The right software can change everything.

Atomic Object creates custom software products for the web, mobile devices, computers, and the Internet of Things. Since 2001, we've been helping companies innovate and grow with products that are beautiful, reliable, and easy to use.

Our team of designers and developers can bring your idea to life — from planning through implementation. We’ll help you mitigate risk, make smart trade-offs, and get the most value possible for your budget. 

From our offices in Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor, Michigan we serve a national base of clients — startups to the Fortune 500. Whatever your market, we'll help you change the status quo and set yourself apart from the competition. 

Atomic is employee-owned.

 
Undisclosed
 
Undisclosed
 
50 - 249
 Founded
2001
Show all +
Grand Rapids, MI
headquarters
  • 1034 Wealthy Street SE
    Grand Rapids, MI 49504
    United States
other locations
  • 206 S. Fifth Ave, Suite 200
    Ann Arbor, MI 48104
    United States

Portfolio

Key clients: 

Steelcase, Neurometrix, Dexter Laundry, Deluxe Corp, Priority Health, Herman Miller, VanAndel Education Institute, ArtPrize, Drug Free Sport

Reviews

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Ruby on Rails Dev for Assessment Tool

"They’re committed to not just developing software but to building software that’s impactful and unique." 

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
May 2011 - July 2018
Project summary: 

Atomic Object developed a cloud-based, Ruby on Rails web app. Post-launch, they upgraded the frontend language and transitioned the app to AWS. They’ve also contributed to UX/UI design efforts.

The Reviewer
 
501 - 1,000 Employees
 
Holland, Michigan
Mike Rohwer
Assistant Superintendent, OAISD
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Users praise the app’s intuitive setup, which is indicative of Atomic Object’s flexible approach. Rather than use a cookie-cutter process, they shape a project to its future users’ needs based on their clients’ market expertise. Customers can expect a communicative, understanding partner.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m an assistant superintendent for the Ottawa Area Intermediate School District (OAISD). We’re an educational services agency that runs various services supporting other K-12 school districts. For example, we manage a fiber optic network and have a full enterprise technology services department. We're the tech department for several districts. I’m in charge of innovation, technology, information, and security.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Atomic Object?

We’ve worked on several projects with them, the first being an online system for testing and assessments. We did a review of various systems that were available, but we didn’t find anything we liked. Therefore, we decided to go the custom development route.

We’d done development work in the past as a department, but it’d primarily involved report-writing or scripts, along with a bit of SQL; custom work was out of our depth. In addition to developing the project, we wanted a partner who could teach us agile development and grow our team so we could eventually take over maintenance.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Atomic Object worked on a project called inQwizIT that delivers and manages assessments. We gave them some of our specifications, they offered us a quote, and then we designed the app; it still uses the same system today. Though it started as a math-specific assessment tool, it was designed as a universal assessment engine and is now being used in science, social studies, and other subjects.

It’s a web-based software whose front- and backend were originally developed with Ruby on Rails. It’s always been cloud-based, but we moved to AWS after launch. We still use Ruby on the backend (though we’ve made some code upgrades) but we’ve transitioned Ember.js on the frontend. Ember.js allows us to alter code more rapidly, while also maintaining all the backend pieces on Ruby.

We’ve done multiple other projects with Atomic as well. One was a speculative design project to identify a concept we could show to prospective donors. Although the timing wasn’t right, we still plan on using it. Recently, we did a UX/UI project requiring them to build wireframes and other components.

What is the team composition?

We worked with three people for the original project, though we brought the designer’s hours down as we went forward. We’ve worked with other people on various projects since then but there’s been some carryover from team to team. 

How did you come to work with Atomic Object?

I knew I wanted to do something in the agile world and looked at all sorts of app developers. I tapped the network of a friend who works at a large IT firm and he provided a couple of recommendations, including Atomic.

How much have you invested with them?

We’ve spent close to $700,000. That doesn’t include the recent UX/UI project, as that was funded by another source.

What is the status of this engagement?

We worked with them from May 2011 until July 2018.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

People love inQwizIT, largely because it’s the first time many of them have worked with software designed with them in mind, which is part of Atomic’s process. The software is easy for everyone to use (our client and their users), so it’s gotten positive reviews.

How did Atomic Object perform from a project management standpoint?

