Creativity with purpose

We are a Certified B Corporation. Our clients are leading humanitarian organizations, foundations, conservationists, advocacy groups, educators, and social enterprises who tackle the world’s toughest challenges. Our expertise spans many disciplines including communications strategy, user experience, design and technical development.

Visceral exists to unleash ideas that move people to think, to engage, and to act. We accomplish this by consistently crafting the most compelling stories and experiences for the world’s leading causes.

Our team came together after over 25 collective years working in corporate agency settings. We believed we could not only create better work, but do so on behalf of better organizations. 

We value collaboration and believe each unique challenge deserves an equally unique solution. We keep our project teams small and streamlined, allowing each member of the team to maintain an intimate understanding of the project’s objectives.

 
$10,000
 
$150 - $199 / hr
 
2 - 9
 Founded
2006
Show all +
San Diego, CA
headquaters
  • Visceral
    1355 Sixth Avenue, Second Floor
    San Diego, CA 92101
    United States
other locations
  • Visceral
    2120 University Ave
    Berkeley, CA 94704
    United States

Reviews

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Web Design for Educational Advocacy Group

"They conduct themselves as an extension of our organization and not just as a consultant."

Quality: 
4.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
2014 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Visceral initially worked to update the client's website through frontend design and information restructuring. They provide continuous support in implementing functional enhancements.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Vienna, Virginia
Head of Digital Strategy, Educational Advocacy Group
 
Verified
Feedback summary: 

Visceral's work has produced measurable results, including a traffic increase of 50% and a bounce rate decrease of 12%. They are a professional team that's willing to take on challenging tasks as they arise.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

We catalyze the transformation of K-12 education policy and practice to advance powerful, personalized, learner-centered experiences through competency-based, blended and online learning. I'm the vice president of digital strategy and IT.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Visceral?

We had a very outdated infrastructure and website, so we brought Visceral onboard to help redesign our website and improve our systems.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They continually help with the frontend development of our website, which included the visual design, information architecture and WordPress development. They worked with another developer who wrote the APIs for storing data in Salesforce. Visceral is currently helping with enhancements to our membership registration flow and account management.

How did you come to work with Visceral?

I worked with some of the Visceral team at Fleishman-Hillard. They had left Fleishman-Hillard and started their own agency.

How much have you invested with Visceral?

It’s been $200,000 over three years.

What is the status of this engagement?

We've done a variety of large projects together and we have a maintenance retainer as well.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Since our website redesign, we've had good results in SEO, bounce rate, and improved traffic. Since May 2015, traffic has increased by over 50%, bounce rate decreased by about 12%, and website traffic from referrals has increased by 80%, and Google organic traffic has increased by 40%.

How did Visceral perform from a project management standpoint?

Very well. We used Smartsheet for scheduling various projects, and Google Docs for documentation. We have regular weekly team meetings.

What did you find most impressive about Visceral?

They conduct themselves as an extension of our organization and not just as a consultant. They are responsive and understand a sense of urgency. They're willing to jump on urgent tasks.

Are there any areas Visceral could improve?

In project management, I would recommend more consistency in recording meeting notes and sending them out on a regular basis.

4.5
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They consistently meet deadlines. If there are issues or concerns, I am notified and we have an open conversation on why the schedule might be at risk.
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    I wouldn't say they are inexpensive, but they are not the most expensive either. I think their costs are reasonable.
  • 4.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They generally provide high quality work.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    If you want strong visual design skills, a developer with strong knowledge of WordPress, and the feeling like you have an extension of your organization/department, they are a great choice.

Website Redesign for Nutrition Advocacy Organization

"While they are a small team themselves, they are incredibly organized and responsive."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
July - Nov. 2015
Project summary: 

The client had an outdated website that Visceral worked to refresh by designing and deploying wireframes to improve the user experience and create a more modern look and feel.

The Reviewer
 
2-10 Employees
 
Washington, DC
Managing Director, 1,000 Days
 
Verified
Feedback summary: 

Since its redesign, the website has received an overwhelming amount of positive responses. Visceral made the process transparent, simple, and straightforward.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

1,000 Days is an advocacy organization based in Washington DC. We are focused on ensuring that women and children have the nutrition they need to be healthy and develop to their fullest potential, particularly in the first 1,000 days from a woman's pregnancy to a child's second birthday. I am the managing director of the organization.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Visceral?

Our previous website was launched in 2010, and it had a more old-school approach. It didn't provide what we needed for our users.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Visceral was hired to refresh our old website, but we ended up designing and deploying a completely new site. In the beginning stages, Visceral helped us think through what we needed the new website to be, who would be its target audience, and what information they needed to receive from it. We were given a large questionnaire, based on which Visceral developed some wireframes. Once we settled on one which felt right and presented the information in a way which we felt would make sense to us and our audience, Visceral started a couple of design iterations.

