Your App Experts

We're a smart, rowdy, byte-sized group of pixel-slingers from the midwest, here to crush it for brands on their app initiatives.

 
$25,000+
 
$150 - $199 / hr
 
10 - 49
 Founded
2008
Eight Bit Studios
343 W. Erie #200
Chicago, IL 60654
United States

Portfolio

Key clients: 

From billion-dollar enterprises to self-funded startups, we strive to build long-term relationships with those who share our passion for technology and design. National brands: Echo Logistics, UL, New Balance, Trident, and Hasbro. Startups: GrowIt!, LyteShot, Curate, Fooda, GiveForward, and BetterWeekdays. Chicago Icons: The Field Museum, Guaranteed Rate, The MacArthur Foundation, The Chicago Fire, Groupon, and Threadless.

EchoDrive

Put your communication and load management on cruise control with EchoDrive.

GrowIt!

The fastest growing mobile gardening platform in the USA. 

Leanr

Achieve healthier results by combining quantitative fitness data with qualitative feedback.

Reviews

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Mobile UI & Product Design for Online Ticket Marketplace

"If you’re looking for a lean team that’s quick and responsive, Eight Bit Studios would be a great fit.”

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
4.5
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Apr. - Aug. 2018
Project summary: 

Following an initial discovery phase, Eight Bit Studios created a new visual direction for a set of mobile apps. They gauged the new UI elements in perception tests before compiling their work into a UI kit.

The Reviewer
 
201-500 Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
Head of UX, Online Ticket Marketplace
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Perception testers and internal stakeholders alike responded favorably to the new design elements, commending the bolder, updated aesthetic. As a boutique agency, Eight Bit Studios remained customer-focused throughout. They had a nimble team and consistently documented the process.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the head of UX for an online ticket marketplace.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Eight Bit Studios?

We approached them to modernize the UI elements for our core native apps, update the browse experience for our product’s home search function, and build UI kits. The project was less about feature creation and more about refreshing the existing experience for our mobile apps.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We started with a kick-off session and initial discovery workshops so that they could better understand our business. This also posed an opportunity for us to align our brand internally.

From our discussions, they created a set of style tiles that demonstrated different visual directions. We conducted perception tests, comparing sample screens based on their designs with our existing app as well as our competitor’s.

The team applied the new visual direction to our happy path flow before solidifying the sketch UI kit. They looked at the components that didn’t show up on the main screens and bundled the assets into the kit.

What is the team composition?

The team consisted of the director of product design, a UI designer, a UX designer, and a project manager. Occasionally, there was also an account representative.

How did you come to work with Eight Bit Studios?

We went through the typical RFP process, engaging several local Chicago shops. Eventually, we heard of them by word of mouth through my colleagues. They had a good vibe and focused on app work, so we felt comfortable moving forward with them.

What is the status of this engagement?

Their work lasted from April–August 2018.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

We’re currently redeveloping the apps using their designs, so nothing is live yet. That being said, both our internal team and perception testers have been receptive to the new visual direction. It’s bolder, modern, and more impactful. We’re using their work to help standardize the look of our web products.

How did Eight Bit Studios perform from a project management standpoint?

For the most part, we did weekly design sprints, and they delivered everything on time. The team would send us work for review, and we’d meet the following day to talk about it and brainstorm tasks for the next sprint. After each session, the project manager would post our meeting notes. They would also send out reports on the overall project status. We coordinated the project using Basecamp, setting up checkpoints to ensure constant communication.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They’re a smaller shop with a quirky, more casual culture.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No, I can’t think of anything specific.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

If you’re looking for a lean team that’s quick and responsive, Eight Bit Studios would be a great fit. They’re a small, boutique shop that’s appropriate for startups and have a more organic process, overall.

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

iOS Mobile App Dev for Chore Management Platform

“Their internal organization and discipline are extremely helpful to us and they keep our projects on track.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
3.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
May 2016 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Eight Bit Studios overhauled an app for family chore management. They added financial functionality, designed user-friendly UI/UX, and embellished over 80% of the existing content and structure.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
Ada Vaughan
CEO, Chore Check
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Eight Bit Studios allowed the app to become a revenue stream, which has had a dramatic effect on the business. They have a systematic methodology and are strong communicators. They take a personal interest in the projects they support and act as a partner.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the CEO of Chore Check, an app for parents to track their kids’ household chores and pay their allowance on prepaid debit cards. 

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Eight Bit Studios?

We had another company build us a very basic first version, but wanted a development organization to help us with complicated new tech integration and enable a new piece of functionality.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We started with an intake meeting where we described the existing functionality and gave them access to review our code. We outlined our goals for growing the business and they came back with an estimate for the first round of development. We had a long list of things that we wanted to prioritize for a customer-facing iOS app for the App Store.

