Beyond web development:
creating message

  • Programming excellence

    Technical. You need it, we develop it, from scratch if necessary.
  • Terrific design

    Artistic. Code, image, word - we make them work together to focus your vision.
  • Stellar narrative

    Communicative. Our wordsmiths will craft your story. Tell us, and we'll tell everyone.

So here's us in a nutshell: We listen, develop, design, deploy. But mostly, we create seamless communication paths between your ideas and your audience. That we happen to do most of this on the web - well, it's a great medium.

Core

  Core too

Content matters

And we know content

  • The Tornado difference +

    We challenge you to find another web development company that truly creates your content. But that's because no other company mixes programmers and designers with literary and research PhDs. We have some remarkable people!

  • So let us create your site content... +

    We will offer you a level of service that nobody else offers: true content creation during you site build, which means you can outsource your content entirely to us - so that all you have to do is review and ask for tweaks. We will:

    Research your industry & competitors

    Write professional, stylish copy that represents you in your industry

    Create your bylines and headings and blurbs

    Remove the corporate or technical jargon

    Modularize content copy into central and supporting messages

    Even pass all this into brochural or other off-site material for you

    And one more:

    Give your site emotion and personality

    How is this different, truly different, from what everyone else does? Well, nobody else does it...because it’s tough, and you have to be good...

    And we excel at it.

    * * *

    Give us a moment to tell you about this, because there's a story with a message here. We’ve been building websites and web applications since 1999. In that time the Internet has gone from a programmatic nightmare for hard-core geeks, to a place where anyone with a bit of sense (and time) can launch a WordPress, or even Joomla or other CMS-driven website. We think that's great - as technology gets better, it should also get easier to build with and use.

    But then the other shoe drops: Once you've set up a website on a hosting service with the click of an auto-install button, the colors are looking nice because you've purchased a template you're happy with, a logo is in place, the self-installing contact forms and other third-party stuff are working - you run into the problem of content. What do you put in there for people to read and look at? How do you say it? How do you make it matter? How does it tell your story? Ultimately: how does it represent your business and drive visitors to your business goals?

    We see this over and over when we custom develop, as we ask clients: give us copy, give us bylines, give us headings, give us blurbs, tell us what to say! And they can’t. And so a website that should take a week to create turns into a two-month teeth-pulling ordeal.

    So we saw a need – and decided to fill it.

    Yes we excel at it.

  • Let us handle your future content... +

    We will also take on your content moving forward, even if we're not involved in your site build (although we prefer to be). At your request we will:

    Create more site content as necessary

    Publish to your blogs

    Post to your social media accounts

    Even generate copy for your off-line media

    Websites (and content in general) tend to lead an organic life that takes them far beyond software and initial content - over time, there's always more story to tell. Especially with the advent of social media, where content needs to update and stay fresh. Coming up with new material can hurt (not just the brain, but in time and money spent), so we'll take care of it for you.

  • Let us style your brand with graphics... +

    We claim terrific design, and we mean it.

    Our core artist (Brittany) is exactly that, an artist. She doesn't just "do" graphics. She paints (real canvasses), draws, sketches, doodles, even tattoos. Normally we create graphics under Brittany's direction to integrate with your site design and bring it to life. But we also create standalone art, from logos to brochure art and the occasional mural.

    Ask us the next time you need art to hang on your company walls - because that's how far we can take it. Otherwise, we'll just create beautiful images for your projects.

  • Let us design your user experience... +

    Few know what user experience (UX) design is, or why it is so important. In brief: a solid UX lets your visitors find their way around your site with intuitive ease and get to the content you want them to get to. This makes them feel good, and that's good for business.

    You've been to sites with poor UX - you can't find what you're looking for, and you often leave in frustration, thinking, "this site sucks." You've been to the ones with excellent UX - you've found what you were looking for, and so never gave a thought to the complex process of getting there. It felt natural and easy.

    UX really starts to matter as sites get big. But it's background stuff. When it's doing its job, it becomes invisible. This invisibility is exactly the goal of a great UX design.

    So...

    We fix the UX on sites all the time. Ask us about it.

    And so that you know: we will not deliver a product we build for you that has not been given extensive UX treatment. We will:

    Categorize or taxonomize your information into sets

    That make intuitive sense to your visitors

    And get them to the content you want them to get to

    To produce the desired response

    There's more to it than that, certainly, but that's the goal of a solid UX. And to get your project there: we do the necessary comparative research in your industry, conduct user-needs and habits assessment, model information and the process of moving through it, and a number of other things geared to streamline and present your content for an optimal user experience.

