huntington Library, University of Southern California, University of Tulsa, USC Viterbi School of Engineering

The Broad Museum Image

The Broad Museum

The Broad is one of the nation's most prominent contemporary art museums, founded by philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad on Grand Avenue in downtown Los Angeles. 


Urban Insight and The Broad redesigned the visual and user experience to immediately engage visitors with The Broad's world-class collection of postwar and contemporary art. Recognizing that a significant proportion of The Broad's visitors first

experience the museum on a mobile device, we optimized the experience for mobile users. A series of workflow tools enable The Broad team to update all aspects of the website to quickly publish news, events, and information about new exhibitions.
Kennedy Wilson (NYSE:KW) Image

Kennedy Wilson (NYSE:KW)

Kennedy Wilson (NYSE:KW) is a global real estate investment company. Kennedy Wilson wanted to unify their corporate website with a new visual design and implement a flexible content management system to optimize content for mobile and tablet devices, to quickly deploy new website features, and to enable distributed management. The new website uses an open source content management system to enhance Kennedy Wilson’s global

reach. It showcases Kennedy Wilson's history with an interactive timeline, enables fast and easy content discovery with a site-wide search, and strengthens their brand on all devices, due to a beautiful mobile responsive design.
Planetizen Courses Image

Planetizen Courses

Planetizen is the most-recognized and loved brand for the urban planning and design community in the US.


Urban Insight created Planetizen Courses to provide online education opportunities covering a wide range of practical tools for urban planners, urban designers, and civic enthusiasts.

It accomplished this by developing an e-learning platform using the Drupal content management system — one that could

handle the challenges of delivering high quality, streaming video to a wide audience and support online payments and subscriptions. 

Planetizen Courses subscribers can browse a library of courses by topic, track course progress, take course quizzes, and earn and share certificates of completion. 

Urban Insight works alongside Planetizen staff to plan, record and produce the weekly hour-long video courses in the green screen video recording studio in Urban Insight’s Los Angeles office.

City of Los Angeles, California Image

City of Los Angeles, California

Drawing on its years of experience intersecting urban planning and technology, Urban Insight worked with the City of Los Angeles Department of City Planning to develop a set of public participation tools and create a new model for a web-based zoning code. The first of its kind, the new web code will allow residents to answer a series of questions to create a customized and streamlined version of the code for their specific

property and needs. The public participation and engagement tools were awarded the "Best Use of Technology" by the American Planning Association, Los Angeles Section. The zoning code website was awarded the 2017 “Smart Cities Award” by the American Planning Association.
Global Financial Services Company Image

Global Financial Services Company

The client is an investment management firm that specializes in managing global, international, and emerging market equities.


The global financial services firm and Urban Insight developed an intuitive web application built in Angular that seamlessly integrates with the financial services firm's proprietary investment performance algorithm. The web app is optimized for tablets and provides a user-friendly

interface for analyzing individual or multiple funds, displays fund recommendations and comparative fund predictions, and provides interactive graphical charts with up to 10 years of historical data.
University of Southern California Image

University of Southern California

The USC Viterbi School of Engineering is innovative, elite and internationally recognized for creating models of education, research and commercialization. 


USC Viterbi and Urban Insight developed an intuitive mobile web experience, Progressive Web app, and iOS native app that enables students to discover social, research, and career opportunities, encourages networking with fellow students, and incentivizes

participation in events and career activities. The app uses gamification techniques and nudge theory to leverage technology to make students feel welcome and part of the USC Viterbi community.

Reviews

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Web Development for PR Company

"They were on time, they were efficient, and they walked us through every phase of the project."

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

Urban Insight delivered an intranet that allows for collaboration on content creation and content editing tasks. The product is built to handle graphic assets and video files for social media platforms.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Los Angeles, California
Jessie Nagel
Co-Founder, Hype
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Urban Insight delivered a widely useful solution that significantly increased efficiency for the client. The team maintained open lines of communication, prioritized collaboration, and offered frequent updates. Their professional approach, coupled with their drive to innovate, sets them apart.

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

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m one of the co-founders and leading members of Hype; we do PR, marketing, and social media.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Urban Insight?

We've started to focus more and more on the social media space, and a lot of our clients are asking for more production and visual effects. There’s a ton of different assets that we’re trying to review and make decisions about, and, especially with remote team members, it’s difficult to handle at times. We went to Urban Insights, asking for a more efficient way to do that—a way to figure out and solve that problem.

