Custom Software Development Specialists

Essential Designs has been building high quality custom mobile and web based apps since 2008.  We work with a client to help them clearly envision their project or concept, work with them to choose the right coding and software solutions, and produce a finished product for our clients efficiently and reliably.

Android or Apple, Native or Responsive, mobile or web based, ASP, or PHP, Swift or Java – our coding team can create what you need. We focus on web based technologies and native mobile app coding languages. 

We build Apps that make workflow easier and more convenient, boost efficiency, solve problems, manage and allow access to large databases, add accountability, and improve the bottom line.  

Key to our success is our ability to work with clients through their vision of what they need their application to accomplish and understanding their constraints.  

We can then translate this into a concrete proposal we deliver on time and within budget. 

Our team of senior, experienced coders, top designers, and inspired UI/UX specialists are always dedicated to completing projects that will make our clients proud.  

We have offices in Vancouver and Toronto, and can offer personal, face to face meetings that are not provided by overseas offices.  We will still be here when you need to upgrade or add to the funtions to your Application.  

Essential Designs has offices in Vancouver and Toronto where we can meet and discuss your Application Development needs face to face.  

We have built hundreds of apps for industry, education, large and small businesses and successful entrepreneurs.  

 

 
$10,000+
 
$50 - $99 / hr
 
10 - 49
 Founded
2008
Show all +
Vancouver, Canada
headquarters
  • 510 West Hastings, Unit 922C
    Vancouver, BC V6B 1L8
    Canada
other locations

Portfolio

Key clients: 

Teck

Columbia University

Honeywell

Vancouver School Board

Vancouver Coastal Health

Honeywell License Generation Platform

ABOUT THE HONEYWELL PLATFORM

Honeywell is an American multinational company that invents and manufacturers technologies that address some of the world’s most critical challenges around safety, security, productivity and energy.    

BUSINESS GOALS

Honeywell’s software project intention was to manage the generation of license keys associated to products.  The keys themselves had to be full encrypted, and the platform was to be used by many employees at international offices.  99.9% uptime was a major factor for the platform as the key generations is a critical business process, and the design implementation had to be fully inline with the brand rules for Honeywell internationally.

https://www.essentialdesigns.net/portfolio/honeywell/ 

Lifeguard

ABOUT LIFEGUARD

The founder and CEO of Lifeguard wanted to build social enterprises and businesses that have social impact.  Building software to tackle social issues has been the key focus with Lifeguard, inspired by the untimely death of one of his friends from fentanyl poisoning, the concurrent opioid addiction crisis across North America, and the critical need for solutions.

BUSINESS GOALS

The Lifeguard goal to build a mobile app was to build a digital safe-consumption product designed to save lives. Developed in partnership with British Columbia Emergency Health Services (BCHES), the applications goal was to  allow people who use drugs to protect themselves from overdose by enabling direct access to emergency service. It needed to be accessible to all potential users devices, be extremely simple to operate, and always work.

https://...

Transactive Payment Platform

ABOUT THE TRANSACTIVE PAYMENT PLATFORM

Transactive offers an easy-to-integrate solution to the problems associated with collecting payment and sending payments within Europe and the UK. The Transactive banking hub can sit invisibly between users and their clients, ensuring that they are able to provide the level of service that they expect, with the margins that they need.

BUSINESS GOALS

Transactive needed to build a payment platform solution for their B2B customers.  Managing the payment transactions for their customers in an easy to use, simplified interface, that gives the user full control to create process transactions was needed.  The user also had to have an ability to look at previous transactions and run reports in a fast and easy manner.

https://www.essentialdesigns.net/portfolio/transactive/

Reviews

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Web App Dev for Fabric Designer

“I was pleased by how well they met deadlines and felt like they managed costs reasonably.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Jan. - Sept. 2017
Project summary: 

Essential Designs developed a web app for quilt-makers that visualizes products and allows for customization prior to purchase. The project also included web design for the app’s landing, info, and FAQ pages.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
British Columbia, Canada
Barb Cherniwchan
Owner, FabSwitch
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Customers are able to browse and customize patterns using current fabric inventories or by uploading their own swatch images, which has led to increased sales. The Essential Designs team worked efficiently, responded quickly to concerns, and communicated their process clearly.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the sole proprietor of an app called FabSwitch, a quilt-pattern customization app, and I design quilt patterns for Coach House Designs. I receive digital images from a fabric company, convert them into a pattern, and then incorporate them into marketing materials to sell the associated fabric lines.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Essential Designs?