We wrote all the copy for the site. Visceral gave us templates for each page of the site, including character limits. That was extremely helpful in not making the site as text-heavy as the old version. We wanted to have a much more compelling and image-focused site, getting our points across with as little text as possible. Once we provided the copy and images we wanted to use, Visceral built the site and underwent several weeks of testing.

How did you come to work with Visceral?

We were looking to build a new website, but we didn't have a massive budget. We put out an RFP [request for proposal] to 5 different groups which we knew or had been recommended to us by partner organizations and advisors. Visceral was the company that clearly stood out after our interviews with all the candidates.

How much have you invested with Visceral?

The site had a cost of between $30,000 and $40,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with Visceral in July 2015. The site was launched in November, within schedule.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Overwhelmingly, the response to the website has been positive from partners who were familiar with our old page. It looked great, had clear information, and great imagery. Whenever I have a conversation with someone we haven't worked with yet, I often receive good comments about the website.

How did Visceral perform from a project management standpoint?

The fact that we were able to deliver the site on time shows that Visceral was able to keep both of our groups on-task and on-time. Visceral has used different tools which enabled us to provide feedback easily. We also had weekly calls, and Visceral provided a dedicated project manager. She was responsible for making sure that all our work was getting done.

What did you find most impressive about Visceral?

From start to finish, Visceral worked to make the process of designing and deploying a new website as simple and straightforward as possible. While they are a small team themselves, they are incredibly organized and responsive.

Are there any areas Visceral could improve?

No.

5.0
Overall Score It was a very positive experience.
  • 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 already done it.

Web Design for Philanthropic Consulting Company

"Their team is quick to answer, adapt, or adjust whenever you need them to."

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

The client has used Visceral for several projects in developing and designing websites for foundations that shape their goals and reflect them in a compelling way.

The Reviewer
 
2-10 Employees
 
Seattle, WA
President, Brotherton Strategies
 
Verified
Feedback summary: 

Visceral excels at communicating, keeping clients on schedule, and responding to changing requests at any time.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the founder and president of Brotherton Strategies. Our company is a strategic communications consulting firm based in Seattle, Washington. We work primarily with the philanthropic and non-profit sectors.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Visceral?

I needed a web developer and creative partner who understood the intersection of digital technology, effective storytelling, and the complexities of the philanthropic sector. We were also looking for a team that was easy to relate to, affordable, and who just simply got it.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

I’ve worked with Visceral on four client projects at this point, so there isn’t a single project that I’m speaking to; it’s more generalized. They have developed websites from the ground up, from zero to a finished site. I acted as lead writer and creative director, but they were the entire technical solution. They had to understand the nature of a foundation’s business structure. Then they had to determine how to create a site that would reflect that in clear and simple ways while still being compelling to look at and read. In several cases, Visceral worked with me from the very beginning based on just a simple idea of what I needed from a site. I really had no technical vision for how to bring that together and certainly no development expertise to build it. Visceral had that ability to listen to what the goals were, then ask probative, smart questions that might shape the goal and make it even more pointed and on target. They then translate that into a fully developed, fully realized site. Over the years, they’ve worked with me on behalf of several foundation clients.

How did you come to work with Visceral?

The first time I became aware of them, I had heard their name from a couple of friends who worked in philanthropy. We submitted an RFP [request for proposal] and we solicited bids from seven different firms. Visceral came in and had to win the business on their own merits. It was not just a direct hire; it was a competitive bidding process. They won on a combination of creative experience and competitive pricing.

Another thing that is a big differentiator in hiring and working with Visceral is that the team is small. When you are interviewing folks for the business, those end up being the same folks who work on the project. They are incredibly accessible and responsive. Their team is quick to answer, adapt, or adjust whenever you need them to. As a small business owner and consultant who prides himself on giving really high-touch service, that was a big differentiator for them. I hate it when you get pitched by somebody to win the business and then you never hear from that person again. Visceral is not that. What you see is what you get, and you get senior talent working on your account.

How much have you invested with Visceral?

They have delivered sites for under $50,000 that others who bid on that project wanted $100,000 for. Visceral came in the high 40s, low 50s range.

What is the status of this engagement?

We began working with Visceral in February 2015. I’ve done several projects with them. 

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

The one that I originally met them through was completed. We launched a full and beautiful website on time and under budget. We have since done a major expansion to that same site in a new and different creative direction to meet a business goal. We had to expand the site, and they did that piece of the work as well. Each time, they’ve done very good work.

I don’t have any metrics that are a reflection of their work. We have metrics on the click-through rate on the site itself, but that’s not a comment on them. That’s a comment on the foundation client I’m working for. They have finished everything I’ve needed them to do on time and on budget, if not under time and under budget.

How did Visceral perform from a project management standpoint?

Extremely well. On the day they give you a proposal, you meet the team you’re going to work with. That team stays with you for the duration. They are highly responsive. They are very good communicators. They will typically articulate a timeline for the project and a work plan, and they do a very good job of keeping the clients on that plan. If there is slippage due to the clients’ delays, they are really clear about saying, “This missed deadline is going to result in X or Y or Z,” so there are really no surprises. If the unexpected comes up and I have an urgent need for Visceral to do something, they have been very quick to drop what they were working on and get it done. They are just very responsive in a way that I can’t really overstate.

What did you find most impressive about Visceral?

There are a lot of good web design firms out in the world. I don’t think there are a lot of good web design firms who understand the philanthropic foundation sector and how to work with it as well as these guys. Plus, they do so with the high-touch service and the affordable, competitive rates that they do. I can’t say enough about how much I enjoy working with them.

Are there any areas Visceral could improve?

No, there aren’t any.

5.0
Overall Score I am not normally an easy grader, but I think on all of these measures, Visceral stands at the top of the list.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They design realistic project timelines that meet the clients’ realities and manage the workflow accordingly.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They are as competitive as any small to medium design shop I’ve worked with in the philanthropy field over the last five years. Their prices are very affordable.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They deliver highly creative, responsive websites on time and on budget.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I have recommended them to many friends and colleagues and have never heard any negative reactions or bad feedback.

Web Design for Grant-making Foundation

"There is real clarity about where we were in the process at any moment."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Nov. 2015 - Mar. 2016
Project summary: 

Visceral was hired to redesign the UX and UI of a family grant-making foundation’s existing ten-year-old website. 

The Reviewer
 
Small business
 
Los Angeles County
Executive Director, Durfee
 
Verified
Feedback summary: 

Overall, Visceral provided a great experience, constantly giving their input on the project and working with the client’s team as well as a third party company later on in the process. 

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

The Durfee Foundation is a family grant-making foundation in Southern California. We provide grants and support to nonprofit organizations and leaders in the Los Angeles region. We're best known for our fellowship programs, where we support leadership development and capacity building in the nonprofit sector. I'm the executive director.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Visceral?

We needed to redesign our website since our first website had not been updated in more than a decade. Because we focus so much on fellowship and leadership, we wanted to profile the people whom we support and also wanted to make the site more L.A. centric.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We spent the first few months on UX [user experience] and UI [user interface]. We sent Google Docs back and forth as to what we wanted for the website. Allen [Hopper, user experience and creative director at Visceral] is fantastic at explaining the design process over the phone. We worked with him to build a wireframe. The design process took about 3 months and, once that was done, we worked with the development team on the backend.

How did you come to work with Visceral?

We began with an internal team of about 5 people who were given the challenge to look at other websites of nonprofits and grant-making foundations. We culled a list of our favorites and narrowed that down to 5. Then, we went to the managers of those sites and asked who had created their site, how their experience was, and what the budget was. From that, we chose 3 providers. We asked each of those providers to make a proposal. We had telephone and Skype interviews between our team and theirs.

How much have you invested with Visceral?

The cost was between $10,000 and $50,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

The project started November 2015 and was launched in March 2016. Before we launched, we worked with another provider to rewrite some of the content. Visceral was helpful in that process as well by watching keywords carefully.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Our work is cyclical, so our traffic tends to pick up when we have an application deadline.

What did you find most impressive about Visceral?

The way they relayed information to us was different from anything I'd experienced before, and it was spectacular. In other design relationships, I've been sent a mockup in advance of a meeting. The way Visceral worked was effective. They sent us that information only about 15 minutes prior to a meeting. They helped us learn to change our behavior and expectations by starting with an open slate and walking us through point by point. They were good at using a process and lay language to walk us through the technical steps of creating the site. They would keep us updated on what they were working on. Their staff is fantastic at being able to talk to people who do not live in the design world. They were incredibly responsive. The one or two times we had concerns about what was happening, they made a course correction almost instantaneously.

Are there any areas Visceral could improve?

No.

5.0
Overall Score They were truly exceptional.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They are very timely and punctual.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    It was sticker shock for us, but we hadn't done this for 10 years. This is our face to the world, so it was worth every penny.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They are a well-integrated team, and they delegate the responsibilities among themselves. There is real clarity about where we were in the process at any moment.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    We've already referred them.