The best mobile and web apps in Chicago

GOLD VERIFIED

Ambitious organizations wanting custom apps and websites turn to us because we use empathy to find out what people need and craft solutions that make a meaningful impact. Eight Bit Studios has everything you need for your mobile or web initiative all under one roof in the Windy City.

 

 

 
$75,000+
 
$150 - $199 / hr
 
10 - 49
 Founded
2008
Show all +
Chicago, IL
headquarters
  • 350 W Erie St, #300
    Chicago, IL 60654
    United States

Portfolio

Key clients: 

Some of the passionate groups with which we’ve worked: Echo Global Logistics, UL, New Balance, Trident, Hasbro, GrowIt, LyteShot

EdNavigator Image

EdNavigator

EdNavigator helps families and students find a path to success in school and beyond by connecting them to expert Navigators who provide ongoing, personalized educational support. We built their web and mobile apps to improve and scale this process.

MDRT Member Image

MDRT Member

The MDRT Member app is the digital manifestation of the networking opportunities and great thought-leadership that MDRT provides all in your pocket.

MDRT Academy Image

MDRT Academy

The MDRT Academy is a learning platform designed to help insurance advisors reach MDRT qualification levels and achieve long-term success.

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Vivid Seats

The third-largest online ticketing platform offering customers the best tools to learn, shop, share, plan, and organize their live event experiences.

GrowIt! Image

GrowIt!

GrowIt! is a mobile platform designed to let people share their garden, promote plants they love, and help others steer clear of plants that don’t perform

RunBetter Image

RunBetter

The RunBetter app allows people to train for real marathon, half marathon, and triathlon courses on any treadmill.

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Varo

We designed The VARO WiFi System Controller Mobile app to deliver multi-room control over your portable speakers via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

EchoDrive Image

EchoDrive

The EchoDrive web portal and mobile app provide carriers with more flexibility, transparency, and control. 

An overview of our approach to UX Research for Echo Drive — A load management system for tracking and communication between drivers, carriers, and transportation professionals.

Chicago Designathon

Eight Bit Studios and The Design Museum of Chicago teamed up to host a day-long Designathon event, benefitting One For One. This event allowed participants to put their creative skills into play as we explored advancing One For One’s mission across the digital landscape. One For One is a Chicago-based non-profit organization committed to inspiring peace and hope for children living in underserved communities. For more than a

decade, One For One has been providing programs and resources for youth affected by violence in Chicago.

Eight Bit Studios Design Dash: CTA Edition

We had an idea! We call it the Eight Bit Studios Design Dash. It's a chance for our UI and UX design teams to come together, outside of typical project work, to choose one of our dream clients and quickly collaborate together to bring an idea to life… heck, maybe it even becomes real one day!

Reviews

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Application Development Partnership for Financial Services Startup

"[Eight Bit Studios] work really hard, but they’re also a lot of fun. They take everything they do very seriously."

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
Project summary: 

Eight Bit Studios helped with the development of an online payments and banking platform and are currently assisting with expansions into mobile banking.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Chicago Metro Area
President, Financial Services Startup
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Eight Bit Studios replaced the client’s previous development partner and has since collaborated well with their in-house team. The client appreciates Eight Bit Studios’ solid strategic design and technical mix and looks forward to a continued partnership.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your organization. What is your role and responsibilities?

I’m the president and co-founder of a payments company focused on enabling brands to offer payments services. We have online banking, and we’re in the process of building mobile banking.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What was your goal for working with Eight Bit Studios?

We’ve been working with Eight Bit Studios for a while now. We utilize them as a quality outsourced development shop. We had started to develop our platform with a mix of our internal team and an external shop. The first outsourced shop was not a good fit for our team, so we looked to Eight Bit Studios to help complete development.

SOLUTION

What was your process for selecting Eight Bit Studios with which to work?

We went through a vetting process. We felt like Eight Bit and their founding partners had a solid strategic design and technical mix and that was what I was looking for. We also evaluated their previous work, and it was all really strong.

When was the work completed?