I realized over the years that some patterns weren’t selling with the original fabrics, so I wanted to create an app that would let customers select their own fabric options based on what’s available and print an updated pattern with the new list of fabric requirements for purchase. I approached Essential Designs to help me build the app.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They developed a web-based app that works across devices and platforms. They also designed the site content associated with it, including the landing and FAQ pages. The features are fairly straightforward: customers log in, choose a pattern, and customize the fabric choices as they wish. They can choose from fabrics in our database or upload an image file of their own swatch, and the app allows them to receive a digital download of their updated pattern immediately after purchase.

What is the team composition?

I primarily worked with their owner, who interfaced with the development team. I think there were four or five people on the project in total.

How did you come to work with Essential Designs?

I searched for local app developers. I’ve worked with developers from other regions before, but since this project was labor-intensive I wanted to work with someone in the same time zone who could meet up face to face. It was a little nerve-wracking for me as I’d recently been scammed online, so I didn’t want to invest a lot of money and be taken advantage of. Essential Designs had done a lot of work for government agencies in Vancouver and had a good reputation, which reassured me. I met with their owner and decided to go forward from there.

How much have you invested with them?

The project cost around $10,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

I worked with them from January to September 2017.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

My demographic is older adults (ages 45–60), so it can be challenging to get them engaged with digital tools, but those who are more comfortable with technology have really liked the app. Many people who do this kind of crafting have a hard time visualizing beyond what’s available on the preview pattern and if those fabrics aren’t available, they give up. The app allows us to increase sales by giving customers more choices and helping them see exactly what their finished product will look like before they buy anything.

How did Essential Designs perform from a project management standpoint?

I was pleased by how well they met deadlines and felt like they managed costs reasonably. They were also very easy to communicate with and timely with all of their responses. We met in person occasionally and talked on the phone a few times but once the project got underway, we communicated primarily via email, which was most efficient for me as a small business owner with a demanding schedule of my own.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Some developers have difficulty communicating with people like me who don’t have deep technical knowledge, but they were very respectful in how they went about explaining anything I didn’t understand. They even used a screen-recording tool to make demonstration videos for me so I could learn how to manage all the back-end components I’d need. The process was very user-friendly.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Don’t be intimidated if you’re like me and aren’t familiar with technical jargon or software. Their team will work with you and help you master what you need to in order to operate your business.

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

Web Dev for MS Society of Canada

“They delivered exactly what we wanted.”

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

Essential Designs designed and developed a web platform from scratch for users to access and post information in a user-friendly format.

The Reviewer
 
201-500 Employees
 
Toronto, Canada
Employee, MS Society of Canada
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Essential Designs created a visually appealing, user-friendly platform that has helped bring invaluable information to a targeted audience. Not only was their team collaborative and proactive about meeting client needs throughout the process, but also donated their efforts completely to a good cause.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I'm the director of the lower mainland chapter for the MS Society of Canada, a nonprofit.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Essential Designs?

We wanted to create a platform where people affected by MS could share information.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Essential Designs designed and developed a web platform that allows users to access and post information relating to MS. Without wireframes, their team developed much of the design on their own, taking into account that the interface needed to be very user-friendly for our audience.

What is the team composition?

I worked directly with Scott (Partner, Essential Designs) and he worked with his team internally.

How did you come to work with Essential Designs?

Scott was a volunteer for the MS Society. Our team was having a discussion and he offered to see if the company could help us.

How much have you invested with them?

Although the project ran about $30,000, Essential Designs completely donated their time to our project.

What is the status of this engagement?

