You have questions, we have answers
UI UX FAQsDevelopment FAQs
1. What kind of designs are made by you?
We, as a creative studio, creates designs that are user-friendly and theme-oriented, which promotes every single element of a brand or the business idea discussed by the client.
2. How does your design process works?
UX design is constantly evolving and searching for new ways to solve problems. Our Seasoned UX designers have likely been evolving their approach to the design process and will vary from one designer to another. In general, good UX designers with walk you through a specific process or ‘toolkit’ they follow when approaching a problem or project. This will likely be a set of steps they will take to solve user problems and create engaging experiences. Listen for both a clear process and specific actions they take to solve user problems and create engaging experiences.
Listen for both a transparent process, a deep curiosity, and a constant desire to learn.
One overarching theme should be around a user-centric approach to design and perhaps mention ‘design-thinking,’ which follows a thorough understanding of both user and business goals. In general, this is often an iterative design process that is constantly evolving. Key concepts or methods used to carry out this process may include but is not limited to:: competitive audits, stakeholder interviews, user research involving interviews and surveys, content audits, information architecture, user personas, business model canvases, mood boards, storyboards, empathy maps, use case scenarios and user flows, customer journeys, wireframes, mockups, and prototypes. They may also mention conducting user-testing —moderated or unmoderated, remote or in-person—multivariate testing, eye tracking, click-tracking heatmaps, and other quantitative analytics.
Apart from the above, listen for UX design techniques such as observing interaction design standards, best practices, conventions, and rules-of-thumb known as ‘heuristics.’
By applying these UX methodologies and learning directly from users, each of the techniques mentioned above can play an essential role in the creation of a product that users will love.
3. What are some of the biggest challenges you face as a UX designer?
One attribute of a great designer is the ability to evaluate their work objectively. No matter what stage of their career, there will always be those challenges that every designer strives to overcome in a meaningful way.
Listen for answers that not only describe the challenges they may face but how they overcome them.
They may have a challenge justifying their design process to specific stakeholders—it may seem too costly and take too long. How do they overcome these obstacles?
For example,—convincing a company they need more in-depth user research before a product is designed or incorporating proper usability testing during a product design lifecycle can be difficult. How do they advocate for those above in making their case?
Another challenge may be conducting user research in innovative ways. This can prove to be especially tricky for designers who work remotely because direct access to their end-users is limited.
Gathering, analyzing, and translating both qualitative and quantitative user data into ‘actionable insights’ may pose another challenge. However, sound designers have a method of focusing on the most impactful elements and teasing out the most significant return on investment.
Listen for answers that include overcoming challenges of working with others with different agendas. A UX designer will always face challenges around collaborating with professionals from other disciplines, such as C-level executives, product managers, engineers, and visual designers.
4. Please provide some examples of your experience dealing with user research and usability testing.
First and foremost, user research is all about understanding your users. A good UX designer will help you design products that work well across a variety of use cases—from mobile to desktop, as well as a wide range of audiences.
A UX designer should be able to elaborate on how they think of and engage in user research. What ‘lenses’ do they use when conducting user research? These ‘lenses’ could be ethnographic studies, field studies and contextual observations, focus groups, surveys, and diary studies.
They should mention details of how they set goals for the research and came up with a research plan, how they approached the organizational aspect, the recruiting of representative users—what kind of research questions they asked, and how they analyzed the results. While there is more than one approach to facilitating user research, the designer should have a clear description of the method, the sample size required to gain a meaningful result, and speak to the interpretation of the data.
Look for a UX designer who understands how to measure appropriately by selecting the minimum number of subjects needed to gain a solid understanding of the research, and comprehends what they are testing and seeking to understand.
For usability testing, the designer should discuss the methodologies they used. Did they conduct structured, one-on-one interviews with users while they tried specific tasks with product prototypes? Listen to how they’d define a successful test, i.e., what key revelations were gathered, and how was the data distilled into practical, actionable insights? Did they use moderated or unmoderated usability testing? (Unmoderated testing examples may include eye-tracking, click tracking heatmaps, online card sorting exercises, etc.)
5. What are some of the biggest trends in the UX Design industry right now?
Listen to passion and knowledge. A good designer is going to be excited about this topic; the answer will help you understand where their current focus lies.
Also, listen for how a UX designer keeps up with the industry—such as following UX podcasts, reading UX blogs and books, attending webinars and online training courses for ongoing learning, etc.
