Boutique digital strategy firm in Chicago + Denver

Usman Group is a boutique digital strategy firm that helps organizations plan, research and execute successful digital communications and technology initiatives that are elegant, cost-effective and easy to implement.

  • Analysis: We are research-driven, and dig deep to understand the needs and desires of your customers and how you want to better serve them.
  • Strategy: We collaborate with your team on creative, proven, actionable approaches that will bring your organizational and business goals to fruition.
  • Execution: We have an extensive, trusted network of experts, whom we work closely with to ensure that your strategy has a practical way forward.
  • Measurement: We help our clients articulate what success means to them, develop metrics to measure it and establish feedback loops for continuous improvement.
 
$10,000+
 
$100 - $149 / hr
 
2 - 9
 Founded
2006
Show all +
Denver, CO
headquarters
  • 201 Milwaukee Street, Suite 200
    Denver, CO 80206
    United States
other locations
  • 250 Parkway Drive, Suite 150
    Lincolnshire, IL 60069
    United States

Portfolio

Key clients: 
National Safety Council, Priceline.com, Robert W. Baird & Company, Davita, Chicago Sun-Times, and the University of Chicago.
National Safety Council Image

National Safety Council

Poplar-Prairie Stone Crossing Image

Poplar-Prairie Stone Crossing

Priceline.com Image

Priceline.com

Vantage Leadership Consulting Image

Vantage Leadership Consulting

Strategic Mobility Group Image

Strategic Mobility Group

Selective Search Image

Selective Search

ShopperTrak Image

ShopperTrak

Achieva Wealth Advisors Image

Achieva Wealth Advisors

Michelle's Interiors Image

Michelle's Interiors

Lincoln Park Institute Image

Lincoln Park Institute

University of Notre Dame Image

University of Notre Dame

Lifeline Vascular Access Image

Lifeline Vascular Access

Specless Image

Specless

Cressey & Company Image

Cressey & Company

Gordon Salon Image

Gordon Salon

Chicago Sun-Times Image

Chicago Sun-Times

Make Up First Image

Make Up First

Merel Family Law Image

Merel Family Law

Lambs Farm Image

Lambs Farm

North Shore Trust & Savings Image

North Shore Trust & Savings

Myefski Architects Image

Myefski Architects

Reviews

Sort by

Web Design and Digital Strategy for Plumbing Business

"They went above and beyond to find solutions that met our needs and fit our budget."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
May - Oct. 2016
Project summary: 

Usman Group helped redesign a website to boost overall functionality and design, with the primary new feature being a backend database to manage the extensive product catalog.

The Reviewer
 
50-100 Employees
 
Illinois
Shane Ouyang
Former Digital Marketing Manager, Gerber Plumbing Fixtures
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Internal feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, and the new site greatly improved brand perception. Usman Group’s responsiveness and ability to turn constructive feedback into implementable, on-time deliverables are hallmarks of their work.

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 formerly was the digital marketing manager at Gerber Plumbing Fixtures, a plumbing fixtures manufacturer.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Usman Group?

As a trade brand, our main target audience is plumbers and people in the plumbing trade. We didn't have a great web presence. Our challenge was to how to present the brand with a more user-friendly online experience. We wanted to make sure that homeowners see our products as high quality. Because we have a very extensive product offering, our other challenge was how to make that product selection experience effective and well-organized.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They spent a lot of time talking with us as part of the discovery phase. We talked about the issues that we needed to address and they were very helpful. They worked closely with me to set up the data structure. I laid out the whole product offering and hierarchy, and they formalized it in a way that makes sense online. They spent a lot of time figuring out the site navigation and search filters. In terms of design, Gerber is a very traditional manufacturer. They helped us figure out the best way to present a professional-looking brand. They gave us a lot of input, and we ended up using most of their recommendations.

In terms of the backend, it’s actually complex because we have so many products. We needed a powerful database but didn’t have unlimited funds. They found a tool called Grasshopper. It's very customizable and gave us the functionality that we needed.

