MSTQ | Digital Product Strategy and Design

MSTQ is the upgraded design firm for the 21st century. Our Outcome-Centered Design™approach combines research, storytelling and behavioral sciences with visual and interaction design capabilities to create digital products that actually matter.

And so, MSTQ functions as an architecture firm for the digital realm, working with established technology teams to ensure that investments in high-impact digital products are purposeful and meaningful.

 
$25,000+
 
$200 - $300 / hr
 
2 - 9
 
Undisclosed
Show all +
Chicago, IL
headquarters
  • 222 W Merchandise Mart Plaza #1212
    Chicago, IL 60654
    United States

Portfolio

Key clients: 
Google, Union Pacific Railroad, Catapult Sports, Arbonne International, ShootQ, Dais Technology, Illuminate HC, ShoppingGives, Olofson Technology
Catapult Sports Mobile App Design Image

Catapult Sports Mobile App Design

Challenge: Design an iOS application for elite athletes in their mental preparation and tactical strategies.

Outcome: A product experience for watching game film that improved engagement, memory retention and communication with the coaching staff.

Illuminate HC Wearables Design Image

Illuminate HC Wearables Design

Challenge: Reduce call-light response time and improve the level of service in post-hospital care facilities.

Outcome: A renewed confidence in the call-light system with a modern UI and device ecosystem that reduced response times by 50%.

ShootQ Web and Mobile Redesign Image

ShootQ Web and Mobile Redesign

Challenge: Shape the legacy platform to attract and retain the next generation of digitally native photographers, and achieve the company's mission of helping professional photographers "shoot more and work less."

Outcome: A 230% increase in signups via a web and native mobile experience that helped newer, inexperienced photographers be more business savvy, manage complex

schedules and timelines and improve their client experience.

Arbonne Mobile App and Voice UI

Challenge: Replace a legacy sales system of paper catalogues and complex rewards program with a digitally enabled social selling experience.

Outcome: A complete digital transformation of the company spearheaded by the ShopArbonne mobile app—which increased revenue for the $600m business by 5%.

Reviews

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UI/UX Design for Tech Company

"Their communication in speaking to clients and updating us on their progress was excellent."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
n/a
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
May - July 2019
Project summary: 

MSTQ supported the UX/UI portion of a development project. They conducted user research and helped produce an MVP for the product. 

The Reviewer
 
10,001+ Employees
 
New York, New York
Senior Developer, Technology Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Though the product hasn’t launched yet, the internal team is fully satisfied with the work MSTQ produced. Their team worked well with undefined requirements, taking initiative in the process and delivering strong work. They were a valuable resource, and continue to be available for support. 

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

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m a senior developer at a large technology company.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with MSTQ?

We needed support with the UI/UX for a new project. We function almost like a startup within the company, so it was a pretty open-ended project but we didn’t have anyone to help with the UI/UX aspects. 

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

MSTQ designed the initial UX research and marks for the work. They were involved with the initial introduction, but most of their work was to drive the user research efforts. They helped us come up with the initial requirements and conducted interviews, before coming up with our MVP.

What is the team composition?

We worked with one person from the MSTQ team.

How did you come to work with MSTQ?

I wasn’t directly involved in hiring them, but I believe we found them through a referral. Since we’re a big company, we considered 2–3 other firms in the vetting process. We’re a private arm within our company, so we had to go through multiple rounds of approvals, which took a few weeks, before selecting MSTQ. 

What is the status of this engagement?

We worked with them on this project from May–July 2019. Since completing the work, they have been available for any questions we have had.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

We’re releasing the product externally soon. The teams involved and other people have given us positive reviews, so far. Though we’ve made some changes, MSTQ captured the main goals that we needed with their UX work.

How did MSTQ perform from a project management standpoint?

They did a great job managing the project. Their communication in speaking to clients and updating us on their progress was excellent. We primarily communicated through email and video conferences. They made sure notes were sent out and that timelines were set and met. Everyone was satisfied. 