They started with our existing app and rewrote or embellished over 80% of it, including all the functionality for integrating the prepaid debit cards. They connected all the financial services, then we had an iterative process to make minor changes. There were a lot of pieces and services to add, including at least three financial technologies necessary to make the whole thing function properly. They also did all the UI/UX design on the web and iOS versions.

What is the team composition?

We have a project manager and three people who worked on iOS development. We started with one project manager and were assigned a new one after a reorganization. We also have a principal person who did all the backend and API development work. We also had a senior designer and a couple of account assistants. In all, we had a team of about 10 people.

How did you come to work with Eight Bit Studios?

My partner knew them from a previous project. We did talk to a couple of other companies but didn’t do a lot of quoting. Eight Bit had a strong lead, thanks to my partner’s knowledge of their work.

How much have you invested with them?

We’ve spent around $200,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together around May 2016. Development is still ongoing and we just recently completed a small update with them.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

The version of the app they completed was our first real revenue stream, which had a dramatic impact and helped monetize our business. Getting all the financial pieces into place was no small task and we’re really pleased with the result. They were pivotal in scoping the whole project out and running tests. Their methodology was very systematic and they were really careful about timing updates so we didn’t interrupt our users.

Families love our app and find it useful. They can assign any kind of task to their kids and some parents get very creative with the chores or behavioral things they choose to incentivize for their children. They like the friendly interface that is easy to work with.

How did Eight Bit Studios perform from a project management standpoint?

Their real strengths lie in communication. If I put something in Basecamp, it always gets attended to. Even if they can’t update something immediately, they put it into their schedule and it doesn’t get overlooked. Their internal organization and discipline are extremely helpful to us and they keep our projects on track.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They really believe in the projects they work on and are selective about what they accept.  Even though they were vendors, they act like a partner. When a user has a problem and our support can’t figure it out, we can loop them in and they are just as determined to fix the issue as we are. They really care about us, which goes a long way in making the collaboration enjoyable and effective.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I can’t think of anything offhand they should improve. It took us a while to get used to how militant they were about putting everything into Basecamp. We resisted for a while, but once we got into the habit, we saw how useful having one system to track everything was. It kept us from overlooking tasks and operated as a central hub for the project.

5.0
Overall Score I’m very pleased with their work.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They’re great at making conservative promises and then overdelivering.
  • 3.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    Their prices are fair, but high.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    I'm very confident in the quality of the work.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I’ve already referred them.

UI/UX Mobile App Design for Insurance Company

“ … they brought in their intellectual capital and helped us accomplish many things.”

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Apr. - July 2018
Project summary: 

Working collaboratively with an in-house team, Eight Bit Studios helped develop a prototype of a mobile application and assisted with UI/UX design.

The Reviewer
 
10,000+ Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
Tom Dell'Aringa
UX Strategist, Allstate
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Knowledgeable and experienced, Eight Bit Studios was instrumental in accelerating the project timeline. They made recommendations without taking over the project and worked quickly and effectively to accomplish all goals.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I'm a UX manager at Allstate.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Eight Bit Studios?

We wanted to create a new design system for our mobile application. Our in-house team was leading the project, but we needed a company to help us accelerate the process.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Eight Bit Studios came in for a kickoff meeting, where we planned our sprints and explained to them what we wanted to accomplish in phase one. Then, they helped us with prototyping and animation. We wanted to use a Card component in our apps, making the process simple and effective, so we took two weeks to work on that and gave them some direction. After that, we had collaborative sessions every Monday and then met again on Fridays to go over everything they had accomplished.

What is the team composition?

We worked with an architect, a visual designer, and a project manager.

How did you come to work with them?

We were not happy with the agencies we used in the past, so we were looking for a local company that had experience with native mobile applications. We came across Eight Bit Studios via a random search. After we looked at their website and examples of their work, we decided to invite them for an interview.

How much have you invested with them?

We spent about $80,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We worked with them from April–July 2018.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

They definitely accelerated our timeline. They were able to follow directions and didn't try to take too much control. It was a complex project, but they brought in their intellectual capital and helped us accomplish many things. Now, we can try to build the application.

How did they perform from a project management standpoint?

We had two meetings a week–our team went there every Monday and they came to our office on Fridays. We also communicated via Basecamp, Slack, and email during the week. In addition, they documented everything they were doing.

What did you find most impressive about them?

I appreciated the fact that they didn't try to take over the project. Agencies often want to put their mark on the project and come with their own ideas. But we made it clear upfront that we would be leading the project and they were respectful of that, so it was a very healthy relationship. We told them how to help us and they worked collaboratively with us on the design.

