We Build Applications People Love to Use

Life's too short for bad UX. Our user-first approach to custom software development allows us to make complex things more simple, human and fun. Our focus on human-centered design is what sets us apart from other development shops, and ultimately what makes the applications we build so successful.

 
$10,000+
 
$100 - $149 / hr
 
10 - 49
 Founded
2013
Show all +
Nashville, TN
headquarters
  • DePalma Studios
    211 Union Street
    Nashville, TN 37201
    United States
other locations
  • DePalma Studios
    United States

Portfolio

Key clients: 

Deloitte, Unum, Schneider Electric, MAPCO Express, Corecivic, Xima Software, Edgenet

Reviews

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UI/UX Design for Client of Digital Marketing Consultancy

"They really know their stuff, which gave us a sense of security."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Less than $10,000
 
Feb. - Apr. 2018
Project summary: 

DePalma Studios provided UI/UX design for a medical software platform, focusing on an overhaul of the interface and creating an intuitive flow.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Dallas, Texas
Jill Frank
Owner, Sterling Communications
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

While the platform has yet to be deployed, client feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, leading to more work for DePalma Studios. The team’s expertise, meticulousness, and quality deliverables set them up for potential future engagement.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I'm the owner and CEO of Sterling Communications, a digital marketing consultancy.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with DePalma Studios?

As a consultancy, I have several clients that all have different challenges. One particular client had an outdated interface that I needed help improving.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

My client, Trievr, has an automated software platform used primarily by the pharmaceutical industry. The existing interface was looking archaic. My concern was that Trievr would have a high rate of drop-off because users wouldn't understand how to use the platform. I hired DePalma to create a more intuitive flow, as well as to bring the UI and UX up to date.

What is the team composition?

I have one main point person but I interact with the whole team.

How did you come to work with DePalma Studios?

I found them through an online search. I vetted them and thought they were a good fit. From there I introduced them to my client, who signed off on the contract.

How much have you invested with them?

We’ve spent between $5000–$10,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

They worked on the platform from February–April 2018.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Our team is running behind on deployment, so the platform hasn’t launched yet. DePalma did a great job meeting all of their deadlines and providing us with everything we needed. Trievr is so happy with their work that they’ve already renewed their services for another interface.

How did DePalma Studios perform from a project management standpoint?

I do the vetting in advance in order to prevent my client from running across any issues. DePalma came through with flying colors. The team was fantastic. They were always available and so cooperative.

What did you find most impressive about them?

All of the team members were amazing. They really know their stuff, which gave us a sense of security.

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
    I’ll recommend them for every UX project for my clients.

Web Platform UX Design for Disability Insurance Provider

“DePalma Studios has the artistic skill and perspective to give products a wonderful, embracing customer experience.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
2015-2016
Project summary: 

DePalma Studios completed the first stages of a customer service portal redesign. They improved the site’s UX/UI design assets, streamlined the layout, and seamlessly adapted to internal technology updates.

The Reviewer
 
10,000+ Employees
 
Chattanooga, Tennessee
VP IT, Large Insurance Firm
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

DePalma was an exemplary partner despite in-house changes that sidelined the project. Creative designers produced modern artifacts to enhance the customer experience. Reliable communication ensured a smooth workflow. Agile sprint cycles promptly yielded flawless early stage deliverables. 

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’ve been vice president of the IT organization for a disability insurance provider for 18 years. 

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with DePalma Studios?

At the time, my role focused on customer solutions for the largest subsidiary of our holding group. I was responsible for owning, driving, and managing digital customer interactions for our enterprise including all of our web portals, mobile apps, and the contact center platform. 

We’d finally gotten approval to assess and revamp an old customer interaction portal. The website had been state-of-the-art when it was built, but that was a long time ago. It desperately needed to be revisited. We didn't have the skills internally to deliver the world-class customer experience we aimed for. I was in the process of hiring the right UX design firm to assist us when we found DePalma Studios

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

DePalma envisioned an entirely new look and feel for our customer site's design. We considered migrating to a different platform before our holdings company changed the technology they use internally. Six months in, DePalma flexibly overcame this learning curve and quickly got up to speed with the new program. 

