Webitects, a web design and development firm, started in 1995 with belief that the web would be more than just a flash in the pan. It took several years for business leaders to become convinced that this was the case.We are also the Chicago node of the Tim Berners-Lee founded, UK-based, Open Data Institute.A few organizations with which we've partneredObama 2008 campaign—We redesigned my.barackobama.com, the campaign's social networking site, and conducted user research in swing states on the software used to run the field campaign (five weeks of warm beer and cold pizza). You can download a PDF of a paper Improving the Obama campaign software by learning from users, which accompanied our presentation at the Agile 2009 conference.Wikipedia—We helped double annual fundraising through user research, user testing, designing 20 variations of fundraising pages and rating the effectiveness of each design based on site analytics. We discovered a couple of factors that significantly affect whether people will give to Wikipedia. To learn more about our methods and what we learned, watch our 2011 TechWeek presentation (livestream starts about 13:30).The Museum Shop of The Art Institute of Chicago—We designed and developed their high volume ecommerce site that sells many products based on items in the museum. We also run their very successful AdWords campaigns, create customized tools for sending segmented emails based on buyer purchasing behavior, sift through analytics data, and suggest strategies for increasing sales. Museum Shop staff can control most aspects of their site appearance, inventory, sales, promotions, and pricing through our content management tools.Benevolent, a nonprofit startup that makes it easy for people to give to individuals who have needs that make it difficult for them to overcome hurdles on the way to self-sufficiency—We brainstormed with founder Megan Kashner for several months about possible site functions and strategies before creating a site using a minimally viable product (MVP) approach. Megan presented about Benevolent at the White House in winter of 2012 and has been the subject of several stories in Chicago media, and has received foundation funding.California Sentencing Institute is a project of the Center on Juvenile and criminal justice in the Bay Area—We created data visualizations in order to demonstrate that the more you spend on locking people in jail the less effective you are at reducing crime and the more damage you do to low income communities. We compare counties based on factors such as prison population, costs, incarceration rate, and new felony admissions. In a time of decreased tax revenue, criminal justice reform is a hot topic. The site has received much press coverage and seems to be influencing the thinking of legislators and the public.Models for Change sponsored by the MacArthur Foundation—We interviewed many juvenile justice experts in order to design and develop the leading US-based juvenile justice reform website. The design is clean, modern, and responsive—it displays well on multiple devices.Children's Memorial Hospital—Early 2003-June 2012. We conducted design research with parents, doctors, and staff; designed a new website and mobile site; and provided an easy-to-use content management system that enabled doctors and staff to write about the innovate treatments they were providing children. Pursuing a "long tail" strategy, the site greatly increased traffic and hospital admissions and won many national design awards.How we are active in the open data movementWe have worked in open data since 2007, including co-sponsoring the first Chicago City Camp at which Tim O’Reilly launched Code for America. To help keep the OpenGovChicago meetup going through a dry patch in 2010, we hosted, programmed, and organized meetings in our office.In early 2011, CEO Paul Baker came up with the idea for ChicagoLobbyists.org and put together a team to build the site at the first Google/City of Chicago hackathon. Former Chicago CTO John Tolva frequently used it as an example of designer/developer/government collaboration around open data. Four people in this group, including three from Webitects, went on to form Open City, which organizes Tuesday hack nights at 1871.Last year, our employees provided design and technology, and wrote some of the blog posts, for SchoolCuts.org, which was nominated for a Moxie award and is considered by many in the open data movement the most influential open data website of last year in Chicago.Last summer, Webitects alum Demond Drummer created Englewood Codes! to train high school students in web technologies, financing it through a Kickstarter campaign.  For more than 10 years we worked with Local Initiative Support Corporation, creating websites to support the New Communities Program in 16 underserved Chicago communities and, in 2009, created a demonstration web portal in Pilsen which helped the City raise about $7 million in Federal stimulus funding, much of it matched by local foundations. This led to the creation of the Smart Communities program, for which we created community websites that encouraged residents in many Chicago communities to tell their own stories and get interested in, and involved with, Web technologies. 

Overview

Website: webitects.com
Founded: 1995
Local Employees: 15
Location: Chicago
Type: Technology Company
Industries: Big Data, Consumer Web

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