Are there any areas they could improve?

It's always better to do more work in-person. They were only able to come on-site once a week, so our team had to go there on Mondays. We would have preferred it if they made more effort to come to our office twice a week and our team didn't have to travel.

5.0
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

Web & Mobile App Dev for Job Recruitment Tool

"What they have produced has fit the bill and worked seamlessly."

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Jan. 2017 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Eight Bit created an app MVP for an HR conference to help recruiters connect with candidates in unconventional ways. The team ultimately will create 2 apps, in a full-service build, from design to end product.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
Lawrence Kearns
Founder, YOURistics
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The team created a great MVP for the conference and multiple HR  professionals expressed interested in its further development. The team has met all deadlines and communicates well during development. They delegate projects according to each developer's strength, resulting in outstanding work.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the founder of YOURistics, a startup in the talent recruiting space.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Eight Bit Studios?

I wrote a paper on a prospective new ecosystem in which candidates and companies can find each other through unorthodox or new means other than the curated resume and job description process.

Eight Bit Studios helped me prototype a desktop application for companies who were recruiting and a mobile phone app for the candidates searching for new opportunities. They developed the project from scratch.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

The first objective I had was to make a presentation at an HR conference in Chicago. Starting with the rudimentary ideas I had, they developed a working prototype that could be demonstrated at the conference with the goal of explaining the new ecosystem idea. They developed that prototype and then the animation sequence of that prototype sufficiently for me to explain the idea.

Subsequently, we embarked on developing the mobile application for the candidates’ side. They brainstormed and enriched the idea while paying attention to the platform’s graphic imagery, as well as the utility of it. The culmination of this, which is in the works now, is a video that aggregates both sides of the application to more fully explain the idea and the startup.

The biggest challenge for me was to come up with a visualization of the application, which was actually spatial given my orientation. The biggest contribution they made is a way to create visual matching that's user-friendly on multiple different devices and that meets the criteria. They also provided rudimentary graphics and imaging for the company, and suggestions for scripting in a way to explain the idea.

What is the team dynamic?

I have dealt with ten to twelve individuals, including the three founders and a project manager, the business manager, a graphics person, and the software development team. I had contact with all of those individuals including their user experience experts. It has been a collaboration involving multiple disciplines within their company.

How did you come to work with Eight Bit Studios?

I interviewed multiple companies in Chicago before selecting them. I first came across them in Built In Chicago and then received a referral. A published report described the ten best software companies in Chicago. It was from multiple points of contact, and then I went right from that point to an interview.

They were not afraid to challenge my ideas and preconceptions. Rather than somebody who was just going to draw the project that I wanted or realize the project just as I described, they were engaged to really try to improve, scrutinize, and question it. They were the most challenging, and I thought that was a refreshing take rather than just executing something that I already laid out.

How much have you invested with them?

We've spent around $60,000 at this point.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with them in January 2017, and we're still working with them.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

The best result would be the reactions of HR professionals who have seen the opportunities side of the platform. The feedback was almost uniformly positive, and they wanted to see further development. Eight Bit has been exceptionally good with sticking to deadlines and our budget. They hit all the dates and met or exceed every budget. What they have produced has fit the bill and worked seamlessly.

How did Eight Bit Studios perform from a project management standpoint?

They use Basecamp, a Chicago-born product, because I'm doing my other work as well there. It's something I can check into when I have availability. The project manager keeps it up-to-date, so it's very well-organized and allows for the collaboration of multiple team members to collaborate. When we reach out to them, their response is immediate. If not, they respond within the hour or day.

What did you find most impressive about them?

From a startup point of view, since they have so much experience doing applications and maintaining them, and they also have experience starting companies from the ground-up, they bring a little more scrutiny to the process and understand the full lifecycle of the application. I found that to be pretty unique, a deep experience from the older founder onto the coding abilities of the youngest developer. They have a good range of experience and perspectives that are informing decisions on the development.

Are there any areas they could improve?

Nothing really comes to mind at this point. As we go further into the project, I might have other points of view, but I have nothing very critical to say. We've had garden-variety technological problems like with group calls or video calls, but it's pretty minor.

4.5
Overall Score It has been a good experience to date. I look forward to advancing the project further.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They've hit every deadline, even ones that we added at the last minute or late in the eleventh-hour. They've met all deadlines without fail.
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They're a very good value. Since they rely on many experts within a team, there's some overhead to organize that. That gives the best talent, which is more expensive than a small team.
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They've been exceptional in terms of their own ambition for the quality of the product and pushing that envelope more than they had to.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I would say my experience has been extremely positive. I would recommend them quickly.

