What was the scope of their involvement?
Initially, when we hired Five, we did a review and kind of got them to evaluate our current mobile app. For the first one or two apps, they did bug fixing and rebranding. Based on this, we got quite excited about doing the new version of the mobile app with them. The idea was to have a complete conference app that did scheduling, networking, discovery, registrations, etc. I think we only had an average of around six months from an idea in my head to actual delivery and launch.
After speaking with their team, it was decided that we’d do a workshop in Croatia so I could meet them face to face. I met the project manager, the UX team, the UI team, the development team, and the founder. We went through a workshop to understand what the business objectives were, some kind of patterns that we could use, what we didn't like, and the direction of where we were going to go. It was quite interesting.
From there, I worked closely with the UI and UX teams. At that point, I think there were around 10 UI and 10 UX team members. There were about four engineers on the engineering team — two dedicated and two more senior. We worked with them in getting a few prototypes of what visually should work from a few iterations from that. It got signed off, and we worked on the technology aspects and the API requirements. This was a completely new application for them to develop and for us with new API. As they were doing the frontend and mobile app, we internally were doing the complete architecture for the API. Throughout this period, we were doing QA testing and weekly builds.
We communicated constantly on where we were and what that delivery was. We went through the process in sprints. On top of getting daily updates on weekly builds, the sprints were on a two-week basis. In this case, every two weeks we had a final build ready and a significant feature would be released. This was quite successful and it was quite interesting to be able to constantly talk to Five’s team and readjust features, requests, and any concerns that any of the stakeholders had.
How did you come to work with Five?
There was another person that was in charge of the mobile apps before myself. He decided to outsource to Holland. That didn't go too well, so I decided to go a different direction.
I reached out to a few friends and colleagues of mine. We built a list of 10 companies from Ireland, where we’re based, and then 10 within Europe. There were two companies that were highly rated within Croatia. Through all the evaluations and applications we tested, I got an understanding of Five’s approach and the direction that they take. It really resonated with me. When we compared Five to the other companies that also did the evaluation, I felt a lot more comfortable with having one team build an app from scratch and understand the business and technical aspects as well as the user experience. That experience solidified my goal for the application. It was very easy to choose Five at that point.
How much have you invested with Five?
I got lots of good deals, which is quite cool. I think we had around six or seven different conference apps over two years, and I think that cost us around €200,000 ($219,700).
What is the status of this engagement?
I think the first app we did with Five was at the end of 2014 or the start of 2015. I’m terrible with dates. I left the company a couple of months ago, and I delivered the project to another party within the company, and that information was within those contract documents. I think our work with Five stopped around December 2016. For the last couple of months though, Five and the new agency and team have been working on those apps in regard to providing support, documentation, any additional feedback, etc.