We Change Ideas Into Amazing Digital Products

DeSmart is an Agile Software House using React and React Native

We Change Ideas Into Amazing Digital Products People Love. We Partner With Digital Agencies, Startups and Brands.

We work for companies all over the world - Berlin, NYC, London, LA and many others. We always put the Stakeholders in the center of our project. With the Design Thinking methodology, we try to understand business goals and then fit the product to it. We use Business Model Canvas, Product Canvas, Evenstorming and User Story Mapping.

We use agile methodologies, work in weekly periods called sprints, and we're trying to deliver an MVP within 2-3 months of creation.  

We are a team of almost 30 people and we build products from scratch.

We've successfully delivered over 70 projects for companies from various industries. Our products improve the business. Moreover, we've created our own Startups: a prototyping tool UXPin (now a separate entity, previously JustProto) and event mobile app Conventica.

We build Digital Products (Web/Mobile Apps) in following technologies:

  • React, React Native
  • JavaScript (AngularJS, React)
  • PHP (Laravel mostly, Symfony)
  • iOS (Swift)
  • Android (Java)
  • MySQL, PostgreSQL, MongoDB, ElasticSearch

We know that building an online software is not a piece of cake, but it might be fun! If you want to craft some web or mobile app trust our experience and have a look how the efficient process should look like.

 
$10,000+
 
$50 - $99 / hr
 
10 - 49
 Founded
2003
Show all +
Gdynia, Poland
headquarters
  • DeSmart
    Abrahama 37
    Gdynia 81-366
    Poland
    +48 588 810 530
other locations
  • DeSmart
    Poland

Portfolio

Key clients: 
  • IBM
  • Oriflame
  • Haz-Trac
  • Salary Genius Ltd.
  • UXPin
  • TagVenue
  • ThinkApps
  • Garden Compass Inc
  • Appy Ventures

Reviews

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Outsourced Agile Development for Digital Agency

"They're by far the most adaptable and professional out of the 20–30 teams I’ve used in the last 3-years."

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Apr. 2016 - June 2017
Project summary: 

DeSmart's subcontracted team of Agile developers built custom web and mobile apps. Several engagements required joint efforts with other agencies without undermining success or productivity. 

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Hamburg, Germany
CEO
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

DeSmart can rapidly change project specs and adapt accordingly. The engineers made important contributions and rarely made mistakes under pressure. 

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I work for a sub-contracting agency. We’re developers, but we don’t hire developers internally. We have development teams, software houses, and agencies in all these worlds where you need Agile projects running.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with DeSmart?

We have customers here in Germany, and they come up with ideas. They forward us some other customers' ideas, and I concept with them or have initial talks. Then I go to my development teams, ask if they are available and the resources they have, and that’s where DeSmart comes in. They build the functional aspects of the products that come to us for, but we deal with the design and the business side.

DeSmart does the technical solutions, although I know they have UX people as well. When we sat down to talk about our latest project, we had some aspects of UX that weren’t covered yet. They just asked someone from their UX department to provide input. I know they have UX skill, and I’ve used it for other projects, but in this specific project now, we do not use those services. I do it here with German labor.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We’ve done two projects with DeSmart so far, covering different aspects of their work. The first was an app that was in the concept phase. The intention was for it to be developed as a web app and a mobile app both. We had a workshop together, and we made concepts [unintelligible, audio break-up 03:25] necessary for that, so we had front and backend developers. We had app developers there, UX people, and a tester. Then we concepted the new app for the customer. The development actually did not happen, as the investors didn’t come through. The concept was finished, but then they turned back on bringing it to market. We did the concept part and some UX screens, then the development did not take place.

In the other current project, we’re basically done, but we need to do change requests, etc. We had a concept and designs, and we just started to develop and do testing. All this stuff happened as a normal Scrum, Agile project. This is a web app, but there are plans to have a mobile app later. They advised us not to do the mobile app first because it would be very costly and take a lot of time. We didn’t have the time, as this was for a trade fair, so it’s a web application only. We worked with two frontend developers, two backend developers, one tester, and one Scrum master. They were flexible at the later stage when we needed other resources. This project was of crucial importance for me, so we had no junior developers working on it. It was a good thing that they could deliver on that. We had one senior and one mid-level developer for both frontend and backend.

