What was the scope of their involvement?
Def Method executed the entire development stage of our product. I created the outline and architecture with my team. We laid out ideas for the site's UX, functionality, banners, images, engagement levels, and analytics. Since I work in the fashion industry, my background involves design and visuals. I often drew on paper or used keynote presentations to show the development team my concept for the look and feel. We worked collaboratively, synthesizing our design resources and their development expertise. They gave insight into maximizing data analytics tools and offered cutting-edge alternatives to my requests for maps and pie charts. As a Ruby on Rails expert, Def Method was a big proponent of using that technology. They thought it would work well for our platform and we certainly don't disagree.
The platform appealingly packages consumer-generated data, making it easy to comprehend. The site is engaging and accessible for frontend users, who are one set of our stakeholders. Consumers engage with featured products on the frontend of the system. As they browse, they provide feedback about their preferences. Clear backend graphics offer brand and retail management teams useful insight. Executive level clients can instantly access the results attributed to their brand or product profiles.
What is the team composition?
We engage with a variable number of resources depending on the project at hand. Over the years, we've typically worked with 3-5 people at a time. We keep a small, tight team at their suggestion. As a smaller company, that seems to work best for us. More recently, 1-2 resources have been involved since the platform has successfully been built and launched.
How did you come to work with Def Method?
While looking for developers, we initially asked entrepreneurs who'd developed similar sites for their recommendations. We narrowed our original list of 8-10 vendors down to 3 options. Def Method was the clear frontrunner. They were clearly a team that would give this project their best effort. I had no doubt about their dedication, so it was an easy decision. We ruled out the very large development houses based on the expense structure. Those providers offered an extensive design process we didn't need. Joe Leo [President, Def Method] understood we already had the design aspect taken care of. Our complementary design and development skill sets have made for a great partnership.
How much have you invested with them?
We've invested less than half a million dollars total in the platform. For comparison, we've built a far a better product at that price point than a competitive platform with an investment of $23 million.
What is the status of this engagement?
Our ongoing partnership started in October 2015. They began working shortly after we laid out the scope. Our beta site was up and running within 2-3 months, and we completed this project in September 2016. Since the launch, we've made adaptations as needed. New clients join at various times, which creates a fluctuating level of complexity within our platform. We'll continue to engage with Def Methods indefinitely. I consider them our developer of choice.