What is the team composition?

I primarily worked with a project manager. The founder also checked in occasionally to make sure that things were on track.

How did you come to work with Usman Group?

I found them online. I wanted to find a vendor with local developers. We had issues with slow response times from our previous firm whose developers were overseas.

What is the status of this engagement?

I worked with them on the project from May–October 2016.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

While I was still at the company, the new website boosted how the brand was perceived. My boss really wanted to debut the new site at a big meeting with all of the company’s sales representatives. Usman did an amazing job at making that happen. They made sure that we had a live site to demonstrate on the day of the meeting. The site was a big hit with the sales representatives. They thought it was much better looking and easier to navigate than the old site. My boss was really happy with it as well.

How did Usman Group perform from a project management standpoint?

The team was very responsive. They used Basecamp to manage the timeline, and items were always delivered on schedule if not sooner. Any issue we had always got resolved as soon as possible.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They’re very easy to work with. They’re very eager, and they deliver quality work. They never tried to upsell us on anything we didn’t need. They went above and beyond to find solutions that met our needs and fit our budget. They meet us where we are.

Are there any areas they could improve?

Not really. I had a great time working 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
    I've referred them many times.

Website Redesign & SEO for Marketing Firm

“Usman Group cultivated keen insight about our company to fulfill all our critical needs.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Feb. - May 2017
Project summary: 

Usman Group comprehensively redesigned and developed a WordPress site from the ground up. They enhanced the page to be mobile responsive. The team created an end-to-end SEO strategy focused on sales leads.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Chicago, IL
President, Sherman Communications & Marketing
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Usman Group used high-level management and technical expertise to produce an optimized, user-friendly website deliverable. Their work boosted search term rankings and secured four new key clients and numerous strong leads. Friendly and easy to work with, they prioritized customer service and ROI.

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 founder and president of Sherman Communications & Marketing. Our PR firm has been in business for about 17 years.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Usman Group?

We had minimal online visibility and a fairly antiquated website that wasn’t mobile-friendly. Since that site was first built, SEO had moved into a whole new realm. Since it wasn’t built on WordPress, there were few ways to improve it in-house. We hired Usman Group for an end-to-end platform overhaul.  Most importantly, we wanted the redesign to attract potential new clients online and showcase how our firm has evolved.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Usman Group conducted a thorough survey to ascertain my goals, design and functionality preferences, and requirement priorities. I gave them examples of comparable sites I liked along with my rationale and purpose for our platform. Together, we worked through the entire design phase. We weighed the options for using a template or creating a custom page.

For our SEO strategy, they compiled a list of target keywords including the reasons why they mattered. They offered a strong analysis for our list of ideal search terms. After we defined this detailed scope, we created wireframes and designed each element to arrive at the ideal iteration to build on. The site is built on a WordPress CMS.

What is the team composition?

Usman Group assigned 1-2 designers to our project. At the time, their firm was fairly large so Naveed (Principal and CEO, Usman Group) didn’t get involved with daily tasks. We had another specific point of contact who was always available for outreach and updates.

How did you come to work with Usman Group?

I'd been introduced to Usman Group several years earlier. We've collaborated on projects with other clients prior. At that point, I knew the team quite well. Even though other vendors gave lower quotes, it was more significant for us to have insight and confidence in our partner's reliability and specific capabilities and expertise.

How much have you invested with them?

We spent about $10,000 on their services.

What is the status of this engagement?

We worked with Usman Group from February–June 2017.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Partnering with Usman Group yielded significant tangible benefits. Shortly after their involvement in our SEO efforts, the site immediately started ranking higher for our most important keywords. We've gotten more than four new valuable, quality clients based on their work. In addition, we have even more pending prospects from their sharply designed new site.

Usman Group’s endless patience was a critical factor in achieving these business results. Our site has a much more professional look and feel. It accurately represents our company and encourages potential leads to contact us. The platform is a useful, informative resource. It answers a wide array of new clients’ questions before they even speak with for the first time. Maintaining careful attention to detail, Usman Group skillfully produced high-quality deliverables. They prioritize customer satisfaction over maximizing their profit by expanding our project’s scope.