Development for Augmented-Reality Gaming Platform

"They’re very professional, friendly, and eager to deploy their deep technical knowledge."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Feb. - May 2016
Project summary: 

Eight Bit Studios conducted broad mobile and platform diagnostics while developing a gaming app and implementing Bluetooth connections to AR hardware.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
Mark Ladd
CEO, LyteShot
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Thanks to Eight Bit Studios’ broad skill set, product development finished on time and within budget, in time for meetings with prospective investors and advisors. The team’s proactive communication and problem-solving abilities ensured a completely functional solution. 

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of LyteShot, which is an interactive, augmented-reality gaming platform. We combine mobile gaming apps and Internet of Things (IoT) with augmented-reality smart glasses for an immersive gaming experience anywhere.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Eight Bit Studios?

Our CTO had recently departed the company, and the technology needed to be completed to stay on track with our product development roadmap. We asked Eight Bit Studios to not only come in and forensically review the platform for its operability, but also piece the platform back together for us. It required a learning curve of the architecture on both the mobile side and the platform server side, as well as the hardware (IoT) side. One thing that drew us to Eight Bit Studios is that through our initial interviews with them, they were extremely well-rounded in each of these facets. Other companies were specialized in one area or another, but Eight Bit Studios demonstrated a broad knowledge in these different areas.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We worked with four or five members of their team, and likely more people were working behind the scenes. They went through all our code on GitHub, the Amazon server side, as well as our mobile applications to diagnose and debug. From the peripheral side, they were also working on our code that ties back to the servers.

Out platform enables the player to utilize the Lyter/ LytePuck peripherals anywhere by wirelessly connecting back to your phone via Bluetooth, and then all of the in-game data is then sent back through the cloud to the servers and has to make that round-trip in a very short time.

So, they were working on the server side code as well as the mobile game code and the peripheral code, ensuring that all those were talking to each other. They did a really great job reconstructing it.

How did you come to work with Eight Bit Studios?

We had received a referral from some people in the tech development community and afterward, we went online looking for a team that had all the skill sets we needed. We found companies specializing in one or two areas, but not all the facets we needed for our platform. We had read really positive reviews about Eight Bit Studios online, and it might have been on Clutch so we confirmed that we would be in good hands.

How much have you invested with Eight Bit Studios?

It was approximately $50,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with Eight Bit Studios in February of 2016, and everything was completed in May/June of that year.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

We put Eight Bit under some tight deadlines to get all the work done so we could go in front of investors and prospective clients, and they did it. I don’t know if that’s a metric per se, but it was one that we valued. They were able to effectively ‘peel back the layers of the onion’ to find the root of the problems, and they found a lot of things that they re-coded to make it more seamless.

Without Eight Bit Studios, we likely would have had to go to multiple shops in order to get the work done, whereas Eight Bit had all the expertise under one roof. They’re a very collaborative multi-disciplinary team which is exactly what you want to attack a complex problem. They probably have some of the best client services I’ve seen, as they were really hands-on, all the way to the top to the bottom of the organization, and everyone knew the issues and goals as well as the timeframes involved. We were impressed with that.

How did Eight Bit Studios perform from a project management standpoint?

They’re excellent. Jennifer, the project manager, did a great job of keeping us updated and corralling the resources internally to make sure we made our deadlines. Knowing that we were on a tight crunch, she was very calm, cool, and collected – grace under pressure. Because we’re local, we were able to have in-person meetings, but we would also do conference calls as well.

What did you find most impressive about Eight Bit Studios?

It’s their customer service, as well as their deep knowledge and willingness to dig into a problem. They had to learn a lot about our platform in a short amount of time, which they did very capably. And there’s a great vibe emitted by their whole studio. They’re very professional, friendly, and eager to deploy their deep technical knowledge.

Are there any areas Eight Bit Studios could improve?

We had a tough problem to solve, and there’s no right or wrong way to get there. We were pretty pleased with how they went about it and kept us up to date. We don’t have anything bad to say - we were very pleased.

5.0
Overall Score They were just solid. We were pleasantly surprised after working with some other shops that weren’t able to figure it out.
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    We’re really pleased that they were able to jump in. There may have been a mobilization issue early on. As always, the client wants it the next day. They were coming off some projects, so it was more of a timing issue. They did a great job in general.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    I think we got everything we asked for, and we’re very pleased.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They were very thorough in their findings. The project manager provided updates, as well as the project team. They did a thorough analysis of our code and diagnostics, and then provided the remedial action plan and gave us options.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I’ve already recommended them two or three times.