What did you find most impressive about them?

When our engagement started, the brief was very vague. However, they did the initial UX research and came up with the MVP which I think was pretty admirable and they did a good job. They’re also responsible and communicative.

Are there any areas they could improve?

Nothing comes to mind for them to improve; I was happy with the support they provided.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Trust that they will do the job right. The project is a two-way road; you have to trust them to do the work. 

5.0
Overall Score We would hire them again should the need arise.
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They were able to meet our deadlines.
  • N/A Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They did a good job condensing all the feedback and coming up with a good MVP.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

UX Design for Influencer Platform

"The team provided insightful ideas while listening well to constructive feedback."

Quality: 
4.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Mar. 2019 - Apr. 2019
Project summary: 

MSTQ redesigned a platform’s UX to improve its bounce rate and overall user journey. Using results from previous user testing, they created a prototype using Sigma before implementing the final design. 

The Reviewer
 
2-10 Employees
 
Atlanta, Georgia
President, Influencer Marketing Platform
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The redesign has just launched; user testing showed longer visit times and a clearer value proposition. MSTQ produced quality designs and valuable insights on time. The project ran into occasional obstacles, but the team’s diligence and expertise made for an overall positive collaboration. 

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

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the president of an influencer marketing platform.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with MSTQ?

We needed help curbing a high bounce rate from site visitors who failed to grasp our user journey and value proposition. We engaged MSTQ to improve the platform’s UX.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We had previously conducted user testing of our site. MSTQ looked over our results and used their analysis to help tackle our UX issues. The team created a prototype in Sigma to map out a new site design, including its navigator and user journey. We tested the prototype with users before the new UX went live. 

What is the team composition?

We only worked with Yazin (Founder/Principal Designer, MSTQ). 

How did you come to work with MSTQ?

One of my colleagues knew Yazin beforehand. He tried to understand our brand and approached our problem strategically before discussing the execution—an approach that impressed us. He demonstrated diligence and provided more valuable insights as a result.

How much have you invested with them?

We spent $20,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We worked together from March–April 2019.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

We only recently launched the new design, so it’s still too early to tell results. However, the redesign received far better results in user testing rounds than our previous interface. Users understood our value proposition more quickly and stayed on the site for longer. We’re still working with MSTQ to smooth the execution, and we’re looking into future design projects with the team as well.

How did MSTQ perform from a project management standpoint?

MSTQ led a collaborative process from start to finish. Yazin dove into our business to better understand the ideas we wanted to convey in the site, including our brand, value proposition, positioning, and target audience. As a result, the end design was both visually appealing and useful for the end user.

The project did experience bumps along the way. Yazin took a trip in the middle of the project that caused delays and communication issues due to time zone differences. We also found it challenging to use Sigma as a tool for prototyping and user testing. However, we still managed to communicate every day via email, text, or Google Hangouts. We also kept track of tasks and feedback via a shared Google Doc. Ultimately, the project finished on time, which we were happy to see.

What did you find most impressive about them?

The team provided insightful ideas while listening well to constructive feedback. Yazin wasn’t afraid to push back respectfully, demonstrating that he took ownership of the project and its outcome. He was as invested in seeing it succeed as we were—an attitude we appreciated.

Are there any areas they could improve?

On occasion, Yazin’s attention to detail slipped and he missed some tasks and points of feedback. 

Any advice for potential customers?

Provide MSTQ with information and strategic insight into your business to inform their design decisions. By providing Yazin with anecdotal data and our user testing results, we received an excellent product that met our needs.

4.5
Overall Score
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    MSTQ met our deadline, but scheduling during the project period was difficult at times.
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    Their rates were on the expensive side, but we received excellent value and they met their quoted price.
  • 4.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    Despite some frustrations along the way, MSTQ delivered on our brief perfectly.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I would definitely refer MSTQ. Yazin delivered excellent work.

