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
  • 600 W Jackson Blvd, Suite 100
    Chicago, IL 60661
    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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Web App Dev for Family & Childcare Technology Company

"Their natural ability to talk to us in a language we could understand and guide us through decisions was phenomenal."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Jan. - Mar. 2020
Project summary: 

Looking to launch Version 1.2 of their MVP, a family and childcare tech company hired Atomic Object for their development services. The team worked within the existing Laravel framework to implement updates.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
Toi Valentine
Co-Founder & CPO, Find MeTime
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Atomic Object didn’t just provide fast, high-quality development work — rather, they seized opportunities to provide valuable information and strategies to internal stakeholders throughout the project. The updates to the app itself have had a tremendous impact on usability and functionality.

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 co-founder and CPO of Find MeTime. We’re a family and childcare tech company. We connect parents to short term, hourly childcare services.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Atomic Object?

We’d worked with a freelance developer to launch our MVP. After being live for a couple of months and gaining users, we realized we needed to make some adjustments based on our customers’ needs and habits. 

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We engaged Atomic Object to help us release version 1.2 of our app. The team helped us build several new features, including increasing our search flexibility. The initial product, which is exclusively a web app, was created in PHP, using the Laravel framework. 

Along the way, the team collaborated with us on ways to expand the architecture and plan for long term growth and the updates that will come with it. The advice they offered extended past appropriate future technologies to even include strategies on how to recruit and interview an in-house engineer. 

What is the team composition?

We worked three people in total: two full-time developers and a delivery lead who was available as needed.

How did you come to work with Atomic Object?

Atomic Object was a partner of a company I previously worked at. Though I hadn’t worked with them personally, I knew they were a team who could deliver fast, quality work, which was exactly what we needed.

How much have you invested with them?

We spent a little under $70,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

The project took place from January–March 2020.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

The app is live, but it’s difficult to track metrics right now, as social distancing has limited childcare services greatly. However, we’ve presented the app to some of our investors and strategic collaborators, and they all love it. The increased functionality has had a great impact on the user experience of the app overall. 

How did Atomic Object perform from a project management standpoint?

Their project management style was the best part of working with them. As a designer myself, I was heavily involved in the project, and we collaborated directly throughout the project. Atomic Object set up criteria and procurement tools early on, which allowed us to have an effective workflow. We used Basecamp for communication and Pivotal Tracker for task management. 

Though the team didn’t come into the engagement with an extensive background in Laravel, they picked it up very quickly, working closely with the freelance developer who built our initial MVP. 

What did you find most impressive about them?

Their natural ability to talk to us in a language we could understand and guide us through decisions was phenomenal. I always felt included in the conversation, and despite their expertise, they never patronized me. Atomic Object provided our organization with so many educational moments without it ever feeling like they were doing so. It was always a seamless part of their communication.

Further, when I give a development team my vision for the frontend, it’s often a long time before I can see it come to life. Atomic Object stood out in that they were always able to develop a high-quality product at an extremely quick turnaround time.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No, not at all. They’re doing everything right.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Figure out what you want your role to be in the engagement. You can maximize what you get out of the relationship with Atomic Object depending on what you put in.

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

UI/UX Design for Education Department

"Like a good contractor, they made me feel like we were the only customer they had."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Aug. 2019 - Jan. 2020
Project summary: 

Atomic Object designed an educational platform for a state education department. After creating user personas and wireframes, they assisted a third-party development team with translating the designs.

The Reviewer
 
501-1,000 Employees
 
Lansing, Michigan
Lead, Education Department
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The product arrived on time and within budget, satisfying the client. Atomic Object deferred to the client’s decisions at each step while supplying their own advice and expertise to improve on the ideas. Constant communication and quick responses made for a smooth workflow.

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 work for a state education department. 

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Atomic Object?

We needed help with designing a platform to support our schools. 

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Atomic Object first created focus groups to develop a series of user personas. From there they begin to build the platform with a series of wireframes, starting from scratch. That took six months. They also provided development support to help the dev team take what was in coding in the design process and translate it into the platform. 

What is the team composition?

We had a main point of contact on the team as well as a couple of programmers and developers.