How did you come to work with DeSmart?

I work with Polish developers because I am Polish. I believe I searched for software houses and development teams in Gdansk and the tri-city area. DeSmart came up on Google. I selected them because of the location, which was a crucial part for me, as I lived in Gdansk at the time. I’m now in Hamburg, and it’s a straight flight to Gdansk for me when needed. Another deciding factor was their professional appearance.

The first time I called them, I realized that they all spoke perfect English, which was pretty important. You can’t operate with a customer without it, and they were professional about that. They had six processes, so it looked like they were experienced. They were a rather big agency, with 16–20 developers, and they looked modern. All of that turned out to be true. They work in a modern and Agile way. They are strict on that, which is important.

How much have you invested with DeSmart?

I’m not allowed to speak about that.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together a year and a half ago, and our relationship is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

The expectations were to get it done within a short time. We only had two and a half months for a specific list of must-haves. This list was very soon obsolete because, in discussions with them, we basically flushed the expectations of the customer and made something much better. On the way, we decided what is must-have and what isn’t, where we could go by quick and simple methods and where we needed to ensure quality first. This is where DeSmart delivered because we are practically done.

On the day of the event, all the users were able to register and access the information they needed without any interference from the solution itself. As an Agile project, expectations are changed every week, so I can’t really say anything about that. We had a stable version on the day of the event, and that is of the most fundamental and crucial importance ever for us. The project was completed on time and before the event, and we’re now working on nice-to-have features that weren’t crucial to the launch. We have a bucket list, of course, and you’re never finished.

How did DeSmart perform from a project management standpoint?

I would say that our experience in working on an Agile project with them. They're by far the most adaptable and professional team out of the 20–30 teams I’ve used in the last 3-years.

What did you find most impressive about DeSmart?

Their English skills are impressive, and they’re very good in Agile development. Those are the most important points for me. They have quite a big team, and they’re able to be flexible. For example, if we need one or two senior developers right away, they could deliver. They’re not so big that they have all these stuffy structures. This is a plus in comparison to all the other teams. They are able to work on a variety of different projects, and they offer skills in different areas, which lets them make valuable suggestions.

Are there any areas DeSmart could improve?

I can’t think of anything.

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

Agile Development for Consumer App Startup

"Quality-wise, the work produced by DeSmart has been very good."

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
4.5
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Feb. 2016 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

DeSmart is designing and developing an app to connect users with horticultural experts. The team works on Android, iOS and web versions simultaneously. 

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
London, United Kingdom
Founder & COO, Mobile Application Startup
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The team employs an agile methodology and produces good quality work. Most development deadlines are met within 2-3 days. DeSmart is responsive and quickly provides answers and suggestions to any questions. They have made the product better as a result of their expertise and recommendations.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your organization.

We have developed an app called Garden Compass, which acts as a connection between users and 50 horticultural experts from across the globe. Users can identify and ask questions about plants, while also getting access to a monthly care calendar for the plants in their garden.

What is your position?

I am the founder and Chief Operations Officer of the company.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What business challenge were you trying to address with DeSmart?

We needed development resources for our application.

SOLUTION

Please describe the scope of their involvement.

They do contribute with concepts for the app, but DeSmart has mostly been tasked with design and development for our product. Our software has been developed as both Android and iOS apps, as well as having a web version. We're currently developing further features for the iOS version.

DeSmart has assigned a team of 10-15 people for our project. We worked on a time-and-materials basis, employing an Agile methodology. We interacted directly with the developers.

How did you come to work with DeSmart?

We were introduced to DeSmart through our Chief Technology Officer and also through two offshore developers which we use. I met with DeSmart in order to see how well they'd receive our project. In my eyes, DeSmart was the only contender. I believe they were initially selected through their previous work.

What is the status of this engagement?

We've been working with DeSmart since February of 2016. Our relationship is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any statistics or metrics from this engagement?

We've had few bugs and most development deadlines have been met within a margin of 2-3 days. Quality-wise, the work produced by DeSmart has been very good.

How did DeSmart perform from a project management standpoint?

