Web Design, Development & Digital Strategy

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
1997
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
  • Kennedy Wilson
  • Legal Services Corporation
  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art
  • Planetizen
  • The Broad
  • University of California, Los Angeles
  • University of Southern California
  • USC Viterbi School of Engineering

University of Southern California

USC Student Affairs and Urban Insight developed an easy-to-use mobile app for iOS and Android platforms that encourages participation in events, friendly competition, and discovery through gamification and social media interaction, all through an intuitive interface. 

City of Los Angeles

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.

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.

Reviews

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Web App Dev & Design for Investment Management Firm

“They’re experts and will guide you in the right direction.”

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

Urban Insight developed a web app that mimics and expands upon the functionalities present in an Excel-based tool. Primarily using Angular, they designed and implemented the frontend interface.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
Los Angeles, California
Senior Research Analyst, Investment Management Firm
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Urban Insight delivered a high-quality web app with an aesthetically pleasing interface. The unique graphical elements help generate an engaging experience. Their team consists of hardworking individuals that communicate effectively. They’re open to new approaches and produce consistent results.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m a senior research analyst for an investment management firm.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Urban Insight?

We used an Excel-based tool to assess portfolio risk for both ourselves and our clients. The system also functioned as a sales tool that helped us illustrate the competitive landscape. Eventually, the system reached the technological limits of Excel and required us to expand. We needed a development firm to build a web application with more advanced features and the capacity to support multiple users simultaneously.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Using Angular, Urban Insight rebuilt our Excel tool in the form of a web app. They’re also integral to the design and integration of the website’s frontend. Their creative input includes how to display data, the site’s dashboard, and other graphical elements. We provided the previous Excel build and a rough outline of how we imagined the web app to look. However, we didn’t create any detailed wireframes for them to work from.

What is the team composition?

We primarily communicate with a project manager, but their designers and developers are also present during over-the-phone meetings. We interact with 5­–6 team members in total.

How did you come to work with Urban Insight?

I searched online for web developers located in a particular area. Google led me to Clutch where I read reviews and considered a variety of firms. Urban Insight stood apart from similar vendors, so we hired them.

How much have you invested with them?

We’ve spent $150,000–$200,000 thus far.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together in January 2018. We’re nearing completion, but the project is currently ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

The web app functions excellently in its current iteration. We’re highly impressed with the intuitive design they’ve been able to deliver.

How did Urban Insight perform from a project management standpoint?

Everyone that interacts with Urban Insight appreciates their project management skills. They do a great job of communicating and keeping the project on track. We had several in-person meetings when the project began, but we usually interact via phone, email, WebEx, and Basecamp.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Their engineers are honest, helpful, and open regarding best practices. They’ve guided us through the process, but also remain flexible and will consider new ideas. Overall, it’s been a positive experience and we’ll likely work with them in the future.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Be well-prepared at the start of the engagement by outlining a detailed vision of what you want to accomplish. Trust Urban Insight to fill in the gaps and provide the expertise your project requires. Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions. They’re experts and will guide you in the right direction.

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 & App Dev for Art Museum

"Their comprehensive management resulted in quick turnarounds."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
Jan. 2013 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

In an ongoing engagement, Urban Insight built a new Tessitura ticketing system and re-architected a cross-platform mobile app. Currently, they’re redeveloping a Drupal website. They also supplement resources.

The Reviewer
 
501 - 1,000 Employees
 
Los Angeles, California
Tomas Garcia
Vice President, Technology & Digital Media, LACMA
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The ticketing system is reliable, lightweight, and scalable for future high-traffic events; it has also received positive user feedback. They collaborate, but also manage timeframes in a proactive manner. The team has a holistic view of goals and priorities. Costs reflect their commitment.  

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the assistant vice president of technology and digital media at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. I oversee our websites, mobile applications, media production, information systems, Wi-Fi networks, software, and hardware acquisitions.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Urban Insight?

They maintain and develop our two primary websites, and one mobile application.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Their range of services includes frontend web development, contracting, and cross-platform app development on Android and iOS. Projects start with high-level kickoff meetings where we discuss how development fits into the museum’s mission.

For the mobile app rebuild, we collaborated and provided in-house resources. Our team handled the UX/UI and graphic design, setting project deadlines for them. We passed off mockups and wireframes, which they implemented. They also built the communication between the LACMA website, the CMS, and the mobile app. The mobile app is now powered with content from a single source.

They also built a custom online ticketing site that interacts with our Tessitura software and onsite CRM. They provided us with UX input and executed frontend and backend integrations for Tessitura REST API. Their team supplemented internal resources as well because we experienced significant turnover. They also collaborated with our Tessitura web consultant.