A UX designer who thinks ahead will be an invaluable asset to your company. He may talk about new use cases beyond screens—or how designing for accessibility is an area of interest for him. He may discuss new prototyping tools that save developers and designers time by converting the design to code, or he may simply explain an evolving trend and how terrific it is to be at the forefront of technology. Whatever his answer, passion should shine through. Most of all, it’s not about technology; it’s about solving problems for users in new and efficient ways.
Ultimately, it’s not about ‘design fads.’ A great UX designer doesn’t follow them but designs products that have staying power and work well for end-users.
6. When a client says: “I don’t like this design.” What do you do?
In a situation like this, a great UX designer exhibits thoughtful restraint. They will not take critique personally, but use it as an opportunity to dig deeper and uncover the real reasons why a client may not like a design. Great UX designers are objective; they rely on tried and true principles, past learnings, white papers and studies, best practices, standards, and design conventions that have been tested, studied, and validated. Accordingly, they should be able to back up their designs based on those above.
Typically, in these circumstances, a misalignment has occurred between what the client was looking for and what the designer was trying to achieve. A great designer would take a step back and ask smart questions to uncover the issues a client may have with the design. Is the client subjective as in, “I don’t like that color?” The designer would inquire why and make sure the client understands that design decisions are based on sound principles—color theory, for example—and not subjective opinion.
Also listen for examples of when the designer backed up design decisions based on analytics data and testing (staying objective), and how they presented facts and findings to make their case.
Some client feedback may be for compelling business reasons. For example, the client may feel that a simple solution misses valuable opportunities for revenue-generating ad placement. A good designer would listen patiently and incorporate the feedback into the next iteration, understanding that arriving at the optimal design is a balancing act between business needs, technical feasibility, and the designer’s desire to create the best UX.
7. Is UX design UI design? What’s the difference?
User interface (UI) design is not the same as UX design. A seasoned UX design pro understands the vital difference and can articulate it clearly. Designing for the user interface often plays an essential role in the work of a UX designer, but it is not the only function.
Whereas UI design is concerned with the useful layout of visual elements on a user interface, UX design is ‘people first.’ It’s about what motivates them—how they think and behave.
A great UX designer should be able to demonstrate knowledge describing the differences, in particular how UI design is only one slice of the UX design process ‘pie,’ and only one of many different disciplines that reside under the UX banner. These include, but are not limited to: a user-centered design strategy, core user demographic definition, persona creation, user research, information architecture, content strategy, interaction design, visual design, and usability testing.
8. What does the term ‘design-thinking’ mean to you?
Listen to the UX designer to describe it as a user-centered design approach, a process. As Tim Brown, president, and CEO of IDEO, a famed global design consultancy explains it: “‘Design thinking’ is a human-centered approach to innovation that draws from the designer’s toolkit to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for business success.”
Design thinking is a method for the generation of solutions and a practical, creative resolution of problems. It’s about uncovering insights into the unmet needs of your target audience. It’s a form of solution-based or solution-focused thinking, with the intent of producing a constructive future result. Most of all, it’s a ‘people first’ approach—a design process mindset that designs products around people’s needs, motivations, and behaviors.
9. Walk me through a design example where you set out to solve a business problem.
Using an example project, a great UX designer would demonstrate the understanding that they’re not just designing a new interface, website, or app, but also a way to solve a business problem. First, they would talk about the discovery/problem definition phase, where they carried out comprehensive research to uncover insights into the source of the problem.
Next, they would have researched users from the target demographic and identified common themes, an unmet user needs, and where the business may have fallen short overall. They would demonstrate their skill at evaluating the goals of the business, the use case scenarios, and how to best align them to find a solution.
Lastly, they would have reached into their UX toolkit and used prototypes (among other things) to explore potential solutions and validate ideas and hypotheses focused on obtaining significant business value from the solutions achieved by an optimal UX design.
10. What does it mean to be a great UX designer?
The answer will help you discover what kind of UX designer you may be hiring. While there is no right or wrong answer, a good designer should have in-depth UX knowledge as well as a comprehensive end-to-end UX design process they can talk about. They should be willing to walk you step-by-step through the approach that guides them to robust working solutions.
Listen for humility, backed by confidence. Do they have a cultivated eye for solutions? Are they passionate about creating delightful user experiences and designing products people love?
Listen for answers that include a discussion around empathy — “walking a mile in a customer’s shoes” (customer journeys); and a user-centered, user goal-driven approach to designing products. Arriving here means engaging in in-depth user research to solve problems.