They’re as good as any software development company I’ve worked with. Everyone struggles with projecting development accurately; that being said, Atomic does it very well. They’re only 30 km away from us, so it’s always easy to connect with them.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They’re committed to not just developing software but to building software that’s impactful and unique. They took ownership of the app as if it were their own project and adjusted well to our change requests.

While they’ve expanded their expertise regarding development and design trends, they also respected us as domain, content, usability and customer experts. Other vendors assume we’ll have to go through a bunch of exercises to learn those things. Atomic does that to a certain extent, but they also understand we know what we’re talking about. This is nice for me, as I’m paying the bill.

Atomic has all the services to be a one-stop shop (initial concept, design, programming) but they’ve partnered with us in different ways as needed. Rather than always use a single approach, they’ve been flexible.

Are there any areas they could improve?

There’s room for improvement in any project, but they always take our feedback and make the appropriate changes. In our first project, there were some things I knew would come up later, regarding how we’d model the data, but I was more than willing to go with the flow. They decided to tackle the problem when they came to it instead of accounting for it in the original design. I think they learned how valuable it is to keep the end-result in mind while working on quick iterations.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They’re the best I’ve worked with.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Internal Software Design for SAAS Company

“Our internal team was very happy with their work…”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Dec. 2017 - May 2018
Project summary: 

Working collaboratively with an in-house team, Atomic Object designed internal software that can be used for metric tracking and labor forecasting.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Marketing Coordinator, Soar Technology, Inc.
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The internal team loved all the design prototypes and is satisfied with the result. Attentive and hard-working, Atomic Object understood all needs and went above and beyond to meet them, while their ability to deliver on time and on budget made them a reliable partner.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I work at Soar Technology. We provide artificial intelligence software to the government and military sectors.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Atomic Object?

We relied on Excel to keep track of everything internally. However, as a company full of engineers, we wanted to have internal software. We didn't have the design experience in-house, so we were looking for a company to design the software we could use for metric tracking and labor forecasting.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They interviewed three people from our organization and studied all the spreadsheets we sent them. After synthesizing all the data, they designed a web-based software for us. We just finished the design phase, and it ended up being three separate tools. We have multiple stakeholders, all of whom wanted to be able to get different things out of the software. Atomic Object was able to understand and meet our needs. We're now discussing internally what our next steps will be and whether we'll do the development in-house or in collaboration with them.

What is the team composition?

We worked with a project manager, a full-time designer, and two part-time engineers. Their two managing partners were also involved.

How did you come to work with them?

Our CEO was referred to them.

How much have you invested with them?

We spent about $60,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with them in December 2017 and the project was completed in May 2018.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Our internal team was very happy with their work and loved the prototypes of the design. All the meetings we had were very productive. We're still using our Excel spreadsheet, so our team is very excited about getting a better solution in place.

How did they perform from a project management standpoint?

They did an excellent job. They delivered everything on time and stayed within our budget, keeping our internal team on task as well. We had a lot of in-person meetings where they showed us prototypes and explained different steps. In between those meetings, we communicated via phone and email.

What did you find most impressive about them?

I appreciated that they stayed on budget.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I can't think of anything.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Have a clear idea of what you're trying to accomplish and keep your mind open to their solutions.

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

Web Dev for Science Education Student & Teacher Platforms

“I appreciate how focused they are on quality.”

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$1,000,000 - $9,999,999
 
Dec. 2014 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Atomic Object developed an iPad app and subsequently expanded it to a web app that’s integrated with tailored versions of Craft and Vanilla Forums. They now provide support and maintenance.

The Reviewer
 
201-500 Employees
 
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Bill Dinklemann
Head of Product, Van Andel Education Institute
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The latest iteration is robust and ultimately improves both student and teacher engagement. Atomic Object’s effective use of Agile methodologies allows them to manage customer expectations while still delivering high-quality products.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

The Van Andel Education Institute is a nonprofit science education institute serving the local community and K-12 teacher space. We provide professional development for teachers to help increase curiosity, creativity, and critical thinking in classroom settings. We also develop hard-copy and digital tools to support that mission. I serve as the product development and support manager.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Atomic Object?

We needed web development services.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We’ve been involved with Atomic Object for multiple iterations of two primary projects. We had a general sense of what we wanted but realized it was best to give them the space to create the wireframes and design constructs. We focused our time on providing feedback and modifying things.

The biggest things we brought to the table were a vision and a clear sense of the different student, teacher, and school administrator profiles we wanted to solve problems for. This helped them understand our goals. They did both development and design work.

