Therefore Interactive improved a labor union's member website. With gradual changes from an informational architectural perspective, the project turned into a full redesign.
Therefore Interactive delivered a more efficient, cleaner, and better organized website than the organization had ever had previously. The site was so well-designed that it won a prestigious award. The agency won praise for their approachability, communication, and responsiveness.
"[W]henever we have a problem, I know that Therefore Interactive will jump in to solve it."
Introduce your business and what you do there.
Our organization is an employees' union. I am the supervisor of the information technology unit.
What challenge were you trying to address with Therefore Interactive?
We are working on the second phase of redesigning our website. A year before starting our work with Therefore Interactive, we employed another company for consulting and designing the changes, moving our site from an old front-page, static HTML, humongous collection of content, to a Drupal 7-based dynamic website with the ability to have control over content submissions and editing. The first phase didn't work well, and we didn't have time to finish what we wanted to have done.
What was the scope of their involvement?
Therefore Interactive built our website based on the first Drupal version which we created. They changed things gradually, in the end making a full redesign. Therefore Interactive worked mostly from the information architecture side, rather than the graphical representation one.
Therefore Interactive assigned one designer, a project manager, and a database administrator to our project.
How did you come to work with Therefore Interactive?
We worked remotely with our previous company, having phone meetings in which we discussed designs, which didn't work very well. We were looking for a local company that we could meet and with which we could discuss last-minute changes and challenges. Therefore Interactive has always been flexible around our needs and with the general challenge of running a Drupal site.
We went through a formal request for proposal, and found Therefore Interactive through their previous work online. We agreed on what we needed to fix and improve, and our experience with them has been positive.
How much have you invested with Therefore Interactive?
The cost of the project phase was greater than 150,000 CAD.
What is the status of this engagement?
Our first redesign process started in 2013. We switched to Therefore Interactive at the beginning of 2015. We have a contract for maintenance and support, as well as a few ongoing design hours, which we've prepaid and utilized.
Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?
I find Therefore Interactive's work to be cleaner and more organized than what we first created, which helped with overall efficiency.
The biggest recognition for us was the award that we received from the Canadian Association of Labour Media. It was the first time that our organization was recognized by them. We received praise for the architecture of the site. It was logical for union members to navigate it and find what they need.
We have various groups of members who are divided into sections, which makes searches difficult. We addressed this by allowing users to enter information which they already knew, in order to receive the information that made searching possible. This was the biggest challenge in the first phase, which led to tons of complaints. It virtually disappeared once we switched over to the site built by Therefore Interactive. Users can also find information by simply looking around, which was also something that didn't work before, as our information wasn't structured for that purpose. The user interface isn't the greatest part of our design, but it does work.
Therefore Interactive designed a tool which allowed our in-house web designers to have the flexibility to create more content without taking a Drupal boot-camp. There were many overall bugs and some unfinished work in the previous stage, which was cleaned up and improved by the people from Therefore Interactive.
Therefore Interactive did a great job in saving our server a few months ago, after a DOS attack. It's a hosted server and it's supposed to provide the full Drupal stack, but our hosting provider wasn't as good as Therefore Interactive. They didn't have the proper tools, despite the discussions we initially had. Some of the network people from Therefore Interactive were able to pinpoint the attack and rescue the server. They treated our contract as a full set of services, not limited to design, but also from an administration standpoint, which has been useful. Our previous consultants charged us for every minute spent talking, which didn't help us identify our needs.
How did Therefore Interactive perform from a project management standpoint?
We had to extend some deadlines, but still managed to respect our ultimate schedule. This was also a function of our internal availability for tests and feedback. Therefore Interactive's responsiveness and communication style are excellent. They're very approachable and I was always able to contact them when I needed to.
What did you find most impressive about Therefore Interactive?
Even though approachability may not be unique to Therefore Interactive, I really liked this about them. I can talk to their team, and whenever we have a problem, I know that Therefore Interactive will jump in to solve it. We do have a running agreement with them, but Therefore Interactive has taken it a step further.
Are there any areas Therefore Interactive could improve?
Therefore Interactive did admit that graphic design is not their strongest point, but still they could employ someone for more creative graphical user interface designs.