A seasoned experienced UX designer balances business goals and technical constraints with creating the best user experience possible. They should come up with ‘personas’ (the core users of a product), define when and how to do surveys, analyze responses, possibly conduct field visits and interview users, report their findings, create wireframes and prototypes, conduct usability testing, and, to make further improvements, analyze quantitative user data once a product is released.
11. What analytics tools and key performance indicators (KPIs) have you used to evaluate your designs?
Great UX designers seek to create experiences that will intuitively work for a specific target audience. Garnering quantitative data on site usage or an application plays an essential role in a UX designer’s arsenal of UX success evaluation tools. Whereas user research typically focuses on qualitative data, analytics focus on quantitative data, such as identifying what actions users take when they come to a page.
There are many analytics tools and methods available that capture user behavior, e.g., eye-tracking, click tracking heatmaps, and ‘UI tagging’ that tracks specific elements with which users interact on a page. Don’t focus on the software tool—listen for the why, the methods they used, and what measurements they took. What key performance indicators (KPIs) were they evaluating against? For example, how many users moved through the onboarding process quickly or clicked on that sign-up button—how many set up 1-click ordering?
12. Sell me on the ROI of investing in UX design. How would it improve my bottom line?
UX-driven product design isn’t just about creating a great user experience; it’s also a smart business move. A great UX designer makes a case for usability—for designing great user experiences that work for people, as well as contributing to the bottom line.
They may illustrate why so many projects fail and have to be redone, and how that costs an enormous amount of money. Or outline why investing in UX is a no-brainer if a product is to succeed in the marketplace. Or mention hard data from statistical findings and use examples such as ‘68% of users give up because they think you don’t care about them’ and ‘89% of consumers purchased from a competitor following a poor user experience’.
When talking about the return of investing in UX, they should also discuss success measures by including the calculation of cost savings in relationship to your overall return.
A great UX designer would discuss how investing in UX improves performance, reduces errors, increases ease of use, attracts more users, increases adoption rates, elevates the brand, increases trust in the system and user satisfaction, reduces development costs, reduces redesign costs, decreases support costs and reduces training needed, etc. which all increase the ROI.
13. How much time it usually takes in designing a website?
Any website designing depends on your requirements for the website.
14. What will be the minimum cost of your design?
The design cost of anything depends on the customization of design needed by the client, just like the type of burger you go for in McDonald’s has a different cost.
15. Do you customize data in design, as well?
Yes, we do customize data in the design as per the client requirements.
16. How many changes can I expect to my site without additional cost?
We try to give as much elbow room as possible we can. Although with every step in project completion, we tend to take your feedback and make all the minor changes, closing it on your approval. We are open to space of 2-3 rounds for significant revisions at no cost.
17. How is think 360 studio the right vendor for me?
There must be lots of vendors available to do the task. So as the question asks why to Think 360 Studio, the answer is because we value your work and have every knowledge to provide you with the best of it. We provide you with possible turnaround time and quality assurance with long term support.
18. How does the payment process work?
THE PROJECT IS CONFIRMED WITH 50% ADVANCE DEPOSIT. After the sign off the project is started and completed as per the scope provided and all the minor changes are done, the rest amount of 50% is collected and support for any other changes is provided to you. We also have monthly subscription programs.
19. Who will be the contact person during the project?
There will be a team that will be working on your project. With the team, there will always be a leader who will keep you informed about everything. Usually, firms would not give you much access to the designer/developer working on your project but we provide you with such a communication system that you will be in direct contact with the team dedicated to your project and have time to time update about it.
20. Is there any advance payments involved?
Yes! You need to deposit 50% advance before starting the project and rest amount in parts.
21. Is the artwork my property once I paid for it?
Yes! Surely, any artwork/design made for you is your property once all the balances related to the project are settled ultimately. However, we reserve the right to use it as a part of our portfolio and promotional purposes.
22. What is my involvement in the design process?
Your involvement is a must in the design process. We are here to satisfy you, which is not possible without your inputs. So, we always want you to stay involved and updated with the project progress and share your inputs, references, if any, to give us a way to reach the ultimate design goal.
23. What sorts of photoshoots you do?
We do all kinds of product photography, fashion photography, and e-commerce photography.
24. Is there any setup or hidden charges?
The pricing is the total amount you will be required to pay. There are no setup charges, no cancellation charges, no additional or hidden charges. The package comprises all that you need to pay including all the taxes.
