Why Hire Us
We have worked with dozens of leading companies and startups on hundreds of applications, and we apply our collective learnings to your challenges.
We work hard to form a strong working relationship with our clients. Working side by side with our clients means our user-centered design process stays with them long after the direct engagement is over.
We prize a working solution over a mere concept every day. We listen to our clients to hear their constraints, and produce elegant solutions that meet engineering, scheduling, and business requirements.
Who We Are
Who We Are
We collaborate with many freelance designers and consultants to bring the best expertise available to your project. Some examples of the types of roles our contributors can fulfill include:
Many have asked, what’s your process? The honest answer is, it varies quite a lot, since we are always adapting to our clients, their goals, timeline, budget, etc. However, there are some constants that have emerged, and they are quite straightforward. So without further ado, here are the basic components of our process:
Who are you and what are you trying to do?
Before aught else, we need to get to know you, the client, and understand what the goals of your product are. This generally involves a few phone calls and meetings so we can get to know each other. Although this part often is discounted, building a trusting and respectful relationship between client and agency at the outset makes every single step of the process easier. We’ve found that the way people behave in the earliest phases of a project is a pretty solid indicator for how they will behave throughout. We like to put our best foot forward and set the tone for productive and engaged collaboration early on in the project.
But the discovery phase is not all touchy-feely. The discovery phase also involves reviewing any existing product documentation and existing builds, if available, examining metrics and activity logs, customer support records, and sometimes competitive analysis of similar products or services in the market as well. The end goal here is to gain a through understanding of what our clients are trying to achieve and where they are in this process, so we understand how we can best help.
How will we work together?
At the end of the discovery phase, we generally will present a detailed proposal that includes dates, deliverables and pricing. The discovery phase insures the accuracy and applicability of our proposals. In other words, we know enough at this point to make useful and targeted suggestions of what design deliverables are needed in order to achieve the stated goals of your engagement with us.
Either as part of the proposal or as a subsequent deliverable, the design schedule is an integral part of our process. We believe strongly in saying what we are going to do, when are going to do it, and then delivering promptly. A design schedule keeps everyone on track and sets proper pacing and expectations for the whole team.
Every Cloudforest Design project has an assigned design lead (usually one of our principals) that oversees all design project management. Though our design teams can vary in size, the design lead owns the schedule, meeting coordination and acts as a single point of contact for all of our client’s needs.
Location & Software
We use a combination of phone, Skype, teleconferencing and in-person meetings to make sure we are on schedule, on track and meeting expectations during every step of a project. We generally do the bulk of our work in our own offices but come together with clients for brainstorming and review sessions.
Things change. Happens all the time. Our process is by no means rigid, and we try to flex and bend with our clients needs. Therefore, we will write up a change order when new requirements, requests and/or scheduling changes arise. A change order document formalizes the changes and makes sure both the client and designers have agreed to the changes together.
Many agencies are coy about their pricing structure and require prospective clients to listen to a long pitch before getting to the numbers … not us.
There is no mystery in how we put together bids for our clients, so we thought we would share some of our basic pricing model with the public, on this site, straight up. We want our new visitors and prospective clients to get a sense of how much we cost before they even begin to talk to us. Now that, my friends, is usability.
Though we prefer fixed bid billing (it allows our interactions with you to remain focused on time rather than clock watching), we base all our estimates that inform our proposals on our hourly rate of $175. Here is a guide so you know what to expect to spend:
A la carte menu of deliverable time estimates:
- Personas Workshop: 4 – 8 hours
- Scenarios Workshop: 4 – 8 hours
- Information Architecture Diagram or App Map: 15 – 20 hours
- High Fidelity Wireframes: approximately 10 hours per screen
(highly dependent on the number of states each individual screen exposes to the user)
- Visual Design/GUI Kit: approximately 40 hours
- Usability Testing: approximately 40 hours
- Heuristic Evaluation: between 10 – 40 hours