UI/UX Design for IT Training Web App

"It's been truly a radically brilliant and enlightening experience."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Oct. 2018 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

MSTQ provided end-to-end UI/UX design to create a new LMS web app for an online IT training company. They examined user behavior and implemented the findings into design options to promote user adoption.  

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
Scottsdale, Arizona
Tommy Graunke
Innovation Manager, Stormwind Studios
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

MSTQ succeeds in making calculated design and development decisions, relying on data and research to provide the best end user experience. The team benefits from ambitious leadership figures and an organized project management approach. They are a smart and dedicated partner.

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

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the innovation manager at Stormwind Studios, which is an online IT training company.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with MSTQ?

We have 14,000 students who utilize our software system to access practice exams, supplemental material, and other training tools. In the past, we licensed that software from a French company, but in my role, I decided that we needed to have a platform we managed ourselves. I hired MSTQ to help us build our own proprietary system from scratch.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We conducted a significant research phase to learn more about user behavior. We then discussed the design implications according to what that research showed. Taking those results, MSTQ coordinated the end-to-end design of our UI/UX to create a brand new LMS web application.

What is the team composition?

Yazin (Founder/Principal Designer, MSTQ) led the project with support from two other people.

How did you come to work with MSTQ?

I struggled to find an appropriate vendor during my search, but while browsing, one of my Chrome browser extensions showed me a video of Yazin being interviewed on a podcast. He explained his approach and why he designs the way he does. At the end of the podcast, he gave out his contact information. I quickly sent him an email, which led to a few phone calls to discuss the scope. Through that interaction, I was taken with how he presents himself and his company’s design process.

What is the status of this engagement?

Our engagement began in October 2018 and remains ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

We’re still in the development stage right now, but we’ve done some early user testing and iterations throughout the process. Especially as we got toward the end, we wanted to introduce the product to validate the conceptual thoughts and what we pulled from the research to make sure that it matched user expectations. Some users fanatically raved about the update and were opting-in early to be on the new platform as soon as it releases.

How did MSTQ perform from a project management standpoint?

From an efficiency standpoint, the relationship has been exactly how we hoped it would be. They present themselves well, and they are very organized. We’ve worked well through Slack and Zoom, and I’ve been able to visit their office three times.

What did you find most impressive about them?

It's been truly a radically brilliant and enlightening experience. They operate in a unique way. Instead of starting with assumptions, they begin with a hypothesis and then validate that idea several times through different iterations. That process was enlightening. And Yazin brings to the project a groundbreaking level of vigor and dedication to success.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No, nothing immediately comes to mind.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

It’s commonplace to come into a project set in your ways and ideas. If I were to re-approach the project again, I’d want to do so with a blind excitement for how the project can change. I’d be more open to challenge myself and push down company walls.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    We finished ahead of schedule.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

UI/UX Design for Fundraising E-Commerce Site

“Their gorgeous and effective designs are impossible to replicate.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
June - July 2008
Project summary: 

MSTQ conducted psychological research on the core customer and used the information to design a UX optimized UI for a website.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
CEO, Fundraising E-Commerce Site
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The new website is receiving a ton of praises and compliments, which supports the effectiveness of MSTQ’s psychology-driven approach to web design. Their team is accommodating, knowledgeable, and capable of producing one-of-a-kind solutions for unique business needs.

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

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the CEO of a fundraising company that fuses online shopping with charitable donations.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with MSTQ?

We wanted to introduce our software to the market, but we didn’t have a clear understanding of our key audiences. Before we could release the product, we had to find a partner who could identify our target audience and discover the most engaging techniques for us to implement on our website.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

MSTQ designed a UX optimized UI for our product website. Their first task was identifying our core customer. Once they found the target audience, they conducted psychological research to develop a customer persona based on our primary customer’s personality traits. Those traits revealed everything about their desired experience depending on the emotional state, including preferred colors, design styles, and interactive features. MSTQ condensed the information in a report and built a high-fidelity wireframe, which they later used to create mock-ups and a marketing story for our team to iterate on.