25. What file extensions do you deliver?
We deliver the following types of file extensions: Source files - Sketch, Illustrator, CorelDraw, Photoshop, Adobe XD, EPS Image files - JPG, PNG, SVG, PDF Code files - HTML, CSS, JS, PHP, MySQL.
26. How to know the quality of design you deliver?
You can find the designs we have created in the portfolio section. Available here
27. Do you code the landing page in WordPress?
Yes, we can code your landing page in WordPress using Elementor. If you require it to be coded in something else, ask on our live chat.
28. Can I queue tasks?
Yes, you can queue tasks. As soon as we complete one task, we can immediately move onto designing for the new task.
29. Are there any contracts or boundation?
No, you are enrolled on a month to month subscription. Subscribe when you require designs. Unsubscribe when you are done.
30. What is your turn around time?
Most of our design projects are completed within 1-2 days. The code projects are completed within 5-8 days. Turn around time is based on the complexity of the design and code.
31. How can I send a new task?
You can share the details of the new task with your project manager on email or by filling up the brief design form.
32. How to know the quality of design you deliver?
You can find the designs we have created in the portfolio section.
33. Do you follow brand guidelines?
Yes, we follow specific instructions provided by you for the designs that we create. This also includes any brand guidelines.
34. Who owns the design and code files?
You get 100% ownership of the files the moment we deliver them to you.
35. Can I use your services as a white-label service?
Yes, you can use our services as a white-label service. We already work with a lot of design companies who extend our services to their clients.
36. Can I get a fully functional landing page in a month?
Yes, you can get a fully functional landing page design and coded in a month, depending on the complexity of design, transitions, animations, and the number of pages.
Development FAQsUI UX FAQs
37. What tools and techniques do you use?
We create apps using both native app development approaches. We have experts as well as tools & technologies to develop native apps. For native app development, our developers have experience in native app development tools & technologies like Java, Objective C, Swift, and C#.
38. Which platform between iOS and Android is better for my app or, do I need to implement the app to both?
There are multiple factors such as demography, cost, time to enter the market, etc. which help you decide whether you should implement an app to one between iOS and Android or both.
You should ask the following questions to yourself to get the right answer:
- Which demographic you want to target your app?
- Which platform does your target audience use?
- How much budget you have to invest in the project?
When you have clear answers to all the above asked questions, you would be able to decide about the platform you want to target; however, Think 360 Studio does have consultants to provide clients with a better assistant.
39. What is the ballpark cost to create a mobile app?
Every app is different, and so is their cost. It’s hard to quote a single cost of two mobile app developments of the same type. They are the features and functionalities which decide the cost of a mobile app development project. But generally, an app may cost somewhere from $1,000 to 100,000 and more.
40. Will my app stop working on the newly released OS version of a mobile platform?
No, it won’t. OS providers like Apple and Android take care of differences between old and new OSs at their ends. It means no app stops working whenever a new OS is released. But if any issue occurs and it happens because of the programming of an app, it is advised you create a list of all those issues and contact the development company, which will fix them by making changes to the code.
41. I am not mobile-tech-savvy but, I need an app. How will you help me in this case?
It is not an issue at all. We stay honest with both technical and non-technical clients. In fact, we have worked for a number of clients from non-IT industries and have helped each of them by successfully implementing their apps, from conceiving an idea of publishing it on stores.
42. What is the payment policy to get an app developed from Think 360 Studio?
We work milestone-wise, which means a project, based on its phases of progress, is divided into different segments. The completion of each segment is considered the completion of a milestone. When a milestone is achieved, the client is required to release the payment for that specific milestone.
43. Who would take care of app submission on the app store? Would I need to do own my or you will do that?
We are here to take the responsibility of your app and to get it published in the store, but if you want, you too can do it on your own...
44. How do you take care of the data security of my app?
Mobile application development includes several steps. Little ignorance, even at a single place, can cause security-related issues to the app. We know all those loose-ends causing security breaches/data theft and thus use the following things to make every app secure:
- Using token authentication system so that input and output do are not get hacked during the data transmission
- Encrypting sensitive data to make data storage secured
45. Would I need to interact with your all team during the development phase?
Every project is assigned to a project leader who stands responsible to take care of interaction with the client. He/she, on behalf of all team, create communication with the respective client, and implements things accordingly.