The initial project consisted of turning an instructional model into an iPad app. It’s a visual presentation of a model with boxes that users click on to get more details of our instructional model, thus helping both teachers and students. We had an elementary, secondary, and Spanish version. The basis of this app and our model was then taken to a broader project that we’ve since completed four different iterations of. The new launches were generally synchronized to release prior to each school year.

The second project focuses on bringing the model to life within the classroom and has three primary components. It has a forum-based teacher community and a content management system-based resource library where all of our downloads, instructional prompts, and teacher resources are stored for quick access and interactivity.

The third, more robust, portion of the platform has two parts. It has an interactive lesson building tool that’s based on our instructional model. After building a lesson, teachers can assign students who can then use the platform as their science journal to document what they’ve learned.

We had a pretty clear vision of what we wanted to do. We dealt with the design parameters quickly. They were awesome at helping us conceptualize possibilities in a web-based environment about how it might come to life. They went in two primary directions with the design construct in hand and the iterative nature of the work.

They did all the custom design for the teacher lesson plan and student journaling tools. They also helped identify the best off-the-shelf software platforms that we could modify to use with our own. They customized those two platforms, the CMS, and the forum-based teacher community piece. They reskinned it to look and feel like it was ours. The CMS they identified for us is Craft. The forum-based teacher community platform is Vanilla Forums.

What is the team composition?

We’ve scaled the team up and down to meet our operational needs. I’ve worked with as few as one person to a team of 10 compiled designers, project managers, and developers. We had a designer, project manager, and four teams of two developers before we launched in the summer of 2015.

How did you come to work with Atomic Object?

Some of my staff and I had worked with Atomic Object in previous venues. I was aware of their work processes, methodologies, and approach to Agile development because I worked with them in a similar capacity on a design and build for a different software tool. They were local and did high-quality work. We were very comfortable with their project management and methodologies.

How much have you invested with them?

We’ve spent more than $2 million.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together in December 2014 and the relationship is ongoing. We have an active maintenance and support contract with them. We’re also stepping into the scope definition of a small enhancement project that we want to deliver for the summer of 2018.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Our teachers enjoy the interface and have quickly learned to appreciate its robustness across platforms. They can use it on a phone, Chromebook, Mac, or PC because it’s all web-based. We pride ourselves in making it strong enough to work across all current browsers and different operating systems.

Students often take to the platform more quickly than teachers. I encourage teachers to observe this because kids figure out how to add pictures and move content into their journal much faster.

How did Atomic Object perform from a project management standpoint?

Their project management methodologies are very strong. They’re very focused on managing customer expectations. Their communication is accurate, clear, and timely. They’re far better than other software design and development vendors I’ve worked with or heard about. We communicate via phone, text, and in-person meetings. We utilize Basecamp as well as a variety of tools depending on the nature of a given challenge.

What did you find most impressive about them?

I appreciate how focused they are on quality. They sometimes provide feedback that could be construed as negative, but it comes from a perspective that’s more aligned with the customer’s vision. They’re very upfront about the cost benefit of doing one thing versus the other.

Last week, the project manager suggested not moving forward with something because it was going to expose us to too much risk and would be very costly. They don’t suggest something just to keep their developers busy. They’re always trying to balance customer expectations with our workload in order to keep producing quality products.

Are there any areas they could improve?

Their scope containment and point structures, while sometimes necessary, can be confusing to non-technical people. They could maybe provide an introduction to their Agile methods and point structures in order to shed light on how they affect risk and cost. This could be an area of growth for them.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Whether you have a clear vision of what you want or not, trust the process and be ready to work in a rapid development cycle. Be ready to continue to refine, polish, and clarify exactly what you want. If you expect to turn things over to them and not be a part of the process, then you won’t be utilizing their skills or experience in a cost-effective way.

4.5
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Ruby on Rails Web App Dev for On-Demand Nurse Visits

“They followed through on everything and did an excellent job.”

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

Atomic Object developed an MVP and subsequent Ruby on Rails web application with incorporated branding and custom icons. The platform allows users to access, request, and receive medical care.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Anthony Lazzaro
Co-Founder, Carol Health
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

A seamless development process resulted in a user-approved platform with an extensible foundation. Atomic Object’s communication via continuous updates and straightforward feedback established trust, while an amenable approach made for an overall positive collaborative atmosphere.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the co-founder of Carol Health. We help people get on-demand and in-home care.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Atomic Object?

We were looking to develop an MVP (minimum viable product).