What is the team composition?

MSTQ’s senior manager was my main point of contact, but I also interacted with the research team.

How did you come to work with MSTQ?

I had followed their work for years, so I knew they would be a perfect fit for our project.

How much have you invested with them?

We spent less than $25,000 for their UI development.

What is the status of this engagement?

We commenced the project in June 2018 and concluded in July 2018.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Everyone on our team was thrilled by their work and our investors were equally amazed. We plan to work with MSTQ again to update other frameworks.

How did MSTQ perform from a project management standpoint?

They adopted the project management tools that our team uses regularly, which made the collaborative process seamless. Slack was our primary channel for communication.  

What did you find most impressive about them?

MSTQ has a unique psychology-influenced approach to web design, which gives them useful insight for optimal user engagement. Their gorgeous and practical designs are impossible to replicate.

Are there any areas they could improve?

They produced deliverables in an appropriate amount of time, but it would have been useful to know how much time it took to complete each phase of the project.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Carefully consider which pricing model works best for your business. A flat rate was beneficial to us because we weren’t charged more for the inevitable scope creep.

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

UX/UI Mobile App Design for Sports Tech Solution Company

"They were great at adapting to any given situation."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Nov. 2017 - Jan. 2018
Project summary: 

MSTQ redesigned the UI/UX of an iOS application for athletes to review film curated by their coaches.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
VP R&D, Catapult Sports
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

MSTQ’s methodology produced a design that has been received positively by internal and external users. While coding the final solution is still ongoing, the team’s design work is complete.

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

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the vice president of advanced research and development for Catapult Sports. We create technology solutions for coaches to solve issues with workflow and distribution of content. I am primarily responsible for shaping our product roadmaps in one of our divisions.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with MSTQ?

We were working on a project that involved creating a mobile application for high school and college athletes to review video content during the season. The idea is for coaches to be able to have clips that could then be shared with the athletes over our existing platform. We had received feedback that the app was not very user friendly, so we decided to embark on a complete redesign with a UX/UI agency with experience working on mobile apps.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

MSTQ rebuilt the design of the app for iOS with the idea that we would eventually take over the project ourselves with UX/UI designers we would hire internally. We would also have our own designers build the concepts created by MSTQ for Android. Their designers worked specifically on the frontend, while we handled everything having to do with the backend.

What is the team composition?

We had a project coordinator and an overall UX and research leader. Eventually, four designers worked on the app as we moved into the implementation stage.

How did you come to work with MSTQ?

After some web searching we discovered MSTQ and read about the awards they had won, so I added them to the list of companies to talk to. After discussing the project and their ideas we decided to hire them.

What is the status of this engagement?

We worked with them from November 2017–January 2018.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

We were extremely satisfied with MSTQ’s methodology and the designs they came up with. Our team is working on coding the solution now, but we have received strong feedback from users we have been able to show it to so far.

How did MSTQ perform from a project management standpoint?

We were working on a very compressed timeline and they were great at communicating and responding to us. The two principles we worked with were mostly available for evening emails and conversations over Slack, which helped us a lot.

What did you find most impressive about them?

When you work in the elite sports arena you deal with a lot of personalities, and I thought they did a nice job of being able to talk with all the personas present in college athletics. They were great at adapting to any given situation and understanding the arena we were working in to quickly get to the actual research.

Are there any areas they could improve?

Because we are a tech company that usual builds things ourselves, it would have been nice to get a little more explanation or understanding of why certain things were being done in a particular way. This is really based on my own curiosity and desire to apply new things I learn moving forward. I get the sense that most of their clients are not tech based and so MSTQ does everything themselves. However, just to satisfy my own curiosity, I would have loved to learn more.

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

UX/UI Design for Insurance Platform Startup

“They did a phenomenal job on the user experience side.”

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Dec. 2017 - Mar. 2018
Project summary: 

Assisting with the development of an innovative platform, MSTQ met with end users and then managed UX/UI design, focusing on the user experience.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
Cofounder, Insurance Platform Startup
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The design is visually appealing and the internal team is satisfied. Innovative and professional, they met all expectations, while their responsiveness and ability to stay flexible contributed to the positive experience.

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

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I'm a co-founder of an insurance platform.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with MSTQ?

We were creating an innovative solution for the trucking industry to help insurance companies sell their products to trucking companies. We were looking for a vendor to help us build a prototype and handle UX/UI design for our platform.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We had a meeting with them and discussed our original idea. After that, MSTQ met with our end users and started working on the design, adhering to the technical specifications we gave them.

What is the team composition?

We had one main point of contact and we also worked with a few UX designers, one UI designer, and one strategist.

How did you come to work with them?

We were referred to them.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with them in December 2017 and the project was completed in March 2018.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

The design is very visually appealing. They took our requirements into account and used the feedback from our end users to finalize the design.

How did they perform from a project management standpoint?

They were very disciplined and responsive.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They did a phenomenal job on the user experience side. Also, they helped us present the product to key customers.

Are there any areas they could improve?

They're very innovative and take advantage of new technologies, which is their strength. But in some cases, we had to refine our objectives for the end product based on the deliverables they produced.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Make sure the project they're working on is open-ended and leverage their strengths by giving them some problems to solve, and not just the design work.

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

Prototype & Video for Operational Efficiency Software

"I really appreciated MSTQ’s ability to grasp some fairly abstract concepts quickly, and start contributing."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
June - July 2017
Project summary: 

MSTQ collaborated with internal teams to create materials for prospective customers, including a video and a prototype InVision app.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
Founder, Dais Technology Inc.
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

MSTQ excels in creativity and execution of vision. They require little project management, can adapt to internal methods, and they communicate effectively. They’re able to capture ideas and contribute quickly, helping consistently make progress on the project.

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

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

Dais is a technology startup building a marketplace. I’m the CEO.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with MSTQ?

We were getting ready for a presentation for a prospective customer and wanted to show some prototypes of our ideas. We work with large partners who are helping fund some of our development. We needed to pull something together quickly, so we reached out to MSTQ.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

I wanted to create both a prototype and a video which we could show to prospects. We had a kick-off meeting with MSTQ where we went through our ideas and brainstormed some things. I provided a storyboard for what I wanted to convey through the video, and we jointly built a prototype.

As MSTQ started building it, we had a checkpoint every week in order to run through things, get feedback, correct the course if needed, and generally get a status update. We continued to do this until we were happy with where we were at.

The final deliverable was in the form of an InVision app. It’s an optimization tool for fleet operators, with several screens designed for both tablet and mobile use. There are multiple sides to the application, running through the entire workflow we needed to showcase. We prioritized what we wanted to look at, and how we wanted to frame it within the video.

We have fairly large sales, and are high-touch in this area. This is a new sector for us, and we are investing upfront in the material we can use for the purpose, which includes this prototype.

There were around 4 people from MSTQ’s side involved. One of them was focused on the mobile app, and another worked on the video.

How did you come to work with MSTQ?

A mutual friend introduced me to Yazin Akkawi, MSTQ’s founder. I had worked with a couple of other agencies in the city on different projects but wanted someone with a bit more creativity. I was very impressed with their team, which was the primary reason for choosing MSTQ.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with MSTQ in June 2017. The project is pretty much complete at this point.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

I’ve shown the prototype several times to groups which were even outside of the original audience, and have gotten an overwhelmingly positive response every single time. People were very excited by the prototype. MSTQ did a great job on the execution side, and I like to think that we contributed with a few ideas.

How did MSTQ perform from a project management standpoint?

I was very impressed with the communication. We have a defined workflow and made consistent progress, so I didn’t feel a need to get into a deeper level of management.

What did you find most impressive about MSTQ?

The aesthetics turned out great, the communication was fantastic, and I really appreciated MSTQ’s ability to grasp some fairly abstract concepts quickly, and start contributing.

Are there any areas MSTQ could improve?

Honestly, no. I was thrilled.

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

Redesign of Legacy Platform for Photographers

"[T]hey put a lot of thought and effort into understanding the UX of the application."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
Sept. 2016 - June 2017
Project summary: 

MSTQ created a brand-new business management and workflow software on an accelerated timeline, identifying and bridging gaps between the existing UX/UI and modern customer needs for both desktop and mobile.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
Adam Fried
Owner, ShootQ
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The pre-launch MVP version has already attracted excitement from the existing user base, demonstrating a 100% improvement in appearance and user-friendliness. MSTQ’s cutting-edge aesthetic, attention to detail, and impressive value for money took cohesive branding to the next level.

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

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the owner and CEO of ShootQ, a studio-focused CRM [customer relationship management] system for professional photographers.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with MSTQ?

We purchased the company 2 years ago, and the legacy software system was 10 years old. The product is used by a lot of people, but it wasn’t growing at all. When I took over the company, I thought I could put a fresh face on the software, but I soon realized that it needed a complete overhaul for engineering and the UX. We decided to hire someone to help us revamp the product.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Most of our customers are professional photographers, so they’re on the go a lot. Our immediate plan of action was to redesign the desktop application, and then we used MSTQ to design a version of the new mobile app. This project originally started because we needed to solve our problem quickly. The company was losing users, and my goal was to get the company growing again. The only way to do that was to make the software more user-friendly and give it a fresher look.

When I contacted MSTQ, I wanted them to make the software 10%–20% better. We’d given them some basic designs that another designer made for us. They spent a couple of weeks trying to come up with solutions. We were worried because we were under such a huge time crunch. We had been through a couple of designers before them, so we needed something quickly. When they came back with their original designs, it was 100% better than what we had. I was pretty happy.

The original scope involved using them for a couple of months. But, when we realized how professional they were at design and UX, the project just kept growing. In 8 months, they redesigned all the UI and UX assets of the company and did a terrific job.

What are some of the main features?

Our customers use the app to deal with their incoming leads from a multitude of places, including their business website. They can send out proposals to prospective clients to get jobs. Then, they can create and send electronic contracts and invoices and also get paid through the platform. Essentially, the platform runs their entire business.

How many resources were assigned to your project?

One of the founders, Yazin, started by doing a lot of the work. Christopher did a lot of the UX/UI designs. We also worked with Devin [Director of Product, MSTQ] who acted as the product manager and assisted with developing the requirements to promote a more efficient design process.

How did you come to work with MSTQ?

They were referred to us by a developer at my company. We went through a few other designers and weren’t getting what we needed. I wanted to find a professional team that could give us something to help us grow and last for the next 10 years.

How much have you invested with MSTQ?

We spent around $200,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with them in September 2016, and the first part of the project was completed in June 2017. We needed to get through launching an MVP version of the application. After that, we’ll use them again to design additional software modules. 

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or impact of the engagement?

We’re launching the MVP very soon, but the feedback on the design so far has been extremely positive. Our user base is very excited about it. We want to launch with as few bugs as possible. We’re in the final stages of getting the product ready, which is taking time, but we want to do it right.

How did MSTQ perform from a project management standpoint?

I thought they were good. I think specific deadlines and more management on my side would’ve been helpful, but we were stretched pretty thin. We didn’t have a true project manager on our team, so that made coordination more difficult. We could have been more efficient in the whole project, but we didn’t have enough resources in-house. They did the best they could, but the project could have been managed a little better. From my perspective, nothing is ever fast enough when you’re trying to satisfy customers and grow the company.

What did you find most impressive about MSTQ?

I think they stand out through their cutting-edge design skills, and they put a lot of thought and effort into understanding the UX of the application.

Are there any areas MSTQ could improve?

They could be better as far as project management and the timeline. They understood how quickly we wanted to move, but I think the workflow could’ve gone faster.  

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

UX Ideation & Design for Financial Trading Platform

"They did a phenomenal job and I feel privileged to work with them."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
May 2016 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Using a basic prototype, MSTQ designed a trading marketplace app on iOS and Android. The collaboration will likely expand to include web and watch versions of the app.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
CEO, Trading Startup
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

MSTQ is diversely talented and collaborative. They were dedicated to learning complex subjects to truly understand the app. The founder communicates very professionally and directly, and he has a superior ability to listen and go above and beyond. Their work has attracted professional investors.

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

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

My company is a marketplace for investment ideas that is connected to all the major online brokerage firms for execution. The technology is fairly complex and requires notifications, a marketplace, sharing components, billing, and trading. I’m the founder and CEO.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with MSTQ?

At the end of the day, if someone is going to push your button, they’ve got to be able to push the button and intuitively understand what going to happen. Most people are either really into the market or they’re not. Connecting to those that are and those that aren’t onto one platform demands a really talented group and MSTQ rose to the challenge. I needed MSTQ to create an experience that would bring users of various ages and technical proficiency back.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

MSTQ took my prototype and helped me think through all the issues that hadn’t been addressed. They iterated a few times per reviews and eventually developed a complete system, which we are incredibly pleased with. It was a lengthy process because the prototype was missing a ton of functionality. Yazin [CEO, MSTQ] was able to identify the issue of democratization, which would ultimately lead to the platform's demise. How to combat that in a way where users can still get the data but keep the system from completely being crushed was something I didn’t even think of. One of the most impressive things for me was that MSTQ constantly supplied new insight into a space I’ve been part of most of my adult life. They were constantly asking questions which then lead to solutions that were functional from an app. I’m still baffled by how they were able to jump, address things I had never thought of and then own it with an incredible design that was completely functional.

We built the app for iOS and Android. We also want to build a website and watch version as well. There were five resources from MSTQ working on the project. I like the fact that they brought in resources with expertise in certain issues. Their diversity of talent was helpful.

How did you come to work with MSTQ?

I researched a number of firms on Clutch and found MSTQ. I was very diligent and looked at all the firm’s work and the apps they’ve built. MSTQ was also rated highly so I decided to schedule a meeting. I had the feeling after our first couple conversation that Yazin would have my best interest and do a good job.

How much have you invested with MSTQ?

I’ve spent between $200,000 and $250,000 so far.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together in May 2016 and I’m going to continue with MSTQ for as long as it takes to continue to evolve the app and build out the website version.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

The feedback from the first group of users was much better than I had expected. We were able to please a tough crowd of not the most tech savvy traders, which was a good sign. I think the holes in the system Yazin and the team found were huge and without their help, we would not have been able to bring to market a complete system that users could understand. There is so much value in what they do that I didn’t recognize until after we launched the app. I really liked the design. They made a product our team is really proud of. The users all think it's very clean, easy to use and most importantly the users have said that they like using the app. For me that fact that the users like using the app is the biggest thing.

How did MSTQ perform from a project management standpoint?

I was always kept informed and I felt like they were always doing their job. They didn’t waste any time and were always available. I had a great experience while they were working on the project.

What did you find most impressive about MSTQ?

They took a complex problem and used their variety of skills to solve it. The end product has helped me raise money from professional investors and has helped me take my business to the next level. They found holes I didn’t even recognize and filled them with solutions. They understand the client and don’t waste my time. They did a phenomenal job and I feel privileged to work with them.

Are there any areas MSTQ could improve?

The elevator in their building should go all the way up to their floor so you don’t have to take the stairs.

5.0
Overall Score I’m pretty impressed. They took a complex thing and made it simple and usable for everybody of all ages.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    I was always informed. They did what they said they were going to do.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    I’m pleased. The game is user experience. The most valuable real estate is the real estate on your phone. If you can get your app to the front page, you’ve got something. My button is getting pushed because MSTQ built something that people want to use.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    The product is top-notch and people seem to like the design a lot.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I refer them all the time, they did a great job and I’m happy to help any way I can.

UX Design for Legal IT Company

"I think the results are much better than if we had tried to do something ourselves internally."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
3.5
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
May 2016 - Aug. 2016
Project summary: 

MSTQ worked on the visual presentation of a web-based, data-dense legal software. The team proposed the site’s aesthetics as well as created animation and prototypes for the UI/UX. 

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
Christopher E. Olofson
Founder and CEO, Olofson Technology Partners
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The team’s unique and clean designs have received positive feedback from internal users and clients. MSTQ's project management was great, with weekly updates and deliverables, although billing and timelines could be improved upon. 

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

BACKGROUND

Please introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the founder of a software company called Olofson Technology Partners. I have a 25-year background in the legal technology space.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with MSTQ?

We have the internal resources to do great code, and we understand the requirements. We know our user base, but we're not necessarily the best people for visualizing the most effective presentation. That's the help we needed.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

This scope of service included their reviewing the business requirements for a specific piece of web-based application software, and then proposing an overall look, feel, and prototype for the user interface. Once we had that look and feel and the design of the key pages in the application, our engineering team could use that design work to build the program. Technically, the deliverables were the renderings, the style sheets and the animation specifications – that's what we asked them to help us with.

How did you come to work with MSTQ?

I had worked with a particular developer at his prior company, so we knew one another and sort of had an established working relationship. I met him through an agency review process that we ran maybe a year or a year and a half ago. His then company participated in that process and was the selected supplier. Then, I realized that he had resurfaced at MSTQ and, because we had an up and running relationship, I simply went to him first and told him that if MSTQ could do the work and if the budget worked, I'd go straight to them without going through a bidding process.

How much have you invested with MSTQ?

I've spent somewhere between $10,000 and $50,000 working with them.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started this particular scope of work about two and a half months ago. I was just checking with them today [August 2016] on the tail end of the deliverables. The product is almost finished.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

Their work has been implemented in a prototype by engineering, but that code has not been released onto the market. It's implemented, but it's not out in public yet.

We work in a field where most users think the competitive products all look the same. We wanted to introduce something that did not look the same in a positive way, that was a fresh take, that was streamlined, that was more visually appealing, and that was easier to engage with because ours is a very dense data application.

We've had very positive feedback from their work both with internal users and with clients. I think the results are much better than if we had tried to do something ourselves internally. Our work wouldn't have been terrible but it wouldn't have been nearly as good as the work of MSTQ.

How did MSTQ perform from a project management standpoint?

We've had periodic status calls, although this has not been all that big of a project in the larger scheme of UI [user interface] design. Because we have an up and running relationship with MSTQ, our relationship might be a little bit more informal than would otherwise be the case. The weekly status call includes the next set of deliverables, resolution of open items and an up-and-coming list as we're managing toward budget. If we have to adjust scope, hopefully we see that before it turns into a big problem.

What did you find most impressive about MSTQ?

My designer friend has good taste. I know this is subjective, but he's just developed some very compelling visuals that made sense, were clean, and resonated with the type of look and feel we were going for. Because of that skill set, I went back to him because I knew I would get the same quality of work he had provided for his previous agency.

Are there any areas MSTQ could improve?

Like many small startup businesses, billing, administration, and some of those things could be tighter. I think it's quite normal for this type of business at this stage in its growth and development, but that would be what I would identify as an area for possible improvement.

5.0
Overall Score The collaboration has been very successful – that's why I'm a returning customer.
  • 3.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Although we work together in an informal way, this is the main area where there’s the most opportunity for improvement.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They’ve been very good to work with and very flexible.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    We are pleased with the user interface and the style guide.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I would be very happy to be a referral.