We have weekly calls and know what is going on all the time, which is great. The engagement has been done from a resourcing standpoint. Any unexpected resource unavailability has occurred only when we hadn't fully booked DeSmart yet.

We used Pivotal Tracker and Slack as collaboration tools. These were part of DeSmart's preferred way of working.

What distinguishes DeSmart from other providers?

The recommendations contributed to the process by DeSmart, coupled with their questioning of our decisions, have made them stand out. The quality of their work is extremely good.

Is there anything DeSmart could have improved or done differently?

DeSmart could improve their design capabilities, but this is a minor point.

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

Custom-developed Events Platform for Internet Startup

"I was very happy with the project manager that we were assigned. Any clients ...would benefit from his leadership."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
May 2015 - Sept. 2015
Project summary: 

DeSmart built a web application to facilitate event location booking. The team worked on backend and frontend development, QA, and UX/UI.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
London, United Kingdom
Co-founder, Event Venue Marketplace
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Every function that DeSmart built works well and has gotten good feedback. The team was conscious of deadlines and organized. The project manager assigned was communicative and responsive overall.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your organization.

We've built a venue marketplace allowing users to book locations for events. The service works through a web application.

What is your position?

I am a co-founder of the company.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What business challenge were you trying to address with DeSmart?

We were looking for a team that could build our application. We have limited technical resources in-house, so our only real option was to find an external team with the skills to build the functional solution.

SOLUTION

Please describe the scope of their involvement.

DeSmart developed our solution using three back-end developers, one front-end resource, one tester, and one UX/UI [user experience/user interface] designer. In the beginning, we were assigned a project manager, but a senior developer took over that responsibility along the way, which worked out well.

They used PHP and other frameworks for the work, too. The front end is a simple HTML, CSS, and JavaScript solution.

How did you come to work with DeSmart?

We researched a number of companies that we discovered online and through various business referrals. DeSmart seemed to be the best fit for us. They reacted quickly to our inquiry, made a nice introduction, explaining what they could do, and their pricing was very reasonable. We considered four other companies, three in Poland and one in Austria. After we had reviewed all the proposals sent to us, it became clear that DeSmart would likely be the best fit.

Could you provide a sense of the size of this initiative in financial terms?

Overall, we spend around $57,000 for the development.

What is the status of this engagement?

The project took four months to finish. We completed the work officially on September 14, 2015. We've continued to have a relationship with DeSmart, using two part-time developers – one back-end and one front end – for additional tasks and fixes that became necessary as we learned the market an received end-user feedback. We maintain an hourly contract with them, and we are considering using their company again for other short-term projects.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any statistics or metrics from this engagement?

We hired an external CTO whom I trust in order to review their code. He has given very positive feedback for it continuously. Everything that DeSmart has built has worked as expected. We made a number of changes, given that we were going through a learning process. Our internal staff had no problems in using the code. Most components were written in a clean, sustainable and scalable way.

How did DeSmart perform from a project management standpoint?

In terms of deadlines, they performed well. The original timeline was for 15 weeks, and the project was completed in 17 weeks, given that we increased the scope along the way, I would say that's very impressive.

The project manager assigned to our project is currently the CTO [chief technology officer] of DeSmart. He was well structured and organized, running our team well. We learned much from him in terms of how an agile project can be monitored, managed and adapted.

We used Pivotal Tracker for project management and UXPin for prototyping. Communication was done through a Slack channel and we had biweekly Skype sessions, which they never missed.

What distinguishes DeSmart from other providers?

I haven't personally worked with other development agencies. I have heard of worse experiences from acquaintances, but the process was very smooth for us. There were no major changes or obstacles in the work that they have delivered. The software was delivered exactly as requested.

I was very happy with the project manager that we were assigned. Any clients looking to work with DeSmart would benefit from his leadership.

Is there anything DeSmart could have improved or done differently?

The only aspect that we would have liked to see improved was their UX [user experience] expertise.

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

iOS & Android Prototype Development for IT Startup

"Their team is exceptionally capable and they invested a lot of time and effort into the project work."

Quality: 
4.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
Project summary: 

DeSmart simultaneously developed iOS, Android, and Web application MVPs for task-sharing and social networking. The team performed some backend MySQL work and QA. 