When we resumed activity, we finished all the estimations and initial designs before starting our delivery program increments. During the first 12-week Program Increment (PI), we went through six sprints to produce some great-looking early deliverables. 

By the time we were about halfway through the second Program Increment, our holdings company experienced leadership changes that halted all major projects, including this one. That was truly unfortunate for us and completely unrelated to the quality of their work.

What is the team composition? 

The number of resources fluctuated from 2-4 over the different project stages. Typically, we'd work with one manager, another project manager, and multiple UX designers from DePalma Studios.

How did you come to work with DePalma Studios?

Through blind luck, I got a cold call from one of DePalma's marketing staff members. I was actively looking for a firm of their kind, so it couldn't have happened at a better time since I was actively looking for a firm of their kind. My assistant would generally filter this type of call, but theirs came through. They turned out to be an excellent fit. 

I ran the RFP process for 5-6 candidates with my boss and five direct reports. We took notes during each vendor presentation and met afterward to assess and grade them. Our scoring process used a form we developed with a major consulting firm. At the end of the entire process, we tallied up the scores, had a final conversation, and made a unanimous decision to hire DePalma Studios. 

How much have you invested with them?

DePalma bid on this project as part of the RFP process. We agreed to a fixed budget for that level of work, and they adjusted management to that figure. If internal changes in order or direction impacted the total, they had to change their pricing accordingly. 

What is the status of this engagement?

We worked together for about a year starting in 2015, including the RFP and onboarding stages. Unfortunately for us, our project had to be canceled.  Our relationship ended in 2016 due to internal decisions around our holding company's business objectives. 

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

DePalma is one of the best partners I've ever worked with. This strong working relationship was truly a fantastic experience. I regret that internal decisions canceled the project. They had nothing to do with DePalma. We had to realign with our parent company’s new business objectives, which tends to happen in this space. The principal owner willingly adapted as our company changed course internally. I know they absorbed the price when items took longer than they anticipated to complete because we never had cost overruns.

The designers we interacted with were absolutely first-rate. As an engineer by trade, I can make a functional product, but design isn’t my specialty. DePalma Studios has the right mindset and artistic skill to give products a wonderful, embracing customer experience. It takes a special kind of person to develop the consistently superb artifacts they did. If we had questions or requested any changes, they refactored and redesigned it exactly as we wanted. The turnaround was always quite prompt, and everything they delivered was top-notch.

How did DePalma Studios perform from a project management standpoint?

DePalma Studios was incredibly responsive. We had no problems with communication despite a minor time zone difference. The team was even available to talk while on vacation. They always ensured we had the proper people engaged in the task at hand. I have the principal founder's personal phone number. If I called him right now, I know he'd pick up even though we haven't worked together in over a year and a half. 

What did you find most impressive about them?

DePalma Studios blew everyone out of the water during our formal RFP process. As a boutique vendor, we didn't know how they’d fare against teams with highly recognizable industry names. Every other contender designed a slightly better version of our existing application. They were hoping to impress us with their knowledge of our insurance model. 

While DePalma was limited in that space, they knew everything about customer experience. They developed a unique website prototype with a modern, elegant UX that received unanimous support from my team. DePalma Studios showed the innovation and creativity that no one else brought to the table.

Are there any areas they could improve?
    
As they went through a period of growth phase and internal transformation, there was some personnel turnover. We’d prefer to have kept the same resources throughout the project. That’s probably an impossible ask since there are so many opportunities available and you can’t force employees to say with your firm.

I understand they have to manage their business the best way they see fit, but these changes caused a bit of pressure. Sometimes onboarding new hires set us back a small step, but the new designers they brought in were always top notch. We never saw a reduction in quality, just with the team’s continuity.