We collaborated on the project from May 2016 through November.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Essential Designs help us create an important space for people to get more information and support regarding MS. Users find the new platform incredibly helpful and visually appealing. They delivered exactly what we wanted.

How did Essential Designs perform from a project management standpoint?

Their team genuinely understood our users and was accommodating, closely listening to our needs throughout the process. Scott met with us in-person a few times, but he was also responsive through email and liaised with his team of volunteers effectively.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They were very transparent throughout the whole process and good about explaining everything in layman's terms, which helped me feel more apart of the whole process.

I was also most impressed by the company’s generosity of donating their time, skills and talent. They really made a difference and without them, the project would not have happened.

Scott and his team responded to any communication very quickly and addressed our questions effectively. He was an excellent communicator, had great customer service skills and was an all-around pleasure to work with.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Be open about what your needs are and if you have any questions. They're very approachable and willing to work with you as needed to achieve your goals.

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

Web Dev & Design for Live Broadcast Platform

“They made sure that everything was flawless, right down to the tiny details.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Mar. - Aug. 2016
Project summary: 

Essential Designs built a site for a marketing platform. They selected the CMS, created every aspect of the customer view and the admin back pages, and set up a future live broadcast option.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Vancouver, Canada
Owner, Victoria Worthington
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Users like the look of the site and feedback is positive overall. The project manager from Essential Designs was personable and attuned to brand needs. They brought a level of perfectionism to the project and made sure everything was satisfactory.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the owner/operator of a marketing platform for companies to advertise their products.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Essential Designs?

I have no technical background and needed a company to help build our website.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They created everything from top to bottom. We went back and forth for what felt like two years and drew out exactly what I wanted the site to look like. They made templates and sent screenshots of where visual assets should go and the different layers underneath. They provided a skeleton of the entire site; then, we went into detail on each page.

There was a customer view and an administrative back page where I could keep track of everything behind the scenes and manipulate both sides of the platform. We were most excited by the live feed option. We could toggle between the back page and the broadcast page to see viewership spikes and loads. They made sure that everything was flawless, right down to the tiny details. They were very involved and offered a variety of choices for the CMS and other key features. We relied on their expertise.

What is the team composition?

We worked directly with Scott (Partner, Essential Designs). We put our faith in him and there was a lot of mutual respect between us. There may have been other people on the team, but we only worked directly with him.

How did you come to work with Essential Designs?

I reached out to a couple of companies I found via Google search. Essential Designs was the quickest to respond and were very good at selling their services. It was the only company I spoke with that was confident they could accommodate us.

How much have you invested with them?

We spent between $50,000–$60,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We had a long business partnership, but development ran between March to August of 2016.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

We did a dry run with a few acquaintances to test it. Everyone felt it was well done and feedback is great overall. At the time, we didn’t have the finances to upgrade to live broadcasting. We hope to do that in the future. Once we’re ready to make that change, it will take them half a day or so to get that up and running.

How did Essential Designs perform from a project management standpoint?

They did well. We went back and forth on ideas and Scott clearly took pride in his work. He was delicate with everything and made sure we were completely satisfied. He operated at the same level of perfectionism that I do and was great to work with.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They’re very personable. There was a lot of underlying humor in our interactions. Scott was entertaining and in-tune with everything we needed.

Are there any areas they could improve?

My partner is less tech-savvy than I am. It would have been comforting to have more hands-on meetings in person. I sure they would have accommodated that kind of request if we had asked them.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I would absolutely recommend them.

Third-Party Web Dev for Creative Design Agency

"They are truly experts in their field."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Aug. - Nov. 2017
Project summary: 

Provided with design mockups, Essential Design conducted website development for third-party clients. They wrote the code and built page templates of several WordPress platforms with parallax scrolling.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Vancouver, Canada
President, Creative Design Agency
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

All third-party clients have been impressed with the functionalities and clean UX of their respective sites. Essential Design communicated well with all involved parties and diligently made edits until the products reached completion. Their expertise in complex development is evident.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the president and creative director of a design agency. We provide comprehensive creative services for branding projects.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Essential Designs?

