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The Art of Software Engineering


“Software is a great combination between artistry and engineering” — Bill Gates

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The Art of Software Engineering


“Software is a great combination between artistry and engineering” — Bill Gates

Everyone has a great app idea — the Uber of whatever. But ideas are worthless if you can’t build them. Luckily, that’s what we do.

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Product Design


“Fall in love with the problem, not the solution.” — Uri Levin, Co-Founder of Waze.

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Product Design


“Fall in love with the problem, not the solution.” — Uri Levin, Co-Founder of Waze.

Our Product Design Team will deliver an experience that anticipates needs, solves problems, inspires trust, acknowledges emotion and provides delight.

Our User Experience (UX) Researchers will investigate your customer’s needs, behaviors, and desires while informing their ease of use and pleasurable interaction with the product.

Research is the starting point for every project and it continues indefinitely. To do our jobs effectively, our team needs to understand and have empathy for the customer. To do that, we can use a variety of methods: Interviews, surveys, testing, persona creation, journey maps, etc.

Once user and business requirements have been gathered, the project team regroups to align the the goals and priorities — making any necessary compromises to create a shared vision for success

  • User Research - Surveys, Interviews, Competitive Analysis. 
  • Gap Analysis - Comparing a company’s actual performance to its expected performance.
  • User Persona Development - Used to define your target audiences.
  • Experience Maps - High-level map of all screens and relationships.
  • User Flows - How users will enter and move thru screens.
  • Story Boards - States of interactions or behaviors.
  • Interaction Patterns - Defining objects use and weight for components.

Our Product Designers will represent your brand by translating the its values and personality into aesthetics that can be seen, heard, touched and felt.

Product Designers get started by digesting the research, taking stock of existing brand assets, and looking for inspiration. Once everyone is aligned on the goals and requirements, it’s time to explore what’s possible. This is often done with a collaborative design sprint where the team sketches ideas, then debates which flow and visual style will be prototyped by the designer. A prototype is created and tested for validation before showcasing the results to the team. After the sprint is done and a design direction emerges, production of the product picks up as the entire product is designed and finessed.

  • Brand Boards - Visual reference to set the foundational style for design decisions.
  • Logo Design - A mark representing your product or business in its simplest form.
  • Iconography - Symbols and elements used as visual cues one an interface. 
  • UI Kits & Pattern Sheets - The completed visual design library for an app or website.
  • Brand Guidelines - Rules that explain how your brand works.
  • Prototyping - Interactive prototypes for reviews and testing.
  • Responsive Web Design - Design for handheld, tablet, and website formats.
  • Native Mobile Design - iOS or Android retina and standard design.
  • Native Tablet Design - iOS or Android retina and standard design.
  • Motion Design - Frame-to-frame transitions and motion graphics.
  • Startup Pitch Document - Presentations for stakeholders and investors.
  • Custom Illustration - Hand drawn and vectored
  • Character Design - Sketches, 2 rounds of revisions, vectors.

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Content Creation


“Make it simple. Make it memorable. Make it inviting to look at. Make it fun to read.” — Leo Burnett

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Content Creation


“Make it simple. Make it memorable. Make it inviting to look at. Make it fun to read.” — Leo Burnett

Our Content Creators will speak to your customers about your product and brand by creating a shared voice through words, narrative and visuals.

Why should I care? That’s what your customers want to know. So we make it our job to know what your customers care about and what excites them.  In collaboration with our UX Strategists, our Content Creators dig into the Personas and motivations of your end user.  We look to research to learn things like what magazines your users read, what blogs do they frequent, how do they interact with each other through social channels and in general how do they like to be communicated to or absorb information. We then mold these learnings into the voice of your brand. The culmination is a media mix of copy, images and video that will feel familiar, trustworthy and motivational to your customers.

  • Content Strategy - The exercise of defining your product positioning, key messages, and voice.
  • Custom Illustration and Photography - Make your product stand out with one-of-a-kind visuals.
  • Character Design - Create a mascot to tell the story of your product and brand.
  • Storyboards - A key stage or planning out a video or animation sequence.
  • Motion Graphics & Animation - Bring elements of your product to life with animation.
  • Explainer Videos - A short, fun and informative video to generate engagement with your product. Usually 2 minutes or less.  

 

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Engineering


“The Agile movement in software is part of a larger movement towards more humane and dynamic workplaces.” — Rowan Bunning

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Engineering


“The Agile movement in software is part of a larger movement towards more humane and dynamic workplaces.” — Rowan Bunning

Our Software Engineers use agile-inspired product development that stresses collaboration across UX, Design and Technology — rather than siloed groups.

The technology team’s role on a project begins as a consultant throughout UX and design phases. From kickoff to final design approval, the lead developer is an integral decision maker on both large and small decisions. Once annotated wireframes or visual design has been finalized, we hold an official development kickoff to discuss architecture, foundation, and implementation. The team is familiar with both waterfall and hybrid-agile processes. Depending on the approach, we may identify and break out individual development cycles. Our QA and technology teams work closely together to test finished features, report any bugs, and assign tickets. In some cases, a launch plan is created for more complex app or website launches. The bulk of our engineers live in Chicago with one mobile developer in California. We do not utilize offshore resources.


Mobile

  • Objective-C & Swift for iOS - Used to write iPhone, iPad, and mac applications
  • Android - Java - Once you've worked out the UX and Design on iOS, it's time to go Android
  • XCode, Android Studio, Eclipse, Git, MacOSX
  • Native App Sprite Boards - Sliced graphics used for cutting graphics for Android and iOS applications
  • Unity3D C# - Fully integrated development engine used to create games and other interactive 3D content

Backend

  • Ruby On Rails - Chicago-born open source web application framework which runs on the Ruby programming language
  • TextMate
  • Sublime
  • JetBrains
  • Git
  • MacOSX

Frontend

  • Responsive Web
  • HTML 5, Canvas
  • Javascript
  • JQuery
  • AJAX
  • Angular
  • Twitter Bootstrap
  • CSS 3
  • SASS
  • HAML
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Quality Assurance


“Defect-free software does not exist.” — Wietse Venema

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Quality Assurance


“Defect-free software does not exist.” — Wietse Venema

Our Quality Assurance (QA) Analysts will take a bull-in-a-china-shop approach as they  troubleshoot against unpredictable user behavior and mistakes.

During the application development lifecycle, a dedicated Eight Bit Quality Assurance Analyst is onboarded to the project through relevant deliverables including business requirements, wireframes, and annotated designs. The QA Analyst works closely with the project developers, recording issues and updates with our internal tracking tool other client documentation needs

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Project Management


“The P in ‘PM’ is as much about people management than it is project management.” — Cornelius Fichtner.

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Project Management


“The P in ‘PM’ is as much about people management than it is project management.” — Cornelius Fichtner.

Our Project Managers will control the flow of information across a complex maze of people and priorities.

The team participates in recurring internal standups and weekly client status meetings. Tasks are broken down into small parts and feedback loops are shortened to allow for quick course adjustments as requirements evolve, while minimizing costly changes down the line. As part of the project plan, we will assign deliverable due dates and user acceptance testing dates.  With a clear plan and open communication, the whole team will be aware of how updates impact the overall timeline. Our project managers use Basecamp to corral project communication and documentation.  Pivotal Tracker is used to organize features and bugs for development. The overall project plan will be tracked in Smartsheet to keep a clear eye on milestones.