A Digital Product Studio

We design for outcomes, not just deliverables.

Let's face it, design is being held hostage by the 20th century. The methods and frameworks we use to design are outdated, and the screens we're designing today are fundamentally affecting the human condition. So we founded MSTQ on a vision for a modern design firm that redefines what it means to design—understanding not just the mediums we design in, but the also the people and human systems we design for.

An abbreviation of the arabic word Mustaqbal (مستقبل), meaning Future, the name MSTQ is derived from our audacious mission: empower forward-thinking companies with design to create a better future.

 
$25,000+
 
$200 - $300 / hr
 
2 - 9
 Founded
2016
Show all +
Chicago, IL
headquarters
  • MSTQ
    35 E Wacker Dr., Suite #3500
    Chicago, IL 60601
    United States
    708.691.6690

Portfolio

Empowering the Modern Photographer

After a decade as the market leader for photographers, the platform had been losing market share to new competition. The new CEO approached us to design the next generation of the application from the ground up - to breath new life into the company and the industry.

 

ShootQ is extremely feature-rich, allowing photographers to manage every aspect of their studio - from sales, to contracts, to the day of their shoots. The company tagline is "Shoot More. Work Less." and that's exactly the system we set out to design—automating the administration of day-to-day tasks and allowing photography studios to focus on their craft and their relationships.

An Unorthodox Mobile Shopping Experience

For this project, we had a unique design challenge of creating an unorthodox mobile shopping experience. The Arbonne business model differentiates itself in the beauty, health and wellness space not just because of its high-quality products, but rather, because it uses a personal touch with every transaction. Thus, it was important to factor that personal touch into the mobile shopping experience, not losing sight of the fact that it is the most valuable asset to the company, which we did successfully.

In addition, we created simplicity out of a complex rewards system, navigating the rules around unlocking free items and packages that were previously infuriating for consultants AND customers shopping independently. By gamifying the cart-building experience, we were able to design an otherwise unique experience for the rewards program, creating feedback, constraints and easy way finding with every item that was added to the cart (and throughout the checkout process).

...

Reviews

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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.

Content and Messaging for Startup Consultancy

"MSTQ meets you where you are and provides their service consistent with your values and approach."

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Oct. 2015 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

MSTQ develops all aspects of a consulting firm’s marketing campaign, including branding, website development, and client outreach. The team mainly works on frontend strategy in this ongoing relationship.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
Scott Curran
Founder, Beyond Advisers
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The brand and website have gotten great reviews. MSTQ increases developers and support accordingly and understands the company’s mission and values.  The team has tremendous customer service and has very little to improve on.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your organization.

Beyond Advisers is a social innovation consulting firm that works to build internal capacity at nonprofits and does social innovation consulting with the private sector.

What is your position?

I am the founder.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What business challenge were you trying to address with MSTQ?

Our challenge was from soup to nuts. We needed branding, messaging, a website, and help with our online presence and brand positioning.

SOLUTION

Please describe the scope of their involvement in detail.

MSTQ has been involved since very early on. They gave feedback when we were choosing our brand and logo, which eventually led into the bulk of their work. They worked with me on the front-end ideation, conceptualization, and overall strategy. They also helped with naming and ultimately designed and built our website. Our next step is exploring the creation of a social platform for the social innovation consulting space.

How did you come to work with MSTQ?

I was familiar with Jim's previous business and knew of him from Chicago. I went to him early on for recommendations and didn't initially seek MSTQ out as a provider but, as we went through the process we saw an opportunity to work together. I was thrilled to have their experience.

Could you provide a sense of the size of this initiative in financial terms?

I have spent between $10,000 and $50,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

It started in the fall of 2015 and the first phase of our engagement was complete as of this month. They continue to do work on our Phase 2 and Phase 3 development, which I expect to go through the end of 2016.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any statistics or metrics from this engagement?

Our brand is now public, and our website is launched. The feedback has been tremendous. People are constantly asking me who did my website. I've had at least three people say, "I would like to engage the firm that did your work for you."