46. What is standard development process followed by your company?
Here is an insight into the standard process followed by Rapidsoft Technologies:
- Project Discovery & Understanding
- Scoping & Estimations
- Wire-framing & Functionality
- Design & Development
- App Store Optimization
- Maintenance & Support
47. Do you build web applications too?
Yes, in fact nearly every mobile app that we build also needs a web-based application behind the scenes to drive it — ever logged into an app? There is a web server in the background serving the app with data that is checking whether you have permission to log in, or not.
48. What kind of support will I receive throughout the development process?
You will be assigned a dedicated project manager, who will be your primary point of contact throughout the development process.
All of your requests and questions are managed through our support portal, to ensure we give you a swift response, and your work is prioritized appropriately. We also offer a range of support and maintenance options to ensure we are responsive to your requests after the launch date.
You can read more about our project management process in our answer to " How will you project manage my project (e.g. AGILE, Waterfall, etc)?".
49. Will I own the source code?
Yes, you will be assigned appropriate copyright or license rights for the bespoke code that we write for your project. We are transparent with intellectual property rights, and you will have the opportunity to review our code ownership terms before the project begins.
50. How do you keep my app and data secure?
To ensure a secure service, we do not publicly detail all our security precautions. However, we can provide an overview of some of the steps we take to protect your data:
If you host with us, then our data center is based in London/USA, with dedicated managed servers supplied by VI.net. These data centers are manned with 24/7/365 access via secure procedures. Redundant, meshed Cisco 6500 series routers (true as of 9/2017) with redundant fiber capable of 320Gb/s in total-for-total resilience. Our servers are regularly updated to run the latest software and patches, and the servers themselves have a firewall.
The back-end server code used to drive your application is configured to run over HTTPS and have a secure SSL certificate installed.
We store passwords as hashed strings using a per-user salt, and in some scenarios, we store some sensitive data using two-way encryption algorithms. Should the worst possible scenario happen, and your data be compromised, the culprit would still need to perform complex decryption for the data to be read.
The frameworks that we develop within provide tested security features out-of-the-box. For example, Yii2 and Laravel allow us to escape and sanitize user inputs to protect against SQL injection attacks, XSS, host-header and CSRF exploits, as well as avoiding direct file exposure through protected restricted directories. Debugging modes are only enabled on test environments, meaning that live servers don’t reveal source code in the event of an error. We also write our own code in special circumstances to build upon the protections provided by such frameworks.
Even with the best development frameworks, it’s possible for developers to make mistakes that pose a security threat accidentally. As a layer of additional security, we use third-party security software (Codacy) to audit every line of code that we write. Codacy sends the team notifications with each code ‘commit’ alerting us to potential security issues within our system, reducing the risk of publishing serious issues.
Public-private keys are used to give developers SSH access into hosted accounts when deploying code, which allows for the secure management of access credentials.
Our standard servers are backed up daily, both on-site via bare-metal backups in the event of a complete server failure, as well as in a secure, redundant off-site location within the UK/USA/CANADA. This backup process provides multiple layers of backup redundancy, allowing for the quick and complete recovery of data.
We offer the option to integrate your site or application using a secure content delivery network such as Cloudflare or Akamai. These can provide an extra layer against DDoS attacks while also speeding up the performance of your service. They provide an additional firewall layer, rate limiting and mask your server’s IP address from those with malicious intent.
Sites that take payment do so via industry-standard PCI-compliant processes.
All of our staff are contractually obligated to follow our security policies and receive training on the latest data security procedures. We regularly sign non-disclosure agreements (NDA), our company headquarters are within lockable facilities, which require fob access and keycode to enter, and is monitored by CCTV.
For enterprise customer’s, we can provide security and vulnerability audits service as part of a project’s deployment using Tenable Nessus software.
51. Can you deliver my project quicker?
In some cases, yes, in others, no.
Can nine women deliver a baby in one month? This analogy can be applied to tech projects too.
Sometimes, by dedicating more developer resources to a project, it can be completed much faster. But in other situations, we may be restricted by project, technology, or security requirements. If you have a date requirement, contact us as soon as possible so we can do our very best to meet it.
52. Do you provide ongoing support, maintenance, and updates?
Yes, we offer the option to engage us on an ad-hoc basis for support or have monthly retainer options should you require a more consistent and reliable level of service.
Ad-hoc support can work for projects that need minimal support to avoid the need for fixed ongoing monthly costs. However, this can be at the expense of responsivity as requests are scheduled based on when our resource is available.
Most of our clients choose to have at least a small monthly support retainer to get the best responsivity, as dedicated time is scheduled months in advance. If you have a highly technical project with us, then we would recommend opting for a monthly support retainer to cover small ad-hoc changes, improvements, updates, and support.