How did Usman Group perform from a project management standpoint?

We were pleased with Usman Group’s consistently high-level discourse, open availability, and thorough methodology. Both communication systems they have in place consistently updated us on status and priorities. The team kept us on track to meet our timeline. If necessary, they'd reset deadlines to avoid delays. Since I was often busy with other clients, this support was crucial.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Usman Group cultivated a keen insight into our business offerings to best fulfill our critical needs. Establishing this knowledge base helped them pinpoint the optimal way to accurately represent our business. I especially appreciated their personalized approach to allotting adequate time and resources. They prioritized client success and never rushed through the responsibilities we gave them. The entire team was a pleasure to work with.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I'd appreciate more in-depth explanations for using WordPress myself. Hosting a tutorial could help clients maximize their new site. To their credit, they did walk me through how to use it in-house, but that type of resource would preempt having to pay another vendor later on. I'd like having a go-to resource to make changes after our partnership ended. A simple checklist for SEO best practice would also be useful.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

I highly recommend getting to know the team Usman Group assigns you. Treat them like people instead of just a paid vendor. Being polite and appreciative will make the most of your partnership. I also encourage future clients to give clear directions to outline exactly what they want. Painting them a picture of your ideal desired outcome will take the guesswork out of the equation. Setting expectations is an important step to take.

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
    I would recommend them instantly.

Website Re-Design for Promotional Business

“They’re very good at finding cutting-edge solutions that come to life on the screen.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Jun. - Sept. 2014
Project summary: 

Usman Group redesigned a website for a promotional company. Through a long-term partnership, they tailor site functionality and interface to stay ahead of current trends.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Illinois
Dan Granick
President, Creative Promotional Products
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Usman contributes to a unique web presence in the industry and the site stands out in the market. They develop a friendly, business-oriented rapport, their project management is excellent, and they never miss a deadline.

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 president of Creative Promotional Products. We print client logos and corporate imagery on a variety of merchandise, generally for use as giveaways or promotional purposes.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Usman Group?

They were the creators of our first real website. We had a very basic homepage and wanted something unique. We go to them whenever we need to modernize our online presence and recently partnered with them for another update. We wanted something compatible with search engines and ahead of current trends.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We start every project with an initial meeting at their office to explain what we want. We go through storyboards and concepts and their ideas. We explore imagery and layouts and they start working on the code. They help keep us focused and stay involved through every step of the process.

The very first site they built for us was flash-based and included a lot of movement and scroll-over features. Whenever we redesign the site, they help us stay current with programming languages and functionality. We usually have a lot of questions for them and they always rise to a challenge.

What is the team composition?

We work with several people, but I usually interface with a project manager. It’s a collaborative partnership, so my team members may communicate directly with other members of their staff.

How did you come to work with Usman Group?

We first started working together right when they entered the industry. We were happy with the work they did on an early project and we stayed friendly with them. When we’re not actively working together, they check in periodically to see if they can help us on a project or provide additional services.

How much have you invested with them?

We spent between $30,000–$50,000 on the last site build. We’ve spent more over the course of our relationship.

What is the status of this engagement?

The website build took place between June and September 2014. However, we've worked together since at least 2003 and the relationship is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

They’re very good at finding cutting-edge solutions that come to life on the screen. We stay at the forefront of change within our industry and get a lot of good feedback on our site. Our clients think it looks unique and stands out, especially compared to the standard, uniform sites of several competitors.

How did Usman Group perform from a project management standpoint?

Their project management is excellent. They plan everything out and constantly check in about scheduling. They’ve never missed a deadline and are great at following through.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They’re professional and friendly. We have a good business relationship, but we also feel like family. We have a casual rapport that is still business-oriented.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I haven’t encountered any.

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 Design for Nonprofit Consulting Business

“They thought about all aspects of the project holistically and encouraged us to think critically.”

