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Services

Internet Strategy

As a great web presence becomes nonnegotiable and new online elements like social media tools demand your attention, it becomes harder and harder to prioritize internet investments within a limited budget. Our strategy services help you navigate the possibilities and make the choices that best advance your organization. We will evaluate your goals, assess your current internet presence, help clarify your online objectives, optimize your technology initiatives, and develop a plan to measure success. The result will be a comprehensive communications strategy that supports your mission, extends your brand, and increases your impact.

Online Community

Online communities are easy to birth, but difficult to grow. We can help you understand what is needed to cultivate participation, attract and retain users, and create thriving online spaces that deliver measurable value. We have experience building and nourishing online communities for grantees, researchers, policy makers, and other diverse user groups. We can help you develop online communities to support, learn from, collaborate with, and energize your high-priority audiences.

Social Media

Are you struggling with how to understand and prioritize the dizzying constellation of social sites? Not sure whether to Facetweet or Twitblog? Having trouble measuring the return on your social media investment? We present regularly on social media trends and have developed "social media university" curriculum for organizations' staff members. We've helped leading foundations, governments, and organizations understand how to navigate the new conversational web. We will help you understand which tools match your objectives, determine which approaches complement your overarching internet strategy, and quantify their impact. Our social media plans extend your online footprint without wearing out your walking shoes.

Governance & Organizational Planning

When looking at a big internet technology investment, most people wonder, "How can I be sure my organization gets the most out of all this money?" Contrary to popular belief, the biggest factor that determines success is the organizational dynamics, not the choice or design of the tools themselves. Adding good technology to an organization that isn't tuned for it will almost always result in poor outcomes. We can help you design and build an internet governance and organizational plan that ensures optimum processes for web management, effective web teams and reporting lines, skilled and motivated web staff, and a culture that values the internet and the operations behind it. We can also work with you over the long term to undertake organizational change management to implement the plan and ensure that you're ready for your next big technology investment.

Services & Requirements

Successful internet sites all have one thing in common: They quickly give users what they want. We can help you obtain that level of success. We will baseline your site against comparators, evaluate the applicability and usefulness of current technologies or trends, and align your services with both your organization's goals and your target audiences' needs. Then, we will work with you to prioritize these services into logical product releases, taking into account your organization's capacity as well as the cost-to-benefit ratio of each release. The result? A clear road map to success.

Audience Research

We believe that the cornerstone of any effective web strategy or design initiative is thorough user research. To ensure user adoption, visitor retention, and audience satisfaction, you must have a finger on the pulse of your users. We've conducted thousands of user interviews, audience personas, surveys, focus groups, and usability studies to get to the core of what users want. We can help you understand your high-priority audiences' needs, behaviors, and preferences and how they impact your strategy planning and design decisions.

Usability Audits

Let our team of talented user experience professionals identify usability opportunities for your site. A usability audit (also referred to as a heuristic review) will reveal critical issues or patterns that may prevent users from finding key information on your site. Our experts consider navigation schemes, page layouts, button labels, linking practices, content length, taxonomies, visual design, and more. We can also test the site for standards compliance. Our audits capture not only opportunities for improvement, but also specific recommendations to optimize your site's user experience.

Information Architecture

Our information architects (IAs) are whizzes at designing usable site layouts, coming up with intuitive categorization and taxonomies, and optimizing navigation design. Our goal? Make it easy for users to find the information they seek and put the organization's priority content in plain view. Like an architectural blueprint for a new building, our wireframes show essential page elements and navigation schemes. They are accompanied by detailed site maps that depict how the site's pages connect to each other. Together, these tools provide a framework for your site's layout and help inform smart visual design decisions. Our IAs are great problem solvers, so you'll be in good hands.

Usability Testing

An all-too-familiar experience: You visit a web site and think to yourself, "I don't understand what to do next" or "I can't find what I'm looking for." What if your site users are experiencing similar frustrations? Wouldn't you like to know? Even better, wouldn't you like to hear what would improve their experience? That's exactly what we listen for and help you identify during usability testing, a research method in which we observe representative members of your core audience groups as they interact with an internet site or service. This live testing is extremely effective in identifying usability pitfalls in existing products and in revealing opportunities for improvement prior to a major redesign.

Visual Design

Our visual designers are committed to creating clean designs that will make an impact while complementing your brand. This is one of our favorite steps in the redesign process, as we find that clients are passionate about the "look & feel" of their product and are very enthusiastic about the visual design process. Enjoy the ride as we explore your design preferences, create moodboards or visual collages that hone the visual direction of the site, and ultimately produce design comps that bring your site to life.

Web Site Development

Whether building a mammoth organizational web presence or a niche mobile application, we have the expertise to execute your vision and design. Our primary toolkit includes Drupal and WordPress for content management, but we also use open-source frameworks such as CodeIgniter and Zend. We speak PHP, Python, Java, and Flex. We integrate with e-commerce, web portals, and e-CRM systems. We leverage APIs to integrate external content from social sites such as Twitter and YouTube. We also build our own REST-based APIs to accelerate the spread of your content and data to other sites. Every project sports a rich interface developed with CSS, XHTML, JavaScript, and Flash/ActionScript. Our proven, iterative process gets you to market quickly and enables improvement with each subsequent release.