Mobile App Development for Digital Health and Wellness Tool

"They believed in [the project] almost as much as we did, and it felt like we were all part of a team."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Oct. 2015 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Eight Bit Studios developed an Android mobile app from a given set of APIs. They assisted with internal testing and user testing. If clinical trials are successful, Eight Bit Studios will extend the app to iOS.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Chicago Metro Area
CEO, Digital Health Solution
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The completed Android app has received positive feedback with regards to the look, feel, and usability. Eight Bit Studios' team is very responsive, communicative, and easy to work with, which has led to a long-term, successful partnership.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

Our business creates APIs to help support behavior change based on scientific research. I’m the CEO.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Eight Bit Studios?

We had a weight change intervention that we wanted to take from a paper version to an API version. We wanted to evaluate that, create a proof of principle mobile app for Android that used that API, and test the combination in a clinical trial. We couldn’t afford to hire individuals in each of the roles that needed to be done.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

In terms of creating the API, we had a certain set of rules and responses. We wanted the API to take a set of inputs and apply a set of rules to generate responses which is what Eight Bit Studios developed. We were working under a research budget, so we were balancing a desire for something that performs well with something that is cost effective. They were great in working with us on that. We took that API and corresponding documentation, and they worked with us to do usability testing. We brought in other developers and had them review the documentation to see if they could perform the associated tasks. We wanted to be sure that the documentation was clear.

The second phase was to design an app that uses the API. That leveraged the full spectrum of what Eight Bit Studios does in terms of building the technology but also the design side. We did internal testing and we also just completed external usability testing. They were able to design the look, feel, and color scheme, the logos, and visual representations of what the platform does. If the clinical trial goes well with the Android version, we will expand into iOS as well.

How did you come to work with Eight Bit Studios?

I did a coding program to learn Ruby on Rails, and through that network, Eight Bit Studios was recommended to me. We looked at other firms, but the dynamic with their team and their expertise was the reason we chose them. Eight Bit Studios really understood what we were doing and believed in it.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with Eight Bit Studios in October 2015, and the work is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

The app is currently still in clinical trial testing. Before we market the app, we want to be able to say we’ve subjected it to clinical trials and what the results are. Of the users in our usability testing, none had a major issue. There was no inability to achieve any of the designated tasks. The comments we received were that it is a very user-friendly app, aesthetically pleasing to the eye, and has a nice interface. One user commented that they liked the fact that if you enter your email in one place, it auto-populates in other places, and you just have to confirm it’s correct. The completion rate on all the tasks was 100% with no critical errors. The app is reliable regarding bug reports.

How did Eight Bit Studios perform from a project management standpoint?

Eight Bit Studios has this phenomenal tool that I’ve never seen before. They built it themselves. It shows where the project is regarding timeline and budget. It’s great to be able to visualize that at a glance because those are both important for me as the client. I love that I can access that easily and know where we are. They are very responsive. When we reach certain points of the project, they’ll email and ask if I want a meeting to go over things. When we had the meeting, all the people involved were there. My team likes their team so much that when we were doing t-shirts for the app, my team insisted that we purchase them for Eight Bit Studios as well. We have a regular weekly email from them, and during build time we had weekly calls with the project manager and whoever else needed to be on the call from their team. They’re local for me, so if I had wanted to have in-person meetings, they would have been happy to do that.

What did you find most impressive about Eight Bit Studios?

One of our concerns when working with external development shops on other projects was they don’t understand what you’re doing, and they don’t believe it in as much as you do. Eight Bit Studios always felt like they valued what we were doing. They believed in it almost as much as we did, and it felt like we were all part of a team. Everyone is always commenting on what a delight they are to work with. It’s been a great experience. Everyone there seems to love their job, and that delight passes over to our team. Eight Bit Studios' team members work hard, but they’re fun and funny at the same time. We really enjoyed that.

Are there any areas Eight Bit Studios could improve?

I don’t think so.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    If we had our own development team, the hourly rate would have been lower, but then I would’ve had to have my own development team.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I have already recommended Eight Bit Studios many times.

Web and Mobile App Dev for Supply Chain Firm

"These guys blended in right away. ... Eight Bit Studios had no difficulty understanding what we were trying to do."

Quality: 
4.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$1,000,000 - $9,999,999
 
Feb. 2016 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Eight Bit Studios developed an iOS and Android mobile app for a supply chain firm. They worked smoothly alongside the in-house UX team and built the apps using Swift. Their team also provided a QA resource.

The Reviewer
 
1,001-5,000 Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
Ilhan Kolko
Vice President of Product Strategy and Innovation, Echo Global Logistics
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

During beta testing, the apps have received positive feedback. The developed solution saves time and increases productivity. Eight Bit Studios’ team has impressive project management skills and UX talent. Their early-on success has allowed for a valuable long-term relationship.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

Echo Global Logistics is a non-asset 3rd party logistics company.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Eight Bit Studios?