My company designs all creative and visual elements for my clients’ websites, but we sometimes need outside help to provide web development for those projects.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Once our creative design is presented to our clients and approved, we send the design files to Essential Design to create a working website. We coordinate to create a design solution that will fit the user experience, interface design, and functionalities implemented in the development stage. They write the appropriate code and build modules and page templates. Once the beta version is ready, we’ll review with the client and address any concerns. Our most recent websites have used WordPress and have employed parallax scrolling.

What is the team composition?

I interfaced with the owner and two project managers, who were my main contact points.

How did you come to work with Essential Designs?

They came as a referral from my IT consultant. We met and discussed our goals, and I found them to be a strong contender to join our team.

How much have you invested with them?

We’ve spent approximately $20,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We worked together from August 2017 through November 2017.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

All feedback from our clients has been positive. The websites are well-received, and the clients are impressed by the product we delivered.

How did Essential Designs perform from a project management standpoint?

They were prompt in answering questions and addressing issues. We used mostly Basecamp to communicate, and they were very efficient and responsive. I was happy with the entire process.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Clear communications and prompt follow through. They stayed on top of the game and it was critical for our business. They are capable of much more than simple websites. They have produced several very complex applications. They are truly experts in their field.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I was hesitant at first because of our budgetary limitation. However, we were able to come to an agreement for both scope of work and prices.

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

Web & E-Commerce Dev for Religious Organization

“They're doing a great job.”

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

Essential Designs cleaned up a past developer’s work. All from scratch, they will create a WordPress website and design an OpenCart webstore with features including inventory counting and transfer tracking.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Langley, Canada
Adrian Hamerski
IT & Security Manager, Amazing Discoveries
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Although the work is just beginning, Essential Designs delivers excellent support and communication. They document the work and cost estimates clearly and fix issues quickly. They exceeded expectations by helping with problems beyond their scope.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the IT and security manager for Amazing Discoveries. We’re a nonprofit, Christian ministry.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Essential Designs?

We don’t have a big IT department and need to outsource some of our work. We previously worked with 3–5 people, but it was before they were capable of being efficient and jumping into the project, we had lost time.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We had a meeting a with their president and project manager. We provided them with a list of our expectations and a list of things that weren’t working. We asked them to make the pages user-friendly and bug-free as much as possible, as well as do some graphic design and layout for the UI pages.

We decided to go with WordPress for the main webpage because we want to be able to update it ourselves. For the webstore, they will be taking care of the design from scratch and it will be done through OpenCart.

We are looking forward to having functionality that isn’t currently part of the OpenCart site, such an inventory counting. We make and produce our own DVDs, and we need certain features for accounting and other departments, such as tracking transfers between warehouses or checking the stock. Essential Designs is going to develop those from scratch.

For the first three months, they took care of the issues and bugs in the system that the previous developer left. In the meantime, they prepared quotes for us for the new systems, and we are currently reviewing their offer.

What is the team composition?

I am in direct contact with their president and project manager.

How did you come to work with Essential Designs?

We contacted a few local companies and Essential Designs was one of them. We met with them and they convinced us that they could eliminate the problems we were struggling with, and they could provide enough resources.

How much have you invested in them?

So far, we’ve spent between $30,000–$40,000 CAD ($23,099–$30,799 USD).

What is the status of this engagement?

We began working with them in February 2018 and the work is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

They’re doing a great job. Communication is great. Everything is documented and clear. Even with problems that weren’t directly related to them, they helped me as much as they could, checking information with third-party companies. I receive great support from them.

How did Essential Designs perform from a project management standpoint?

Project management is really fast. As long as they have enough information from me, I receive a breakdown within 2–3 days about the current situation and what needs to be done. I’m able to reject or refuse if there is something I’m not happy with or if I don’t want to spend money on a feature. Once I give them the green light, they start working.

We communicate through email, Skype or phone. They use Basecamp which allows me to follow up on my requests and have updates on what is currently going on. I am very happy with the way they communicate. I report any problems and things are fixed within 24 hours.

Are there any areas they could improve?