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

Web Application Design & Dev for Barge Company

“I can put them in front of executives, captains, or IT partners and be confident they'll speak appropriately.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Jan. 2018 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

DePalma Studios is currently designing an intricate web app. Their extensive wireframing process establishes app details to aid the development process. They’ll soon build the app using Angular with SignalR.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
Nashville, Tennessee
Cory Moore
Marketing Manager, Ingram Barge
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

They introduced a new development approach that’ll likely set an internal standard for the foreseeable future. DePalma Studios effectively allocated resources to provide a responsive and transparent experience. Their innovative designs and company-wide engagement increased the software’s demand.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the marketing technology and usability manager for Ingram Barge. We’re a shipping company that moves goods up and down riverways via barge.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with DePalma Studios?

We have a set of complex transportation systems that we wanted to install onto our vessels. We wanted the system to take the form of a web application that captains can safely use while navigating rivers. The app would also have to be durable enough to work in areas with low connectivity or that experience network outages. Something simple and powerful was the goal.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

DePalma Studios went a step beyond development. We first engaged with them to look at our workflows, so they traveled to our facilities. They met with our captains and their training groups to go over our business process from a workflow standpoint. They’re currently helping us whittle that down into finite workflows. From there, we’ve gone into what we call a “design first” development framework. That means we’re creating wireframes and getting feedback from various employees to then design new iterations. As a result, we’ve taken the wireframes through a clickable design and our ahead of schedule in relation to the development process.

The final deliverable will be a complex web application and we’re currently planning the development environment. We’re moving towards using Angular with SignalR, WebSocket, and Service Workers. It’s a different way of developing that’s low-cost upfront and takes out the management change that normally occurs. We rely heavily on DePalma Studios and this has been a department changing project. The way we’re doing this will probably be our standard approach for the next five years.

What is the team composition?

We work with a project manager, a UI/UX director, and one designer. A software architect and several frontend developers will help us complete the project.

How did you come to work with DePalma Studios?

I had experience working with DePalma Studios when I was with a previous company. They were engaged to design a product ordering system and a full website. Based on that relationship, I reached out and hired them for this project.

How much have you invested with them?

We’ve spent between $25,000 and $50,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together in January 2018 and the engagement is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

The development portion hasn’t begun, but we’re extremely satisfied with the work they’ve done so far. They’ve demonstrated the ability to understand a complex project and quickly move forward.

How did DePalma Studios perform from a project management standpoint?

We never have a problem contacting our dedicated resources. They utilize transparent management tools, so we see progress as it happens. They also complete deliverables quickly and consistently.

What did you find most impressive about them?

I had full confidence in allowing the design team to speak directly with our various departments. I’ve worked with vendors where I needed to translate everything and control the communication due to the frequent use of technical jargon. DePalma Studios understands how to communicate to individuals of varying levels of expertise. I can put them in front of executives, captains, or IT partners and be confident they'll speak appropriately.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

It’s going to seem like there’s a lot of time being spent on soft topics and not necessarily getting into the technology right away. Designing around colors and UX is important. We found that allowing DePalma Studios to perform that step of the process gave us more insight as we now move to development. If you start building immediately, you’ll lose that extra information. Give them time to go through their process and the space to do what they do.

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

UX/UI Design for Convenience Store Chain

“They created a user experience that was better than anything we could’ve done alone.”

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Dec. 2017 - Feb. 2018
Project summary: 

DePalma improved the UX for an employee training platform, simplifying and streamlining the web app. Errors in the scope made the final version impossible to implement, although it was completed.

The Reviewer
 
1,001-5,000 Employees
 
Nashville, Tennessee
Ryan Parish
Instructional Design Manager, MAPCO
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

DePalma made a sleek and user-friendly design that met all the project requirements. They maintained open communication, relaying any issues or delays in a timely manner. Even though the Cornerstone platform was unable to integrate DePalma’s UX design, the partnership was still positive.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the manager of instructional design and e-learning development for MAPCO, a company with about 350 convenience stores in the south and mid-Atlantic regions of the U.S.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with DePalma Studios?