Currently, they’re redeveloping our Drupal site. We produced technical mockups and wireframes and I provide input on Drupal workflows because many backend responsibilities will shift to in-house post-launch. Their team advises us on Drupal functionalities and best practices.

They’re also helping us migrate to Amazon Web Services (AWS). In addition, the team audits the architecture to identify cost-saving measures.

What is the team composition?

I interact with 10 people. The team includes a project manager, frontend developer, and separate Android and iOS specialists. Our previous frontend developer is now a high-level engineer. Last year, we got a second project manager when the first one retired.

How did you come to work with Urban Insight?

I don’t know; I joined the company after LACMA hired them.

How much have you invested with them?

We spend between $100,000–$150,000 per year.

What is the status of this engagement?

Work started in January 2013 and is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

The ticketing system was well-architected, lightweight, and scalable. We now use it for high-traffic sales events. Users responded positively to its reliable performance for the last three events.

How did Urban Insight perform from a project management standpoint?

Initially, we set a very optimistic launch date. As a result, they established limits for response time to preserve the schedule. Their comprehensive management resulted in quick turnarounds.

Both project managers have estimated timeframes and costs accurately. Their holistic view – of deadlines, goals, and priorities – makes engagement convenient for our team. They are reliable and leverage documentation effectively.

We meet or hold Zoom calls on a bi-weekly basis. We use Wrike for high-level project planning and Manuscript for tracking.

What did you find most impressive about them?

The managers listen intently and have asked relevant questions about our business and stakeholders. Prices are competitive, but not low. However, most cheaper vendors don’t have their level of service.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No, I don’t think so. The transition between project managers was successful. Proactively, they learned Tessitura in an efficient manner, even though it’s less common outside arts and nonprofit institutions.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

The dual development and project management roles benefit the relationship. Our in-house managers collaborate well with their counterparts. Given the higher prices, it’s worth engaging them for both services.

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

Drupal Dev for Urban Planning Company

“It’s a good partnership… They have really positive energy and take a can-do approach.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
2001 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Urban Insight is a long-term partner of an urban planning firm, regularly assisting with Drupal projects. They provide wireframes, design, tools, and functionality for an array of web-related needs.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
Berkeley, California
Director of Technology, Urban Planning Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Over 17 years, they consistently deliver impressive products. Their communicativeness and accountability make them solid project managers and collaborators.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the director of technology for a planning, design, communications management, and technology firm focused on government clients.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Urban Insight?

We bring them on whenever we need a solid technology partner, specifically for projects related to web technology and Drupal CMS.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Their involvement ranges from initial technical architecture to identifying specific features and functionality of the website. They also manage our hosting requirements and do responsive design and development in Drupal.

Sometimes we provide conceptual design and they build the wireframes to match; other times they take our designs and create responsive templates to implement. For a recent project, they developed a map-it tool that allows users to comment via a Google map. The function acts as a discussion forum where we can gather comments and manage them via our backend.

We’re working on another project with them now that is exceptionally innovative. It allows us to import InDesign files directly into Drupal. We can take a print document and turn it into a webpage with very little additional effort.

What is the team composition?

I work with four members of their team on a regular basis. There are about eight indirect members on the team, but I can communicate with developers and designers directly.

How did you come to work with Urban Insight?

When we first started doing web technology work for urban planning, there weren’t many teams that had the same focus. We met Urban Insight at conferences and got familiar with them. We speak the same language, which drew us together. It’s a good partnership.

How much have you invested with them?

We’ve worked with them on a variety of projects. Last year, they collaborated with us on three five-figure projects. Our total expenditure fits within a $200,000–$1,000,000 range.

What is the status of this engagement?

We’ve worked with them intermittently since 2001. We started a large project in March 2017 and other work is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

The feedback has been really positive. All of the work they do is really impressive.

How did Urban Insight perform from a project management standpoint?

Their project management is really solid. They say they’re going to do something and then do it. They’re really good communicators and they hold themselves accountable.

We occasionally meet in person, but we mostly hold weekly meetings on Zoom or Basecamp. It’s nice to see a face as we talk.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They have really positive energy and take a can-do approach.

Are there any areas they could improve?

There’s always an area for improvement, but I honestly can’t think of anything specific I would change.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Don’t hold back if you have ideas or questions. They are responsive and will give you what you want if you stay engaged with them.