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

The Usman Group recreated an existing site by changing CMS platforms, rebuilding the backend infrastructure, and redesigning the UX/UI.

The Reviewer
 
100-500 Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
Svetlana Binshtok
Former Marketing Coordinator, GG+A
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

A meticulous and efficient approach to development yielded a smooth and reliable site with improved functionality. The team was patient, flexible, and professional throughout the engagement, even with delays around project approval. The site was delivered on time and on budget.

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

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

When I engaged Usman Group, I was the marketing coordinator at GG+A, a consultant for corporate-sized nonprofits.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Usman Group?

We were looking to completely recreate our website. The previous version was lacking in functionality and visual appeal, and its backend was causing problems with data management. We wanted to switch CMS platforms, rebuild the backend infrastructure, and create an improved UX/UI.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

The Usman Group managed the entire design and development process. The marketing team had a shift in leadership in the beginning of the project, and the new director had a limited understanding of digital marketing best practices. Usman Group was instrumental in communicating the value of creating a new site and expressing the brand effectively to the executive team.

What is the team composition?

I primarily worked with the chief revenue officer, the marketing director, a project manager, and a designer.

How did you come to work with Usman Group?

I almost worked with them on a website redesign project at a previous position a few years ago, but we dropped the project just after settling on Usman Group. When we were considering firms for this project with GG+A, I suggested them and they quickly rose to the top of our shortlist.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together in the spring of 2016, and the project took about six months. We first engaged them in the winter of 2015 in determining the scope and giving several presentations to our management.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

I left the company shortly after completing this project with Usman Group, so I wasn’t there long enough to see its impact on metrics. However, when I left, the site was ready and functional. They worked efficiently and the site was done right. We had a company-wide conference right after rolling out the new site, and everyone was very impressed. Functionality had improved drastically and the layout was very smooth. It gave us a complete facelift to the point that our clients started commenting on how we seemed like a completely different company.

How did Usman Group perform from a project management standpoint?

They were great. They managed the project attentively every step of the way. We had weekly check-ins with our project manager and regularly brought our teams together for full-staff meetings. When questions came up, we would reliably get an answer on the same day. They set a project schedule in the beginning of the project and did a great job maintaining it.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They were very patient and professional throughout the planning process as we worked to convince the executive team to move forward with the project. We had to make a few changes to the site throughout the project, and they were always flexible and accommodating. They thought about all aspects of the project holistically and encouraged us to think critically.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No, nothing comes to mind. They pulled off a fantastic project on time and on budget.

Do you have any advice for future clients of theirs?

No advice necessary. They’re great at what they do.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Delays were on our end, and Usman managed to meet their deadlines regardless.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    Their cost structure is in line with other development and branding companies.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I still refer them to people all the time.

SEO Strategy & PPC Campaign for Furniture Business

"Their work ethic is fantastic."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
2008 - 2010
Project summary: 

Usman provided PPC and email campaigns, SEO, and keyword management to bring an increased digital marketing presence, and create revenue growth at physical locations.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
Graphic Designer, Furniture Business
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Work from the founder of Usman resulted in revenue of $500,000 and an ROI of 638%. The project ran smoothly with speedy results through strict adherence to schedule, excellent work ethic, willingness to teach and explain, and consistent progress reports.

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

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

When we worked with Usman, I was a graphic designer for a furniture retail company in the Chicago metropolitan area. I was also involved in project development and worked directly with Naveed (founder and managing partner, Usman Group) on the project.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Usman Group?

We needed help with digital marketing and bringing more revenue into our brick and mortar store.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They helped us have more of a presence in the digital world with PPC ads, SEO, and keyword bidding and management. They created and presented us with the project plan. Usman ran PPC campaigns and provided us with in–depth analysis on peak times to run our ads and get the biggest ROI. In an email marketing campaign, they sent customers coupons valid for 60 days and then sent a reminder email before the coupon expired.

What is the team composition?

This was when Usman was much smaller, so we worked directly with Naveed.

How did you come to work with Usman Group?

