Digital Echidna led development based on recommendations from a third party consultant. They transferred the site from an older CMS to Drupal and implemented changes to simplify user experience.
Digital Echidna stood out due to their dedication to the project goals, and their flexibility in the face of changing project requirements. They kept the same team throughout the project, and their streamlining methods within Drupal have increased efficiency and productivity with internal teams. They were easy to collaborate with and responsive to needs.
"They were able to work remotely, ... and maintained the workflow without any micromanagement from our side."
Introduce your business and what you do there.
We’re a regulator for a Canadian province. My role is web advisor, and I have been responsible for the technical aspects of the project with Digital Echidna.
What challenge were you trying to address with Digital Echidna?
The main goal for our redesign was to increase customer awareness and participation in our ongoing work. We aimed to do this by employing more user-friendly language on the website, along with a cleaner and more intuitive site architecture.
What was the scope of their involvement?
The project was carried out using two vendors, one on the planning side, and Digital Echidna for the implementation of those recommendations. We had a full website redesign and rebrand, which entailed moving all the content and functionality from the old website and CMS into a newly-developed one. Digital Echidna completely redeveloped the website, moving to Drupal from a completely different system.
We had a shortlist of five platforms which we were considering, including Drupal. In consultation with the planning vendor and based on the initial project scope, they proposed Drupal as the best choice with respect to our website content needs and internal resources. Digital Echidna was great at carrying over the implementation to the platform, and they provided a train-as-we-go approach. When a new part of the site was implemented, it was shown to us, and we were taught how that type of content would be updated. We also had a full refresh session at the end. Digital Echidna was a technical team, but they could also speak to us as content editors.
I was involved in scoping out what pages and website functionality needed to be migrated, and in ensuring a one-to-one translation. We supplied sample code from our previous website, showing Digital Echidna how we did certain things. They took that and improved upon it, modernizing the platform.
Our old website was broken into two websites -- one for a general audience, and one for users with a more detailed understanding of what we do. Digital Echidna restructured our site, focusing on the goal of making it more consumer-friendly. The real technical detail was brought in at a later level. Users could come to the page, find the information they needed, and, if they did want more detailed knowledge, they could dig deeper.
How did you come to work with Digital Echidna?
During the procurement phase, we left the project open, so any company could provide a tender and quote. The internal team reviewed the 20 proposals we received. The quote we received for Digital Echidna had been submitted through their partner, the group which handled the planning side. There was information on the vendor which they would be using for technical development, and we were impressed with Digital Echidna’s work on previous sites. We were looking for a smaller firm, which they both were, because we wanted a one-to-one connection, and insurance that the members we’d be working with wouldn’t be swapped in and out. Digital Echidna came through in this sense, setting up a project team from the start, and finishing with the same individuals.
What is the status of this engagement?
We started working with Digital Echidna in August 2016, and finished in March 2017.
Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?
Aside from the main goal of making the site more consumer-friendly, we also wanted to improve internal workflows. By redeveloping all our modules for Drupal, Digital Echidna was able to streamline our posting process. We’ve already noticed an increase in productivity, in terms of being able to accomplish tasks faster, and there has been good response in terms of web page and consumer analytics.
How did Digital Echidna perform from a project management standpoint?
Most of the work was done by the other vendor, who was the main driver. The tasks assigned to Digital Echidna were carried out without the need for much direction, other than the strict requirements for each module and website application. They were able to work remotely, outside of the two in-person meetings we had, and maintained the workflow without any micromanagement from our side. Digital Echidna kept the set deadlines, and usually finished things well in advance.
Once we got into the heavy lifting of the development side, I was involved in calls back-and-forth with Digital Echidna’s team, over email and other tools, especially during the testing phase. We used a ticket-tracking tool for issues. Digital Echidna has been one of the most responsive vendors I’ve worked with, not only in terms of getting back to us, but also delivering complete solutions that go beyond the initial project requirements.
What did you find most impressive about Digital Echidna?
Their client service and support was good. Digital Echidna was extremely responsive to our requests. They were a pleasure to work with, and we had no problems at all, which is rare.
Are there any areas Digital Echidna could improve?
To be honest, no.