We were trying to build a solution for our truckloads transactional brokerage floor that would enable us to get tracking update more efficiently for the freight that we cover through the truckload carriers. We wanted to build a mobile app for the truck drivers and a web portal for the dispatchers who these drivers normally report status tracking and updates to. We don’t own any trucks, so shipments are not done with our trucks. We find trucks and our shippers' shipments go onto those trucks. The shipment piece was a challenge because we couldn’t get updates on the shipments and sometimes multiple people were calling the carriers. We wanted to build this proprietary solution to collect that tracking data along with the shipping documents that normally go along with the transactions.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We included Eight Bit Studios along with our internal UX [user experience] team and product team in the discovery process. Eight Bit Studios provided a project manager, a UX architect, and a digital analyst. The first idea was to get the life cycle of a transaction documented. This involved user journey definition, business analysis, product analysis, and capability analysis. Once we found the scope of the capabilities that we wanted to build, then we included their mobile app developers for iOS and Android.

We use Swift, and our in-house developers use C# services. We used seven or eight resources from their team. The project manager and UX architect were always with us. We also used a QA resource from them.

How did you come to work with Eight Bit Studios?

Eight Bit Studios is right around the corner from our office. Our CEO ended up meeting one of their co-founders at an event, and that was around the time we were talking about this mobility capability. We also saw some of their previous work. When we started the discovery process, we gave them a short contract for them to prove their value. These guys blended in right away. We have a unique business with a lot of complexities, but Eight Bit Studios had no difficulty understanding what we were trying to do. After that initial contract, we gave them the long-term project to complete. We did look at two other firms and ran the idea by them, but Eight Bit Studios was by far the best fit for what we were trying to do.

How much have you invested with Eight Bit Studios?

We have spent more than $1 million with Eight Bit Studios over the course of our relationship.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with Eight Bit Studios in February 2016, and the work is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Their UX team is phenomenal, and they blended really well with our in-house UX team. We have an ongoing retainer for a certain number of hours per week. They help us with other projects as well. Now that they’ve become domain experts in what we’re doing, their work is very relevant. We did a merger late last year at Echo by acquiring one of our larger competitors. The release just happened because we needed to wait for everything to clear with the merger. The beta program has just been out for a couple of weeks. The feedback we’re getting so far is really positive. This morning I got an email from a carrier saying it’s the best piece of technology they’ve seen in this industry.

We have pretty defined goals, and we’ll be able to realize those. The check calls are done by the same people that find trucks for us. Any check calls they make on a shipment that’s in transit is a loss of productivity. We’d rather have them be on the phones finding trucks for us. On average, the 7–8 check calls they make per load when they are managing 50–60 loads at once, will be eliminated. We’re cutting easily by 80% off the outbound calls that we make to the carriers and drivers. Also, when it comes to shipment document collection, on average, it takes about 7–10 days to collect the documents. This solution allows us to get them within the first 48 hours.

How did Eight Bit Studios perform from a project management standpoint?

We use consulting firms all the time, and I feel their project management is really good. Heather is the project manager, and she did a phenomenal job. That was one thing we were really impressed with. For a company the size of Eight Bit Studios, we didn’t expect the level of project management they had. We were ready to assign one of our project managers, but we didn’t need to. We used Basecamp for high-level communication, content sharing, and reporting. We normally use JIRA, so we had them use that for the development cycle.

What did you find most impressive about Eight Bit Studios?

Their UX talent is exceptional, and their project management capabilities are very impressive. We’re a young, growing company, so our culture is pretty casual. Eight Bit Studios was very easy to do business with in that regard. They’re very close to our office, so it was very common for us to go work there and have them come in and work here. Everyone felt at home.

Are there any areas Eight Bit Studios ould improve?

I’ve talked to Eight Bit Studios about this already. When dealing with enterprise software as we do, what Eight Bit Studios can do is not typically enough. We have to combine their resources and deliverables with something our in-house team can do such as C#. They don’t have C# resources, and they don’t claim to have them. If you’re building B2B applications, that does complicate things in the backend. They could have a continuous partner that does that type of work so that when they come across these types of projects, they could be a one-stop shop for the client. We don’t get the full package because we still have to write code against what they’re building.

4.5
Overall Score This was a difficult project. Eight Bit Studios was able to work everything out with us. The final product, as one our carriers said, is one of the best in the industry if not the best.
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    We didn’t run into major timeline issues because of Eight Bit Studios' team. With the merger we were going through, it was not an easy time at Echo, but I think Eight Bit Studios was able to work through everything really well.
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    Eight Bit Studios was not expensive for a boutique shop. They were right on for a company our size and our needs in our market here in Chicago.
  • 4.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    Their UX artifacts discovery deserves a perfect score. There is a lack of knowledge of enterprise technology, and they don’t have C# coders. The applications we received were bug-free, but there were issues when the app interacted with our services.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I’ve already recommended Eight Bit Studios to people I know in this industry in Chicago.