Naveed was proactively reaching out to our marketing department and web developers. They decided to work with him based on some of his previous successes, and because he presented us with a detailed plan on how he could help us.

How much have you invested with them?

It was within the range of $10,000–$12,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We worked with Usman from 2008–2010.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Naveed ran two coupon campaigns for us. One was 20% off, which resulted in $1,200 in revenue, and for the other $150 dollars off coupon, we saw an average income of $1,875. With both campaigns, we saw an increase in revenue at headquarters. The total amount of revenue that he brought in during the project lifecycle was $500,000. His ROI was 638%. We also gained an additional 2,200 email addresses for our database.

How did Usman Group perform from a project management standpoint?

They were keen on giving us regular reports, and outside of the reports would always inform us if they made any adjustments or needed feedback. As far as results, we began seeing those within four weeks, which included going through an approval process, so they were very disciplined with the schedule.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Naveed is very informative. He will take the time to explain anything that you have questions about. He’s always willing to listen, is very friendly, and has a great overall attitude. His customer service is great. The project ran smoothly. He’s someone that I would return to and recommend to anyone that needed his services.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No. They did everything they could to have the project run smoothly. Their work ethic is fantastic; there were never any delays.

5.0
Overall Score It was a great experience that I learned a lot from.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They never missed a deadline or meeting whether it was over the phone or in person.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    The value went beyond PPC campaigns and SEO, and we saw a huge ROI.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    There were no problems with the project whatsoever. They made it easy and helped out in many ways.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    Naveed is the first person that I recommend when people need help in the digital realm.

Web Design for Monitoring Platform

"Their creativity, innovation, and dedication contributed positively to the outcome."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Jan. - Apr. 2016
Project summary: 

Usman Group redesigned a website to optimize content curation and information consumption. The process included multiple design concepts on various page types. They also built a new user profile.

The Reviewer
 
10-50 Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
Shabbir Karimi
Director of Sales and Account Manager, Panopta
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Since launch, the site has scaled with growth and updates. They organized comprehensive information in a transparent fashion that optimized end-users’ experience. Their diligent implementations created unique value for cost in the high-tech space. They were communicative and timely.

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 sales and account management at Panopta. We do cloud-based infrastructure monitoring for enterprise companies that use servers, applications, and network devices.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Usman Group?

Our previous web presence communicated our product in a very basic way. The website didn’t reflect our investment in its evolution. We needed a modern look and better way to communicate our capacity to handle enterprise customers.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We met to discuss project goals and options for updates, designs, and site architecture. Based on their guidance, we decided on a full web redesign. We then taught them about our products and audience over several meetings. Next, Usman built a different user profile to optimize information consumption. The design stage – which included different concepts and page types – preceded the project’s content portion. The site went live slightly after their work ended.

What is the team composition?

The team included a dedicated account manager that ensured we met weekly goals.

How did you come to work with Usman Group?

One of my friends engaged them for his business; he referred them to us. I reached out to the lead and subsequently learned about Usman during a two-hour meeting. After that first touchpoint, I trusted them enough to engage the company.

How much have you invested with them?

We spent approximately $20,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We worked with them between January–April 2016.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

The site curated comprehensive content in clear fashion. Since launch, prospective clients haven’t needed additional information about product capabilities. Now, prospects want to access free trials or in-depth demos, which contrasts their previous confusion about our system. In addition, the site has scaled with subsequent updates.

How did Usman Group perform from a project management standpoint?

Senior team members took the time to understand our audience and solution, and then translated that information into great results. Their management and overall interaction were good; our project manager acted as an intermediary. They kept us on track.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Their creativity, innovation, and dedication contributed positively to the outcome. This experience distinguished them from other agencies that had difficulty grasping our high-tech audience and platform. In particular, our audience sensed when non-technical teams developed and designed products. We failed whenever we engaged outside talent or agencies.

Are there any areas they could improve?