We base our retainer pricing on the amount of development and support hours you need each month. The number of hours that you need depends on many factors such as the size of your project, or the number of new features you are likely to need each month that you’d like to be covered by your retainer arrangement. It’s important to us that you get value-for-money so we’d recommend putting together a nice-to-have list so that your allocation is used each month on value-adding improvements.
Should you have ongoing project requirements beyond the launch of the first version of your website or app, then you may want to consider taking an AGILE approach to your project and have an ongoing retainer arrangement with us that allows us to build, test and deploy larger new features every month. Under this agreement, we would have a retainer allowance, which pays for enough time to develop significant new features. At the start of each month, we would agree on the work that is going to form part of the next sprint (i.e., the next 2-4 weeks) and would deliver the work at the end of that period.
Read more about AGILE v.s. Waterfall with our answer to " How will you project manage my project (e.g. AGILE, Waterfall, etc)?".
Clients who favor AGILE, typically understand that we need to perform significant amounts of work over the coming months, but they might not know when they need what feature, or if the requirements will change. It’s common for start-ups to go AGILE, as the way that users engage with the product once it launches can have a significant impact on which features or changes need to be prioritized, or may give light to new high-priority changes that would be difficult to predict before launch.
53. Can I make changes to my app or website after its launch?
Yes, in fact, we highly recommend that you begin by launching the simplest possible version of your vision possible first and continue to adapt it over time. This staged approach is called launching a "minimum viable product" (MVP).
The idea behind launching an MVP is that you’ve inevitably made assumptions, and you can’t test these assumptions until you release something to the world. By releasing a lean first version, you can test your assumptions and use this information to decide on the priorities of future requirements. It reduces engineering waste.
We have some options around making future changes to your app or website.
You can either commission us to update your app or website on a project-by-project basis, whereby we specify, quote, schedule and finally deliver a fixed set of requirements as-and-when you need them. Or, we can take an AGILE approach whereby we schedule in a certain amount of developer time each month to constantly improve things for you. Both approaches have merit, and it’s likely that you will know instinctively reading this as to which is right for you.
54. What programming languages and frameworks do you use?
For web apps, we use frontend layout frameworks such as bootstrap, foundation, material and SemanticUI in combination with front-end code frameworks such as React or Angular. On the back-end, we usually use a PHP framework such as Laravel or Yii2, with the occasional project in NodeJS.
55. Can we connect our existing web systems / tools / websites / CRM, etc?
Usually yes. Most modern apps and systems will have an interface like what we described in the last question. Ask the company if they have any “API documentation”, if they do then it is very likely that we will be able to integrate with the system.
We’ve experience connecting with lots of different systems and online tools to drive app functionality, here are a few common ones we’ve worked with: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Amazon AWS, Salesforce, Google maps, Matchmaker, Broadbean, Google Sheets, PayPal, Stripe, Airtables, Mailchimp, Campaign Monitor, Marketo, Insightly, JT Telecom, SMS Gateway, Worldpay, Sagepay, Mailgun, Xero, Analytics, Youtube, Vimeo, and others.
56. I want to take payments, how does this work?
We take payments in-site or in-app using a third-party payment provider such as Worldpay, SagePay, Stripe or PayPal. There are lots of different payment providers out there that we can integrate with, but they typically fall into one of two categories:
1. Full end-to-end
Stripe and PayPal fall into the end-to-end category, though there are more providers out there. With this kind of vendor, you use their service, and they handle both the merchant services and fund collection for you and provide you with a dashboard. You have a balance that accrues with every sale, and payments are made into your bank account at regular intervals, usually every seven days. End-to-end is the simplest option, for example, Stripe charges 1.4% +20p (at the time of writing) for European cards, and 2.9% +20p for non-European cards.
2. Merchant services
SagePay and Worldpay fall into this category, which act as a middle-man between your bank and your website or app. The merchant-in-the-middle charged a fixed price per transaction, and it’s then your bank that will then take a fixed percentage on top of the merchant services fee. Worldpay, Sagepay and the other merchant service middle-men typically charge 10-20p per transaction and will usually have productized packages based on order volumes. With this route you will need to negotiate with your bank about the fees they charge, it’s not uncommon for businesses to shop around the different banks to find the best deal. You will typically be able to achieve between 1-4% depending on the size and nature of your business. The largest benefit of the Merchant services approach is that funds clear directly into your bank account, which may be worth a lot to you if you a high sales volumes.