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Berlin, Germany
Co-Founder
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Users have congratulated the app for its smooth functionality. The project took longer than originally envisaged but is also better quality than expected. DeSmart was proactive in terms of project management and gave regular project feedback and reports. 

BACKGROUND

Please describe your organization.

We are a startup located in Berlin. We've built an app for iOS, Android, and the web, which is meant to connect people with peers in their location who can help them do tasks and vice versa.

What is your position?

I am one of the founders of the company.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What business challenge were you trying to address with DeSmart?

We needed the three versions of our app to be built at the same time. Finding the resources to build them in-house would have proved difficult. The next possible alternative was finding a development shop to handle the technical work under our supervision. That's when we decided to go searching for one. 

SOLUTION

Please describe the scope of their involvement.

DeSmart developed the three versions of our app and provided some back-end MySQL work. We were assigned one project manager, one iOS developer, one Android developer, one quality assurance tester, and two back-end developers. We worked closely with them to refine our specs and improve some of the features and designs. 

How did you come to work with DeSmart?

One of our founders had prior experience in working with DeSmart. They were one of three companies considered for the project. They offered a large team, and their pricing was quite competitive. Those factors combined led us to choosing them. 

Could you provide a sense of the size of this initiative in financial terms?

The total development cost was close to $90,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

The work has been concluded. We are thinking about using DeSmart for additional development because we haven't found in-house resources yet, but nothing has been finalized.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any statistics or metrics from this engagement?

So far, many people have commented on how well the app is running. DeSmart has done a fine job. The project ran for much longer than it was meant to, but we've reached a good conclusion. It is now in its minimum viable product stage for all versions. 

How did DeSmart perform from a project management standpoint?

There were a couple of wrenches thrown into the gears, but this wasn't entirely the fault of DeSmart. It could have been a case of underestimation on their part, but our team was equally under-informed. We were all too optimistic regarding timelines and everything going smoothly. Our relationship has been complicated but, overall, it was a good experience and we ended up with a great solution. DeSmart suggested we use Pivotal tracker, so we used that tool for project management. I would say it was definitely helpful in terms of getting immediate feedback and status reports. 

What distinguishes DeSmart from other providers?

Their team is exceptionally capable and they invested a lot of time and effort into the project work, even at a personal level, despite them simply being contractors. 

Is there anything DeSmart could have improved or done differently?

Much of the research and technical elements came from me. Because my advice is not an expert opinion, I may not have given them the best directions. Everything was drawn out and accountability was a bit shaky at times. Overall, DeSmart did a good job, but we would have appreciated having better estimates in terms of the time and scale of the project. Now we know better for the future. 

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

Custom Web Development for Business Services Startup

"They strive to understand what their client is trying to achieve within a project."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Feb. 2015 - Dec. 2015
Project summary: 

DeSmart developed a custom web platform for health professionals to compare salaries. The team worked with existing designs in this project and is expected to perform further development in the future.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
London, United Kingdom
Greg Chodkowski
Founder & CEO, Salary Genius
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Project feedback has been very positive, with 95% of users reporting the site is useful. The team understood the business and product goals from the beginning, which inspired confidence. DeSmart has a good price-to-quality ratio and were communicative throughout the project. 

BACKGROUND

Please describe your organization.

Our company is called Salary Genius. We have created a global health care salary comparison website.

What is your position?

I am the founder of the company.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What business challenge were you trying to address with DeSmart?

The purpose of our website was to create a global platform where health care professionals would be able, based on the data they provide in an anonymous way, to get a comprehensive report on salaries, working conditions, and benefits for their domain.

SOLUTION

Please describe the scope of their involvement.

DeSmart executed the project from scratch, in terms of designing its functionality, programming, and deploying the final product. The site was custom-built. DeSmart does have their own content management system called DMS [DeSmart Management System], which they use for various projects. We have only used this proprietary management system as a backup. A different company that was recommended to us by DeSmart executed the visual design.

The work was overseen by a dedicated project manager on our side. The team DeSmart provided us consisted of eight people, including an assigned project manager liaising with the manager on our side, programming leads and quality assurance testers.