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We approached them with some research, sketches, and branding of what we wanted for our MVP. All the branding wasn’t complete from a web-application standpoint, so they took the initiative to match it and create some custom icons for the branding and workflows. Afterwards, they incorporated all of the branding. We utilized and relied on their team to build a full MVP.

They also took care of the actual development. It’s a custom Ruby on Rails web application. Our requests presented some unique challenges, but they were able to overcome them.

The app allows people to access, request, and receive care from a nurse in as little as an hour. It allows nurses a unique opportunity to sign up for the platform, utilize their licence, and get an additional income outside of hospital work.

What is the team composition?

We worked with eight people from their team throughout the project. We initially went to the Grand Rapids location and wanted to move the timeline up, which they were able to accommodate. We had the development team out of Ann Arbor, which had four full-time developers and designers.  

We also had a project manager but were able to communicate directly with the team if needed. It allowed everyone to remain on the same page the entire time.

How did you come to work with Atomic Object?

They are well-known in Grand Rapids and other communities. We really liked that they offered multiple references when we approached them. They truly stood behind their work and were very accessible as well.

What is the status of this engagement?

We began working together in June 2017 and completed the project in October 2017.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

The handoff made for an easy transition for us. The work they did, the effort they put into it, and the communication all made for a very seamless development process.

Our development team is continually making updates as we learn. Our users really like it, so it’s made it easy for us to run through the entire application process. It’s a really good foundation for us to get started on learning how to build out the platform.

How did Atomic Object perform from a project management standpoint?

They were excellent and upfront throughout the process. We had close communication and continual updates. We mostly communicated through in-person meetings, phone, email, and Slack. We met during and at the end of every sprint. They were accommodating when we requested that they have a full-time developer in-office. We had a daily check-in which allowed us to understand progress, adjustments, or expedited work.

They walked us through the process and set clear expectations. They addressed their concerns about the project and its potential outcomes. We reviewed progress, upcoming milestones, and current or future concerns on a weekly basis.

What did you find most impressive about them?

The most important things they did were set clear expectations and educate us about them. They followed through on everything and did an excellent job.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Make sure you ask what they foresee as risks involved with completing tasks in the scope of work. Clients don’t always have a full understanding of what goes on on their end and what the variable is that could make or break a project (e.g., meeting deadlines).

It was really important for us that they address their concerns so that they could succeed in what we were trying to do. It allowed us to work on those things as they started other work so we could match them up at the end of the process.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    There are cheaper options, but the fact that we can build forward instead of having to go back and fix things pays for itself over and over again.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

iOS iPad Dev for Drug Testing Administrator

“The project updates, beta testing, and everything that went on in the development was top-notch.”

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Feb. 2013 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Atomic Object worked on an iOS iPad application development, beginning with initial consultations and wireframes, then designing and implementing the app. They continue to provide support and some re-development.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
United States
CEO, Drug Testing Administrator
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The team worked hard to understand the scope and to deliver a system that effectively collects and stores data in a confidential manner. The platform is user-friendly and efficient, significantly improving the user experience. They are dedicated, professional, and offer high-quality services.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I'm the CEO and President of a third-party administrator of drug testing and education services.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Atomic Object?

We were switching from an enterprise system to an iOS app-based system. We have a proprietary database and collections system where we collect data points for athletes when we do drug testing collection. We were the pioneer in developing a paperless chain-of-custody system in the drug testing space and continue to remain the leader in such innovation.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They handled the development from beginning to end. They consulted us on what platform to use for a new system, whether it was another custom enterprise system, or moving to a more user-friendly platform such as an iOS app-based system. They then helped in the design, development, and integration into our multiple client databases.

We went through a very long and lengthy discovery and education process around what we do and what our expectations were from the development, and they then began to wireframe a development process. Our IT and operations staff had significant input on design and modification of those wireframes as we developed many iterations of the system.

What is the team dynamic?

I wasn't the project leader initially, but became the project leader midway through. I worked with their high-level developers and 4–5 members of their leadership and management team.

How did you come to work with Atomic Object?

I was involved in the decision-making process of who was selected once a small group of vendors was chosen. Initially, we wanted somebody local as we’re a strong believer in our strong local IT community.  Primarily, we wanted to engage with a vendor that understood our values and challenges.  We didn't want a large shop that was going to outsource everything overseas.