The merchant services integration typically requires more development time to support as fewer payment-related capabilities are provided out-of-the-box compared with using an end-to-end provider such as Stripe.
57. Are you able to work with our existing technical / design/marketing team?
Yes, we specialize in highly bespoke projects, and it is common for us to work with existing systems and teams.
When working closely with other suppliers that are relevant to your business, we aim to build a strong collaborative relationship with a focus on cooperation and support for all of those involved.
If these stakeholders are crucial to the success of the project, then we would recommend arranging a call or meeting with them early to explore their ideas and identify how to work around any potential environmental limitations.
58. We already have designs, can you work with those?
Probably, yes. We prefer to follow our own design process if possible as it allows us to deliver the best quality and consistency, but we can be flexible with this.
If your designs are strong and we are confident they will be effective, then yes, we will be able to work with them. If, however, they do not meet our high standards, then we will be honest and recommend that we create the designs for you instead.
59. Can you provide hosting for our website or app?
If you have a site or app with small resource requirements, then cam host your project on our managed servers. If you have specific hosting requirements, have intensive resource demands, or require something more specialist then we can set you up with your own dedicated, cloud, or load balanced hosting environment.
For example, if you need to handle high volumes of processing and traffic globally then we may opt for a bespoke multi-server hosting setup using Amazon’s EC2, Cloud Front, Elastic Load Balancer and S3 storage facilities.
Should you be unsure of what you require, one option is to start with a simple hosting package first, and then move to a more advanced configuration if your needs grow.
60. How do you manage backups?
Our standard servers are backed up every day, both on-site via bare-metal backups in the event of a complete server failure, as well as in a secure redundant off-site location within the /USA/CANADA. This provides multiple layers of backup redundancy, allowing data to be recovered quickly and completely.
Should you need data backups by-the-minute then we can configure a bespoke setup for you based on the granularity that you require.
61. Can you manage our marketing channels for us (Social media, Adwords, email, etc)?
We naturally provide a degree of strategic support around your business and marketing plans based on our experience as part of every project, and we can build tools to integrate with your social media or email marketing software. However, we are not an end-to-end marketing agency so don’t write copy or manage your marketing campaigns for you.
If you need strategic marketing, social or SEO support, then we have some trusted partner companies that we work with on a regular basis that we’d be happy to introduce you. If you'd like an intro to one of our preferred suppliers, then please feel free to contact us and let us know what you need.
62. How will you project manage my project (AGILE, Waterfall, etc)?
We follow both Waterfall and AGILE practices depending on the process that's best suited to your business and the way you want to work with us.
Here is how to decide which approach to adopt.
Most clients who come to us with a new project want us to provide a fixed-price quotation to complete an agreed scope of work. It makes sense from a budget perspective, and you need a fixed figure to plan for or sign-off with purchasing. If this represents you, then we will most likely follow a Waterfall approach to project management to deliver the first version of your project.
Most clients who come to us with a new project want us to provide a fixed-price quotation to complete an agreed scope of work. It makes sense from a budget perspective, and you need a fixed figure to plan for or sign-off with purchasing. If this represents you, then we will most likely follow a Waterfall approach to project management to deliver the first version of your project.
This process is less flexible than an agile approach, which allows big sweeping changes according to business needs, but it means you know exactly what you’re getting, exactly when you’ll get it, and exactly what it will cost.
With AGILE you identify an approximate direction that you want your site or app to go in (product roadmap) but you don’t define it all upfront. Instead, you work in repeated one-month (or less) cycles called a Sprint. At the start of each sprint, you agree with the work that will be completed in that period, and how success looks.
The AGILE process is far more flexible than a waterfall approach: it allows drastic changes to the project according to your business needs and changing requirements but does not have that long-term future prediction that waterfall provides.
Think of it as lots of mini-waterfall projects. Each sprint happens at the end of a short period; you can release new features and versions regularly, and change the plan for what will be developed as your priorities inevitably change. With AGILE, instead of defining a project cost, you define a monthly budget that relates to the amount of development time that you require.
In summary: Waterfall is less flexible but provides better budget certainty if you know your requirements are unlikely to change over the life of the project. AGILE is more flexible and gives you a process that comfortably allows for regular change as your priorities shift, but also requires a more flexible pay-for-time approach to billing. If you want to launch a project that changes little over time, then Waterfall may be the best approach for you. If you have lots of features you want to add to your project past the launch of version one, then we’d recommend shifting to the AGILE approach with a fixed monthly budget.