How did you come to work with Atomic Object?

We’d partnered with an educational organization made up of intermediate school districts to develop platforms and applications to support the field. Together, we worked to develop an application to support our schools and provide teachers with up-to-date, accurate data. Atomic Object helped design the look and feel of the platform. When we had another, bigger platform to develop, we brought on Atomic Object again.

How much have you invested with them?

We spent about $70,000–$80,000

What is the status of this engagement?

The project started in August 2019 and ended in January 2020.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Atomic Object produced the product on time when we agreed. They were responsive as we were doing an agile method of development, which involves a lot of give-and-take. One of the advantages of having a company like Atomic Object is that they have the vision of what technology use looks like and in the future. They’d give advice about what my suggestions would feel like to the user, but left us to make the ultimate decision 

How did Atomic Object perform from a project management standpoint?

They hit deadlines perfectly, and the communication was constant. There were very few times where I had to wait more than an hour for a response via phone call, text, or email. We also had access to Zeplin and another project management tool in order to see the work being done.

What did you find most impressive about them?

I’ve never worked with another provider. However, what made me very confident about Atomic Object was that, like a good contractor, they made me feel like we’re the only customer they had. 

Are there any areas they could improve?

The time they took to make user personas was just way too long. I feel that time could have been cut in half.

Any advice for potential customers?

Have someone who is 100% dedicated to the project and available to answer questions. That helps keep the processing going.

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

Design Consulting for Management Consulting Company

“We never felt like we weren’t on the same page with them at any point in the project.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
July 2019 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Atomic Object walked through a design scoping and technical specification process for the digital suite of a leadership consulting company, delivering a clickable prototype to inform their decisions.

The Reviewer
 
201-500 Employees
 
Sylvania, Ohio
Nathan Butki
Managing Director, Root Inc.
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The work performed by Atomic Object satisfied all project stakeholder expectations, hitting every deadline and even helping to keep their client on track when necessary. Their team was creative and respectful, bringing their own experience to the table but not forcing their opinions on the client.

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

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

Root is a strategy enablement and change leadership consulting company, and I lead our learning media and development teams. When an organization is initiating change, we help make sure that change is understandable and accessible to the broad base of employees by providing learning resources and strategy discussions that engage everyone in the process.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Atomic Object?

Atomic Object is helping us build a suite of digital tools that will help companies sustain their change once they start it.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We had a pretty clear understanding of the need and a less clear understanding of what we wanted to do about it. Atomic Object was able to take us through a design and technical scoping process to figure out a really clear workable prototype and a clear path forward for what would eventually become the first release of all the tools we wanted.

What is the team composition?

There were between 2–4 people from their side working with us at any given time.

How did you come to work with Atomic Object?

They had actually been on our radar for years and we had a few chances to get to know them through networking and scoping out a couple of potential ideas. They’re also very close to where we work, so when we decided to go ahead with this project, they were an easy first choice.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together in July 2019 and the project is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

We don’t have any direct client measurables yet since we haven’t produced the project, but they were above every milestone in all of the work that they completed for us. They delivered everything in advance on their end, and when we had some internal shifts, they were incredibly agile and did a great job of keeping the project on track.

How did Atomic Object perform from a project management standpoint?

Their communication skills are excellent. We never felt like we weren’t on the same page with them at any point in the project.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They run really clear, well-organized projects. A lot of times you end up with vendors who champion their own opinion or sit back and don’t offer any input. Atomic does a great job of bringing a ton of experience to the work but making it feel like you are owning the project with them.

They’re not afraid to bring their opinion and recommendations, and then also iterate with you and let their opinions shift as requirements might clarify or move in one particular direction or another.

Are there any areas they could improve?

Nothing comes to mind at all.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Don’t hesitate to rely on them for elements of the project that you might not know how to approach off the top of your head. They do a really good job in all of their work.