The traditional approval process involves email, but much of that information can get lost in translation, and most email platforms don’t handle big files well. The threads become confusing, especially if you have people working all over the place in different time zones, and it becomes a huge barrier to productivity and delivering for clients.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They proposed an intranet system to help manage our social media content and assets. It allows us to look at different items and work collaboratively, even with individuals working remote. It’s an online system that lets various users work on projects simultaneously.

We’re able to easily put in different files—visual, motion, whatever it may be—and put notes attached to them for other team members to see. You can also edit and review items in the system—it’s like a more sophisticated or robust version of Google Docs. Using the platform, we can quickly get approval from all of our team members on specific deliverables.

What is the team composition?

Their team is larger than ours, but I only speak with a few key contacts about the project. I think we had 3–4 people from Urban Insights working on our system. 

How did you come to work with Urban Insight?

We were referred to them. We knew that they did a number of things in the digital space—I had already seen some websites of theirs—but we didn’t know if they would be capable of building custom solutions. We reached out to them to see if they had any ideas for how to address our problem.

I liked that, even though they’re a boutique agency, they have a pretty robust offering of services. I feel like our company is the same. That’s part of why we decided to work with them, because of their size. 

How much have you invested with them?

Everything included, it was $28,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We launched the product in August, and I think the first conversation was six months before that. The work itself only lasted for a couple of months.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

We ended up adding more social media people right around the time they were wrapping up the project. They hit our deadline, which made for a great onboarding process for those individuals. They’ve helped us become much more efficient.

How did Urban Insight perform from a project management standpoint?

They were on time, they were efficient, and they walked us through every phase of the project. They were also super organized and understood all of our needs. The detailed tracking and frequent updates also made our lives easier.

Whenever we had a question, they would take the time to answer it. We tried to structure the partnership around regular meetings, and they never felt like a burden. I always felt excited going into those conversations because I knew how well everything was moving along.

When we started working with them, we had a few people on our end who would weigh in with their opinions, and I handled most of the overarching management tasks. At one point, they brought in my team to talk through the nuts and bolts that they felt were needed in the new system. That approach helped because those team members are the doers; I’m more of a manager that focuses on reviewing items.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They did an excellent job of keeping us in the loop and letting us know what the benchmarks were while also making us feel heard. They were always friendly and warm; we could tell that they were used to dealing with people from different industries on similar projects. We were worried they wouldn’t know how to deal with our needs, but they’ve been tracking with us all the way.

That human touch, mixed with their genuine capability, continues to be a huge selling point for us. Urban Insights is creative but also confident in their decision making. They would come back to us with ideas and give a solid rationale for them. Even when you’re offering a technology solution, the people aspect is key.

Are there any areas they could improve?

Their bid was more expensive than some of the other quotes we got, but I think it’s justified. They were always transparent about that, and we can’t fault them for being worth the money. As a small business, we’re often worried about finding out which firms will be the right fit in terms of budget, but it feels like it was worth it. 

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Talk with your team about the problem that you’re facing, and find out what you need, from every level. Identify your primary goal before meeting with Urban Insights and be honest during those internal discussions. That way, when you come to them, they’ll be able to focus on listening to what you have to say rather than selling you on different solutions. 

Also, make sure to think ahead about the impact of your investment will be. You want to make sure that whatever Urban Insights is building fits with your long-term vision.

5.0
Overall Score Once we started working together, they felt like an extension of our team. They’re nice, they’re fun people to work with, and they’re intelligent.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Like us, they were super organized and precise with scheduling.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    It was a significant investment for us, and a bit of a scary one, but it was worth it. We’re excited to keep growing with this system in place.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They delivered a product that we use all the time. It’s a core part of our system. It’s difficult to remember how we did business without it.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    We’ve already had some folks ask for referrals, and we’ve passed Urban Insights’s information along to a couple of different companies.

App Development for Engineering School

“The CEO’s leadership and ability to be a part of each project is really special."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
Dec. 2017 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

In their lasting partnership with a university’s engineering school, Urban Insight developed an iOS and web app that contained content relating to the collegiate experience. It includes a centralized calendar.

The Reviewer
 
201-500 Employees
 
Los Angeles, California
Ryan Rozan
Associate Director of Comp Science Student Affairs, USC
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The final app was well-received by the student population, who’ve adopted the solution at greater rates than expected. The team allowed user feedback to guide their continued modifications to the platform, readjusting their focus from mobile to web. Their staff communicated effectively.

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

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the Associate Director of Computer Science Student Affairs at the University of Southern California’s Viterbi School of Engineering. We oversee a population of about 4,000 computer science students. I also work on various projects for the school, including the student engagement app we created with Urban Insight.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Urban Insight?