We have 3,500 employees, and our business has a high turnover rate. We’d begun a process of changing our learning platform, which is usually the first experience people have with our brand. We’d outgrown our old training module and wanted to replace it with something new, but the platform we chose wasn’t very user-friendly. We wanted a UX firm to get involved, so we could rethink the user experience and simplify the web app.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

DePalma helped refine the manager experience on the web app, making it easy to quickly see where all the employees were on the training path. They worked on the user experience so that, from the moment someone logs in for the first time, they see exactly what they need to do and when it’s due.

What is the team composition?

the VP of Marketing led our project, and the Director of User Experience had a team of UX designers and frontend developers. Those were our two main points of contact. As the project progressed, more team members were added.

How did you come to work with DePalma Studios?

I found them online. We’d looked into a couple of UX firms, including one with some big clients on the west coast. DePalma was local, had an iterative workflow, and insisted on interacting with our users at some point. Their past work looked good, and they had a client-first mentality, so we hired them.

How much have you invested with them?

We spent $10,000–$25,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We worked together from December 2017­–February 2018.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

The design they created was everything we wanted. We only had to make a few minor tweaks to the visual elements. It was simple and streamlined, making it incredibly user-friendly.

Unfortunately, due to limitations with the Cornerstone platform, we weren’t able to go live with the product. It wasn’t DePalma’s fault, though; we were unable for the end user to authenticate their credentials in the system. We learned too late that what we wanted wasn’t possible within Cornerstone without a massive change to the scope.

How did DePalma Studios perform from a project management standpoint?

I was acting as the technical lead, and my boss was the project manager. Any time DePalma anticipated a delay or issue, they let us know right away. They kept us in the loop about everything. Most of the time, they accomplished tasks ahead of schedule.

They use real-time boards to do the layouts, and we got quick access to their in-flow design. If they were making changes, I could see them in real-time. If I saw they were going in the wrong direction, it was easy to give feedback.

We had regular calls to discuss the project’s progress. If they needed more information to complete an assignment, they’d engage us and ask questions.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They created a user experience that was better than anything we could’ve done alone. When we realized we’d be unable to use their UX, I ended up doing it myself, and it’s not nearly the same caliber as theirs.

Their customer service and desire to find a solution was impressive. They paid attention to our budgetary restrictions and guidelines, which we appreciated. When we told them their design wouldn’t work, they adjusted the billing even though it wasn’t their fault.

If they couldn’t provide the solution we needed, they didn’t like to charge us. That’s not typical with third-party vendors, and it meant a lot. They even gave us credit for 60 hours that we can use in the future. We enjoyed the partnership, and their customer service is stellar.

Are there any areas they could improve?

It would’ve helped to have a technical person do more discovery at the beginning of the project. If someone on the team knew more about APIs and their limitations, we would’ve realized sooner that our project wasn’t possible. The last time I spoke to DePalma, they were in the process of hiring a more technical project lead. Overall, it was a fantastic partnership and probably the best experience I’ve ever had working on a project that didn’t pan out.

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

UX Design for Government Contractor

"The CEO is accommodating, easy to work with, and prioritizes getting the product right."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
2017 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

DePalma Studios provides UX/UI designs to enhance enterprise applications’ user-friendliness. The team has transitioned to the build phase and is using a variety of tools to re-architect outmoded systems.

The Reviewer
 
201-500 Employees
 
Nashville, Tennessee
VP, Government Contractor
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The CEO leads an amiable team that prioritizes functionality. Their logical approach to design execution generated positive user feedback. The apps’ features are high-quality and reflect DePalma’s design competencies. Expect strategic resource allocation that creates high value for cost.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

My team is responsible for building software products inside our company.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with DePalma Studios?

We wanted better UI/UX designs for our internal applications, but didn’t have the resources execute them correctly.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

The app is related to case management. Work started last October with a trial two-week engagement. We were impressed with their work and decided to start the design process. Since our user base is not technologically savvy, we used popular social media and email apps as a reference to make the UI as easy to use as possible. Five months later, DePalma is now transitioning to the build phase while still completing UX/UI design. They’ve used Sketch, InVision to build prototypes, and RealtimeBoard for design and collaboration. The team has utilized archival screenshots and videos we provided to re-architect our apps’ 15-20-year-old systems. The engagement should continue through the end of this year.