It’s ongoing work.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Is there anything unique or special about Eight Bit Studios that really makes them stand out compared to other business partners?

It’s hard to put a finger on it. We really look for culture fit. I think the culture fit between their team and our team just resonated. They work really hard, but they’re also a lot of fun. They take everything they do very seriously. It was a joy to interact with them and that makes things easier when things get stressful. It’s tough when you’re trying to develop something brand new to find relevant examples of work that applies to what you’re trying to do. You don’t want to pick a partner and tell them to build it just like they built an app for some other client. We were starting with a baseline product that we already had in place and we needed them to adapt to it and go further, and they seemed to grasp that. 

Looking back on the work so far, is there any area that you think they could improve upon or that you might do differently?

I don’t have anything specific. They’ve been a great partner. Early on, we might have had some project management issues but they’ve been corrected. They’ve been quick to adjust when we’ve had concerns.

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

Mobile Application Development for Art Gallery App

"The team at Eight Bit Studios was really good at listening to my directive, which was to create an app for somebody who isn’t a natural app user."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
3.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
Project summary: 

Eight Bit Studios developed an art app intended to be accessible to even the most novice of users. They also helped the client to implement a digital strategy for their business.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Chicago, IL
Cari Sacks
Founder, Curate
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Eight Bit Studios guided the client comfortably through their first app development. The client feels that Eight Bit Studios far exceeded their hopes of accessibility, building a remarkably intuitive app.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your organization. What is your role and responsibilities?

My company is a mobile app. It’s called Curate. It is an app that allows the user to see any piece of art sized correctly and placed in real time on any wall in their home or office. I’m the founder and CEO. 

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What was your goal for working with Eight Bit Studios? Please describe the scope of their work.

I went to Eight Bit Studios as a complete novice to create an app to serve this purpose. They developed the entire app and helped me to implement a digital strategy for my business.

SOLUTION

What was your process for selecting Eight Bit Studios with which to work?

I spoke to colleagues of mine in the technology industry in Chicago. I was recommended three or four different mobile agencies that were all local to the Chicago area. I researched all of them and spoke to a couple of them on the phone and thought Eight Bit Studios was the best match because they had been in the art world space previously.

Can you give a sense of the size of the initiative in dollar terms or a personnel work-hour figure?

It took most of a year to develop my app. Costing closer to the $200,000 side of the $50,000 to $200,000 bucket.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Is there anything unique or special about Eight Bit Studios that really makes them stand out compared to other business partners?

I think that what’s really great about the development Eight Bit Studios does is that they can keep the app intuitive, Most apps are not great, and they’re not that intuitive. But, Curate is extremely intuitive. The team at Eight Bit Studios was really good at listening to my directive, which was to create an app for somebody who isn’t a natural app user. They understood that I wanted an elderly person to be able to use this app. Curate walks you through each step, and there’s even a video to show you how to use it. Eight Bit Studios did a great job at making Curate extremely simple.

Looking back on the work so far, is there any area that you think they could improve upon or that you might do differently?

Eight Bit Studios is priced right near the going rate I found at every other local development shop. If I would do it again, I would have focused on a full business plan before I started with them. But, apps evolve every day and the business plan keeps changing. I was just going to have this be a .99¢ app, but as we went along it seemed like a great marketing tool for galleries. The business plan changed so the galleries could join it for a fee every month. I don’t know if it was possible or not, but I wish I would have been able to have the foresight to have the business plan before I started. 

5.0
Overall Score
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    There were one or two things they were a few days late on.
  • 3.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I already have several times.

Financial Services Platform Development

"[Eight Bit Studios] had the right set of services to work through our process and build a website."

Quality: 
4.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
3.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
2011 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Eight Bit Studios designed and developed an online platform that connects users with investment advisors. They continue to maintain the platform for the client.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Chicago Metro Area
CEO/Co-Founder, Online Financial Platform
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Eight Bit Studios offered the right services to give the client exactly what they needed and were truly engaged with the project. The client notes that Eight Bit Studios was also extremely flexible, easily scaling up or down when necessary.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your organization. What is your role and responsibilities?

