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TOP AGENCY 2020 INTERVIEW – Kyle Helder - Web Design Team Lead

For the 7th year, the Horizon Interactive Awards competition has provided additional, non-entry recognitions through our Distinguished Agency awards. These awards are given based on the achievement of the sum of all work entered into the competition by an individual designer/developer or agency. The Top Agency award is considered our highest non-entry honor and we would like to congratulate WebFX, from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania as the 2020 competition winner.

With us today is, Kyle Helder - Web Design Team Lead at WebFX to discuss the Top Agency award distinction that they have earned in the 19th annual Horizon Interactive Awards Competition.

HIA: Kyle, Thank you for taking the time to talk with us. First off, what does it mean to you, your company and team to receive this award distinction?

Kyle Helder, WebFX: It’s unbelievable! We’ve been submitting sites to HIA for 10 years, and year by year we’ve received better and better results. We’re ecstatic to receive this recognition as it’s a reflection of a lot of hard work everyone on the team has put in over the past years!

HIA: Tell us more about your company. Talk, if you would, about how it started, how it has grown, what changes you have seen in the company, etc.

Kyle Helder, WebFX: WebFX started out with humble beginnings about 20 years ago. I started at WebFX a little over 10 years ago and we were about a 15-person operation at that time. Over the years we’ve grown more and more to the point where we’re close to 350 team members worldwide! The company has grown tremendously fast, but I’m happy to say that our leadership has made decisions that have paved the way for teams to seamlessly adapt to that growth.

HIA: We can’t ignore the impact that the pandemic has had on the world in general but I’m sure it has had an impact on many of the businesses you have as clients. Can you speak a little about how the pandemic has changed your work with these clients or how you have adapted as a business to deal with the uncertainty in the overall business climate?

Kyle Helder, WebFX: Since the pandemic started, our clients have shown an increased interest in User Experience as well as meeting accessibility standards for their websites. With more people shopping digitally this year, these areas have been even more critical for our clients’ success on the web.

As a team, we’ve taken a “back to basics” approach to our work this year. We’ve interviewed clients to find out what we can be doing better, reviewed and updated our processes, and overall looked for ways that we can come out of this pandemic even stronger than we were before it started.

HIA: How will you continue to produce industry leading work, especially in light of the current events and as we look forward to a recovery?

Kyle Helder, WebFX: I think the answer to that question comes down to one of the core motivations of our team - to always be improving and never be satisfied with where we’re at. That mindset affects how we serve our clients, what trends we adopt and what tools we use. We strive to always do 1% better in everything we do each day. That can take the form of being 1% faster and writing emails, 1% better at color choice or 1% better at making better UX decisions. All of those small changes add up over time to make very large changes over the course of multiple years. Seeing all of those improvements is also very motivating and energizing, and continues to fuel personal growth. That mindset, will produce the results we’re looking for - to produce industry leading work, year after year.

HIA: What makes WebFX special?

Kyle Helder, WebFX: Our mission is to make our clients’ businesses exponentially more successful through the power of the web. We use the latest strategies in digital marketing, web design and development to do so, and we work as a family to get things done. We also strive to create a workplace and culture that makes for the happiest employees in Pennsylvania - we’ve won Best Places to Work in PA 5 years in a row! The people at WebFX really make the company what it is. Everyone is fully committed to personal growth and offering solutions instead of complaints.

HIA: WebFX was represented in 12 categories achieving a best of category distinction and multiple gold, silver and bronze wins. This diverse achievement is what set your company apart this year. Talk a little about the types of projects that contributed to the recognition that you have received in this year’s competition.

Kyle Helder, WebFX: We had a pretty diverse collection of work that we submitted this year; both in project-type but also industry. We submitted two sets of online ads - a service we provide to our clients to enhance their Pay Per Click campaigns. We also submitted a brochure design this year; something we rarely get to do being a digital agency! Most of our submissions were for web redesigns. These entries comprised some of our best 100+ site launches from 2020.

Something that we do every year is submit at least one entry from each member of the team - no matter their skill level or discipline. It’s important for us to recognize excellent work at all levels. Everyone on our team goes above and beyond to create stand-out work and projects they’re proud of.

HIA: Speaking more generally, what trends are you seeing in the industry and how digital / interactive media is evolving.

Kyle Helder, WebFX: Two areas that I’ve seen consistent growth over the past few years have been User Experience and Device Support for websites. With users connecting the web to more and more parts of their life, they have less and less patience for poorly designed or planned digital experiences. Users are more experienced with the web than they were 10 years ago, and expect websites and applications to be enjoyable and work seamlessly and efficiently. This is a challenge for people who work in the industry to create these experiences, but it’s a fun challenge!

Something that will probably never go away is the need to support an ever-increasing list of devices for our websites. Different screen sizes, resolutions and other quirks always present a challenge when creating websites, but it’s something to embrace as an agency and there are many tools out there that make this testing and quality assurance process easier.

HIA: What do you feel is the biggest benefit from being a participant in the competition.

Kyle Helder, WebFX: I think the biggest benefit to being a part of the Horizon Interactive Awards is the ability to celebrate hard-won success from the past year with teammates and client’s alike. We always look forward to seeing the results every April and announcing it to the team, and calling up clients letting them know that their website won an award. It’s something that bonds people together and brings a smile to your face!

HIA: Thank you for taking the time to talk with us. We are truly excited to share your story with our audience as well as promote the great work you do. Once again, congratulations on the Top Agency award. You should be very proud of this achievement. We wish you continued success this year and hope to have you back in future competitions.