What was the scope of their involvement?
We gave them our basic idea, a list of requirements, and content. We described the mechanics of the app, including geolocation and other features. E3Step handled everything else, including UI/UX design. Our content emerged from four years of research. We were the topical experts. We had the photos, but the visual planning was their responsibility.
I worked with their graphic designer. Even though we worked remotely, they were sensitive to our feedback and constantly tweaked the work. They premade app components, which reduced the cost, but also tweaked the features based on our usage.
My main concern was whether the app could be used in a manner other than visually—such as through voice commands—to make it accessible to impaired people. That was one of the changes that 3Step made. They adjusted the app so it could be used with Google TalkBack on Android. The app was also available on iOS.
We had a very tight budget, and iOS wasn't popular in Poland. Android made up 78% of the market. Some people used a Windows Phone, but they only made up 6–7% of the market. Since most of our users were on Android, we decided to build the app for that platform. At the end of the project, we obtained a specific amount of money and asked 3Step if they would create an iOS version. They agreed. I was responsible only for Android testing, while my boss handled iOS.
What is the team composition?
I was responsible for all new media, including inquiry, testing, and coordination with teachers and other resources. I led communicated with 3Step. Five of their people were involved, including two developers and one project manager. If we had an issue, I could directly contact either the project manager or the developers.
How did you come to work with 3Step?
We announced that we needed programmers, and they found us. We couldn’t choose based on quality of work or other factors. We could only agree on the price, but we’re happy to have chosen 3Step. Their offerings were flexible, and communication flowed well. We received other offers, but the communication was not as pleasant, even at the beginning.
How much have you invested with them?
We spent 30,000 Poland zloty (approximately $8,000 USD) on their work. We received a large grant and wrote an inquiry with our full vision. Under Polish law, it's mandatory that you choose the cheapest provider when working with a grant.
3Step was the cheapest option, but they were in Krakow and we were in Gdansk. We were concerned about the distance, but it worked out perfectly. If the law had been different, we would've still worked with them. We would’ve been unhappy if another candidate offered a lower price.
What is the status of this engagement?
The project began in 2015, and we started working with 3Step in August 2015. The app launched on International Women's Day, on March 8, 2016.