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

WordPress Redesign for Planning & Urban Design Site

“Their dependability is rock-solid. We were confident in their ability to execute our vision.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Jun. 2017 - Mar. 2018
Project summary: 

Completely overhauling an existing site, Urban Insight refreshed UX for an urban design company in WordPress. They moved to an image-focused format, coded design, produced wireframes, and established hosting.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Austin, Texas
Lee Einsweiler
Principal, Code Studio
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The improvements elevate the experience for both the internal team and for the public. Urban Insight’s management kept the timeline and budget regimented and the probability of success assured.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

We are a planning and urban design firm in Austin, Texas. I’m the president of the company.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Urban Insight?

We needed a complete refresh and update of the look and feel of our website. We wanted to keep a lot of our content, but wanted to change our approach and the dynamism of the site.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They completely overhauled our existing site. We gave examples of websites we liked in our marketplace and they proposed designs based upon our tastes. We made comments on all the wireframes they produced. They coded the design and worked with us to change the site from a staging server to the final server. From start to finish, everything was in their hands. They set me up as a dash administrator for the current site, which is hosted on WP Engine.

A powerful improvement was a blog function that ties directly to our newsletter and allows us to cross-post that information to the site. They helped us move from a text-driven site to something much more visual and image-focused. Currently, they manage our hosting and provide support. If we have future revisions, we can reach out to them.

What is the team composition?

I communicate directly with two team members on the frontend. There may be more people behind the scenes that work on our project.

How did you come to work with Urban Insight?

We worked with them in the past in a lot of other settings. Our biggest project to date is an ongoing zoning regulations project for a major city.

How much have you invested with them?

The upfront cost of the website was a flat fee of $35,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started the project in June 2017 and recently launched in March 2018. They continue to provide support.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

The new site is a vast improvement and the urban design team in our office is much happier. We sent a launch notice around to let people know the site exists. We just launched, but we already have very positive feedback. The website could be considered high design within our profession. Many of our competitors don’t dedicate the same amount of money or attention to detail to their sites.

How did Urban Insight perform from a project management standpoint?

They are amazing project managers and they marched us right along. We used Zoom almost exclusively for web conferencing so we could look at the same things at the same time. We were the cause of any challenges throughout the process. I’m confident the project would have been much shorter if we had moved at their pace. They were really excellent.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Their dependability is rock-solid. We were confident in their ability to execute our vision and that the end result would be successful when we launched.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No. They produced what we asked for.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Make sure you allocate the time on your side to provide comments and everything they need from you. That will help you stay on time and within your budget.

5.0
Overall Score They were exceptionally good.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I would absolutely recommend them.

Drupal Dev for Two Legal Websites

“They've consistently been one step ahead of the rest of what the nation is doing in this space.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Oct. 2016 - Jan. 2018
Project summary: 

Urban Insight designed and built new templates for websites on Drupal, incorporating features like interactive forms, videos, and user profile matching functionality that is continuously maintained.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Boise, Idaho
Mary Zimmerman
Director of Finance and Administration, Idaho Legal Aid Services, Inc.
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Urban Insight developed user-friendly templates for many websites that have received positive feedback with few glitches or complaints. Their team is reliable, professional, and thorough in their approach, making each project seamless, while adding value to an already longstanding relationship.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I'm the director of finance and administration at Idaho Legal Aid Services, a legal services group for low-income people.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Urban Insight?

We needed new templates for our websites catering to legal aids, as well as a new website for our probono work.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Urban Insight designed and built new templates for our websites on Drupal, incorporating terminology and a tagging convention for legal aids to access across the country. Their team created wireframes that we reviewed before moving into development. They incorporated interactive forms for users to access through the websites, along with videos, a donation button, and other custom features.

More recently, they built a website for our probono work within Idaho, which allows attorneys from across the state to sign up for cases that fit the kind of work they want to do. Urban Insight transferred our case management system to the website, allowing for notifications to be sent to attorneys when relevant work becomes available.

They continue to make enhancements to the websites and ensure their readability across devices.

What is the team composition?

I work mainly with Abhijeet Chavan (CTO, Urban Insight), but I've occasionally communicated with others on their technical team as well.

How did you come to work with Urban Insight?

We sent out an RFP across the country. Out of all the bids submitted, we liked Urban Insight's proposal the best.

How much have you invested with them?

We spent $165,880 on the most recent project.

What is the status of this engagement?

We've worked with them for about eight years, but the most recent website they built for us took place between October 2016 and January 2018. They continue to maintain the websites. 

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

They've consistently been one step ahead of the rest of what the nation is doing in this space. We're very happy with their work and the interface of the more recent website they designed and built. We've observed minimal glitches and the feedback has been very positive thus far.

How did Urban Insight perform from a project management standpoint?

