Kick-off

This step usually happens once. It’s a meeting... no, more than a meeting: we spend a day with you and your team to explore the strategic aspects of your project. Specifically, we discuss the business opportunities and challenges; gather existing knowledge about what you want to solve, create or improve; list direct and indirect competitors; and, finally, we set expectations and goals for the project.

After that, we elaborate together an overview of what you want to build, describing requirements as (broad) user stories. They are then prioritized by business value, defining a roadmap with milestones. Just like any road, there may be detours and bumps, and the chosen path may not be the best one to reach our destination. But don't panic, we are prepared to change course should the need arise.

The last part of the Kick-off is defining team and roles: DERP, Product Owner and Builders.


Illustration of an astronaut floating on the space, representing the Immersion step

Immersion

This is where we walk a mile in your shoes. Well, maybe not in your actual shoes, but we sure delve deep into your universe. The goal here is to collect information about the project and have a shared understanding of its context.

We start by studying stakeholders and people who are going to use the product. By getting to know the users and relating to them, we aim to learn and understand their goals, pain-points and expectations. But don’t worry, we don’t keep them captive: this information is collected through interviews, research and contextual observation. Then, we analyze the data and create personas to represent potential users.


The goal here is to collect information about the project and have a shared understanding of its context.

To have a more complete and immersive process, we carefully study the competition. With an accurate benchmark, we begin to understand how your product will stand out by doing better — not necessarily more — than your competitors.


Now the process gets incremental and iterative for real. Working in weekly cycles, we craft one feature at a time. According to the priorities defined in the Kick-off and the current needs of your business, we choose together what part of the puzzle is going to be solved next.

Illustration of a spatial satellite sanding data through electromagnetic waves, representing the Discovery step

Discovery

Understand

The first order of action is helping you formulate hypotheses about your business. Each one will assist you in correctly evaluating the solutions we are going to propose. This evaluation will guide the product design. We brainstorm possible solutions by thinking of use case scenarios and illustration a map of possible ways for users to achieve the desired outcome.

Prototype

To start prototyping, we make sketches. They help us to organize information, think about navigation flows, test ideas of interaction models, and arrange elements to form an interface proposal. Then, we create a clickable, interactive prototype. This is the best way we found to make users react more naturally and honestly. During the Discovery phase, a spontaneous reaction is more meaningful than a verbal, rationalized feedback.

Validate

Welcome to the watch-and-learn game. It's time to test with real people! That's important for two reasons: we validate the prototypes and use this opportunity to detect and fix usability issues. We then share and discuss the results with you and your team. If the hypotheses proved to be real and the solution is suitable to your needs, we proceed to the next phase. If not, we continue to explore alternatives.


Illustration of a spacecraft project, representing the Build step

Build

Visual Design

Here, the interface is given its look and personality. By blending graphic ingredients — colors, typography, iconography, photography and movement —, we compose elegance and reinforce the brand values. Mainly, these aesthetic qualities highlight the usability ones, like visibility, consistency, affordance and feedback.

Front-end Development

With the look and feel defined, it’s time to proceed to the front-end layer, which is carefully hand-coded by designers and developers. From day one, we follow a modular approach, breaking down the interface into reusable components and placing them into a project pattern library. These standalone building blocks make the interface easier to create, extend and maintain.

Back-end Development

In a parallel highway, the back-end development truck is going full speed, taking care of the heavy programming stuff.

In a parallel highway, the back-end development truck is going full speed, taking care of the heavy programming stuff. You know, the languages, libraries, tools, databases, platforms and third-party integrations. All that towards building a reliable, performant and secure system. In other words, a solid foundation to back up a great interface.


Illustration of a spacecraft navigating between planets, representing the Publishing step

Publishing

When your software is ready to use — or at least has the minimum viable features your users need —, it's time to publish it to the world. There are two moments of publishing: staging and production. The first one is for limited testing purposes, and the second is when it's deployed for all users to, well, use it. This is also the time when we perform tasks such as migrating data from previous systems or configuring integrations with external services.

Discovery, Build and Publishing wrap up one iteration. While the application is not complete, we keep getting back to the beginning of the Craft Cycle to develop new features or improve them.


Maintenance

We continuously monitor the app's availability, making sure it is up and running, ready to be used. We also keep track of performance metrics, scaling servers up and down as usage varies. This way we keep your software running fast without wasting resources (a.k.a. money).


We keep your software running fast without wasting resources.

We set up and track metrics that are relevant to your business, making it easy for you to keep an eye on both standard and custom key performance indicators. And, by the way, during maintenance we also fix possible bugs and make small adjustments to make the app work just like you need.

Illustration of a spatial rover analysing an object, representing the Maintenance step

We know your project is unique, and so is our process each time we follow it. Nothing is set in stone and each step can be adapted to suit your goals and purposes.


Illustration of people studying together, representing the knowledge construction
We stand on the shoulders of giants. Huge kudos to these great people who inspired us: Gothelf’s Lean UX, Knapp’s Design Sprint, IDEO’s User Centred Design, Garret’s Elements of User Experience, SCRUM and others.