I am the co-founder and CEO of an online platform that specializes in connecting individuals, families, and small institutional investors with independent investment advisors. 

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What was your goal for working with Eight Bit Studios?

We partnered with Eight Bit Studios to develop our online platform, prior to sending it to market.

Please describe the scope of their work.

Eight Bit Studios initially designed and developed the platform. They are still responsible for maintaining the platform.

SOLUTION

What was your process for selecting Eight Bit Studios with which to work?

We reached out to several online platform developers. After the initial outreach process, Eight Bit Studios seemed like the right fit for our project. The Eight Bit Studios team was very open, and they seemed to understand our concept and our service. It was fun to work with them. They had the right set of services to work through our process and build a website. That’s why we hired them.

Can you give a sense of the size of the initiative in dollar terms or a personnel work-hour figure?

The size of the project was in the $50,000 to $200,000 range.

When was the work completed?

We originally partnered with Eight Bit Studios in 2011. The platform is live now, and they maintain it. So, the project is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Are you satisfied with their performance? Is there anything unique or special about Eight Bit Studios that really makes them stand out compared to other business partners?

We are very satisfied with their performance. They are very flexible. They are terrific to work with, and they’re great with scaling up or down as necessary. 

Looking back on the work so far, is there any area that you think they could improve upon or that you might do differently?

Eight Bit Studios primarily focuses on making apps – more socially focused websites – unlike the platform they created for us. So, I’m not the perfect person to speak to that because we’re not the typical clients. However, overall, they did a great job.

4.5
Overall Score
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 3.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 4.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I would highly recommend Eight Bit Studios to anyone looking to create an app.

Front-end Development for Educational Web Application

"[Eight Bit Studios] do a very good job, and they’re easy to work with."

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

Eight Bit Studios designed the front end for a learning app, with the intention of creating a more intuitive, user-friendly, and aesthetically professional user experience.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 employees
 
Chicago Metro Area
Andrew Howard
Co-Founder and President, Wowzers
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Eight Bit Studios partnered effectively with the client’s backend team, producing a user-experience to meet all of their expectations. The client is extremely satisfied with the design and has received a great deal of positive feedback.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Please give a brief description of your company and your role.

We are Wowzers. We create math software for schools. I’m the president.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What was the business challenge that you were trying to address when you approached Eight Bit Studios?

We have a team that develops on the backend, and we were looking for a partner to help us with development on the front end, for design as well as getting elements ready for a Web programmer to work directly with.

SOLUTION

Can you go into a little bit of detail about the scope of the project?

Our application is a tool that allows teachers to find content that students can use and then see how they perform. We developed the student content: The lessons and tests. We also developed a backend system that delivers those to students that kind of deals with the nuts and bolts of authentication and so forth. When kids log in, the teachers can keep track, and they see how they’re doing.

We wanted to update that application to be able to be more intuitive and user friendly and additionally have some more professional-looking design elements. Eight Bit helped us brainstorm some changes to the user interface and then gave us code ready for an end design to plug into our existing backend.

What was your process for selecting Eight Bit Studios to work with in the first place?

We put out an RFP [request for proposal] and sent it out to a bunch of design studios. We got some proposals back. We liked how they responded particularly with regard to being able to provide us with the front-end design and partnered effectively like they were internal team members with our backend team.

Can you give a sense of the size of the initiative either in dollar cost range or personnel work hour estimate?

Around $50,000.

When was the project completed?

It’s still ongoing. It’s sort of an agile project for the time being, and we’ll probably continue to be working with them for another few months.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

In terms of the results of the project, is there any feedback or metrics you can share?

I don’t have any specific metrics.

Have you gotten any positive feedback from end users of the product as a result of Eight Bit Studios' work?

Yes. Many.

How would you describe Eight Bit Studios’ performance?

I think they do a very good job, and they’re easy to work with.

Is there any area that you think that they could improve on or that you would do differently?

No.

