Redlands digital design/development firm snags major clients – San Bernardino Sun


When Joshua Northcott worked as a web director for the software company Esri, he often found himself frustrated, akin to a small fish swimming in a huge pond.

The company hired top-notch people who worked on multimillion-dollar projects, he recalled, but many of the projects went over budget and took longer than expected to complete.

Noting similar problems at other design companies, Northcott opted to leave the big pond and create a smaller, more efficient one. Hounder, founded in 2016 in Redlands, has grown to a seven-person team that creates digital designs for clients. As the company’s co-founder and chief technology officer, Northcott works at keeping the company’s projects on time and within budget.

Employees of Hounder gather for a meeting. Joshua Northcott (right), the company’s co-founder and chief technology officer, pitches an idea to Joey Micheal Domingo and Rashad Naime in Redlands on Friday, Feb. 24, 2023 Photo by Anjali Sharif-Paul, Fontana News Room/SCNG)

“Coming from the enterprise software end, we thought, ‘What if we stepped up to become the kind of company we were always looking for?’ ” he said. “And that’s what we did. We only take a handful of projects at a time.”

Hounder turns away some potential customers as a result. But the business has helped several major technology players — including Adobe, Esri and UL — fine-tune their online operations and business strategies.

“We create cool designs, but the development side is very advanced as well,” Northcott said. “We create a more personalized experience. We tell clients, ‘This is where you are with your company, and this is where you should be.’ “

Everstream Analytics, a San Marcos-based company that provides risk scores and predictive insights into the world’s supply chain industry, is one Hounder client that needed help in rebranding its business and updating the functionality of features on its website.

“We engaged Hounder to repopulate and rebrand our website,” company spokeswoman Heather Gondek said. “We needed to make it more global in nature because it was not optimized to support translated content. So now, if you are in Germany it will ping messages in German, and that’s what you want.”

Hounder’s team of designers and developers also made Everstream’s website more visually appealing.

“It was very straightforward before — very basic,” Gondek said. “They created a lot of movement and animation on the page that breathes as you scroll, and now we also have video on the website.”

The idea, Northcott said, was to bring life to a company’s online presence while guiding prospective customers to the information they’re seeking in an efficient, user-friendly way.

“We create an experience, a journey for people and funnel them correctly to where they want to go,” he said. “We have senior design developers on our team, and that’s where our sweet spot is.”

That sweet spot is paying off. Northcott said the company is on track to generate $2 million in revenue this year.

Hounder’s reach also has expanded, designing and implementing websites and marketing systems across 12 countries and in 10 languages. Northcott said the company has helped increase clients’ e-commerce revenues by an average of 40%.

UL, a company that provides safety certification and compliance testing services, also turned to Hounder for help.

Hounder joined forces with UL’s web and marketing teams to plan and implement a project that highlights all of UL’s services in one click.

“They evaluated 1,522 keywords and 1,113 pages and gave us actionable guidance for each page,” Chad Reynolds, UL’s director of industry marketing, said in a statement. “Hounder made the complex simple and produced outstanding results.”



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