design-driven development agency

Ars Futura is a software development company founded in Zagreb, Croatia. We specialize in providing web and mobile development solutions. Here at Ars, we insist on maintaining high-quality work from developing a concept to publishing your application. We love and insist on great designs and high-quality code.

 
$25,000+
 
$50 - $99 / hr
 
10 - 49
 Founded
2013
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Zagreb, Croatia
headquarters

Reviews

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Design and Dev for Recreation Booking System

"Instead of focusing just on the product, they were helping me achieve certain marketing goals." 

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
May. 2015 - Sep. 2018
Project summary: 

Ars Futura helped conceptualize, develop, design, and launch a web booking system. From planning customer research initiatives to recommending specific technologies, they also provided comprehensive support.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Toronto, Canada
Andres Pareja
CEO, MITURF
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

End users report that the solution is simple to use and that there haven’t been any issues. Moving beyond technical requirements, Ars Futura address full lifecycle issues including promotion, and development process consulting. Customers can expect an organized and planning-focused partner.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the CEO of MITURF, a sports and recreation booking system for scheduling payments. It allows people to discover and submit booking requests for reservations for sporting facilities like soccer fields, basketball courts, and tennis courts. It also handles payment processing, scheduling, and organization for a venue or space provider to streamline their operation.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Ars Futura?

We needed help with discovery, design, and development for our booking system.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They spearheaded the project from the very beginning, understanding what the core problems we were trying to address were, as well as possible solutions. After providing guidance to help us sketch out the wireframes, they had me go to the customers and get feedback on what their pain points were and iterate on them. They also helped conceptualize the ins and outs of the product and the lifecycle of the customer journey map. Further, they navigate me through the ways of building a proper product. They were part consultancy, design, and development.

They’re really good at challenging the current MVP and iterations of that MVP. They also were there to identify the brand and what we represented. They did the building, the development, the design, and the deploying of a responsive website, but also an iOS app. We worked in React Native and Ruby on Rails based on their recommendation, which focused on how people would find it easy to use.

What is the team composition?

I worked with the CEO and the CTO. I also dealt with some other junior people that knew what they were doing. There were marketing UX/UI designers, front- and backend developers, and an iOS developer.

How did you come to work with Ars Futura?

I sent out an RFP to a lot of firms across the world because I wanted to get different perspectives and inputs. They all were a little too expensive for what needed to get done and overly complex for the process. I also didn’t like a lot of the products they had done for previous clients.

Ars Futura was really good at presenting their approach. I hired them because of their knowledge and expertise in building similar marketplace platforms. They really knew what they were talking about in terms of the MVP and working with me along the way. They didn’t put a lot of stress on the financials because they really wanted to understand what I was trying to achieve.

They blew me away by focusing first on the problem, the goal, trying to educate me on the scope, and adding more scope. They showed me what areas in the product were going to require more design, development, and testing, which allowed me to reassess and prioritize the scope in a way that made the most sense. They were a full end-to-end company. Another main reason I went with them was because of how clear their communication was.

How much have you invested with them?

We spent $100,000 Canadian ($76,000 USD). 

What is the status of this engagement?

We worked together from May 2015 until September 2018.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

When we were in development and testing, they really got it. They got the defects and bugs through three different testing phases before going live. We collected feedback from end customers if the website and app are intuitive or if there are any problems, and it’s been favorable. It was fair to measure them on how easy it was to use, the feedback from customers and end-users, and the quality of the product.

How did Ars Futura perform from a project management standpoint?

It was one of the cleanest projects that I’ve worked on. I’ve partnered with many companies that use everything from PowerPoint and spreadsheets just so many tools, but Ars Futura was really good with project managing in an agile approach using Asana, Trello, and Kanban Boards. They did a really good job of defining the road map.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They knew that this was going to be really impactful for me. Instead of focusing just on the product, they were helping me achieve certain marketing goals. They were great at offering free services like creating landing pages, marketing materials, and creating a little bit of hype. They were able to get me to do some promotional work while the product was being built like teaser images. They went above and beyond their contract.

Are there any areas they could improve?

They could help me tap into and identify how to use government credits, whether that was an affiliate in Canada or Ontario. There’s a lot of government credits that go toward entrepreneurs building businesses and products. They could have helped me figure out what the most economical way would have been to get into this engagement without me having to pay for everything on my own. They could also create a division where they’d have business analysts apply for grants to help me accomplish these goals.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Don’t underestimate their capabilities and trust their knowledge and expertise. Be ready to come up with discussion points to help them. Don’t come with a solution, but come with a problem.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    My mess-ups extended our deadlines, but I would have liked them to tell me that we shouldn’t do something at that time.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    I would have paid five times more had I had it done domestically.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I always recommend them.