There are no problems or doubts. We have two big projects that need to be built from scratch, and we haven’t reached the stage to see if they are capable of working on them at the same time. I believe they can, but it is new ground for both parties.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    In IT, it’s hard to predict unexpected things, but they do what they can.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    There are no hidden costs or unexpected expenses. Everything was clarified before we began working together.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 4.5 NPS
    Willing to refer
    They are great and do a great job. I am happy. We are lucky we can afford their services as not everyone might be able to.

App Dev & Design for Technology Consulting Company

"They keep on top of things and make sure that everyone is on the same page."

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

Essential Designs is designing and developing native apps for iOS and Android, as well as for a web portal. They're focusing on UI/UX and developing user personas.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Toronto, Canada
Helen Ching
CEO, Cloud Launch One
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

While the app is still in development, Essential Designs earns praise for their efficiency and quality of work. Their expert team inspires confidence throughout the project by communicating clearly and beating deadlines. This, along with their can-do attitude, sets them up for an ongoing engagement.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

Cloud Launch One provides software-related services, ranging from design to requirements to data analysis.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Essential Designs?

All of my teams are subcontractors. A customer needed mobile application design and development. I selected Essential Designs to help me with that part of the project.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

I provided them a line map, and walked them through all of the information required in terms of the environment. Then we had several conversations about user personas and required functionalities. They’re designing native apps for iOS and Android, as well as a version for a web portal. The goal is to add functionality that our competitors don't have to give ourselves a competitive advantage.

What is the team composition?

I'm primarily working with one UI/UX designer. A couple of people have been on some of our phone calls in order to manage the project on their end. I'll work directly with a developer once the design is finalized.

How did you come to work with Essential Designs?

The subcontractor that I typically work with was booked, so I looked online for a new firm. I decided to give Essential Designs a call because they have a Toronto office. I was very impressed by our phone conversation, and thought they would be a good fit.

How much have you invested with them?

I’ve spent $15,000 CAD ($11,703 USD) so far.

What is the status of this engagement?

Work began at the beginning of April 2018 and is ongoing. I have a contract until the end of September 2018, and we’ll most likely extend beyond that date.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

I’ve been very happy with the quality of work. Some minor tweaks were needed to make the design consistent with the corporate look and feel, but the clients’ marketing team is impressed with the overall design.

How did Essential Designs perform from a project management standpoint?

The team is very good at keeping the project moving. A lot of times we’re waiting for the client to evaluate and respond to a design. Essential Designs will continue to follow up. They keep on top of things and make sure that everyone is on the same page. They use a conference call tool that allows us to share our screens, record our meetings, and send documents back and forth.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They’re very good at what they do. The designer is very talented and very efficient. In fact, the designer finishes everything so quickly that we’re usually waiting on the client for the next batch of work. That's a good problem to have. I’m very happy with their service and responsiveness.

Any advice for potential customers?

Be prepared. Lay out everything from a from a project perspective so they know where they're going. If they know what effort is required, they can provide the best service. I wanted to make sure that I fully utilized the design team's time, so I shared all of my documents with them in advance. This way, everybody is working towards the same goal with the same expectations.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    The prices are quite reasonable.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Web Application Dev for Data Consulting Company

“The coders know what they’re doing, and they do things quickly and efficiently.”

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

Essential Designs developed a custom web application using ASP.NET and a SQL Server database. They did all the coding and partnered on the design. The app manages inventory of wells and their attributes.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Vancouver, Canada
Owner, Consulting Firm
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

In contrast to off the shelf software, Essential Designs’ customized app surprised and delighted. The team delivered an app that performs exactly as desired, resulting in high satisfaction from users. The team’s communications and project management were timely and effective.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the owner of a data consulting company that works in the oil and gas sector.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Essential Designs?

Each oil company has an inventory of wells or locations where there are going to be wells in the future. They have a whole bunch of land and plans for where they’re going to drill the next wells. They wanted to keep an inventory of all these wells and all the hundreds of attributes associated with them in a centralized place. They were using Excel worksheets and it was a disaster. The business problem was storing all of this in a centralized place, capturing the attribute changes that occurred over time, and allowing us to report on those changes. We needed to create a web app.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We worked as a partnership on the design and database design. They did all the coding. I worked with a project manager through the testing phase to test it and provide feedback, and then they make the change. They used ASP.NET and it’s a SQL Server database.