Our goal was to encourage active participation and engagement among engineering students by designing an interactive tool that focuses on student development, events and activities, and services and resources. We modeled the app after another app Urban Insight had designed for the residential education department.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We identified four dimensions in the student experience that we wanted to unite in a central place for them: academics, career, social, and wellness. They built the app with various learning pathways that students can complete in these areas. Students are able to earn points, win prizes, and compete with each other within their academic units.

They also developed a centralized calendar within the app, so all school-sponsored events and student organization events are listed there. Students can attend to earn points. It’s created a whole new student experience.

The original scope of the mission was to build an iOS and web version that could support Android users. At this point, we have a native iOS version and a web app. After the launch in fall 2018, student feedback demanded an Android version. We looked into that with their team, and they provided an alternative solution.

They suggested a progressive web app that could more effectively support Android phones and other devices. We decided to convert our current web app into a progressive web app instead of creating an Android app from the beginning. Everything successfully launched in time for the fall 2019 student orientation, and we are continuing to work with Urban Insight on a support contract.

What is the team composition?

We have worked with Chris (CEO Urban Insight), Paris, Olga, and Vasty (Digital Project Managers, Urban Insight), a programmer, and a designer over the course of the project. So, there were at least four team members at any given time.

How did you come to work with Urban Insight?

Our university has been working with them for over a decade now. They built an undergraduate advising database over a decade ago that we use extensively. We had an ongoing relationship with them.

Before this project, they worked with the school of engineering on other efforts, including a custom website for the computer science department in 2016. I was familiar with them already when this project came around.

How much have you invested with them?

We’ve spent about $250,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with them on this project in December 2017. Initial launch of the iOS app and web app was in October 2018 and the progressive web app launched in July 2019, but we still have their ongoing support for the app.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

We’ve conducted several focus groups to get feedback on the app. We’ve received pretty positive reactions and have more usage than initially expected. We found that students prefer the web version to iOS, likely because they’re on their laptops while on campus. Because of that feedback, we’re looking at moving away from mobile and sticking with a web platform that can be accessed on any device.

We really appreciate the centralized calendar that Urban Insight created. The university is pretty decentralized in terms of systems, calendars, and events. Having one place for all events has been very helpful for the school. We’re also working on a feature to add job and internship postings to the app. The students seem very excited about seeing those implemented.   

How did Urban Insight perform from a project management standpoint?

We had weekly calls from the project manager, but Chris would occasionally jump on them, too. Usually, the project manager would liaise with the designers and programmers for us. Over the course of the project, we’ve had three project managers.

Before our first project manager left, she trained a new one on our project before handing it off. At that time, it was like we had two project managers, which really streamlined our work. Having collaborated with all three of them, I think they’ve all been fantastic. For communication with Urban Insight, we use Basecamp. Internally, though, our team uses Trello.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They have a great team. Chris had been involved from beginning to end, regularly checking in to make sure everything progresses smoothly. They’re consistently willing to consult us on major technical decisions. The CEO’s leadership and ability to be a part of each project is really special.

Are there any areas they could improve?

Sometimes there’s back-and-forth when we’re trying to get information on the technical feasibility of features. It might be helpful to further integrate the programmers, but I also know that they’re very busy. That’s the only thing I could recommend.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Be prepared to put the effort in on your end. You can’t expect Urban Insight to handle everything. It’s important that you help them make your project a success.

5.0
Overall Score They’re our go-to for future projects.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They’ve been great about hitting deadlines.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Web Development & Design for Historic Resource Office

“They not only created a visually compelling website, but they understood the context of our work.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Mar. 2007 - Sept. 2019
Project summary: 

Urban Insight designed and developed two websites for a historic resource office. The team built two Drupal sites, working closely with the client to provide context and content.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
Los Angeles, California
Ken Bernstein
Principal City Planner, LA Office of Historic Resources
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The websites have received overwhelmingly positive feedback from the general public, garnering two awards. Urban Insight collaborates directly with the client to ensure a seamless workflow and a quality product that meets their requirements. The team is easy to work with and responsive.

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

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the principal city planner and manager at the Los Angeles Department of City Planning. I head the office of resources.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Urban Insight?