What is the team composition?

The team includes a senior level designer that served as the information architect, a designer, and a project manager that onboarded later in the process. We’ve also contracted two UI developers from them; they now do coding for us.

How did you come to work with DePalma Studios?

I found DePalma during an online search for UX designers. Many companies I looked at were marketing firms that didn’t possess the design capabilities I needed. DePalma was local and had relevant experience, specifically in enterprise applications and applied design principles. Their website also appealed to me; I liked how their automated reply was worded.

How much have you invested with them?

We’ve spent between $250,000–$500,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

Work started in October 2017 and is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

They do high-quality work and execute tasks well. I’ve gotten positive feedback from my team and users in our facilities; everyone’s been pretty happy.

How did DePalma Studios perform from a project management standpoint?

We haven’t had any issues. They have good processes in place that prevent haphazard design work. Their logical approach makes engagement easier because the team understands how to analyze and organize information. They study how our systems work and break it down into the information architecture before rebuilding the features. As a result, all designs address a specific business use.

What did you find most impressive about them?

The CEO is accommodating, easy to work with, and prioritizes getting the product right. He makes resources available as needed, but won’t push anything on us. He only gives us what we need – nothing more.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I can't think of anything. It’s been a real pleasure working with them.

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

UX Design for Phone Software Company

“Everything to this point has exceeded our expectations. Their team is very accommodating and helpful.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
2017 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

DePalma updated the UI/UX for a software company. They redesigned visual aspects and overall aesthetic of the UI and implemented modern web tooling.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Salt Lake City, Utah
Nate Thatcher
CEO, Xima Software
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

DePalma entered the engagement with a clear process that instilled confidence from the beginning. They were upfront and sent accurate expectations. They consistently delivered and performed at a high standard.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the CEO of Xima software. We develop, produce, and sell support software for commercial phone systems.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with DePalma Studios?

We needed to update our UI/UX with our software. Our old system was dated and the technology was becoming obsolete. An internal team built the original iteration, but we wanted a team with aesthetic UI/UX design expertise.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They redesigned the visual aspects of the UI and implemented modern web tooling. They used a number of tools to manage the project. A big one they used through the design process was from Reich. They also had some internal tools that worked well. They did a lot of the work internally and then showed us their deliverables.

What is the team composition?

We dealt closely with five or six people and there were others working behind the scenes.

How did you come to work with DePalma Studios?

We searched extensively online for firms that could provide the services we were looking for. We interviewed a number of companies before we settled on DePalma. They impressed us from the start with their knowledge and flexibility. They were really open. We looked at their portfolio of past work and it was clear that they were a great choice.

How much have you invested with them?

We’ve spent between $100,000–$250,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together at the end of 2017. Our relationship is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

We’re very happy and satisfied. Everything to this point has exceeded our expectations. Their team is very accommodating and helpful. As a software shop, we understand the complexities of this kind of process. It’s clear they know this domain very well. They’re prepared to take on projects like ours and quickly instilled confidence. Everything we’ve seen from them affirms our decision to work with them.

How did DePalma Studios perform from a project management standpoint?

It’s a good partnership and project management is above average. We use Slack to stay in close contact throughout the process.

What did you find most impressive about them?

I appreciated how upfront they were about their process. They really stood out among the other companies we talked to. It was refreshing to know they had a plan from the start. They made sure I understood what steps they would take and the general timing. It was really clear what we were getting and they did an exceptional job setting expectations. They encouraged us to give them what they needed to get the project done.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I don’t have any complaints about them. We’re happy with everything they’ve delivered so far.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Ask them to explain their process to you. It will give you confidence in their ability to deliver solutions.

5.0
Overall Score They’re great, we’re very happy with them.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They came in under budget. I really like how they do their quoting. We knew what their maximum would be and they did a good job coming in under that.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer