What were the results of the project?
We won several design awards, and continue to set the trend for our sport community. A lot of them are embracing the look and functionality.
Do you have any statistics or metrics on the project?
I don't know if it's because of the site, or if the site helped, but it was wildly successful. We had to design this for massive traffic spikes, and our ongoing reality for a property like that is maybe 100,000 to 150,000 uniques a month. During the sporting events, it can have 20, 30, or 40 times that. We had to build it to handle that kind of load, and the previous version of the site collapsed during the games, literally a month before I got here.
I don't remember what it was, but about a 3,000 percent increase in traffic on the traffic load of the previous games. It was without a hiccup. Part of that was WordPress VIP, but obviously, the people who built it get a portion of the credit for it holding up under the strains.
What differentiates Zync from others?
I think Zync strikes a good balance on being small yet effective. They're not a big shop by any means. Going in, I was leaning towards small because of our budgetary constraints, but having come from working inside that size of a shop and hiring that size of shop, I know the downsides are typically bandwidth.
They're great on customer service, but as long as they can get to you because they have major capacity issues as a small company. They still battle those, but they seem to have struck a decent balance on being able to prioritize and maintain that customer service element. They are available the same way you would get with a big agency, but with a much more dedicated, personal touch that you don't get with a big agency.
They have a good investment in the projects – not literal ownership. You simply don't get that with a bigger agency.
Looking back on the work so far, is there any area that you think they could improve upon or something that you might do differently?
For that relaunch, I don't have anything but good things to say. It was great, and it was massive. It was one of the biggest projects I've ever worked on. Since then, as far as improvement goes, no. Strength is an ongoing concern, and it can be a strength or it can be a weakness.
I don't know if they have designs on becoming a 300-person shop – I don't think that they do. If you're not in growth, then you're always going to be battling the resource issue. We've had a couple ebbs and flows in the last year where we've started doing things a little bit more out there, and had to press pause a couple times to make sure we've got things resourced properly and make sure things are going on the right path. We've experienced a few of those growing pains around just the size of what they are.
What advice would you give a future client of theirs?
I would just say every place is just as good as the brief. Go in, know what you want, and be very detailed. Even if you don't know, work with them on it. I think there's correlation between a smaller shop and a poor brief or misconceptions with what people want.
Because these guys are project-based on their budgets, and because they have limited resources, they drive towards a clear brief. The only time we got stuck in the mud was when we overdid the shorthand from working with them, as far as what we wanted. We didn't spell it out real clearly. I'd just say spend some time to know exactly what you want.