We created a new office in 2006 and created the first full-service historic preservation office for the city of Los Angeles. At the same time, we were launching a major project called Survey L.A., a citywide survey of historic resources. We needed a web presence for both the office and the survey.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Urban Insight designed and developed both websites for us. Their team used a Drupal CMS for both websites. We worked very closely with them on the overall structure of the site and provided some text content. They took the lead on the visual design of the sites. Our teams worked together on creating an outline and overall navigation structure and they built that out for us. 

Urban Insight also made sure that we were in compliance with the accessibility standards so that users of differing abilities could access the site’s information. This project was done in conjunction with the Getty Conservation Institute. They also provide periodic updates and upgrades. We did one significant upgrade back in 2012 as well as a redesign of the site.

What is the team composition?

We work with 3–4 members of the Urban Insight team, including Chris (CEO, Urban Insight), who was involved throughout. 

How did you come to work with Urban Insight?

I knew Chris professionally through some of his work with other urban planning organizations. Urban Insight had done some sites relating to urban planning and development work in Los Angeles so it seemed like they were the best fit for the substantive information that we were conveying. 

How much have you invested with them?

We have invested between $100,000–$250,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

Our engagement with Urban Insight ran from March 2007–September 2019.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Urban Insight has the unique ability to help organizations distill complex information in a way that’s compelling and digestible to the general public. They have a strong knowledge of the field and are up to date on current techniques and web design. 

We consistently got very positive feedback on our website, from its design to its navigability. We also got an award early on from the American Planning Association for innovative use of technology. Survey L.A. got a national planning award for our overall public outreach program. The public feedback has also been positive. 

How did Urban Insight perform from a project management standpoint?

Their team is easy to work with, accessible, and responsive. Whenever we had challenges, perhaps something not working properly on the site, we found them to be consistently responsive to our needs. 

I certainly didn’t know about what it takes to deliver a large and complex website for an organization such as ours. They laid out a project management approach and schedule for the development of the site. They delivered it on time and on budget and then provided ongoing maintenance. 

What did you find most impressive about them?

They not only created a visually compelling website, but they understood the context of our work. Urban Insight could make suggestions in the development of the sites that strengthened our web presence. They had a deeper understanding of the role of our organization in shaping a city, especially one as complex as Los Angeles.

Chris brings not only knowledge and expertise on how to design a website, but also how the content we’re trying to deliver is impacting the life of our city. That gives their worth a depth and sophistication that just the general web developer would not have been able to bring.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No, they did a great job.

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

Web Redesign for Public Information Repository

“They’re incredibly capable and easily adapt to different environments.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Sept. 2018 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Urban Insight redesigned a government website, implementing new features like a complex search function. They also provided creative design ideas, but most of the work was the new Drupal implementation.

The Reviewer
 
201 - 500 Employees
 
Bellevue, Washington
Chris Mawhorter
Client Engagement Manager, Affirma Consulting
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Urban Insight is communicative and extremely organized, sticking to a clear outline and never missing deadlines. They strive to provide tailored solutions to unique business problems, putting the end client’s needs as the top priority.

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

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m a client engagement manager for Affirma Consulting, a full-service digital agency that specializes in .NET dev. I manage and facilitate relationships that already exist within our company and pursue those businesses. 

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Urban Insight?

One of our clients wanted a new web implementation on Drupal, so we began looking for a partner with experience in that CMS.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Our end client was redesigning a government website that contained publicly available records about a nuclear site cleanup. Urban Insight mainly replicated the same functionality and design from the old CRM onto Drupal. They implemented new features, such as a complex search function that utilized Alfresco and Solr. They also do some creative design and changes to graphics to get better usage, but the bulk of the project is Drupal implementation. 

What is the team composition? 

They provide a team of four people.

How did you come to work with Urban Insight?

I asked numerous colleagues for references, and our COO knew someone who worked at Urban Insight. I contacted about four different firms, and we chose Urban Insight because of our connection to them and also because they seemed to be the most capable resource.

How much have you invested with them?

We’ve spent between $90,000–$100,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We partnered in September 2018, and the work is ongoing. 

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

They’re incredibly capable and easily adapt to different environments. Our project involved a complex security system and numerous roadblocks, but they worked hard to find solutions and deliver what the client was expecting. The final product should go live within the month.

How did Urban Insight perform from a project management standpoint?

We mainly communicate via web conference, but they did come on site for a kickoff at our client’s request. I never had a question about what was happening because they always had a clear outline and consistent communication.

What did you find most impressive about them?

We heavily prioritize client satisfaction, and Urban Insight holds the same standards, embracing the client’s needs. Instead of providing a prepackaged approach, they took time to understand the problem and deliver a tailored solution.

Are there any areas they could improve?