We worked on a few IT [information technology] projects in the past, using different companies on different stages. Historically, I have had an issue with the fact that, even though we may spend a considerable amount of money on a project, the result is not something we would consider finished. Another gripe is the developer not being able to see the work with the eyes of the client.

DeSmart were not like this. During our initial meetings, they understood well what our business purpose was. Based on this, they made many recommendations that we hadn't thought about. This is useful from a business perspective. When working on an IT solution, the ultimate aim isn't to create a nice, fancy website, but rather to create one that serves a purpose. This is exactly what DeSmart did.

How did you come to work with DeSmart?

Our project manager sent requests to various companies that she was previously aware of, based on our project needs. DeSmart made the best offer in terms of price-to-quality ratio. Quality is always an unknown in these situations. Each product is unique and, even if a company may have worked on a similar item in the past, they might execute yours differently.

Could you provide a sense of the size of this initiative in financial terms?

The total development cost was in the range of $30,000 to $35,000. This includes the VAT [value-added tax] applied in Poland. If they were to work for a company outside of our country, the cost could be up to 20 percent less.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working on the project in February 2015. The site was delivered for beta testing in October, and it was launched in December. We're planning to start another project, and we will use DeSmart again.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any statistics or metrics from this engagement?

We consider the site very successful. An important metric we have is the feedback received on social media from users. The comments are 95 percent positive in terms of its usefulness. The reports generated on the site are another way of evaluating its success. We're happy with those numbers.

We are impressed by our collaboration with DeSmart. Through this project, they proved that they can deliver a 100 percent ready-to-work and well-thought-out and designed website. We don't need to worry about changing it or fixing non-functional elements. I know that, if we embark on a new project with them, we will get the same result. They approach projects from a commercial point of view – what advantage each feature will bring the customer. This is something unique about them. In my experience, developers tend to be more reactive than proactive.

Until now, there hadn't been a website for globally comparing salaries, working conditions and other parameters within the healthcare industry. There are similar services, such as Glassdoor, but they offer information for thousands of different professions. They also don't gather information aimed at answering the specific questions and parameters of the healthcare industry. On top of this, even though those sites have millions of users, there are few health care professionals among them.

How did DeSmart perform from a project management standpoint?

We had regular meetings, at two-week intervals, in their headquarters. We interacted both with their project manager and with the programmers. We could resolve issues much easier and get answers to questions regarding what would be possible to implement, and what wouldn't be, by having programmers face to face with us.

We used Slack for keeping track of our project. DeSmart are familiar with many types of project management software because their clients have different preferences. I know that they also use Asana and Basecamp.

What distinguishes DeSmart from other providers?

They strive to understand what their client is trying to achieve within a project, which is apparent if you look at their previous work. They're just extremely organized in terms of project management. Every correction or alteration made to our website would come with proper tracking and documentation.

Their cost estimation and goals were divided into weekly sprints. We knew exactly what task we were paying for, and knew exactly how much DeSmart would be able to accomplish of the total workload, within a timeframe. We paid what was agreed upon. The budget was not increased along the way.

Planning and professionalism are important. If the right procedures are in place, tasks can be planned out and exact estimations can be made.

Is there anything DeSmart could have improved or done differently?

Whenever something needed to be improved on the website, DeSmart was fast to deliver. Otherwise, their customer relationship was excellent.

5.0
Overall Score We are extremely happy.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    There are less expensive alternatives...but getting a cheaper solution that you're not happy with equates to wasting that money. DeSmart offer a very good ratio between price and quality, delivering professional work that leaves no need to be changed...
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Development Partnership with Boutique Web Development Firm

"They're very well-versed in terms of agile development and they have exceptional project management."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
May 2015 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

DeSmart partnered with a website developer to create custom applications and websites, including UX/UI designs. The team also helps with general project management. 

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Guildford, United Kingdom
Founder & CEO, App Development Startup
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

As a result of this partnership, the overall project management has improved. DeSmart increases and decreases resources as needed, and all their developers have great English. They are independent workers, requiring minimal supervision, and creating good quality products. 

BACKGROUND

Please describe your organization.

We're a website developer focusing on startups in the United Kingdom.

What is your position?

I am the founder and CEO [chief executive officer].

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What business challenge were you trying to address with DeSmart?

