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Guest Blogger, Holly Howat, Executive Director of Learning Forward Louisiana Talks About Her Experience Working With Usable Creative

Guest Blogger, Holly Howat, Executive Director of Learning Forward Louisiana

written by on Wednesday, January 08, 2014

I started working with the ladies at Usable Creative on my organization’s website in the late summer of 2013. I had just been hired as Learning Forward Louisiana’s first executive director. This non-profit is devoted exclusively to professional development for K-12 educators, and before me, it was run on a strictly volunteer basis. One of my first tasks was to improve communication with our members, including our website, which was completely outdated. I started asking around and a friend of mine, Alise Hagan, told me about her friend’s company Usable Creative. Then a couple of days later, I was in San Souci Art Gallery and heard the owner and a customer talking about this new exciting web company that was designing the Louisiana Crafts Guild’s website. The owner was raving about how creative the company was and how easy it was to work with them. Since I was in the market for a website, I eavesdropped a little more and finally heard the name, Usable Creative. 

We needed a full-service website company that was local and friendly.

Before running out and signing up with them sight unseen, I did my due diligence. I called Usable Creative and 2 other firms I had researched. Usable Creative was the only one who wanted to meet face-to-face. The others just corresponded through email and phone. I really like the personal touch, so it is important for me to put faces and names together. The meeting went really well. I liked their vibe and their presentation. Allison was easy to talk to and she seemed genuinely interested in my company. Later, she emailed a formal proposal. After reviewing all three proposals with my board of directors, we chose Usable Creative. They were not the lowest bid, but I believe that they were the best value for what we wanted. Our top priorities were to have someone design the website and then show us how to modify content. We also wanted the same company to host our website. Finally, we wanted to have a relationship with the company we were working with. Usable Creative met all those requirements and more.

The Usable Creative team was our solution.

Usable Creative got our website up and running within 3 months. They were easy and fun to work with. Shannon and Meagan did a great job of providing me with updates and previews as things developed. A big factor in this was my organization providing them the information and content they needed in a timely manner. This makes a huge difference in speed as they can’t design without the content. I would strongly recommend assigning one or two people in your organization to gather the necessary information. It is a time-consuming task, but only for a short period of time. We were able to gather all the information in about 2 weeks.

Our website created a big wow, it's informative and shows who we are.  

Our website has now been up and running for a little over 2 months. Usable Creative was able to launch our website a week before our annual conference in November. This allowed us to “unveil” our new website in front of all of our conference attendees. This was a big wow at our conference. I am still learning the Adobe Business Catalyst software, but it is pretty user-friendly. Again, it just takes some dedicated time to make it work. Learning Forward Louisiana is so pleased with our website. It presents a good image of who we are and what we do as well as providing teachers and principals with valuable resources.