5.0
Overall Score They are smart, enjoyable, interesting, and caring people who move fast without making you feel rushed.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    their communication throughout was exceptional.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    The value for your money is excellent, they are a really capable team.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Custom Software Development for Energy Technology Company

"They groom the developers into certain practices and procedures that make the experience very seamless."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
Aug. 2018 - Mar. 2019
Project summary: 

Atomic Object assisted with the software porting efforts of a technology company’s embedded system built with the C programming language.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
San Francisco, California
Chief Product Officer, Energy Technology Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Throughout the engagement, Atomic Object demonstrated their expertise in the required technologies and proved to be a reliable remote partner. Their customer service approach is refined and meant to foster a smooth workflow. Attentive and thorough in all matters, they are an ideal vendor.

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 chief product officer at a small technology company. We make hydrogen fuel cell-powered electrical generators—small devices that produce electricity from chemical energy.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Atomic Object?

We had to do a lot of software development in a short amount of time and needed additional bandwidth to meet a deadline.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We had a certain amount of software that needed to be cleaned up and transferred from an existing application to a new application. We relied on Atomic Object to help us with the remaining software porting effort for this embedded system.

Specifically, we have a microcontroller that reads a variety of sensor inputs and then executes our control algorithm and sets outputs appropriately to control, maintain, and operate the device. We do basically all of our development in C, and we used Jira and Bitbucket as our primary development tools.

What is the team composition?

At any given time, we worked with a maximum of four people. But some members rotated on and off, so we were exposed to quite a few people from their team.

How did you come to work with Atomic Object?

We reviewed firms across the country that had the best combination of talents, quality, and price, and we ultimately chose Atomic Object. We found them to be very well-qualified and have the necessary technical experience. Their familiarity working with embedded systems distinguished them from other options. We also liked their agile approach and test-driven development methods. It was not a preference or a goal to work with a remote team, but it certainly worked out very well.

How much have you invested with them?

We spent around $250,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We worked together from August 2018–March 2019.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

We found the work to be very high quality. They did everything the way we had hoped for them to do it.

How did Atomic Object perform from a project management standpoint?

They were well-organized and methodical. I found them to be very customer-oriented. I could tell that their approach was intended to give us the best experience. Their methods were quite polished in that regard.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They have an influential internal company culture. They groom the developers into certain practices and procedures that make the experience very seamless. Very few other firms will operate in that same way.

Are there any areas they could improve?

They were hyper-focused on the process, which can be a good thing but also sometimes limiting to the overall flexibility of the engagement.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

You can’t go wrong based on their approach. Their meticulous attention to detail and their onboarding process will more than likely give you a great experience.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They pay attention to their estimates, and the deadlines are straightforward.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    We got a lot of work done for a good price.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They're thorough in the delivery, and everything was consistently high quality.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

App UX Design for Wellness App

"The team was transparent and delivered on their promises."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Jan. 2019
Project summary: 

Atomic Object designed an iOS application from scratch. The team also provided backend consulting.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Ann Arbor, MI
CEO, Health App
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The app’s visuals received positive feedback. A communicative partner, Atomic Object ensured a smooth experience and compliance with the budget. Quality results and timely deliveries created value.

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 a biotechnology company that makes software and apps for circadian rhythm purposes.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Atomic Object?

I was working on a circadian rhythm application for a government agency; the iOS solution was for cancer patients. I hired Atomic Object to do the design.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Atomic Object interviewed current patients and other people that fit personas. The team then drew up the flow from a UX perspective and did styling. They designed the app from scratch based on my guidelines and also provided backend consulting services.

What is the team composition?

I worked with one designer. There was another resource for backend consulting.

How did you come to work with Atomic Object?

I had discussed other products with the team, but this was the first opportunity I had to work with them. Their past app designs had impressed me; I wanted a similar look for my solution.

How much have you invested with them?

We spent $30,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

The project occurred in January 2019.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Everyone is impressed with the designs.

How did Atomic Object perform from a project management standpoint?

The team was transparent and delivered on their promises.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They checked in repeatedly to ensure everything was on track and budget. I felt comfortable providing both positive and negative feedback.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I was pleased with the engagement.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Clients should be as responsive as Atomic Object. Efficient lines of communication make the partnership easy.

5.0
Overall Score I had a really nice time.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They met our tight deadline.
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They're pretty expensive but the cost was worth it for the quality.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    The app looked great.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

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.

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 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.

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 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.

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

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.

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 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.

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 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