The initial collaboration was a bit difficult, but that was more because of the project constraints and not because of Urban Insight.

Do you have any advice for future clients of theirs?

Be transparent about what you want because they’ll commit to delivering meaningful results.

5.0
Overall Score They’re a tremendous partner that communicates well and adapts to client’s needs.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    We always had a clear understanding of the schedule and timelines.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They were willing to negotiate a budget that worked for all parties involved.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They were involved in understanding our needs and delivering strong results.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I’ve already referred them.

Web Dev & Email Marketing for Housing Asssociation

"They’re very attentive and they do a wonderful job of bridging the generational divide." 

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Apr. 2014 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Urban Insight created a digital identity including a website, email service, and social accounts. The WordPress site lets users call attention to local issues and features social and multi-media integrations.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Los Angeles, California
Ken Hixon
Vice President, Miracle Mile Residential Association
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Thanks to Urban Insight's technical solutions and education, email campaigns have significantly outperformed industry standards and membership has grown steadily. Their methodical approach ensures long-term solution effectiveness. Customers can expect a communicative and thorough partner.

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

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the senior vice-president of Miracle Mile Residential Association, a nonprofit that represents homeowners and renters in the Miracle Mile Community in Los Angeles.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Urban Insight?

About five years ago, we realized we were woefully behind the times. We were still distributing paper flyers door-to-door and we couldn’t stay ahead of the issues we need to inform people about. We brought Urban Insight on to bring us into the 21st century digitally and hold our hand through the process.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They created a digital identity that consists of a WordPress site, an email system, and integrated social media accounts. Residents can reach out to us with urgent issues like a pothole or a broken street sign without using our personal emails. They can also contact a local politician, agency, or commission with the click of a button. Internally, Urban Insight implemented a MailChimp system that lets us send out our newsletter.

They’ve also encouraged us to take advantage of social media by creating a Facebook page, a Twitter account, and a YouTube channel. These systems are fully integrated so users can see YouTube videos on our website, and if we post something there, it also shows up on Facebook and Twitter.

What is the team composition?

I work with Chris (CEO, Urban Insight) and 4–5 other people.

How did you come to work with Urban Insight?

They were connected with another nonprofit organization. We looked at work they’d done for other nonprofits and knew they were the right partner.

What is the status of this engagement?

We’ve been working together since April 2014.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

They’ve helped us become very effective advocates. Phone calls are starting to be returned, and when we go downtown to City Hall, they know who we are from our newsletter. Other community nonprofit organizations in LA reach out to us for advice because they see what we’ve done and think we’re experts. We’re even receiving interest from young people through our social media accounts who we wouldn’t have been able to reach before.

MailChimp has incredible at keeping our residents informed, and it even helped us create a historic district to protect our neighborhood. That was a long, arduous battle we would have lost without Urban Insight. Our email list has grown from 176 to over 2,700 people, and our open rate is 45%, whereas the average nonprofit sees only 20%.  

How did Urban Insight perform from a project management standpoint?

I communicate with Chris through email, and if something is particularly complicated, I’ll talk to him in person. They’re great project managers, but they’re tactful about it and never overbearing. They understood our unfamiliarity with technology so they set up the website and made sure we were comfortable with it before adding bells and whistles. I've never felt overwhelmed.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They’re very thorough and they do a wonderful job of bridging the generational divide. We barrage them with many questions and they’re nothing but patient. Now that the site is up and running, we understand its value and are proud of what it enables us to do.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    We’ve gotten value for the money we spent.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    We have referred other people to them already.

Custom Web Dev for Internet Tech Firm

“Their experience was critical to our project’s success.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Jan. 2017 - Sept. 2017
Project summary: 

Urban Insight built a Drupal-based web application for a civic tech firm. The finished product allows users to upload and comment upon PDFs and documents related to local government.

The Reviewer
 
2-10 Employees
 
Denver, Colorado
CEO, Internet Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The tool Urban Insight created was immediately ready for purchase, with very few bugs or problems after launch. They managed the project well through open communication and useful solutions. They were forward thinking and anticipated every issue.

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

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the CEO of a small civic tech firm. We provide tools to local governments to engage their citizens in planning efforts and updates. Our users can navigate the apps to provide information and feedback.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Urban Insight?

We identified a new need in the market for an app that allows our clients to publish documents and draft reviews. We needed help designing a fully functional version one of an app. Since our small staff lacked the expertise to build something ourselves, we needed an agency to help us.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We knew what the product should look like, and they helped us in the requirement phase to translate our concept into a fully functional design to sell to our clients. The final product is a web app that is responsive on all devices. A lot of our users have strict usage requirements, so a native app wasn’t possible.