Drupal Content Management

Forum One helps large, complex organizations manage their information and social content using Drupal. We have been building open source web solutions for over fifteen years and have launched over 100 Drupal websites including numerous large-scale, enterprise-level solutions. We execute large, scripted content migrations, plan and respond to FISMA security requirements, adhere to Section 508 requirements, and deploy multi-site Drupal platforms. We specialize in complex technical architectures involving hundreds of content editors, thousands of community members, and tens of thousands of nodes. Our experience ranges from turn-key communities using Acquia Commons to customized online communities. We are leaders in the Drupal community, contributing custom modules, leading workshops at DrupalCon and local meetups, and proudly serving as an Acquia Enterprise Select Partner.

 

Widgets, Mashups, APIs

We are leading the movement to make data more portable, accessible, and user-friendly. We build widgets using open standards and techniques like AJAX and web services, and we help you distribute and monitor your widgets with leading platforms from Clearspring and others. We've built RESTful Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) that extend the reach and impact of our clients' data by giving third parties direct programmable access. And we've built award-winning mashups, like DataMasher.org, that overlay complex third-party data from multiple sources with elegant mapping visualizations. Whichever direction you want your data to flow, the outcomes can be interesting. Let us help you use widgets, mashups, and APIs to carry your messages—and mission—forward.

Data & Visualizations

When it comes to aggregating, storing, and integrating your data for the web, we've got you covered. Whether it's XML, KML, RDF, or CSV, we have experience integrating your data with Drupal or your custom web application and putting it to work telling your story. And when it comes to data, nothing tells the story better than a picture. We create striking and compelling maps, graphs, mashups, and visual overlays to bring your most complex data sets and issues to life. We have experience creating dynamic and interactive visualizations to explain complicated topics, reveal subtle policy or demographic trends, localize news and information, and present alternate views of lengthy research or technical reports.

CRM Integration

If you hold events, send email newsletters, or take donations, you have a one-to-one relationship with your constituents. We can link your web solution to your customer relationship management (CRM) tools. Forum One has integration experience with industry-leading systems from Blackbaud, Convio, Salesforce, Avectra, and others. We've built it all—from single sign-on and authentication, to constituent self-service, to integrated user preferences and activity tracking, to donation and event processing, and everything in between. If it's time for a 360-degree view of your constituents' information and activities, Forum One can help.

Site Management & Enhancement

The launch of a web site or internet application marks not only the end of a project, but also the beginning of something exciting. Smart strategies and quality implementation provide a foundation for achieving your long-term online objectives. In order to help your site grow, we provide packages of services to build on the foundation we created during project implementation. We offer performance metrics monitoring, online and social media marketing, user experience and design assessments, technical enhancements, training, community management, web operations program management, and hosting. We have a package to suit varying budgets and ambitions. Let us help you increase your impact.

Web Analytics

What does success look like for your organization's online efforts? Many organizations are overwhelmed by the confusing constellation of internet metrics. We can help you paint a picture of success and establish metrics that measure your ROI. We are well-versed in social media performance tools and major web analytics packages, including Google Analytics and Omniture. We can establish measurable goals that match your mission and help you separate the wheat from the chaff.

Operational Strategy

A major internet launch marks the beginning of ongoing web operations: that is, the activities that will monitor and manage online services and continue to develop the organization to make the most of them. We can support your transition from a discrete design and development project into a state of continuous improvement. We can join you for ongoing strategy discussions, provide ongoing assessments and feedback, help translate performance metrics into new initiatives, and implement the organizational change management that grows out of your governance and organizational plan. Let us help you transform your organization into a long-term success.

Online Marketing & SEO

Search engines drive the majority of traffic to most of our clients' web sites. Forum One provides a range of services to improve your search engine rankings and increase your online prominence. We begin by baselining current efforts and finish with a performance monitoring program. In between, we identify keywords that match audiences' search terms, improve links from partner and social sites, leverage online advertising, and plan compelling content that will get both humans and search engines to take notice. We wrap this all in a holistic internet marketing plan to increase the overall profile of your organization or campaign.

Hosting

Every web site and internet application needs a safe and secure place to live. We pair our expertise with Rackspace's infrastructure and award-winning hosting support to provide you a superior, reliable solution. Our partnership delivers a unified solution with one point of contact and accountability—no more passing the blame! We do more than just guarantee server uptime—we manage your entire software solution, including security patches, while Rackspace's world-class engineers oversee your physical infrastructure, backups, and connectivity. Together, we provide coordinated system maintenance, 24 x 7 on-call site monitoring and support, backup and disaster recovery, guaranteed 100% network uptime, and two-hour hardware replacement. Trust us. Your site is safe in our hands.

Mobile

It is fast becoming a mobile world. With mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets overtaking PC sales and mobile access to the internet set to become mainstream, it is important that your content is optimized for mobile consumption and interaction. Whether it is enabling your website to look good on mobile devices or developing a custom application for a specific purpose, our design team and developers have experience in developing for a wide range of devices and mobile needs. And now with responsive design theming we can take one website design and dynamically resize and reconfigure the layout and navigation to look good on any screen size without too much additional cost or effort.