We were mostly working with outsourcing companies in India. Our business grew in terms of complexity, and we found that the developers we were using no longer had the right methodology in terms of project management and quality control. It was costing us time and money.

We spent a long time searching for suitable developers closer to the U.K. We were impressed with DeSmart in terms of their attitude and the way in which they worked.

SOLUTION

Please describe the scope of their involvement.

DeSmart develops custom apps and websites for us. We've expanded their scope to include UX [user experience] design as we became more trusting of their talent.

They provide us with around 12 developers. They have free reign in terms of selecting resources. We communicate with developers directly. They all speak perfect English, so this is not a problem. The size of the team varies depending on resources availability, but they've all been very good.

How did you come to work with DeSmart?

We found them through their blog. I had heard their name before and started going through their content. I became curious and started a conversation.

Could you provide a sense of the size of this initiative in financial terms?

The total cost for our development so far has been around $73,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We've been working together for nine months [since 2015].

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any statistics or metrics from this engagement?

We keep track of strategy, product UX, and our product management relationship with clients. Before DeSmart, our product management time was exponentially higher. We've come from three internal management resources down to one. In terms of time spent managing developers, we've come down to a third. How much time we need to spend holding their hand is very important to us. With DeSmart, it's very little. The feedback we've received from clients in terms of build quality, stability, and delivery time has been excellent.

How did DeSmart perform from a project management standpoint?

A project kickoff involves a workshop with their entire team, from developers, testers, UX designers, business analysts, and so on. As we proceed with the project, we will have thrice-weekly calls for refinement and scheduling tasks. These calls also tend to involve the entire team for the project. We communicate directly with the developers through Slack and use Pivotal Tracker for project management.

What distinguishes DeSmart from other providers?

They're very well-versed in terms of agile development and they have exceptional project management. Their project manager [Bartosz Rozan] calls himself an agile coach. When we did the initial workshops on the project, he coached the entire team, including us, in terms of best practices. He did this throughout the project, and we've noticed that the team has become as agile aware as possible.

Also, their founder [Piotr Duszynski] has been part of creating a platform called UXPin, which enables rapid prototyping. This is something they use throughout the organization, saving time and money.

5.0
Overall Score I am pleasantly impressed.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    Although, I wouldn't want to share DeSmart with anyone else.

iOS and PHP Development for Insurance Tech Firm

"DeSmart inspired confidence every step of the way."

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

DeSmart designed and developed an iOS application and web portal for a risk consultation service. The team dedicated 12 developers to work on QA, App Store submission, and general IT support. 

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
New York City Metro Area
Joanna Stasuk
Marketing Director, Consolidated Risk Solutions
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The final app improved worker productivity and received incredible feedback. DeSmart was knowledgeable on a wide variety of issues and had great management. Due to their successes, the team now works in an ongoing maintenance capacity. 

BACKGROUND

Please describe your organization.

Our company provides risk consultation and safety services to builders on large-scale construction sites. On job sites, there are many accidents, which result in significant costs and sometimes the loss of life. Our work revolves around minimizing those risks and increasing the profitability of these types of projects.

What is your position?

I'm the marketing director.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What business challenge were you trying to address with DeSmart?

We needed development work for an onsite app. It was something we didn't want to hire full-time resources for, so we ended up deciding to partner with an offshore provider.

SOLUTION

Please describe the scope of their involvement.

They were involved in both the design and development of the app. We initially approached them with a design brief for the app and web portal, which included our ideas. DeSmart created their prototype based on our specs. This is the first application they developed for us.

They provided PHP and iOS development for us. The prototype was built using a software called UXPin. It allowed us to visualize any changes we'd request during Skype calls instantaneously. It also allowed us to download prototypes directly to our phones. I worked with their user interface expert. They issued a dedicated team of at least 12 people for our project.

They worked in two-week sprints. Each of those periods would be dedicated exclusively to us, even though they did have other projects.

DeSmart also handled the QA [quality assurance] testing for us. It was a thorough process. When we were working with the prototype, I only found one minor issue: the way in which the font looked on an iPad Mini. DeSmart shared a six-page Google document with us containing customized tests for our app. It was a list of different processes like submitting queries, getting confirmation notices, being able to label reports, and so on. DeSmart inspired confidence every step of the way. 

