Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?
We were giving them an incredibly difficult goal and project. We were saying take an industry that is inherently closed and private where closed-door conversations are the norm and create a product that will completely change that dynamic. They had to learn an incredible amount about the security community quickly, both what the different users are, how they think, what they care about, and then design an entire product around this group that they had no previous knowledge about. We were super impressed with their ability to get up to speed on the audience that we were trying to target. Then through the product, they were able to build some really cool and innovative features that helped get the folks over this trust curve. In the platform, they had built ways for PR people to approve posts before they went live. We developed this concept of user profiles that brings more transparency to the people posting so that we didn’t have non-attributable content.
We were impressed by their ability to dig in and understand the community we were targeting very quickly and then create product changes that would address what they had learned. Secondly, I can say that although we never launched this product, the designs and the user experience that Handsome created allowed us to transition and continue this project in a different platform. Once we were able to show hey, this could work, this is how the user experience would look, it got us the buy-in necessary to keep this project alive, even though we’re using a different platform to reach the same end goal.
How did Handsome perform from a project management standpoint?
They did very well. Their project manager on it, a guy named Colin, was fantastic. In fact, we tried to hire him after at the company. Truth be told, we tried to hire everybody that was on our project. The actual project management standpoint was fantastic. The design standpoint was fantastic.
What did you find most impressive about Handsome?
They were so much more than just a design company; they were a strategy company. They helped us formulate this very loose and rough idea we had of an end product into a concise, consolidated manifesto, basically saying this is what this product will be. The strategy side of it was more than we have seen from other companies. I really think that’s their strong suit.
They’ve got incredible designers. I can’t attest to their development side because we’ve never used that. Their real benefit is just thinking through what this product should be, what audiences it should target, how it should target them, and how it can differentiate itself from other products in the market. From a strategy standpoint, they stuck out.
Are there any areas Handsome could improve?
No. I think they have a knack for identifying and hiring really good people. The one thing that they’re starting to get a lot better at is flexibility in contracts. At times, we wanted to do things that didn’t necessarily fall into their existing workflows. For example, we wanted to take some of their people and bring them to our office for months on end, and they were very hesitant about that at first, the flexibility. They eventually loosened up, and we made it all work. It sounds like they have fixed the problems that we identified when we worked with them back in the day.
Regarding costs, if you want to make the best product possible and you’re not worried about cost, they’re a great solution. If you want to build a simple landing page or a simple something and you just want quick wireframing done, I would not go to them.