Atomic Object exhibited very similar traits to our company. They were about the same size and had a wealth of experience under them based on past projects. We liked their leadership team and loved their presentation. They didn't take themselves too seriously and they took the time to understand who we were. They are almost a mirror image of our company and that's why we selected them.  Although they were based outside of our city, we made the right choice and couldn't be happier with our selection.

What is the status of this engagement?

We've been working with them since February 2013. We've kept them engaged in development or re-development and support functions. 

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Confidentiality and data security are significant priorities in our business. We have data that requires high levels of cybersecurity, physical security, and necessity for replication in the event of a disaster.  They understood that and delivered a product that allowed us to collect, store, secure, and replicate data in the best way possible.

There are also many customized options in our system that they understood.  They were adept at listening to our staff and modifying development as needed. The system they delivered can be easily modified by our IT staff, but they've also supported their deliverable for several years. We couldn't be more pleased with it.

It was a huge home run for us to switch to a platform that was user-friendly and widely understood by a young population. Most of our client demographic are in their 20s to early-30s, and they understand technology, app products and the iOS technology.  The user experience has been tremendous and a huge advantage for us.

How did Atomic Object perform from a project management standpoint?

They were amazing. Initially, we got side-tracked in the development process because a strong project leader from our side was not identified, but once they identified that issue, it was an easy process. 

Once we got re-focused, the project management was very smooth. I can't say enough about the professionalism and the product they delivered on a weekly and monthly basis. The project updates, beta testing, and everything that went on in the development was top-notch. I couldn't recommend them more highly. We communicated through email, phone, and in-person. It was also really important for us that they come down to our office and meet our staff.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Their leadership team understands the importance of relationship building with their clients. Their development team is educated and very knowledgeable about developing products in an efficient way that includes their client's feedback. I was really impressed with their shop. We rely on them so much and they've been a tremendous resource for us.

Are there any areas they could improve?

Early on in the process when we weren’t focused, they could have directed us a little quicker that we needed to get a strong project manager in place. That could have shaved off some time and money in the development process, but ultimately they made us aware of the situation and we got on track.

Once we got on the right path, their development team was conscientious about who we were, what we wanted, and delivered a product that was just spot on. I cannot emphasize enough how happy we were with the development, their team, their follow-up, their support, and the friendships that we've developed with Atomic Object.

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

Web App Dev for Hospital & Healthcare Non-Profit

“They’ve given their best in how they write code, conduct tests, and communicate with us.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$1,000,000 - $9,999,999
 
Oct. 2009 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Atomic Object built a Ruby on Rails web application in the form of a questionnaire. They handled everything from the storyboarding, backend configuration, and the CSS, and ensured it is mobile-accessible.

The Reviewer
 
1,001 - 5,000 Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
Marina Ferguson
Software Administrator, Covenant Retirement Communities
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The solution is completed, and now they support and develop new features. The application meets the need excellently, allowing the sales department to keep on top of payments and staff to utilize the information collected. They are a fantastic team that provides advice, updates, and transparency.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

Covenant Retirement Communities is a senior-living provider in the non-profit sector. I work in the IT department as a product owner and project manager for the software we’ve developed with Atomic Object. I also do occasional web development and SharePoint administration.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Atomic Object?

We had a long questionnaire for residents to fill out after they moved in, so we knew what services they needed. It was a paper document with around 100 pages, which was difficult to manage. Once the information was collected, we couldn’t really do anything with it, so we wanted to automate the process. The data is also used for generating care plans for our residents, as well as for determining pricing for particular residents.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We had a basic prototype, so they were involved in fleshing out all the requirements and creating a storyboard for the product, then developing it. Our solution is a standalone web application built using Ruby on Rails.

We specified that it needed to be accessible on mobile devices, and be accessible without an internet connection, which was taken into consideration by them. They used bleeding-edge technologies in order to achieve this. They also designed the whole solution initially, handling CSS [cascading style sheets] and everything else, but our marketing team contracted another group to design a new logo.

The application features forms, reporting, and a scheduling component. We have an extensive process for determining what the pricing should be, and they’ve developed the whole backend configuration which enables this. On the surface, it’s a questionnaire, but there is a lot which we do with those answers after the fact.

What is the team dynamic? 

We always tried to begin projects with in-person meetings, over a period of between 1 ½ and 3 days. We’ve done a fair amount of screen sharing using Slack and other tools, and also communicated by phone and text. I estimate we’ve worked with 6–8 people from their team, over the years.

