What was the scope of their involvement?
We worked with Brave to redesign our entire product, which consists of three platforms. The primary platform we provide is for users who access video content on a customized portal. The second platform is a CMS [content management system] for our clients (i.e. the organizations we partner with), while the third platform acts as an internal lab for our team to support and manage the operations from a Stretch perspective.
Before we began architecture, we spent ten weeks researching our users, focusing on how we could strengthen the three parts of our platform. Brave delivered three full-fledged reports based on their findings and interviews, which we used as the foundation for six months of intensive information architecture and visual design.
The information architecture and design phases of the project were very collaborative. We usually had 2 to 3 90-minute sessions with them every week, as well as a couple of in-person trips to either Washington D.C. or here in Arizona. During each sesion we would review wireframes or mockups and have collaborative discussions to fine tune the product vision.
Rather than designing all three parts of the platform at once, Brave UX staggered the process, starting with the architecture for one platform, then designing it as we began architecting the next one. The final product is a platform built on custom HTML.
We also engaged with them to help us rebrand and build a new marketing website for us as well, which was an auxiliary side project that we embarked on towards the end of the main project.
What is the team composition?
We dealt with different people depending on what stage we were at. Early on, we interacted with the research coordinator. Once we finished the information architecture, we interacted with the UX architecture team which consisted of a couple of really focused people. Once we finished the visual design, we worked closely with a couple of designers.
We also worked with someone in their frontend web development department. We had experience working with everyone on the team throughout the process.
How did you come to work with Brave UX?
We did a web search for different UX firms and looked at 30–40 initially. We narrowed it down to 5–6 after discussing internally with a team of three people who made decisions, and then sent out inquiries. We had some initial conversations, demos, and presentations, after which we narrowed it down to two companies.
We wanted someone who felt like a true partner or an extension of our team, which eliminated the bigger companies with over 100 employees. We wanted more of a boutique agency. Cost was also a factor in terms of ROI [return on investment].
We had 3–4 calls with Brave UX before we decided to work with them. Lee [CEO, Brave UX] was more than happy to engage and bring in different team members for interviews based on the components we wanted to discuss.
How much have you invested with them?
In total, we spent just shy of $400,000 with Brave UX, and while it was a big investment, we think it was worth every penny.
What is the status of this engagement?
We began working with them after Labor Day in 2016 on the research, architecture, and design of the three platforms. We then had weekly meetings from September–October 2017 to complete the branding and marketing site.
At present, we’re interacting on a support basis. We’ve received the UX deliverables from them, and now our internal web development team is building out and coding the platforms. We’ll use them as a resource for some support or adjustments throughout the process.