Mobile App Development for Financial Services Company

"They have the best project management that I’ve ever worked with."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Sept. 2016 - Feb. 2017
Project summary: 

Eight Bit Studios perform a rehab of an an iOS mobile app to supplement a pre-existing web app. Picking up the work from a previous developer, the team revamped the UI/UX design and provided Swift development.

The Reviewer
 
201-500 Employees
 
Elgin, Illinois
Lead Front End Developer and Designer, Financial Services Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The app is in the approval process for compliance with a parent company, and some updates are being planned. Since delivery, the app has been stable, and it works across multiple iPhone devices. The Eight Bit team was independent, communicated well, and responsive to questions. 

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

My company is a financial services company where users can compare credit cards. I’m a lead frontend developer and designer. I design and code landing pages as well as design and display ads.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Eight Bit Studios?

We wanted to develop an app to supplement our website, which allows users to compare credit cards using certain criteria and then to see the results. They can then look at the credit card detailed information or add the credit card to a comparison piece where they could compare several cards side by side. When they decide which card they would like, the app directs them to the browser that leads to the issuer’s landing page where they can apply for the card.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We had an iOS app created before we started working with Eight Bit, but we weren’t happy with it. We contacted Eight Bit and told them to do what they think is best. They took the project from UI/UX [user interface/ user experience] to design, and then development using Swift to code the app. Anytime there was an issue; they would get together as a team and come up with a solution. I also gave my suggestions which they took into consideration but did what they thought was best in the end. We gave input on certain milestones and design. They used a web service where they could load the designs, and we could add comments to it which was really helpful. They added a lot of nice touches to the app which is definitely what we were looking for.

How did you come to work with Eight Bit Studios?

My boss was looking online for app developers in the Chicago area and found Eight Bit and other firms. We ended up using a different contractor in the beginning, and we also had an in-house designer that was working on the app. We got back in touch with Eight Bit when the first contractor didn’t give us what we were looking for.

How much have you invested with Eight Bit Studios?

We spent over $100,000 on the project.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with Eight Bit Studios in September 2016, and their part of the project was completed February 2017 including revisions requested by banks and us.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

The app hasn’t been approved yet, but it was nothing they did. It’s a compliance issue that our parent company is helping us resolve. When it’s approved, we have a couple of updates we need to do. The stability of the app is very good. I tested the app across different iPhone devices, and it works fine. If Eight Bit finds any glitches, they let us know and, they’ll take care of it. Everyone in our company likes the app. The banks are excited that they have another avenue to showcase their cards.

How did Eight Bit Studios perform from a project management standpoint?

The first few weeks we started off slowly because we weren’t used to working with this type of design firm. Other design firms we worked with, we felt like we had to direct them more than them providing us feedback. After we had got over that hump, everything went fantastic. Our project manager was very nice and communicated well. I ask a lot of questions, but she didn’t mind and was very responsive. Jim was the programmer, and he was fantastic. After we had got through the design phase, I worked mainly with our project manager and programmer. The programmer took care of any issues which made us feel like he was dedicated to us. We agreed on a process to give feedback that worked for both of us.

What did you find most impressive about Eight Bit Studios?

We wanted a website in an app, but with certain app features that we can’t have on the website. For the most part, Eight Bit delivered that aspect. There were different animations and different UX flow. I was really impressed with their project management. They have the best project management that I’ve ever worked with.

Are there any areas Eight Bit Studios could improve?

Nothing I can think of. The experience was pretty seamless with Eight Bit Studios.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Any delays were because of us.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    I don’t know the cost, but I would say it was worth it to work with Eight Bit Studios. We will know after we launch the app if the cost was worth it by how much money we make.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    Everything was very seamless. Eight Bit Studios delivered on every aspect we were hoping they would.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    It was easy to work with Eight Bit Studios. They were very nice and took care of any issues we had.

App Development for Museum Focused Nonprofit

"The amazing thing about it is not just that Eight Bit Studios is coming in under budget, but they're not skimping on anything."

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

Eight Bit Studios developed an educational app for the iPad Mini. They will continue to work with the client in the future to update and expand the app.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Chicago, IL
Becca Weiss
President, Museums In Hand
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Eight Bit Studios worked with the client to build an app that would not only achieve their vision but also create a solid framework for the organization’s goals moving forward. The app has received positive feedback from both students and teachers.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your organization.