How did you come to work with Atomic Object?

I found a website dedicated to reviewing Ruby on Rails developers, on which Atomic Object was listed. I work remotely and at the time was living in the same state a couple hours away.

Instead of giving us a canned statement of work which had been clearly copied and pasted from another client proposal, and had parts that were completely irrelevant to our project, they actually sat down and looked at our prototype. They carefully examined all its sections and menu items and made a detailed analysis on how long each section was expected to take. The contrast in their approach was stark from the beginning, so there was no question that they were the ones we wanted to go with.

I believe that the other companies we looked at were charging around $220 per hour, while Atomic Object had a $110 or $120 fee at the time so their value was also great.

How much have you invested with them?

The cost of their work has been above $1,000,000 at this point.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with them in October 2009. We have a support agreement in place and have continuously developed new features on a yearly basis.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

People have always been impressed with our report demos. We have also used the application on the sales side, in order to give prospective residents an idea of how much living with us would cost. There is a fair amount of turnover in our sales department, and I have talked to a couple of people there recently, who were impressed by the fact that we had an automated way of predicting someone’s payments.

Our profiles take into consideration not only seniors’ physical needs but also their preferences. We do hear feedback from staff about the great connections they’re able to make with residents using the profile as a starting point. The process takes 2 hours, and they can get into all kinds of conversations about their lives, what they’ve done and where they’ve been, and what they like and don’t like. We hear a lot of positive feedback about this.  

How did Atomic Object perform from a project management standpoint?

Whoever was playing the role of project manager was also a part of the team, actually writing code. I appreciated this, since, in working on small projects with other vendors, I was frustrated by having to explain requirements to a project manager who didn’t know the system or the code. There was always a problem with trying to get the information to the developer in a back-and-forth manner.

We got updates every week on how much time and budget had been spent, and how much had been accomplished. They measured the stories to be implemented using points, so I always had a graph displaying how much had been done, and how much of the budget was spent.

We had continuous communication throughout the week over any unexpected issues. If the team was stuck and needed more information, I would be notified right away. We worked closely in a continuous manner. Responding to them was a full-time job for me, given their proactiveness.

What did you find most impressive about them?

I felt like I was working with actual people: nobody gave me slogans and didn’t try to hide anything or put their best foot forward, at least not to cover up their mistakes. They’ve given their best in how they write code, conduct tests, and communicate with us. They’re transparent and just normal, good, kind people who actually live up to the values they put up on their website.

They care, engage deeply, and never do something just because I wanted it done in a certain way. The team cared enough to challenge me and provide alternatives, many of which I went with. This has made working with them the highlight of my year. I feel like I’m not working alone, and that I have a team behind me. They’re a paid consultant but treat the project like it’s their own.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I can’t think of anything. In the past, when something was amiss, I communicated it to them, and they changed some of their processes based on the feedback. I only wish that they weren’t quite so booked and that we didn’t have to schedule months in advance. But they are, and it’s ultimately a good thing since they do really good work. Scheduling regular development ahead is a price I am more than willing to pay, and they are always very responsive when it comes to support.

5.0
Overall Score They’re the best team I’ve ever worked with.
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    It’s impossible to meet a deadline perfectly. There are adjustments to be made, but they plan well.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They not even a close comparison to the other offers I received.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    It’s all I do.

App Dev for Large Scale Arts Event

“Their focus on delivering expectations and quality is most impressive.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$1,000,000 - $9,999,999
 
Apr. 2009 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Atomic Object developed, designed, and continues to improve Android and iOS apps. They implement UI/UX changes and provide product testing and maintenance.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Director of Technology, Arts Event
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Atomic Object provides effective communication and a clear understanding of the project status. This has contributed to the app's success, as the first iteration resulted in a 30% increase in participation. Their collaborative nature and community values make them an ideal partner.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the Director of Technology for an arts nonprofit. We hold an event that showcases a high number of artists, with an equally high number of artwork pieces, ranging from portrait photography to large, fire-breathing dragons.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Atomic Object?

We’ve been involved with them for several years. Initially, we needed to create an application in order to reach our constituents. The business problem was that we were doing something no one else had done. We needed an organization which had ideas and could help lead us in making changes based on the data we were receiving.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We have an on-site development team, which includes myself and another member responsible for the backend. Atomic Object's team utilizes our APIs, assists with the design, and helps analyze the data we could use for improving the visitor experience. They were responsible for building and maintaining the iOS and Android apps, UI/UX changes, project management, and testing.