From past experience, we knew that Drupal was the right solution for this project, and we wanted something we could maintain ourselves once the project was complete. The system allows users to upload PDF documents, and there are multiple document management features built into the web application. Users can publish PDFs and comment on other users’ documents. There are other facilitation, reporting, and management features for each possible scenario.

What is the team composition?

The core team was a technical project manager, a lead developer or engineer, and a lead designer. All of our communication went through the project manager.

How did you come to work with Urban Insight?

We knew going in that they had a strong project management approach, which was a key selling point. We also knew they were a leader in Drupal development and came highly recommended. They anticipated every issue and were always several steps ahead.

How much have you invested with them?

We spent between $90,000-$110,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together around January 2017, and we released version one to our clients in August or September 2017.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

We gained a tool that we could immediately turn around and sell to clients. We’re really happy with the version they delivered. Once we started maintaining it ourselves, we recognized how well designed it was. It’s a robust product that can handle the volume of documents and requests we receive.

How did Urban Insight perform from a project management standpoint?

They were great project managers, and their communication was immediate. We had an open rapport with the project manager, and they addressed everything within a concise process. They always followed up and were thoughtful about upcoming challenges. We were positively surprised by their level of proactivity and forward thinking.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Aside from their project management, their technical leadership in the Drupal community is a strength. Their experience was critical to our project’s success.

Are there any areas they could improve?

They were more expensive than some of the other firms we considered, but they were worth it. We didn’t have any hassles or bugs when they handed the app over to us, and we’re very pleased with the results.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They delivered exactly on schedule and kept the process moving.
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    Their costs are high, but they're well worth the money we spent.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They handed over a high-quality final product that is easy to maintain.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    We already recommend them.

Web Dev for University Tracking System

“I have no major complaints about their services. Simply put, our experience has been great.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
June 2008 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Urban Insight developed an internal-facing data management system to help a college track incoming student applications. The team created an additional database and integrated it with the legacy system.

The Reviewer
 
10,001+ Employees
 
Los Angeles, California
James McPartlan
IT Director, USC Price School
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The new system is praised by the administration and other colleges for its performance. Urban Insight continues to support the system, showing strong collaborative skills and unwavering commitment to the project. Their work is consistently high-quality, and they’re always professional.

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

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the IT director at the Sol Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California (USC).

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Urban Insight?

Our university was using a 20–30-year-old student information system. It wasn’t flexible enough to track all of the new data we wanted to aggregate, like how students were recruited or if they were ultimately admitted. We needed to design a database that interacted with the existing system, but also allowed us to collect more information.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Urban Insight collaborated with our student affairs department to engineer an internal-facing enterprise system. Our team described the type of information they wanted to aggregate and where to find it. Through a back-and-forth process, the Urban Insight team collected our existing data and submitted it to our student affairs people. They would adjust the information and add more data fields for additional tracking.

The finished solution imports all of our data from the legacy system in conjunction with the new data we’ve added. The database is managed within a web application, and any major changes made to the information are implemented across the system. This allows our staff and recruiting officers to follow the students’ application process more efficiently. The Urban Insight team used a SQL server for the backend and other web tools for the frontend.

We currently have them on a maintenance agreement. They handle any major tweaks for the system. Whenever we update our internal databases, they make sure all of the data is flowing correctly. They’ve also made changes to our reporting structure, adding and subtracting data at our request. Just recently, USC upgraded all of our servers, including the one that supports this tracking system. Urban Insight handled the entire migration and reviewed the code to make sure it was still operating correctly.

What is the team composition?

We’ve worked with about four people from Urban Insight. We have one main point person for our day-to-day needs, and we also have access to the owners. Depending on the task at hand, they’ll bring in specialists to augment the core team.

How did you come to work with Urban Insight?

Urban Insight was already working with USC before I started with the school. The CEO is an alumnus. They’d previously helped design the school’s website and then stayed on to provide maintenance. When this specific project arose, we just reached out to them. The relationship has grown organically from there.

How much have you invested with them?

We’ve spent over $200,000 on this project.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working on this project in June 2008, and it’s an ongoing relationship.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Our administration loves it, and we’ve received minimal performance complaints over the years. It’s still working for us, so it’s been a great investment. We’ve introduced the system to other schools, and they’ve adopted it into the operations.

Urban Insight's technical abilities are highly valuable. We appreciate their focus on security. They assembled three protective layers to guard the system, which really reduces my stress.

