Our onboarding process begins when you hire us to design and develop a digital product for your business, and it consists of 10 phases, from the initial contact to project delivery. What can you expect in the coming days, weeks, or months?
We like to explain how we offer our services clearly and concisely. This allows us to establish a stronger relationship with our clients and ensures they know what to expect at each stage. Furthermore, not everyone who comes to us is familiar with the typical process of digital product development, and not all studios work the same way.
For all these reasons, what better exercise in transparency than to outline the various phases we will go through when you choose our studio for a project or consultancy:
Phase 1: Introduction and requirements gathering
After the initial contact, usually through phone or email, in this stage, we introduce ourselves and get to know each other better through a meeting or interview. The idea is to better understand your business, your needs and objectives, and what you expect from us. Based on what you tell us and the questions that may arise, we will preliminarily establish how we can help you and what possible solutions we can propose to achieve it.
Although it's not essential at this point, and in the following phases, we can delve deeper and gather more information, the more detailed your initial requirements and the clearer the specification of your needs, the better we can see the fit for working together.
Ideally, we will meet in person, either at our office or yours. If this is not possible, we could opt for a video call, but we believe it's important that during this initial contact, we see each other face to face. We have found that these presentation meetings work much better when done in person rather than over the phone or email.
Phase 2: Project Fit
During this initial meeting and requirements gathering, we will evaluate the suitability and fit of the project, both in technical aspects and in terms of timelines and planning.
Regarding suitability, we assess whether the project technically aligns with our technological stack and expertise. But it also implies, in some cases, discouraging the development that the client has in mind. This happens, for example, when there are already existing market solutions that the client can adopt directly to achieve the same result (SaaS solutions, no-code solutions, or licensed products), or if we see that the project's viability may be compromised or there are already competitors with more advanced solutions occupying that market niche. In this aspect, and to the surprise of many new clients, we like to be completely transparent and honest and prefer to be direct so that the client can make informed decisions or realign their strategy, rather than developing a product that is not optimal for their business.
The other issue related to project fit has to do with timing and desired planning. We are a small studio and are limited in terms of the number of jobs and projects we can take on in a year. If your timing requirements are very immediate or short-term, and you do not have flexibility, it is very possible that we may not be able to take on the project because we are already committed to other developments. We work with many repeat clients with whom, knowing this situation, we plan the next projects to be developed several months in advance, so we can better organize throughout the year. On the contact page, you can check our current availability if you want to get an idea of our ongoing commitments.
Phase 3: Research and proposal development
If the project fit is satisfactory, in this stage, we will evaluate the project in detail to be able to develop the proposal. We will gather all the additional information we need from your side and thoroughly research the various possible solutions, implications, etc., so that we can discuss and analyze the optimal solution to implement beforehand.
We will collect all this remaining information we need through email (ideally) or, if strictly necessary for operational reasons, through phone or in-person interviews.
Once we have all the necessary information and an agreement on the suitability and budget range of the solution and a commitment from both parties to work together, we will proceed to develop the proposal.
This is one of our strengths, and it often surprises new clients. We like to put effort into our proposals. As we will see, for us, they are the master document that will guide the development. In the proposal, we will detail the commitments we make to the client, and it is, for all intents and purposes, the document that guarantees the conditions under which the work will be carried out.
In the proposal, we will outline the project's objectives, the details of functionalities and technologies we will use, the scope of work, the timeline, the budget, and payment terms.
Phase 4: Proposal/Contract Review and Acceptance
Once you receive the proposal, you can review it, and if necessary, request corrections, expansions, or modifications to make it fully align with your needs.
Once you are satisfied with the proposed solution, and as mentioned in the previous point, for us, the acceptance of the proposal is equivalent to the signing of a contract between the parties. However, if you need a contract with specific project terms, the signing of NDAs, or other stipulations, we will have no problem doing so, of course.
Phase 5: Solution design
We now have the definitive OK for the proposal. In the case of digital products, we will proceed to design the agreed-upon design deliverables, usually in Figma (one of the best tools for designing and prototyping interfaces). These deliverables may consist of initial wireframes, mockups, flow designs... until we reach the final screen design with the definitive UI of the product or application.
In many cases, we will also create interactive and navigable prototypes of the solution so that the client has a better understanding of the product's usability.
Phase 6: Design revisions
The proposal will specify the number of design revisions included in the budget, usually three. This refers to complete changes in the design proposals when nothing proposed aligns with what the client expected. Normally, as we share designs from a very preliminary stage, this rarely happens, and what we do are small iterations on the deliveries to fine-tune the final result.
For these partial revisions, we can have video calls to discuss the details or communicate directly via email when communication is already sufficiently smooth, and revisions and comments can be annotated on Figma itself.
For final design deliveries, we will schedule a physical meeting to discuss and present the solution in detail to all involved stakeholders.
Phase 7: Development and implementation
Once the design phase is approved and closed, we will proceed with the implementation of the solution if it is included. In some cases, depending on the project's characteristics, implementation can begin in parallel with design. This happens when we need server infrastructure development, backend for API calls, content management, etc., which allows us to progress with its development independently of the approved final design.
Usually, we will have a testing/validation environment, apart from our local environments, to allow client access for validation before production deployment.
Throughout the development phase, we will communicate regularly to keep you informed about the project's progress and milestones achieved, as well as any deviations from the planned schedule.
Phase 8: Testing and validation
Once development is completed, the validation environment will be available for all the relevant tests to ensure the solution's correct functioning.
Phase 9: Delivery and production deployment
After conducting tests, verifying functionalities, and approving the validation version, we will proceed to agree on the project's production deployment.
Production deployment can be carried out on the client's infrastructure or on servers managed by us, as agreed upon in the proposal.
Phase 10: Follow-up, support, and maintenance
Our work does not end with project delivery. Most of our developments, unless otherwise specified, include support and maintenance during the first year. This includes, of course, fixing all bugs and minor issues that may arise during the first few months after production deployment.
Our way of working and deploying projects also allows us to be very responsive and agile throughout this process, so most of these bugs and minor corrections are usually resolved within 24 hours, unless they have more complex implications.
Our goal is to ensure that as a client, you are satisfied with the results. That's why we also like to be available to answer any questions or concerns you may have, as well as prioritize any further improvements you may want to make after the project has been launched.
If you need more reasons to work with us, this other article provides 10 good reasons that will completely convince you.