Nothing comes to mind.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

They’re not the cheapest agency, but their services are worth the cost. It’s important to invest time, as well as resources, into the relationship. Clients get what they pay for nowadays. We worked with agencies before Usman, but only they created value for us.

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

Website Redesign and Marketing for Financial Institution

“Usman's efforts helped us reach a younger and more diverse demographic.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
2013 - 2016
Project summary: 

Usman redesigned a website, including backend and frontend design, hosting, and translation functionality. They also assisted with digital marketing, SEO, and PPC services.   

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Waukegan, Illinois
Former Director of Marketing, State Chartered Financial Institution
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

After launching the new site, not only did web traffic see a considerable increase, but its updated features and functionalities helped reach a wider audience. Through excellent customer service and problem solving, Usman's team helped achieve goals despite a limited budget. 

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

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

Before retiring in 2016, I was working for a state chartered financial institution. It's a small, three-branch operation with about $250 million in assets.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Usman Group?

We were looking for a vendor to help us update our website and make it easier to access and make changes to from our end. As a financial institution, we face various regulations, so we were looking for ways to streamline different aspects of the site.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Usman redesigned our outdated website, including the backend and frontend. Ideally, we didn't want a customer to have to click around the site more than three times before finding what they were looking for, so Usman's team incorporated user-friendly navigation. They also gathered analytics to better understand how visitors were using the site, so we could continue to adapt going forward.

Usman hosted the website and helped incorporate additional creative elements as requested. They built in a Google Translate feature, giving the site bilingual capabilities without having to build a separate platform. More recently, their team helped with digital marketing, SEO, and PPC campaigns.

What is the team composition?

I primarily worked with Naveed (CRO and Partner, Usman Group) as well as a project manager and a few others.

How did you come to work with Usman Group?

We found them through an online Google search for local design firms. We requested a handful of bids from other companies and narrowed our options down to two. Usman was a little more expensive, but gave the best presentation, so we ended up choosing them.

How much have you invested with them?

We invested between $25,000–$50,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with them sometime in 2013, but I believe the relationship has ended since I retired in 2016.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

After launching the new site, we had a considerable uptick in traffic. Usman's efforts helped us reach a younger and more diverse demographic. By incorporating bilingual capabilities into the website without having to create a second platform, they saved us a lot of money.

How did Usman Group perform from a project management standpoint?

My working relationship with them was great. They were responsive by email and phone and held regular meetings.

What did you find most impressive about them?

We got a great value for our dollar. They worked with our modest budget in order to deliver what we needed without having to spend a fortune on it.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I can't think of anything.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Be as specific as possible in terms of what your goals and objectives are.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    There was a learning curve in the beginning as they were adapting to our industry.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Web Dev and Design for Newspaper

“In addition to Usman Group’s technical prowess, their problem-solving ability spoke volumes.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
May 2010 - May 2013
Project summary: 

Usman Group built a responsive journalism site with a new UX/UI to revamp branding. They also provided tech and strategic consultation to internal stakeholders.

The Reviewer
 
201 - 500 Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
Stephanie Pelletier
Former Director of Web Development, Sun-Times Media Group
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The new award-winning strategic design garnered overwhelming praise internally and externally. As a result, reader engagement increased by 85%. Technical expertise, strong deliverables, and exceptional project management attested to Usman Group’s professionalism.

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 former director of web development for a journalism organization called the Sun-Times Media Group. We published a newspaper and curated a site with current events, local news, politics, and op-ed pieces.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Usman Group?

Before we brought in Usman Group, our company faced bankruptcy. Users found it difficult to navigate our previous site, and we couldn’t engage with our readers. We lacked the internal technological skills to update our design. We needed a firm to provide tech consultation as well as develop and design a new site that would revitalize our brand.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Usman Group built and designed a new responsive site to revamp our brand. This involved developing the wireframes, creating mockups in Photoshop, writing and implementing the code, adding heat maps, and conducting QA to ensure an effective UX/UI.

Beyond the technical components, they also offered tech and business consultation to teach us how to engage our digital audience. They educated our internal C- and B-level executives about responsive web design, emphasizing what our organization needed to do to be successful and competitive.