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

Website & Application Development for Social Media Startup

"That’s a huge differentiator for [Eight Bit Studios]: A very happy and productive work environment with very smart people."

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

Eight Bit Studios developed a Ruby Rails website from the client’s initial concept and later built an app for the iOS platform.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 employees
 
Chicago Metro Area
Jim Sayegh
CEO, Glossre
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Eight Bit Studios inspired a great deal of confidence from the client from their first contact and has since proven that confidence to be well-deserved with their expertise, responsiveness, and creativity.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Could you give a brief description of your company and your role?

I am the founder and CEO of a real estate social media site called Glossre. Glossre allows you to create a profile of a given space like your home and then share aspects of that with your friends. 

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

When you approached Eight Bit Studios, what was the business challenge that you were trying to address?

I’m a non-technical founder. They literally built my MVP off of a PowerPoint presentation. It was from the ground up, making my concept a Ruby on Rails site. Separately, we built an app only for iOS, which is in the iTunes store.

Did you have any specific business goals for the project?

First of all: Staying on budget. Second of all: Staying relatively on time, which is really more client driven than contractor driven. Obviously, the end product being something that would allow me to have proof of concepts and raise additional funds, that was something super-early stage. 

SOLUTION

How long has the project taken?

This has chapters. I would say their involvement was intensely involved for a year and a few months, and in a more as needed contract basis for the last year or so. The whole thing is a little more than two years.

When was it launched?

We did a closed data. The first time we did that was in November of 2013. Basically, when you go to Glossre.com, you can request an invite. From there, we let certain people in and allow them to use it. We do deploys and continue that. The closed data has been out there since November of 2013. It’s not a technological issue, more of a business-development manner when we decide to completely pull the veil off of it and start spending money on development marketing.

What was your process for selecting Eight Bit Studios to work with initially?

We knew we wanted to build it in Rails. We didn’t have a geographic bias. We interviewed five firms. Eight Bit inspired the most confidence. Part of it is a creative process. You need people that you feel are above reproach. I think they have the technical aptitude to do it.

From there, it’s also what kind of environment they have. Do they have a creative environment? Are they going to foster the best ideas? Any good designer is going to know when to listen and give a client the ability to tell them what they want, make them feel that they’re designing it themselves; but also want to check themselves and inject best practices, make sure you’re building something that doesn’t fall down. That was kind of my sense going into it. They were by far the most capable firm in that regard. We felt that they were going to be a good thought partner, which they proved to be.

Can you give us a sense of the size of the initiative?

I think for our initial contract, it was maybe $110,000. In time, it was another $40,000. So, around $150,000.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What were the results of the project? Are there any metrics or feedback that you can share that indicate the effectiveness of Eight Bit Studios’ work?

I had initially raised $200,000 [before working with Eight Bit Studios]. When my investors, some existing and some new, saw the product when it was built, I raised another $550,000. As much as I’d like to talk about other benchmarks, ultimately that’s the existential benchmark. It was met. I more than doubled, almost tripled, my funding.

How would you describe their performance?

I think they’re excellent. I would love to have another experience where I’m a huge company, and I have an initiative, and I’m plugging them in. I think that’s a lot of their work. I’m very happy with everything they brought to the table in order to achieve what they achieved which means great listening, great implementation, great thought partners, and a very creative and comfortable environment. I just believed they had my back, which for an early stage company, these are all big deals, I think. I’d give them flying colors here.

Looking back on the project, is there any area that you think that they could improve upon or that you would do differently?

There’s nothing I could point at them.

Is there anything unique or special about them compared to other companies that you may have worked with?

I just have to say that there was not a weak link in the chain. All the people, all of them were super talented and super professional. It’s amazing to find a group of guys that takes their work so seriously but don’t take themselves seriously. It’s a huge gift to be so good at something and be so light about it. They’re so engaged in making a client feel good. That’s what really gets a good product done. You’ve got to have a high amount of client engagement in terms of getting them comfortable and them creative. It’s a group of people that again are super functional people, fun to be around, and capable of having a fun, light environment while doing very serious work and working long hours to get it done. That’s a huge differentiator for them: A very happy and productive work environment with very smart people.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    They’ve done a lot of referral work for me

Educational Gaming App for Museum

“[I]f you want a really sophisticated approach ... you should talk to Eight Bit."