How did Urban Insight perform from a project management standpoint?

They are very thorough in planning each project. Strong organization skills are a key strength of their entire time. We have a collaborative relationship with Urban Insight. We usually meet at USC’s campus. Beyond that, we communicate through emails and phone calls.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They are professionals that deliver on everything they promise. They’ve never dropped the ball on anything we ask them to do. I’ve built a lot of trust with their team.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I have no major complaints about their services. Simply put, our experience has been great. We’ve worked with them for many years, and we’ve watched them evolve. The quality of their work has remained the same across each project. I credit this to the CEO’s leadership skills.

5.0
Overall Score Working with them is always a pleasurable experience. I know that I can count on them to get the job done.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Drupal Dev for Online Collections Website

“They’re level-headed and have strong software development skills that differentiate them from their competitors.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Oct. 2015 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Urban Insight developed a database-driven Drupal site for a museum’s online collection. Apache Solar search functionality allows users to peruse the whole collection in one place.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Diana Folsom
Director of Digital Collections, Gilcrease Museum
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The site is best known among a community of scholars, but receives positive feedback from users. Urban Insight brings strong project management to the partnership, and their communication and availability to answer questions and resolve issues is seamless.

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

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the Director of Digital Collections at the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa Oklahoma. We are managed by the University of Tulsa, though the collection and our building are owned by the city.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Urban Insight?

We wanted to build a database-driven website from scratch that would allow us to share all the information about our collections. We were at the very beginning of cataloging, imaging, and adding deeper layers of information to make our rich collection available online to people around the world.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

The site is built on Drupal, with an Apache Solar search function. They worked with us to develop the site, which is filled with all kinds of complex and interrelated data. We wanted to make sure that all the materials could be searchable and accessible from one search box.

They went through the discovery phase with us and guided us through the whole process. With our audience in mind, they helped develop user profiles and scenarios. They also developed wireframes and helped us find and interview third-party designers.

What is the team composition?

The president of the company started us out in the project by walking us through the discovery and audience profiles, before handing us over to a project manager. We worked with him on daily tasks and occasionally had contact with higher-level programmers and engineers, as needed. All told, we worked with a team of four to five people.

How did you come to work with Urban Insight?

I worked with them at the last museum I worked for. I was familiar with their working methods, and I knew they understood the complexities of a project like this. I liked their objective, orderly, thoughtful way of working and decided to contract them again.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started work on this project in October 2015. The site has launched, but is never really finished. We continue to add new content and improve features. We now have 25,763 items online. We’ve received grants to expand some of the software features and functionality, including a distance cataloguing interface to engage experts around the world.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

We get a lot of very positive feedback. One of the most meaningful comments was from a colleague in Washington D.C. Even though we’re a small regional museum that’s only well-known among scholars, this particular colleague reviewed our site and felt it was among the best in the country.

How did Urban Insight perform from a project management standpoint?

They’re excellent project managers. They’re level-headed and have strong software development skills that differentiate them from their competitors. I’ve worked with other developers who were very creative, but none were as organized as Urban Insight. We have a very small staff, so we appreciate their strong management style which helps make sure the project stays focused and meets deadlines. They were available through Basecamp and always kept an eye out for questions or issues that arose.

What did you find most impressive about them?

The clarity of their communication is great. We have weekly or twice-monthly meetings, and they’re consistently good at managing the project.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I don’t have anything they could change, most of the issues are on our side. I always look for ways to make the site more robust, but it’s not always possible to do all of it at once. We’re phasing things in gradually, but none of that is their fault. They’re very clear about how much time each phase will take. We are able to stay within budget and make steady progress toward improvements in features and functions.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

You can be very open with them about what you want to execute or develop. They will tell you if they have experience in those areas. If they don’t, they will rapidly learn skills to help your project. Let them help you manage what you want to do.

5.0
Overall Score They’re great to work with.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Web Dev for University Assessment Tool

“They're very professional and help us keep the project moving forward despite the glitches from our side.”

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

Urban Insight developed a 360-degree assessment tool that can generate a feedback-based report. They oversaw both the interface and the backend development.  

The Reviewer
 
201-500 Employees
 
California, USA
Director of Executive Education, University
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The tool is easy to navigate and the users love its look and feel. Urban Insight went above and beyond to meet all needs, while their ability to guide the entire process and predict possible problems made them a reliable partner.

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

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I'm the director of executive education at a university.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Urban Insight?