Software Development Staff Augmentation for IoT Company

"I appreciate how genuine the team at Ars Futura is."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Feb. 2017 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Ars Futura provides staff augmentation services for an IoT company. The team assists with various development projects, working on mobile products and full-stack platforms.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Cambridge, Massachusetts
CEO & Founder, IoT Startup
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Ars Futura has become a crucial extension of the team. They’re skilled and communicative. Their adaptability complemented their professional management style. Customers can expect a talented and hardworking remote team.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the CEO & founder of an IoT company that builds products for life science, biotech, and healthcare industries. Our core thesis is that there is a lot of information captured manually or not captured at all. While some could be data from machines and instruments, a lot of it is due to environmental changes.

For example, if we’re dealing with a drug development or discovery that involves chemicals and biological materials, temperature and humidity can play a role in the outcome quality. Our company makes data collection seamless through IoT devices, cloud & software services, and other analytics.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Ars Futura?

When we’re building a complex vertical stack, there are a lot of layers, from hardware to communication to visualizations, and more. When there are all of these different layers, problems can arise at any time. We hired Ars Futura to assist with that. We needed to fill in the gap with workers that could hit the ground running and become part of our core team.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Over the last couple of years, we’ve engaged with Ars Futura on a variety of tasks. We work with them remotely. During the primary period where they worked on our full-stack, we did backend development and frontend UI implementation work with them. For the full-stack, they did not work on the hardware. We also worked on the backend of our database with their team.

A lot of business logic goes into the alert and notification services that we provide on our website. One part of the engagement involved the full-stack, while the other part was using their services on mobile products for Android. There’s also an IoT monitoring service with a frontend GUI and built on Ruby. They worked with us on cloud-oriented processes.

What is the team composition?

Our main point of contact is Nikola (CEO, Ars Futura). On average, we’ve worked with four people. During the last few years, there have been times where we only worked with two or three, and sometimes where we worked with five or six. A few of them focus on Android work. There is one UX/UI designer and one primary who works on the full-stack.

How did you come to work with Ars Futura?

Early on, we brought on a contractor who had worked with Ars Futura. When we were talking to him about augmenting our team, he mentioned them. I had talked to and interviewed several other remote teams in Eastern Europe. A lot of them are large dev shops with heavy turnover.

With Ars Futura, they’re a smaller firm with no turnover problems. It felt like they were a close-knit group. The offshore services industry is smaller in Croatia as well. To put it bluntly, when their staff moves on, they’ll remain on good terms with each other. This went into our reasoning for choosing them.

What is the status of this engagement?

Our ongoing relationship with Ars Futura started in February 2017.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

It’s been an amazing experience working with Ars Futura. While I don’t have specific metrics, I can say that they feel like an extension of our team. They give us a lot of attention. Once we brought Ars Futura on, things improved during the early stages.

Their team is top-notch. I’ve recommended them to several of my friends and other founders. The only challenge has been with the time difference. They’re adaptable to our needs but are honest with us. For example, we needed Python development and they were transparent that it was outside of their skillset. They were upfront, saying that we could find another vendor to help if we needed to. I found that to be positive. We consider Ars Futura as part of our core team.  

How did Ars Futura perform from a project management standpoint?

We’re basically three different teams, including the mobile and UX side. Although we had one point of contact through Nikola, we had direct lines of communication with their staff and ours. The UX team worked with their lead, and the Android developers worked with theirs directly.

However, if there were any issues, everything would go through Nikola. Since they’re based in Croatia, they visited us for a few weeks last year. They’re on daily standups, communicating with our team quite frequently. Our project management tools were Jira, Slack, and Confluence.

What did you find most impressive about them?

I appreciate how genuine the team at Ars Futura is. Nikola and his partner were roommates in college and started coding on the side to make extra money. They’ve become our friends now; they want our company to grow. The best way to describe this is when somebody said to me that whenever I work with Ars Futura, the word “we” is used. We’re part of each other’s teams. All of these positive characteristics exemplify who they are.

Are there any areas they could improve?

This isn’t too much of them but has to do with the fact that the industry is lacking in Croatia. If they hope to ramp up quickly, they’re going to have to recruit developers from other areas. It takes longer for them to staff up because of this. Customers can’t go to them and ask for three more developers with a weeks’ notice. It is far more a function of their geography though, and not on Ars Futura themselves.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Since they’re the first remote team I’ve worked with, I don’t have anything to compare them to. I would say to invite their team to your office. Have them spend a week with your team. The people who Ars Futura recruits have such an emotional connection to their clients. They’re not focused on shopping jobs.

5.0
Overall Score I would work with them in the future.
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    There were issues with scheduling and estimating how much time and effort on both sides.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They charge us hourly, which has been excellent. I shopped around a bit. They’re competitive with everyone, but add a personal touch.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Mobile App Dev for Insulin Tracking Software

“They’re great communicators and overall pleasant people.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
May 2018 – Ongoing
Project summary: 

Ars Futura developed both an iOS and Android app for an insulin tracking software. Their team was responsible for both front- and backend development.