  • Look Ma, no pictures! +

    Did we get you to read down this far. Did you notice that we did it without pictures. Or fancy layouts. Or sales pitches of any kind. That's user experience design at work.

    In this case we used a neat little trick (a User Interface, or UI element) where you click to open a slider panel that delivers more content depending on your level or area of interest in the title. Simple. Effective. You don't even notice it because it mimics the way the human mind chunks information into manageable pieces.

    On the other hand, maybe you were attracted by the funky title for this slider panel and clicked on it first (so we put the bit about user experience design in here to pique your interest and get you to click on the target panel above... :-)

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Tech Stack

Tech Stack

html5 CSS3 JQuery
PHP MySQL .Net
Drupal Joomla WordPress
DotNetNuke Magento OpenCart
Photoshop InDesign InDesign
Microsoft Word Notepad
html5 CSS3
JQuery PHP
MySQL .Net
Drupal Joomla
WordPress DotNetNuke
Magento OpenCart
Photoshop InDesign
InDesign Microsoft
Word Notepad

Process

Process

Web makes up a huge portion of our portfolio, and we won't deny it. But that's because it's so exciting! "Web" of course, in its broader definition, as more than a website: as an interactive medium that allows you to communicate your ideas and business goals directly with your audience, in a most immediate way. To ensure that this communication process is absolutely great between you and your audience, we follow our own process when we work with you:

Listening (skill)

Your audience, your goals, and a deeper understanding of you. We start there. And we work with you to outline ideas and strategies that allow us to measure results as we develop, design, and articulate.

Programming (technology)

We do all custom programming, software installation and configuration in sprints. We break the programming and software into small steps to keep you involved during every piece of the build. You never lose touch with development.

Visual design and language (art)

Ideas and strategies outlined, we start turning these into what your audience will see and read. As we go through creative iterations that move us progressively toward clarity of message, we keep you close. And we only stop when you are happy with the message, aesthetically and narratively.

User experience design (science & art)

We start with the most important question: "how do you want your audience to feel when they first encounter your product"? Why do we ask? Because how a visitor feels will determine their response and that will in turn determine whether they do business with you or not. But because this question is quantifiable, once asked we apply principles and practices from various domains in our effort to quantify and direct user response. Among them are: information architecture, visual design, cognitive anthropology, psychology, even literary principles to help determine the flavor of the language we select.

*

Bear in mind that we use a waterfall approach to your project, so that the preceding does not necessarily happen serially. This allows us to create at top speed, with maximum accuracy - which inevitably keeps your cost down.

Portfolio

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  • Title
  • Random
  • Village of Ballston Spa

  • Ticonderoga Chamber of Commerce

  • ST. Mary's Healthcare

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This is a sample out of hundreds and hundreds of projects.
The objective is to show the variety and uniqueness of our designs.
As you can see: no cookie cutters here!

About Neural Tornado

Values

Excellence. We work very hard to outdo ourselves on every project, and we're already really really good at what we do. But we don't think that's enough, so we're the folk you'll find constantly learning while others just talk about how much they know. That's probably why we're always several steps ahead...

Honesty. We won't lie to you, we won't cheat you, we won't pretend. If we tell you we can do it, it's because we can. Otherwise, we'll tell you we can't (hasn't happend yet).

People. We have never, ever made it about money. People come first and we know that we're only as good as our relationships. So we place you first. Simple.

Getting paid. You will love what we make - or you won't pay for it (not that you'll get to keep it). Clear?

Joy. That's what it's all about. And we get huge joy from the beautiful things we make for you. So we keep right on making them.

Addenda

We build for government and industry, and pretty much anyone who has a great idea or story to tell.

We also build for agencies and IT staffing firms - ask us about it!

Historical

Richard at Neural TornadoRichard at thought

Neural Tornado is run with a gloved iron fist by Dr. Richard G. Calo (whom you will inevitably meet) and has been creating for the web and print since 1999. Despite that Richard likes to pretend he is a one-man show, he relies and massively depends on a core team, two of whose members have been with him since the 90s (Ara, Liz), and two others for at least 5 years (Brittany, Ron). What can one say about these epochal durations in an industry where changeover is often monthly? That we're tight. Really. We've reached the point where communication is instant and non-verbal; what you'd call "being on the same page."

Make no mistake though: we also depend on a large non-core body of programmers, designers, and PhD-level personnel for our solutions. Honestly, we can't do this alone!

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