They've always been professional and met deadlines. I see Abhijeet a couple times a year at conferences, but we mostly communicate through phone and email, as they're across the country.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They're extremely thorough, professional, and reliable. I've recommended them many times to others.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Knowing exactly what you want and communicating that to their team is the most important thing you can do.

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

Drupal Implementation for College Research Department

"[T]hey’re really invested in the success of their clients and they take care to cultivate that relationship."

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

Urban Insight has managed a website for university real estate research for 15 years. The team helped to transition to a Drupal CMS and now designs content and hosts the site.

The Reviewer
 
201-500 Employees
 
Los Angeles Metro Area
Managing Director, College Research Department
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The team offers better service than other firms, which is the basis for this long-term relationship. They are competitive price-wise and are attentive to customers. Urban Insight connects well with employees and uses a diverse range of tools which have been very useful. 

BACKGROUND

Please describe your company.

I work at a college for a research center [that focuses on real estate]. We support faculty in their research activities, and we connect with the real estate professional community through a board that we have. We have a series of programs that serve our board and the general public.

What is your position?

I am the managing director.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What was the main objective when you first approached Urban Insight?

They manage our website. We have used them for at least 15 years, perhaps even a little bit longer. We recently, through Urban Insight, transitioned to Drupal CMS [content management system]. We wanted a way to manage our website content more directly. Urban Insight pointed us to Drupal and in doing so, it means that our site would be hosted through them, too. They took care of the actual implementation of our Drupal site.

SOLUTION

Could you describe the scope of their involvement in greater detail?

They host the website externally, and they manage and help us with both designing the content and uploading it, too. When we transitioned to Drupal, they provided us with a training program so that we can now perform updates to our website by ourselves. They completed all the technical aspects of this project.

How did you come to choose Urban Insight as your partner?

Chris Steins [the CEO at Urban Insight] is a graduate of [the school], and I knew him when he was a student. When he graduated and formed his company, we kept in touch. He had been building a relationship with [the school] through his company and through our IT [information technology] office. When we made the transition from taking our website outside to an external firm, he was the person we knew, and he had already developed a relationship elsewhere at [the school], so it was an easy decision for us to make.

Can you provide a ballpark dollar figure for the size of the work that they’ve done for you?

On an annual basis, we probably invest between $10,000 and $50,000.

Is the work still all ongoing, or is it completed?

The relationship is ongoing. They currently provide hosting services, and they’ve done several updates to the site through the years.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any statistics, metrics, or user feedback that would demonstrate the quality of their performance?

We’re very happy with their performance. Through the years, we’ve been asked by the purchasing department at [the school] to go through a process periodically to see if there are other firms we want to use. We have looked at other firms, but each time we do end up returning to Urban Insight. They’re competitive price-wise but, mostly, it’s the attention we receive from them, which has been very important. We meet with them on a monthly basis. Chris himself comes, which I think is important. From a client perspective, it’s just more reassuring when the owner is present and engaged with the project. When they meet with us, and we go through a host of issues and each time, so it’s always a bit different. His staff works with me when it comes to setting agendas for our meetings. Sometimes, if it’s a specific project, the discussion is focused on that. Other times, we focus more on brainstorming ideas and leave the tactical work for afterward.

What I also like is that each meeting, they bring in something new that’s happening in technology that impacts our world and shares it with us. Our staff always enjoys that because we don’t come from the tech industry, but we use tech tools, and the fact that Chris and his team take so much time and care to educate us has been extremely valuable. Through that, he’s introduced us to some tools that help us monitor traffic and measure how effective our communication strategies are, and that’s been helpful to us in a big way.

When working with Urban Insight, is there anything that you would consider unique about their approach or development methodology that distinguish them from other vendors?

I think it’s their personal attention. They really do look deeply into what we hope to gain from our website technology. They always have our best interests in mind. If they can’t provide the service we need, Chris is great about connecting us with the proper resources to meet our needs. It’s clear that they’re really invested in the success of their clients and they take care to cultivate that relationship.

In retrospect, are there areas in which you think they could improve as a service provider?

Not really. That’s part of a regular exchange we have with them. Chris and his team are very open to feedback from us, and he gives us feedback, too. It’s really an ongoing conversation that we have, so there’s never really been the need to say that we’re not happy with something. Things change, and we have run into issues internally here before. The important thing is that they have remained very flexible with us.

What advice, if any, would you give to a future client of theirs?

Think hard about how you’re going to engage with them on a regular basis. It’s not just about the project, but also about how you want the relationship to grow. These guys can really help you in the long term with your technology needs, so it’s definitely important to think about how requirements could change and evolve in time.

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