The Reviewer
 
11 - 50 Employees
 
Boston, Massachusettes
Emily Hart
Director of Software Development, Common Sensing
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The app’s stability has increased dramatically. Despite the time difference, Ars Futura is responsive and communicative. Their expertise and positive demeanor lend themselves to a successful ongoing collaboration.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the director of software development at Common Sensing. We make devices that record how much insulin somebody has injected. Our devices are Bluetooth enabled and connect to a mobile app to show a person’s insulin intake in the form of a logbook.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Ars Futura?

We needed a mobile app developed by professionals that was stable and did not have crashes or bugs.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Ars Futura developed both an iOS and Android version of a mobile app. Their team ensured that the app could connect to the insulin devices through Bluetooth. They were responsible for both front- and backend development.

What is the team composition?

It’s fluctuated over time, but I have worked with 3–5 of their engineers at any given time.

How did you come to work with Ars Futura?

I had worked with Ars Futura at a previous position, and when I moved to this company and needed mobile app developers, I got in touch with Nicola (CEO & Founder, Ars Futura). I explained the scope of the project and we made sure to get the right people on the team.

What is the status of this engagement?

Our ongoing engagement with Ars Futura began in May 2018.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement? 

When we first came to Ars Futura, we wanted to improve the stability of our app to prevent crashes. Their team has gotten the results we wanted, with a dramatic improvement in stability.

I’ve managed a few developers in my career, both internal and external, and the developers at Ars Futura are excellent. They’re the same quality of engineers I would hire myself. They’re great communicators and overall pleasant people. Their talented team always produces high-quality work.

How did Ars Futura perform from a project management standpoint?

The whole team at Ars Futura is very responsive. Our teams would have stand-up meetings a few times a week and would frequently communicate on Slack. Their engineers typically get back to me within an hour.

What did you find most impressive about them?

I would highly recommend them to anyone looking for this kind of service. I’d worked with them before and came back wanting to work with them again, which really speaks to the quality of their work.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No, I’m really happy with their work.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

It’s a lot like hiring an individual that would work in-house, except they happen to work in a different office.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Custom CRM Dev for University Incubator

"They acted as my day-to-day team but were also very independent in the way they did their jobs."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Jan. 2018 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Ars Futura is developing a custom CRM to help streamline business operations. The solution automatically draws data from internal and third-party sources, generates metrics, and performs site updates.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Boston, Massachusetts
Bob Preble
Technical Project Manager, Harvard Innovation Labs
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

With each major advance, the solution becomes easier and easier to use. Centralizing the data has made information widely available to the relevant internal teams, and there has been no data loss. Despite tight schedules, Ars Futura works efficiently and often delivers ahead of time.    

The client submitted this review online.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your company and your position there.

The Harvard Innovation Lab is a resource at Harvard University for student based teams to explore and develop their ideas into ongoing enterprises. It's an incubator within Harvard. I manage technical projects for the staff, and also act as a Product Manager.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

For what projects/services did your company hire Ars Futura?

They were tasked with building a database and software that the staff would use to run the business.

This included collection and centralization of data from internal sources and third party applications. User interface implementation, backend design and data schema. Also integration with 3rd party data sources, generation of metrics, and automating website updates automatically from within our system.

What were your goals for this project?

Our goal was to have a central data source from which the staff could do all their work. That the data always be up to date. That the system would be secure, and easy to use, and very be very performant.

SOLUTION

How did you select this vendor?

I had worked with this vendor previously on 2 projects and they had done an excellent job, so the choice was easy.

Describe the project and the services they provided in detail.

They developed and tested (and sometimes help design) the data schema and application for the business. They implemented the frontend user interface and the backend services that were needed.

They integrated with a number of internal and external data sources. They put together a system that automated the flow of data into and through the system, and included moving the data to other applications and data sources that we use.

What was the team composition?

The team is made up of 2 full time developers, and a more senior developer who oversees some of their work and helps on the most difficult problems. It also includes a part time QA resource.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Can you share any information that demonstrates the impact that this project has had on your business?

The software has been in production for about a year and we continue to make major advances. The staff has continued to comment about how much easier it is to work with this central data and how easy the product is to use.

There has been no loss of data since this went into production, which was not the case previously. We now have data on all the teams that have been through here and it's highly available to whoever needs it. None of this was true previously.

How was project management arranged and how effective was it?

Much of the project management was handled by myself, with daily interactions with the Ars Futura team. The implementation design is always left up to the developers. They acted as my day-to-day team but were also very independent in the way they did their jobs.

What did you find most impressive about this company?

The quality of the work is excellent, and they are super productive, often delivering their work ahead of our aggressive schedules. The communication skills are excellent as well.

Their ability to work with us and our sometimes changing requirements. They always have had a great attitude about the work and have been great to work with. And above all the quality of their work is excellent.

Are there any areas for improvement?

No. These guys are just the best to work with.

5.0
Overall Score They are the best to work with
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They are realistic about schedules, and deliver things when we need them.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    Their costs are competitive with any other quality shop. For what we get they are a bargin.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    The code is always what we expect and on time, if not ahead of schedule
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I tell all my friend about them, and many have gone on to use them with excellent results