Because we are a small company, we don't have internal IT [information technology] resources. I needed personal help with submitting the app to the Apple store and setting up lateral items like a transactional email account. DeSmart knew a great software to use for this. They also helped us set up the server for the app, and created a user guide for it. These weren't part of their normal services, but they still did them.

I'm very picky, but everything DeSmart suggested worked perfectly. If something didn't seem intuitive in terms of design and functionality, I would have picked up on it. There was nothing to nitpick in their work.

From a user standpoint, we developed an app for construction site workers. Many of them weren't familiar with using their phones for this type of application, so the app had to be simple enough not to require instructions. DeSmart really got it right. When the app is launched, it instructs the user on exactly what to do. Whenever an issue is submitted, there will be a notification. It's also fast.

How did you come to work with DeSmart?

I'd worked with DeSmart at a former company for building an event app. That was a very positive experience. We'd developed a number of event apps through time, using various companies. The collaboration with DeSmart was exceptional.

When we needed development work for an app at my new company, I knew DeSmart would be the ones I'd contact first.

Could you provide a sense of the size of this initiative in financial terms?

The total cost of the project has been around $42,000. This also included graphic design for the app. Other developers that I've worked with will either outsource that type of work or expect the graphics to be provided by the client. DeSmart proved to be an all-in-one provider, going so far as to offer continued support.

We will be working with them on a monthly basis. They assigned a member of their team to monitor app crashes whenever there's a new iOS version, testing, bug fixes, downtime, and so on.

What is the status of this engagement?

The project is almost complete. We're working on a few final details.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any statistics or metrics from this engagement?

The feedback has been incredible. People are blown away by the app. We are already using it on construction sites. We've set up users and are talking with three large companies who are interested in it. After we demonstrated it to one of the largest of our builder clients, we rolled it out for their Chicago operations. The workers there used the app, it attracted the attention of their managers, and now the company is interested in it for their international operations. They were originally looking to build something similar for themselves, but we've brought it to them.

It's not hard to sell at all. If someone launches the app and uses it, they will see its value. It replaces a lot of paperwork. In the past, at construction sites, if someone saw a hazard (for example, a gap in which a person could fall), they would have to go to their safety manager's office, fill out a report, which would sit on a desk along with piles of others. With our app, if someone sees a hazard, he or she can take a photo and submit a report, which will be instantly sent to the home office. Ultimately, if it gets the hazard fixed in time, it can prevent an incident. The app is much quicker and replaces the procedures we had in the past.

Internally, we demonstrated the app at our annual meeting. People launched it on their phones without being told how it worked. There was general amazement at how easy it was to use, and we didn't receive any questions. For our past apps, people would ask where they could find a certain feature or another.

I was nervous about submitting it to our colleagues because whenever you present something that had been in the works, critiques will follow, either about features, what colors should have been used, and so on. I didn't receive a single negative piece of feedback.

How did DeSmart perform from a project management standpoint?

We used Slack for communicating with our team. We found it to be very useful. It features a widget that is kept live on your desktop at all times so, if any issues came up with the team, I could receive an instant notice of it. For example, when we had a problem with iPad Mini functionality, I took a screenshot, sent it to DeSmart, and they got back to me right away. We also use Taiga for project management, along with Skype, Google Docs, and UXPin.

What distinguishes DeSmart from other providers?

I had a good experience with them because they weren't simply taking orders. If we requested a certain feature, DeSmart would think it through and made their own suggestion. I've never had such great input when working with freelancers. It's easier to do what the customer requests without offering any insight. DeSmart did not just code but were integral in coming up with ideas and solidifying them. We would have meetings every week and, every two weeks, we would have sprint reviews for their agile process.

Is there anything DeSmart could have improved or done differently?

No. I had a great experience with them and admire their expertise. DeSmart has a nice group of people, each with their own specialization, from agile project management to interface development and so on.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    The client we were working for moved up the deadline and, as a result, DeSmart had to work through the holidays. They met their deadline even though it meant missing personal time.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    We've had internal teams for which the charge for one developer was equal to a third of the total cost of this app.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer