Handsome is a holistic experience design agency.

We create deeply connected brands, services, and products that enable powerful relationships between businesses and people.

We help businesses transform in a rapidly changing world.

 

We’re entrepreneurs, collaborators, inventors, thinkers, and makers. We focus on creating brands, services, and products that impact users across a holistic, technology-empowered journey.
 

We’re independently owned and headquartered in Austin, Texas with a team comprised of strategists, designers, and technologists.
 

Our client partnerships include FedEx, Keller Williams, Facebook, Home Depot, and Nickelodeon.

 
$100,000+
 
$200 - $300 / hr
 
10 - 49
 Founded
2012
Show all +
Austin, TX
headquarters

Portfolio

Key clients: 

Viacom, Audi, FedEx, Facebook, Nickelodeon, Indeed, HomeAway, Silvercar

Reviews

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App Dev for College Student Social & Safety App

“Handsome consistently goes above and beyond what we ask for—they truly feel like a member of our team.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Nov. 2016–Jan. 2019
Project summary: 

Handsome designed and built a social safety app. They participated in market research, created the beta version, and are supporting the development process until the official launch.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Austin, Texas
CEO, College Social App Startup
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The beta launch has seen a significant amount of engagement and around 12,000 downloads. Of those, almost 25% are active, regular users. As a team, Handsome has been a stable, skilled partner and provides strong guidance throughout the collaboration.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the founder and CEO of a college student social and safety application.  

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Handsome?

We hired Handsome to build our product. We wanted the app to help address and reduce instances of sexual assault on college campuses. Additionally, we wanted to provide context-centered messaging to keep groups in contact and offer rewards on a point-based system.  

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

To begin the project, we did substantial research with the Handsome team. We interviewed students on college campuses to gather pain points and suggestions. Our goal was to make sure our app would address the issues in an appropriate, effective way. From there, our teams flushed out the design and began development for the iOS and Android app. Handsome helped create the algorithm to enable our reward system. When the app registers users remain in groups throughout their night, they receive points.

Their team helped us build the beta version of the product and we’ve been testing it. We’re currently preparing for the official launch.

What is the team composition?

Throughout the years, Handsome has supplied a range of people for the work. They provide a product team and other members for the project. Tracy (Director of Delivery, Handsome) guides us through many stages. The dedicated project manager also serves as my main point contact. I’m also in contact with John (CEO, Handsome), and we have a strong relationship.

How did you come to work with Handsome?

I searched for agencies in Houston, Los Angeles, and Austin. After meeting with each team, Handsome stood out to me.

What is the status of this engagement?

We began the project in November 2016 and anticipate we’ll finish by the end of January 2019.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Though we’ve only done a beta launch for the app, there have been around 12,000 downloads. About 20%–25% of users have been active on a daily basis. We have only launched to the local Austin area, so we’re expecting to expand to additional markets and increase our reach.

How did Handsome perform from a project management standpoint?

We primarily communicate through Slack and, during development, we had weekly meetings. Handsome works in two-week sprints and we’re easily able to ask them questions or receive insight at the beginning of each one. They have a very fluid process and I can get in touch with everyone. It feels like we’re partners because both teams are highly involved.

They’re exceptional people who try their best to understand our needs. When there are concepts we don’t understand, their team explains everything clearly. They treat our issues like their own and provide incredible service.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Handsome consistently goes above and beyond what we ask for—they truly feel like a member of our team. They take our needs seriously and dedicate themselves to being a partner. Working with them feels different from other experiences I’ve had and they’ve been a blessing for us. They are a fun team to work and grow with.

Are there any areas they could improve?

There’s nothing I suggest they improve on—I respect their processes and always feel taken care of.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

To make the project run smoothly, have clear communication about expectations, roles, and goals from the beginning.

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

Research Strategy for Major Shipping Company

"They kept all the deliverables on track throughout the course of the engagement."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Dec. 2017 - May 2018
Project summary: 

Handsome led a technology review and an ethnographic research study, including field research of customers in seven countries.

The Reviewer
 
10,001+ Employees
 
Memphis, Tennessee
Head of Product, Shipping Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Internal feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, leading to approval for the next phase of the project. Handsome's expert team inspired confidence through their enthusiasm and by communicating clearly from the start. Their quality deliverables set them up for continued engagement.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I'm head of product at a major shipping company, in charge of all customer-facing applications for shippers.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Handsome?

We were trying to understand the future of shipping technology. Will it be browser-based or desktop? What type of solutions should we invest in? We also wanted to explore the levels of integrations required between older and more modern companies.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

About a year ago, we were looking at different forms of technology for our global customers. We cater to about 175 countries with the potential to expand to 225. Over the course of the engagement, the first aspect we looked into was technology. They were trying to determine if there’s a singular piece of global software that can actually be localized to our regions, and what that software would look like. They did a deep dive on all of the current forms of technology that company offers. The questions they’re helping us answer are how we can develop and design software that meets the customer's needs, and then how do we go to market with that technology.

Next, they overlaid the technology information with ethnographic research. Over a 12 week engagement, we went out together to seven countries to interview our customers. We talked to them about the changing environment that they're experiencing. The goal was to either validate or disprove some of our theories, which will help us to hone in on the software we're going to provide our customers. They developed customer personas around the integration. They came up with various types of customers who need different types of integrations.

This research stage is the first phase of the planned engagement. They delivered a research strategy and branded study with audio, video, and discussion guides. They also gave us all of the files from the research engagement. The next phase will be about developing technology solutions.

What is the team composition?

They provided a project manager, developer, researcher, and designer.

How did you come to work with Handsome?

They were introduced to me by one of my old bosses. He used them in the past and gave them a positive review. Most of the companies we use have been researching projects for us for decades. Handsome is young and eager to learn. We liked their unique approach of providing a technology developer and designer in addition to a researcher. We thought that would make for a better final deliverable.

What is the status of this engagement?

The research phase ran from December 2017–May 2018.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

We’ve already received company buy-in for the additional research and development work that’s needed. It’s quite significant to get the sign off on the next phase within two months of developing a strategy. Typically, the socialization phase takes anywhere from nine months to three years.

How did Handsome perform from a project management standpoint?

We worked with the project manager for the scope of the project, starting with the RFP. They kept all the deliverables on track throughout the course of the engagement. We even had weekly calls scheduled while we were out in the field.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Two things set them apart from any other agency we've ever used. The first was that they brought in more people than just a researcher to a research project. Those additional perspectives were extremely valuable. The second was their desire to understand our root causes. They were really interested in our past and present challenges in order to figure out how to get to a future solution. They had a desire to understand everything. They asked as many questions as possible before they started synthesizing the data.

Are there any areas they could improve?

Their desire to learn also comes at a cost. It was time consuming to provide them all of that information. Having never worked with them before, that ramp-up process added time to the overall project and scope. Overall, we feel their quest for knowledge will help us build better solutions.

Any advice for potential customers?

Have everything scoped out properly at the beginning. Handsome provides a versatile skill set, so they will make sure that you get the right people on your project.

5.0
Overall Score It was a fantastic experience. I'm a huge fan.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They met or surpassed all deadlines.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    Their proposal included much more than the other agencies.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    Their client services are top notch. They went above and beyond our expectations.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I'm trying to get them engaged in more projects inside our company.

Web Design & Branding for Financial Serivces Tech Company

“The new platform Handsome delivered is a breath of fresh air as we move our firm into modernity."

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Jan. - Mar. 2018
Project summary: 

Handsome replaced an outdated website with a redesigned, fully customized WordPress page. Along with additional assets like white papers and brochures, it serves as the foundation of a full corporate rebrand.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Austin, Texas
Eric Ungs
Head of Creative, HDvest
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Handsome’s fully rounded team of designers, developers, and account leads used a seamless workflow to rapidly deliver cutting-edge design assets. The sleek new site they produced was uniformly praised firm-wide by internal employees. Smooth and accessible contact yielded prompt turnaround times.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I'm the head of creative and brand for Blucora, a financial services technology company. Our two subsidiaries are a digital do-it-yourself online tax filing solution and HDvest financial services, a broker dealer with about 35,000 in-network advisers.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Handsome?

We started a relationship with Handsome to redesign our HDvest website. It was an entirely net-new production. Rather than just a lift and shift of our current platform, our objective was to start over completely.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Taking a holistic view, Handsome ran both content and sitemap audits. They rebuilt the entire site on a new piece of CMS technology.  We took a minimalistic design approach to make the site more modern and have immense clarity.

 This project ultimately led to a total brand refresh. We entirely updated our brand design and style guide. This impacted multiple facets beyond just the website like brochures and whitepapers. Essentially, Handsome established a framework we could use as a springboard into all of our other assets. 

What is the team composition? 

I interacted with two account leads or project managers. We also worked with a technology resource, a designer, a copywriter, and a brand designer. 

How did you come to work with Handsome?

We had an existing relationship, and they’d worked with our CMO at a prior firm. While we did send out a couple of RFPs, we ultimately hired Handsome based on the excellent work they’d done for us previously. 

How much have you invested with them?

The total engagement probably cost close to $110,000–$115,000. 

What is the status of this engagement?