What is the team composition?

We worked primarily with their CEO, and there was a project manager. We also had access to their full team.

How did you come to work with Usman Group?

For such a large project, we considered 17 consulting firms. Usman Group was by far the best firm. We appreciated the extent of their efforts to research and prepare for our case. They were also collaborative, listening and responding actively to our needs.

How much have you invested with them?

We would prefer to keep the project cost confidential at this time.

What is the status of this engagement?

Work lasted from May 2010–May 2013. They produced such excellent work for the main site overhaul that we pursued other projects with them.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

The Illinois Press Association recognized us for web design in 2011. Usman Group’s strategic design choices pulled our company out of bankruptcy. Once we launched the new, responsive site, users could access the site from multiple devices. As a result, reader engagement rose by 85%.

In addition to Usman Group’s technical prowess, their problem-solving ability spoke volumes. They took an analog medium (print) and translated it into a digital format, which placed us at the technological forefront. They performed beyond our expectations.

How did Usman Group perform from a project management standpoint?

We valued their professionalism and expertise. They respected the project requirements and adhered to our budget and timeline. We never waited for anything, delivering quick turnarounds within two days. They also maintained consistent communication with all of our internal stakeholders to provide updates on the project status.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Not only did we admire the quality of their work, but we also appreciated the level of mutual respect and trust between our teams. As the technology grew, their team continued to become even more talented than before.

Are there any areas they could improve?

Nothing comes to mind. Any company that has the opportunity to work with them would be lucky to do so.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Customers should be open to new ideas because they will exceed your expectations.

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

Website Redesign and Dev for Financial Messaging Business

"We always knew where we were in the process, and what we had to do next to keep the project moving."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Jan. 2016 - Mar. 2016
Project summary: 

Usman Group developed and designed a new website to boost overall functionality and design. They conducted interviews, wrote content, and created an SEO strategy.

The Reviewer
 
1,001-5,000 Employees
 
Illinois
Jill Kirshenbaum
Former VP of Sales, Swift
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The number of site visitors and the amount of visibility have increased markedly since Usman Group was first engaged. Their consistent communication and professionalism justify the investment and make them a valuable 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 former VP of sales for Swift, a sales force effectiveness agency that offers training development, digital, and meetings and events capabilities.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Usman Group?

The website wasn’t performing at the level we needed, and it was difficult to find via Google search. Brand recognition was also a challenge.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They started from scratch, taking the old website down and creating something new that would be more effective. They were responsible for everything from creating the images to writing a lot of new content. Their writers interviewed Swift staff and then wrote the first draft of the content. They'd send us the draft to make any additions or changes before doing a final proof. It was a very collaborative process.

Beyond the content, they put a lot of thought into the brand and the imagery, as well as what should be on the homepage versus the rest of the site. It wasn’t just a cookie-cutter website design. In terms of SEO, they made sure the keywords people searched for actually correlated with the content on the new site.

What is the team composition?

We had a project manager and we also worked directly with certain people who owned different parts of the project (i.e., writers).

How did you come to work with Usman Group?

There was a relationship with Usman Group prior to my joining Swift because the two companies used to share office space. I also knew Naveed (founder, Usman Group) from the board of the local chamber, so I was enthused to work with him.

How much have you invested with them?

We spent between $25,000–$50,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We worked on the website design from January–March 2016.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Before I left Swift, we found the number of people going to the site increased significantly and there was an increase in people making inquiries online. The project was also successful in that people are able to actually do a Google search and find out more about Swift. A website is impactful when people can find it by putting in one keyword.

How did Usman Group perform from a project management standpoint?

They’re incredible in terms of communication and how they work collaboratively. I think the biggest challenge was dealing with the people on the team at Swift. What one person wanted, somebody else wouldn't. Usman Group had to understand psychology and how to reach consensus. They handled it really well. Naveed is very professional in his approach and really good at keeping everybody at an even keel.