We needed a company to help us create an online assessment tool.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We provided the narrative for some pieces and the parameters on how we wanted to see the scorings transpire. After that, they helped us develop a 360-degree assessment, taking charge of both the interface and the backend. The participants will be able to fill out the assessment electronically on their smartphones, laptops, or computers. At the end, the tool generates a report, so we can gather the feedback and share the report with the participants. The platform is built in both Drupal and WordPress.

What is the team composition?

We mostly work with their principal and our project lead.

How did you come to work with Urban Insight?

Our university's IT department recommended them.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with them in June 2016 and we launched the tool last year. We're still incorporating some features, so the relationship is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

The tool is user-friendly and we had very few errors after the initial beta testing. Students who use the tool are all non-degree students, and they really appreciate the interface. The process is easy and there are some reflection questions, so the tool can be used as a living document. It's more than just getting a cold report at the end.

How did Urban Insight perform from a project management standpoint?

I'm not an IT person, but they help me understand all the different pieces, making the process easy. They were also very realistic about some of the possible issues that might come up, particularly during beta testing. We have monthly meetings over a web conference site and they've always kept us on track with the project.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They're very professional and help us keep the project moving forward despite the glitches from our side. That is something that happens rarely among contractors (I’ve worked with many different companies).

Are there any areas they could improve?

Not on this project. Any delays that happened were our fault.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Have a clear vision of where you're headed. They're experts on the technology side.

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

Scoping and Prototyping Project for Think Tank Development

“They were always interested in contributing to our ideas—it was a collaborative, well-organized process.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Dec. 2016 – Aug. 2017
Project summary: 

Urban Insight developed a website prototype for a think tank. They conducted user-testing and incorporated end-user research into the final product.

The Reviewer
 
Los Angeles, California
Helmi Hisserich
Director of Housing, City of Los Angeles
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The high-quality prototype fulfilled expectations and aided in defining the scope while maintaining the project’s overall creativity. The Urban Insight team was a stable partner throughout the project, bringing structure and momentum to the process.

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

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the director of housing for the City of Los Angeles. My work is focused on affordable housing strategies in Los Angeles.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Urban Insight?

We were developing a virtual think tank focused on housing policies in our city. We needed help creating the website prototype.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We began the project by defining our requirements with Urban Insight. Together, we conducted a few focus group sessions to determine appropriate site content. From there, we refined the information and sources that we found relevant and valuable for our users. Their team began developing the prototype based on the user information we compiled together. Once they built the page, we conducted a series of user tests and came to a final prototype.

What is the team composition?

Our main point of contact was Chris (President, Urban Insight), he provided oversight on the project. They assigned two project managers—one was a software designer, and the other was a graphic designer.

How did you come to work with Urban Insight?

Chris has been very involved and well-known in the urban planning and technology space, so his company was in consideration with a few others. After reviewing Urban Insight’s response to our RFP, we felt they were superior to the rest and it was a clear choice for us.

How much have you invested with them?

We spent $25,000–$30,000 on their services.

What is the status of this engagement?

We began the project in December 2016 and finished in August 2017.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Because this was a scoping and prototyping project, there aren’t many qualitative results. However, their work helped us internally—they opened our eyes to the possibilities and complexities of building a think tank. They showed us many different avenues to pursue, which helped us come to the right decision.

How did Urban Insight perform from a project management standpoint?

Since the majority of Urban Insight's team was working remotely, they provided an online management system for communication and planning. All meetings took place on this system in a group setting. Their management tool enabled us to share all documents, information, and track project history. Everything was organized in one place and available for everyone to access. On top of this, they were extraordinarily responsive and brought many remote workers together.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They gave the project momentum and made sure the work was advancing consistently. They were always interested in contributing to our ideas—it was a collaborative, well-organized process.  

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Urban Insight is the right choice if you’re a creative thinker looking for a firm to bring structure and momentum to your ideas. They have a strong ability to keep you on the right track while letting your creativity lead the way.  

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    Their services were a great price.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
Verification

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Verification Level
Gold
VERIFIED
Business Entity
Status
Active
Jurisdiction of Formation
California
ID
C2237804
Date of Formation
Jun 8, 2000
Source
California Secretary of State
Last Updated
Jan 19, 2019
Payment & Legal Filings
Bankruptcy
No
Tax Lien Filings
0
Judgement Filings
0
Collections Count
0
Last Updated
Jul 22, 2019
Client Reviews
VERIFIED CLIENT REVIEWS
18
OVERALL REVIEW RATING
5.0
Source
Clutch
LAST UPDATED
November 19, 2019