We’re still engaged with them for changes or bug fixes. It’s an ongoing relationship.

What is the team composition?

I worked with 1–2 project managers. The development team was 2–3 people. There may have been a person in quality assurance as well.

How did you come to work with Essential Designs?

I visited three companies. I had worked with Essential Designs a few years back. I really liked Scott (President, Essential Designs), the owner. I found him reasonable and down to earth. The price was also really good; it was half of what others quoted.

How much have you invested with them?

We’ve spent $45,000 CAD ($35,194 USD).

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together in October 2017 and the work is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

The app performs exactly how we wanted it to. Pop-up boxes come up and data writes to the database exactly the way we wanted. The users are really pleased.

It’s been a new journey for our client to have a problem, dream up a solution, and then, have it come together, and work exactly how we wanted it. We typically buy software off the shelf and go through a big implementation. It’s been neat to tackle this problem on our own and make something to fit.

How did Essential Designs perform from a project management standpoint?

I deal with the project manager and he deals with the developers. We met in-person a couple of times. We tried to keep all communication inside of Basecamp. If I saw a bug, I’d screen capture it and post that to Basecamp. They communicated very well, and their responses were really timely. When we had a new feature that we wanted to add, they’d go to the developers, get a quote, and keep it in the queue until it was approved. I was pleased with that. The project manager was excellent.

What did you find most impressive about them?

It was a good, solid experience. The coders know what they’re doing, and they do things quickly and efficiently. I’ve been quite pleased.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No. It was a positive experience.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Provide clear, concise instruction on exactly what you want. If you’re vague on how you want something to work, they’re going to come up with the way that they think it’s going to work. It might not be the correct way and you end up doing rework.

They have a shop overseas and there’s always a time lag of one day. You put in a request and you get a response the next morning. It was never an issue but it’s something to be aware of.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They were really solid. The time estimates were really good.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    Their pricing was really good.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

App Dev for Substance Users & Emergency Responders

"Their professionalism and knowledge of their craft were exceptional." 

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Nov. 2017 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Esstienal Designs developed, programmed, and designed a mobile application for iOS and Andriod devices based off initial sketches. The apps include text-to-speech technology. 

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Vancouver, Canada
Jeff Hardy
CEO, LifeguardOD
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Initial feedback has been extremely positive and the app is on schedule for launch. They are a reliable and professional team that continues to openly communicate and provide technical knowledge. 

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the founder and CEO of LifeguardOD, an iOS and Android mobile application designed to expedite emergency response time to drug overdoses and address the opioid crisis in Canada.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Essential Designs?

I had a vision for an emergency response application specifically for drug overdoses but did not have the technical expertise for app development.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We came to Essential Designs with an idea of what we were looking for and provided initial sketches, and they provided storyboards based on our ideas. We worked together to start building the application screen by screen, and they went on to develop and design the LifeguardOD mobile app for iOS and Android. They programmed and implemented text-to-speech technology into the applications as well.

What is the team composition?

I worked primarily with a project manager, and the team consisted of about five onsite and 14-15 offshore developers.

How did you come to work with Essential Designs?

I did some research on Google and contacted several application developers. Scott Jackson (Management Executive, Essential Designs) quickly and enthusiastically expressed interest in the project.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started development in November 2017, and the application is set to launch in April 2018.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

We’re partnered with emergency responders and during our testing phase, they’ve found the application to be very user-friendly and reliable. The app will be ready to roll out this spring.

How did Essential Designs perform from a project management standpoint?

The Essential Designs team communicated with me constantly and kept me updated on project deadlines. Scott was very warm, open, honest, and professional. They made me extremely comfortable with technical knowledge.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Their professionalism and knowledge of their craft were exceptional. Scott took our financial situation into consideration and adapted to meet our needs and terms.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No, I have no complaints.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

I would tell them to be honest and open with their team.

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