We had an idea for the organization and knew that we wanted it to allow people to find the artwork during the event and vote on it. Throughout the years, we’ve made significant improvements to our identity in terms of branding and needs for the app. In 2009, the iPhone was gaining popularity and Android had just entered the market. It was difficult to know what was possible. The first version of our app was a matter of shooting in the dark.

Our app is the primary engagement tool for our audience and serves around 500,000 people. The app is a path-finding tool which allows visitors to see what the art is and where it’s located. Users can also register to vote because we wanted to give a voice to the public that would result in giving out a lot of money, across a couple of rounds.

We’ve really been able to immerse ourselves in the application’s function to create a more efficient, seamless process. We’ve gone from users having to register in person with a driver’s license, to being able to offer 2-factor authentication. We were able to keep the security aspects of protecting the prize from fraud, as well as being able to utilize today’s technology in order to streamline the entire process.

What is the team dynamic?

We worked with an average of 4–5 people from Atomic Object’s team.

How did you come to work with Atomic Object?

We found them through local channels because they were known for quality. The size and scale of our event doesn’t allow room for mistakes, so we needed quality assurance and the benefit of a strong staff. Atomic Object offered exactly what we were looking for, so we chose them.

How much have you invested with them?

We’ve spent $1 million since we began working with them.

What is the status of this engagement?

We began working with Atomic Object in April 2009, and the relationship is ongoing. They’ve recently committed to a 3-year agreement as partners in the ongoing development of our app.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

We originally started by registering people in person, but when we moved this service to the first version of the app, we saw a 30% increase in participation during that year alone. This was a huge success, so we continued streamlining the app, which dramatically increases utilization every year. As iOS and Android devices become more popular, app use continues to increase over the website.  

We serve a large audience, and everyone has their own opinion. Overall, the app has done well, stakeholders are happy, and the general experience is positive.

How did Atomic Object perform from a project management standpoint?

We were always asking each other how things we progressing due to working in a collaborative environment. While projects were active, we had daily communication with the developers and project managers. I prefer having an informal approach, so the project managers would call, text, or send me a message on Slack to answer questions or ensure they were delivering the correct features. As they notice things during development, they would make recommendations for areas that needed to be improved. Our offices are closely located, so we had numerous in-person meetings as well.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Their focus on delivering expectations and quality is most impressive. I was constantly aware of the project status, including from both a budget and delivery perspective.

As an arts organization, we are involved in the community, and Atomic Object is as well. They’re constantly involved in the tech community, and are working on diversity with internships while breaking down the barriers of involving women in the field. Atomic Object is an ideal partner for us because we share the same diversity and equity objectives.

Are there any areas they could improve?

Atomic Object has definitely encouraged our own team to be better, and hopefully, we’ve done the same for them. Overall, I have nothing I wish to change.

5.0
Overall Score Based on my comments on scheduling, quality and expectations.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Atomic Object started and finished when they said they would, which is good from a scheduling perspective.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    The billable rate is on par with the city and industry. Atomic Object has delivered what we asked for and more.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They are extremely clear on what they’re delivering, and I haven’t had any troubles in this area. They’re also completely honest.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    We already have.

App & Web Portal Development for Industrial Manufacturer

"They're friendly, they're fast and they're reliable."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$1,000,000 - $9,999,999
 
Dec. 2014 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

To support a multi-platform maintenance and inventory program, Atomic Object built a mobile app and web portal, an API interface, and an integrated IoT device. They also provided styling and design.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
Byron Center, Michigan
Joe Bennett
Software Architect, Flow-Rite Controls
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Unlike most technical documentation products, the app is intuitively designed and highly accessible. Atomic Object's focus on user experience, capable project management, and thorough documentation processes built an outstanding resource. Their practical, proactive communication also earned praise.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

My official title is Software Architect, but I also act as a project manager for Flow-Rite Controls. We operate in a couple of different spaces, but the bulk of our business is in industrial. We make a watering product harnessed for lead acid batteries. For example, for forklifts that water these batteries, we provide a way for them to be able to do so more efficiently, quicker and safer.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Atomic Object?

As I mentioned, these batteries need maintenance, watering, and inspections. They also do a process called equalizing, which basically improves the overall performance of the battery and various other task repairs.

