strategize & plan

be agile, but be smart (measure twice, cut once)

Every project needs a solid roadmap -- a set of strategies that define success for you and your core audiences, now and into the future -- that serve as a foundation and benchmark for all the development work to come.

The most critical measure of a site or application's effectiveness is its ability to meet the needs and expectations of end users while advancing core business goals. Delivering a great user experience -- whether it's for your clients, public consumers, or your own internal team -- is all about understanding. Connecting with people is one of our greatest strengths, one we use to engage your audiences and uncover critical intelligence that informs the development of a successful strategic direction. We work with you to define (or refine) strategies that align closely with your business, marketing and communication goals while resonating strongly with your customers.

But the right strategy is not enough. The right approach to project planning and management is what keeps projects on the rails when things get hairy. Whether the focus is on traditional or agile project development -- or even something in between -- we custom craft a project approach for each client, including just the stuff that we recommend to get you to the best possible outcome with a minimum of overhead. We tailor project plans to you, not the other way around. Each organization has it's own personality and culture, and we work to ensure a good fit for the way you work.

We are committed to devoting critical resources at the start of your project in order to create a solid foundation for ongoing development. We'll work with you to make sure you understand existing and future options for meeting your short- and long-term needs and goals, in everything from digital strategy to technology infrastructure. We want to ensure that your products fit perfectly into your business right now, and provide the necessary foundation for optimal growth capability.

define & architect

dive into the user's world

Getting your digital strategy off paper and into the world can be overwhelming. We are pros at synthesizing intelligence gathered from audience analysis and goals definition in order to define the foundation for a meaningful user experience strategy. Based on your specific needs and project requirements, we apply extensive expertise to content auditing, card sorting and taxonomy development, user personas, use case definition, user mental modeling and more to translate that strategy into an overarching project language and architecture.

Then we develop paper or interactive wireframes and prototypes that help you understand and visualize how your strategy unfolds for your customers. These tools form a raw project framework that helps us -- and you -- test ideas, vet strategies and even explore outcomes through early user engagement testing.

Finally, wireframes and prototypes -- along with supporting documentation -- form the basis for development of technical and design specifications that move your project from concept to concrete.

design & build

simple + functional = beautiful

Once a project architecture is vetted, it's time to bring it to life. In this stage, we put the visual design layer and the supporting front-end framework into place, making sure that we respect both the separation of content and presentation, and the important ties that provide connection between the two.

If art is the process of making something beautiful, design is the process of making something that works beautifully. Certainly, your product's visuals should strongly reflect and support your organization's personality and culture. But they're not just window dressing. We employ design as a tool to achieve specific goals, including support of wayfinding, hierarchy definition, and overall ease of use. Whether the project is cause marketing, e-commerce, media and entertainment or multi-national corporate identity, we apply design strategies that project your brand and resonate with your audience, merging even complex information architectures into smart, simple visual frameworks.

But design is not just on the surface. The design of your front-end framework is just as critical to a project's success. With the explosion of new platforms and media types, we'll show you multiple ways audiences will access your products, and how the front-end infrastructure, in tandem with the design layer, supports flexibility and extensibility -- from phones to tablets to TVs.

engineer & test

do more than code -- build infrastructure

In the end, even the surest strategic planning, architecture and design solutions collapse without a solid technical framework on which to operate. That's why technical strategy is such an important element of every project we undertake. We involve technology vetting every step of the way, so there are fewer surprises and lost opportunities as development kicks into high gear.

We execute everything from clean, efficient and standards-compliant markup to complex, dynamic, client-side and server-side programming, including platform, framework, and service-oriented approaches where appropriate. We can also design and develop custom administrative tools for content and site management. Our focus is finding the right technology for each project to avoid overkill and ensure the highest level of flexibility, security and extensibility.

We provide complete staging and quality-assurance testing for both project infrastructure and interaction layers, so when we're ready to flip the switch, your project launch is safe from unpleasant surprises.

evaluate & iterate

never stop being curious

Getting through your initial project launch is an exciting milestone, but it is just one stop on the long journey of a successful product.

No matter how solid the research, planning and execution, there's always room for continued discovery -- and even the most successful strategies and executions require ongoing adjustment to reach and maintain maximum impact and efficiency. Gathering meaningful intelligence can have a big impact on the success of your products over time, and there's no better way to understand how your application, tool or website is performing for your users than watching them use it. We employ extensive experience in usability testing and listening labs to gather the insight required to help you refine your products to best meet the changing needs of your customers. We can also help you define strategies for analytics that relate directly to your project goals, your audience definitions, and content strategies.

And at the speed of today's business and technology environments, even cutting-edge approaches can evolve in the time it takes to get from strategy definition to project launch. We are constantly watching, testing and learning in all areas of development, so we can help you make sense of the myriad new options popping up every day. Whether you're interested in minor updates or a major overhaul, we'll help you plug into the best of a changing landscape of tools and approaches and move your products into their next iteration.