Museums In Hand is a non-profit organization that does museum outreach to underfunded schools through video technology. We do virtual field trips. We bring the apps into classrooms on iPads, along with lesson plans and that field trip experience into classes that don't have the resources to explore their local resources any other way.

What is your position?

I'm the President of the organization.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What business challenge were you trying to address with Eight Bit Studios?

This has been a pilot project, we're launching this as a concept to try and move forward and to expand our impact through reaching different museums, schools and funding opportunities. Now that the app is done, we can actually test how students respond to the technology in the classroom.

SOLUTION

Please describe what product they provided.

It was an iOS-based app for iPad Mini.

How did you come to work with Eight Bit Studios?

We did our research, went through, and looked at some of the bigger names in the Chicago area. It was important for me to be local because I was definitely interested in working more hands-on and looking for a company that I could grow with in the future. As this is just our pilot project, I'll be coming back and working and expanding, so it was important for me to be close to the people I was working with.

Ultimately, by looking at Eight Bit’s past work and speaking with them, I knew that they were a company that really got onboard with their projects. They shared a lot of our values, and I was confident they could produce a really beautiful product at a really competitive rate. It was the best of all worlds.

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

The project ended up coming in under $20,000. It was the first time I'd seen anyone come in under budget so dramatically. I was really blown away by that!

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any statistics or metrics from this engagement?

The students absolutely love working with the app. It was really exciting to see. The students understood it right away. It was very intuitive. They were having a lot of fun. Students were enjoying it in a, sort of, game or entertainment-type capacity rather than it being educational. All the students we tested it on were really positive in their feedback. The teachers were excited to see them engaging with museum content.

How did Eight Bit Studios perform from a project management standpoint?

They have consistently delivered on time and on budget. Their system of working on Base Camp and keeping everyone organized that way is great. Their project manager was really wonderful and flexible and great at keeping everything together.

What distinguishes Eight Bit Studios from other providers?

The amazing thing about it is not just that Eight Bit Studios is coming in under budget, but they're not skimping on anything. Nothing feels rushed. Nothing feels left out. They're just very efficient. They're very honest about what you need to do at each stage of development. For us, they looked at us they said, "You're a non-profit. You're just starting out with a concept; you need X, Y, Z. These are cool features but they're going to bring your price way up, and it may not be what you need to do at this time." They really were honest.

I came into this with very little tech background, so I could have been the easiest person for them to go, "Oh no, you absolutely need to include all of the additional features". I would have accepted anything, but they were completely straightforward. That was really comforting for me.

Is there anything Eight Bit Studios could have improved or done differently?

Honestly, no. It was an incredibly positive experience. I'm looking forward to working with them in the future. I think they really set us up so that this app isn't just a throw-away app. I think they'll be able to build on it so it wasn't a wasted first run. They've really created something that will be in place going forward, just expanding it to get cooler.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They were incredibly on top of things and really flexible.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I've already referred them to two.

App Development for Search Engine Startup

"I think [Eight Bit Studios] can serve many different clients well."

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

Eight Bit Studios redesigned the client’s existing app to provide a simplified, streamlined user-experience and to address issues with consistency and navigation.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Chicago, IL
Barry Malkin
Founder, Rivi
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Eight Bit Studios was selected for this project because of their strong aesthetic, and the new design has received very positive feedback. The client appreciates Eight Bit Studio’s flexibility and professionalism throughout the project.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your organization. What is your position?

I'm the founder of Rivi. Rivi is a new type of search engine that allows you to search for products and places based upon trusted recommendations actively, and contribute your own unique finds.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What business challenge were you trying to address with Eight Bit Studios?

Before Eight Bit, our previous user experience design had inconsistent navigation and problems throughout. We needed our UX [user experience] and UI [user interface] to be streamlined to make a more user-friendly product.

SOLUTION

Please describe the scope of their involvement in detail.

Eight Bit's main role on this project was to simplify and streamline the UX and UI of my existing application.

How did you come to work with Eight Bit Studios?

We were looking for user experience designers in Chicago and looking at various websites and their work products. Eight Bit's aesthetic was something that stood out and that I was looking for.

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

Our design project has been on the smaller side.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any statistics or metrics from this engagement?

It's early, but I think people universally love the design. They think it's outstanding.

What distinguishes Eight Bit Studios from other providers?

What I like about Eight Bit is that they're flexible enough for the startup or small project and professional enough to take on greater challenges and bigger scope projects. I think they can serve many different clients well.

Is there anything Eight Bit Studios could have improved or done differently?

Eight Bit is a busy team, so they could do a bit better on managing expectations on when certain tasks will be completed.

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