Contract development took about a month starting in December 2017. After getting the green light, we had a day-long kickoff session the last week in January of this year. By mid-March, they were ready to hand over deliverables.  These assets included a comprehensive set of WordPress files for us to install and upload in-house.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

I don't think we could have asked for better deliverables. The net result was immensely satisfying. They rapidly completed a full redesign, development, and total customization of a WordPress frontend for our company within a quick turnaround time. The site they delivered is night and day compared to the original, which looked like it came from the 80s. Our new platform is a breath of fresh air as we move our firm into modernity. 

Across the firm, I’ve gotten nothing but positive feedback from internal employees. During the soft launch, we saw a lot of excitement in-house about the direction this project is taking us. Handsome took a clean, minimalistic design approach to evoke a sense of calm rather than overwhelming users with the innate complexity of our business space. 

How did Handsome perform from a project management standpoint?

Hansome was readily accessible and used an efficient, productive work stream. They worked rapidly and produced excellent products along the way. Our communication involved very little back-and-forth. We primarily used slack to talk in real time rather than long, bulky emails.  

What did you find most impressive about them?

Handsome made the project extremely fun thanks to the teammates who were working on it. They felt like an extension of our term rather than a third-party vendor. Our excellent relationship with Handsome’s teammates and the quality of their craft were both astounding. 

Are there any areas they could improve?

The only thing I'd mention comes from an account management standpoint.  I'm used to a more a robust timeline and thorough account lead who conducts frequent check-ins. Due to the quick turnaround, nature, and size of our project, this didn't inhibit productivity or quality. Their style was just different than what I'm used to

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

Design for Social Media Security Platform

"They were so much more than just a design company; they were a strategy company."

Quality: 
4.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
4.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
Project summary: 

The client approached Handsome to create a new security platform for the tech community. They were involved from ideation up to development.

The Reviewer
 
10,000+ employees
 
California
Manager, Social Media Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The client was impressed with Handsome's ability to quickly understand the market and requirements. Their ability to think strategically and the quality of their designs set them apart from other agencies.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I work for a social media company. I am a project manager, and my responsibility is managing the products that come out of our security team. We have an information security team that handles everything from the technical security of the products and making sure that data is safe, to working on spam and fraud investigations and any terms of service investigations. We also deal a lot with trying to move the industry into a more collaborative position where instead of us all working on the same problems in complete silos, we start collaborating and working together to crowdsource threat intelligence essentially.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Handsome?

When we came to Handsome, we were faced with this problem that is currently still existing in the industry. When one breach happens at one company, you can be sure that all of the other companies that are associated with that same service are going to be attacked by the same means. The bad guys, so to speak, work together, but the good guys don’t.

There’s been this common fallacy in the security industry that by collaborating with other companies, you’re essentially giving away the keys to the castle and by talking about how you do security, you’re inherently making yourself less secure. We wanted to address that and turn it on its head. It’s ironic that it’s a technology problem that’s holding all these technology companies back from a better security posture. We came to Handsome saying we want to change the entire dynamic of this industry and create a platform for security companies to build trust in the community, the platform, and the product. Also, change the workflows of security investigations and security practices to leverage what’s worked and what hasn’t worked at other companies. 

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We had whatever budget was necessary, but we had no other support internally to figure out how this idea would manifest. Handsome did absolutely everything from an ideation standpoint, brainstorming, doing user profiles, figuring out what this end ideal content would be and then everything through the wireframing, design, everything up to the development standpoint. They did everything from ideation up until fully delivering fledged out designs, and then we developed internally. We had five people fully dedicated to the project. We had a project manager, three designers, and then a director who would spend a portion of his time doing ideation, and then we had a contract person who spent a portion of her time on it.

How did you come to work with Handsome?

We were looking around at websites that we liked. We found one that we liked, and so we reached out the owner and said, “Who designed this for you?” and they told us, “Handsome.” Then we did some benchmarking. We did an RFP with a bunch of companies, and Handsome was financially competitive, and we just had the most confidence in their team. On a whim, myself and one of my co-workers flew out to Austin and showed up at their office and said, “Hey, we want to talk to somebody.” We ended up having two or three days of great conversations in person and really fleshed out what this idea would be. When we left Austin, we were convinced that they were the right partners.

How much have you invested with Handsome?

We spent between $300,000 and $500,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

The whole engagement lasted about seven or eight months in 2015. We ended up not launching the product after all, and we decided to roll it up into another initiative, another product that we’re already launching. The product never saw the light of day, so we haven’t worked with them since, but we’re speaking with them right now to work on some landing page design and development stuff for another project.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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.

4.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They never missed a deadline.
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    Cost-wise, they are expensive. We found it to be completely worth it, though.
  • 4.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    I’ve never seen a 5, so I have nothing to compare it to.
  • 4.0 NPS
    Willing to refer