Many of our customers today still relied on white boards and clipboards for documentation, maybe some documents or spreadsheets for asset management. The challenge that we wanted to take on was to help these customers with managing their maintenance activities and providing a central location for reports. So we created a mobile app and web portal for customers to manage their batteries.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Atomic object took over the development after it had been through an initial prototype phase on the asset management side. They developed a cross platform mobile application that allows our users to track their daily maintenance activities while providing scheduling and notes to manage their inventory. They developed the application programming interface for the API and a web portal and managed the server implementation.  They also did design work, so all the styling across all three platforms, iOS, Android and the web and all of our icons.

We live on the app stores and anybody can go to set up an account, mostly because we're in an industry that has a lot of different players. We have OEM's, bigger companies or organizations, and proverbial mom and pop shops that have maybe two or three users. We try to go across multiple sizes of companies, big, medium and small.

The project expanded in scope into an IoT device. With the IoT device, we will be providing monitoring for the batteries and it will include various sensors and Bluetooth communication. They didn't do the hardware development, we had another company do that. They did the integration with the mobile application and web portal piece of it. They worked closely with us and our contractor to do that. Additionally, they helped with developing out the feature set that we were looking for too with the IoT device, going through use cases and user scenarios.

What is the team dynamic?

Currently, we're down to just two developers but we've been as high as four or five. In addition, we will flex in a designer when we need design work.

How did you come to work with Atomic Object?

I personally have worked with Atomic Object for several projects over the last 10 years of my career. I actually came on board with Flow-Rite Controls two years ago when this project was already about a year into its development. So someone else had actually found them, but I provided consulting for Flow-Rite in the initial stages of the project and recommended Atomic Object.

I worked with several of their developers, again over many projects and years, and they are known in the area for providing really good quality software development and design. They have a great reputation and attract some of the top talent and developers in the area. They are kind of a no brainer if you are looking to develop new products, especially innovative products in industries that maybe are used to innovative products, that includes software development and hardware development. They’re really good to go to for that.

How much have you invested with them?

By the time we are all done, around $3,000,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We began around December 2014 and the relationship is still ongoing. We will probably complete the bulk of development in November 2017 and then we'll be on maintenance support with Atomic Object after that. Also, as future other projects come up, we will consider them.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

I think the number one thing, especially when you're looking at the enterprise world, is just ease of use. I think Atomic Object almost obsesses about that and the user experience. Everybody is surprised about how well designed the application is and how easy it is to use and pick up. It's almost as easy as downloading and using a consumer application, which a lot of enterprise users are just not used to. Instead, they are used to technical documentation but you don't have to be a database administrator to use our app or web portal.

How did Atomic Object perform from a project management standpoint?

They're excellent at project management. They follow an agile practice but at the same time, they keep things straight with proper documentation.

I have daily communication with our project team over Slack, we occasionally use Basecamp. They are very good with kick-off meetings, planning, and brainstorming. We have weekly in-person planning meetings and also have design review meetings and feature launch meetings to go over the work that we've done. When we brainstorm our work, we prioritize it and they lead a lot of that. They then show off the work that we completed.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They're good at taking complex technical understanding and building it into comprehensible business language, which I think a lot of tech firms have difficulty doing. They're friendly, they're fast and they're reliable.

Are there any areas they could improve?

The only thing and I understand why they do it, is that they switch our team members and that can be hard for the project, especially long term projects. This is because we get all of that project knowledge built up over months or even a year and sometimes that can make it harder for us bringing new developers up to speed. However, on the flip side, it makes a lot of sense for the developers because it keeps them interested and from being burned out. An additional benefit is that we now have more people at Atomic Object that have developed on our applications or are aware of different parts of the application. So there's pluses and minuses. They favor more the pluses, it can just sometimes cause a little bit of disruption in the project. That’s something that is probably dealt with across the board for many companies and development teams.

5.0
Overall Score They are very professional, intelligent, and adaptable. They are clear and take very technical jargon and breaking it into understandable business jargon. They are always in pursuit of the best user experience that they can provide.
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    I would say a four instead of five because they're very flexible in terms of the schedule. The benefit of that is that I could make changes daily, but the negative is that sometimes those schedules will slip on over overall project deliverables and goals.
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They're very good, but to get good, you have to pay for it.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    I've worked with at least half a dozen other software development companies and none have been able to deliver to the level of quality that Atomic Object does.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I already refer them, they have really good reputation with all the major companies in the area. They're known as the go-to place for doing any kind of innovative work, prototyping and also reinventing enterprise applications.