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

Eight Bit Studios developed an educational gaming app for the iOS platform, intended to facilitate new means of communication with the client’s patrons.

The Reviewer
 
201-500 employees
 
Chicago, IL
Joe Brennan
Former CIO & General Counsel, Field Museum
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Eight Bit Studios work produced an app that was both aesthetically pleasing and highly functional, and it has been very positively received. The client feels that Eight Bit Studios far exceeded their expectations.

 

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Could you give a brief description of your company?

At the time that I was doing business with Eight Bit, I was working at the Field Museum of Natural History, which is a large nonprofit natural history museum. 

What was your role at the Field Museum?

I was CIO and general counsel. 

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

When you approached Eight Bit Studios, what was the business challenge that you were trying to address?

As part of a larger program of trying to conceptualize new ways of interaction with the public around scientific content, we conceptualized a game that we wanted to develop on iOS. The game was like a Pokemon-style card game, but featuring artifacts from our collection, and then funnels of information that we could put in there about them. We approached Eight Bit about what was ultimately not just the frontend development necessary to make this game look good, but actually the development of all the mechanics of making it actually work. It was a long project. It took us longer than we thought it would to deploy our content to Eight Bit, but Eight Bit did a fantastic job.

Were there any specific goals that you were trying to achieve?

Our set of goals was to test ourselves internally, to experiment with a new way of communicating, and actually to learn about what it would take to bring an application like that to the world. We had a fair amount of success; I don’t know what the final numbers were in terms of downloads and utilization, but the reception on that application was very positive. We even got some news coverage the morning after it rolled out. It was a good thing.

SOLUTION

Why did you choose to work with Eight Bit Studios to begin with?

We were trying to find a company that was willing to bring the kind of resources we needed. We knew we’d need a couple of diverse skill sets in terms of development. We also needed somebody who was enthusiastic about the subject matter. We talked to several companies but we chose Eight Bit for those reasons.

Can you talk a little bit more specifically about the scope of the project?

We chose the artifacts. We developed the images. We sort of provided the text and Eight Bit really did everything else from the game mechanics and animations to the concept to front end development to support it, rolling out updates. They did the comprehensive hard work.

How long did the project take?

I think three months all in. 

When was this project completed?

A couple of years ago [in 2012].

Can you give us a sense of the size of the initiative in dollar terms or a personnel work-hour estimate?

We spent more than $100,000. 

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

How would you describe their performance?

Excellent. I thought the core group of people that we worked with there were extremely strong technologists. When I make recommendations, I always recommend them on the basis of [that] there are a lot of small shops that want to do frontend work in Chicago, but if you want a sophisticated approach to it, you should talk to Eight Bit. 

Was there anything unique or special about them compared to other companies that you may have worked with?

The best thing that they did was bring to the project not just a willingness to implement what we thought should happen, but to really think the whole project through and how the games should play. Their investment of thought leadership in the whole thing really made the project sing where it could have just been okay; it came to be very good.

Looking back on the project, is there any area that you think Eight Bit could improve upon or that you would do differently?

No. They did a great job.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I do it all the time.
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GOLD VERIFIED
Business Entity
Business Entity Name
EIGHT BIT STUDIOS, LLC
Status
Active
Jurisdiction of Formation
Illinois
Id
02761017
Date of Formation
Mar 2, 2009
Source
Office of the Illinois Secretary of State
Last updated
Dec 21, 2018
Payment & Legal Filings
Bankruptcy
No
Tax Lien Filings
0
Judgement Filings
0
Collections Count
0
Last updated
Dec 21, 2018
Client Reviews
VERIFIED CLIENT REVIEWS
26
OVERALL REVIEW RATING
4.8
Source
Clutch
LAST UPDATED
August 24, 2020