63. Do I need to test my app or website?
Yes, we will need your support with testing the project, please.
We have processes for testing and quality assurance, but the way that we think and use your app is different from how you will. You defined the project, and you know what you want better than anyone, so you’ll probably use and interact with what we’ve built in ways that we couldn’t have predicted.
Even if everything works 100% perfectly when we hand it over to you, you will need to check that everything works as expected to sign-off on the work with confidence that we've delivered the project to meet your specifications.
Testing and achieving sign-off will require some time investment at the end of a project, and potentially at intervals across the life of the project, too – So make sure that you set aside some time in your diary for when it’s needed.
64. What if I want to switch supplier later, or bring development in-house?
We recognize that there are many scenarios where you may grow to a point where you no longer need us. For example, a start-up may not have the experience or funds to employ and put the structures in place that are necessary to run an efficient in-house development team for some time. However, as the business grows, the commercial landscape may also change, and make in-housing the development team a sensible long-term decision.
And, we’re okay with that - In fact, we plan for it.
Our code is built upon popular frameworks used by lots of the best teams in the world. For example, we use the React Framework for many of our projects, the same framework that Facebook is built upon and drives all of its products. Providing they are used correctly, these frameworks provide rules and conventions that give consistency to the work that developers create.
These benefits extend to you too: Should our offices explode, which we sincerely hope that they won’t, then skilled development teams exist in the world that can pick up from where we left off. This significantly reduces project risk for you, offering peace of mind.
We also version-control our code using an industry-standard tool called GIT. Think of it like being able to save your game as you go, at key milestones developers can save their progress and GIT will remember all the file changes that form each save-state.
GIT provides a history of who has worked on what, and when, enabling us to manage the different versions of your application and safely enabling multiple people to work on a project in parallel. Once everyone is complete, we can pull together new code and features in a process called a merge.
These methods allow our team to work collaboratively with each other and creates a win-win scenario that reduces your business risk too.
65. Which content management system will you build my website using?
There is a difference between a website and a web app, so this answer will exclusively talk about website content management.
We use a lot of different content management systems, and each one has its own set of pros and cons. Our usual go-to's are Yii2, Laravel, NodeJS, MODX, and Wordpress, though we’ve also used many more, including Drupal, Concrete5, Opencart, and Prestashop.
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all content management system, as each one satisfies their own niche. But if you have simple requirements, then we will most-likely recommend MODX or Wordpress.
Sometimes you may have more advanced plans for your website. You may want user login features with a bespoke dashboard, tools to take recurring payments or want the option to build an app that connects to your website to populate it with data. If you fall into this category, then you should probably consider us building your site using a development framework such as Yii2, Laravel or NodeJS ExpressJS/Sails.
66. How will you handle project payments from us?
For small requests, typically $1,500 or less, we will invoice for the full amount at the beginning, or on completion of the work.
For medium requests, typically $1,000 - $5000, we will invoice a 50% opening deposit and a final 50% deposit on completion of the work.
For larger scopes of work, we will split the payments over the life of the project at monthly intervals. For example, a $12,000 project over three months would divide into four installments of $3k (25% each).
Any planning day fees are due in advance of the initial planning day meeting.
We work this way because it supports your cash flow, and means that you don’t have to pay too much money upfront in advance of seeing some output from us.
67. Do you have any book recommendations that could help me with my project?
Absolutely! Here is a small selection of our favorites:
This book isn’t just aimed at start-up entrepreneurs; it also applies to exist businesses launching new products. It covers the most effective way to launch and test a new tech product, helping you to eliminate waste and maximize success.
So you’ve just built your new startup or product now comes the hard part – marketing it to get major traction! Traction shows you how businesses, both new and old, have identified and exploited one or more of the 19 marketing channels that exist to achieve explosive growth.
If you’re a startup in the UK/USA/CANADA wondering how you may self-fund your venture, then this book is for you. It covers all sorts of finance options, from loans to accelerator programs, Angel and equity investors.
68. I have a question that isn’t listed here
Please, let us hear it!
69. What next?
You’re here because you have an idea or a fundamental business problem that you’re trying to solve. If you want to find out more about us, then you can check out our capabilities page or explore our case studies.
If you want even more information, then it’s probably a good sign that it’s time to speak to us. You can start right now by telling us what you need via our contact form, or give us a call on +911724603543