Their office is right next door to Swift so we were able to meet in person as needed. They used a software application to track the collaboration, which was really great. It showed who owned each step and what information was needed. There was a big team working with us, so it was very helpful in simplifying the project management process.  

What did you find most impressive about them?

The level of professionalism really stands out. We always knew where we were in the process, and what we had to do next to keep the project moving.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I don't think so. Nothing really comes to mind.

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

Digital Strategy for Healthcare Services Provider

"Usman Group has done a nice job of listening, learning, and maintaining an inquisitive nature"

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Oct. 2014 - 2016
Project summary: 

A healthcare services provider collaborated with Usman Group to outline their complex business proposition, which involved creating a new site, identifying content, and guiding the overall communication strategy.

The Reviewer
 
501-1,000 Employees
 
Illinois
Former Global Marketing Director, Healthcare Services Provider
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Usman Group created clear messaging for the client, and integrated the site with their PR activities, increasing overall traffic. Their team's commitment to learning about the business was evident. They suggested technologies that would accomplish the objectives and provided the right resources. 

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

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

Our company is a leading provider of ready-to-use compounded sterile preparations. I was the senior global marketing manager of the company. For my second collaboration with Usman Group, I was the senior communications manager of a different group.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Usman Group?

We had the challenge of communicating a fairly complex business proposition for hospital pharmacies.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Our previous website had been created by a strictly tech company; the value of Usman Group was that they helped us present our message from a marketing perspective, allowing technology to work for us. Usman Group provided a collaborative approach for helping us detail the message that we needed to communicate, finding a way to share it with potential customers in an easily understandable manner. We could also quickly make updates based on industry evolution.

Usman Group initially put together a workshop that brought people from different parts of our organization together. Members of sales, marketing, and leadership worked together, honing what we needed to accomplish and what parts of the message would work well on the site. From there, Usman Group helped us sketch wireframes and identify content. They brought in partners who could help us with writing and assumed all coding responsibilities. Their team worked through our quality assurance processes.

How did you come to work with Usman Group?

I had worked with Usman Group for a previous company and found them to be flexible and transparent. They had a very good structure around how they would communicate and help us break down a very big project of creating a website down into manageable pieces, walking us through the process and providing experience from past clients. We grabbed the best ideas from a variety of industries.

How much have you invested with Usman Group?

The cost of Usman Group's work was around $110,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with Usman Group in October 2014.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

The website was only recently launched because we were held up in a regulatory process. I'm not working for the company anymore, so I don't have any stats. I have followed the site, and it looks very nice. Usman Group did a great job of finishing the project. During our past engagement, Usman Group did a great job of integrating the site into our PR activities, allowing us to see a huge spike in our traffic. We were able to link and bring people in, getting them to understand the message of our releases.

How did Usman Group perform from a project management standpoint?

Usman Group laid out our process and key milestones, setting dates that helped us determine when we needed to finish the content. They were very good in terms of transparency. We had a weekly status call, which allowed us to know where we were on the pieces of each project. Usman Group was responsive and supplied sufficient resources for the tasks. Any holdups were due to a lack of resources on our side. Usman Group helped us understand the trade-offs and what we could do to still meet deadlines within these limitations.

What did you find most impressive about Usman Group?

Usman Group's curiosity about the industry was very helpful. Rather than making our project fit into the technology at hand, Usman Group came in and learned our business, understanding our challenges and showing us how the site could allow us to communicate our message better. This was especially useful in our complex and regulated environment. Usman Group had a great perspective for what we were trying to accomplish. They were responsive to questions and concerns, bringing in the right resources and people to the project. I consistently learned new things while working with Usman Group, which was good on a personal level.

Are there any areas Usman Group could improve?

No. I was very happy with them.

5.0
Overall Score Usman Group has done a nice job of listening, learning, and maintaining an inquisitive nature.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Usman Group was always on time.
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    Usman Group brought a great amount of value.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    I liked the sites created by Usman Group in both cases. They matched the personality of our company and were easy to navigate.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I already have.