How did MSTQ perform from a project management standpoint?

They are truly a part of my team. They are enhancing my bandwidth as a startup in the design, creative, and technical space. They are like having your own in-house technical and design firm. MSTQ is totally invested, and they understand what you're trying to do, what you stand for, and your mission and values.

What distinguishes MSTQ from other providers?

MSTQ meets you where you are and provides their service consistent with your values and approach. I'm a service provider as well, and it's not always easy to do that. They are such a thoughtful, caring, and integral part of my team to the point that I can't imagine not working with them.

Is there anything MSTQ could have improved or done differently?

No. I think they have an amazing growth opportunity ahead. They're going to get bigger and more recognized in the space, which I'm excited to see. I think they're going to be a mover and shaker in the space.

5.0
Overall Score MSTQ has performed beyond my expectations. They went beyond what I could have expected of them.
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    There are normal hiccups that occur when we can't connect when we initially planned to, but it's normal. I could only give it a five if it was never, ever an issue and everything was perfect, but that's not realistic.
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    I think they were kind to me in their pricing. I'm extremely pleased, and I wouldn't take back any of the money I've paid given the choice.
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    There's always room for improvement, but they've exceeded my expectations in most, if not all circumstances.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    Without hesitation.

UX for Cosmetic Goods Marketing Company

"MSTQ jumped right in with fantastic attitudes and proved their value right off the bat."

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
Project summary: 

MSTQ developed 2 mobile applications: one which supports skincare and nutritional consultants, while the other is e-commerce oriented. The team worked on UX, graphic design, branding and overlay.

The Reviewer
 
501-1000 Employees
 
Irvine, California
UX Manager, Skin and Body Care Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The application was downloaded 15,000 times on the first day alone. MSTQ joined the project late, but was flexible and caught up quickly. They were consistently great at communication and have been asked to work on several more projects.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your organization.

My organization is a direct marketing company that sells skincare and nutritional products through independent consultants.

What is your position?

I am the lead of the user experience group. I work in the IT [information technology] department, but also cross over often into the marketing department.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What business challenge were you trying to address with MSTQ?

We hired MSTQ to help us with two mobile applications that we've been working on during the past six months. One of the applications is meant to support consultants that are selling the products by keeping them on track by facilitating interactions with their teams and providing support for any of their business needs. The second application is focused on selling the actual product to the consultants and to preferred clients so they can purchase at a special discounted rate.

SOLUTION

Please describe the scope of their involvement in detail.

MSTQ provided UX [user experience] and graphic design services in an agile environment. They worked with us to create stories and wireframes while we were scoping out the requirements of the project. Once the wireframes and flows were approved, they provided the graphic design, branding, and overlay for both apps.

How did you come to work with MSTQ?

I was introduced to MSTQ through a colleague that I've worked with for about 15 years.

Could you provide a sense of the size of this initiative in financial terms?

We have expanded the scope of our original engagement, which was about $50,000, to include two more proposals that come out to roughly another $50,000 combined.

What is the status of this engagement?

The first app was launched in March to the excitement of the consultants. They were thrilled to get all new functionality that wasn't available previously. The second app is going to be launched in July, and the two additional projects that we've just signed onto with them will be released in September.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any statistics or metrics from this engagement?

The app was launched to about 18,000 consultants at a global training conference at the MGM Grand. Within the first day, the app was downloaded 15,000 times. I know for a fact that it's being regularly used by consultants in the field and is performing very well. It's definitely benefitting our people and our business, it's a great tool.

How did MSTQ perform from a project management standpoint?

We're working with multiple vendors for the project and implemented an agile methodology to manage everything. We conducted two-week sprints and daily stand-up calls to talk about priorities and issues. At the end of each sprint, MSTQ supplied workload pieces that tied into the development. They were very good at communicating on a daily basis if they ever needed help.

They were also super flexible. Since I brought them onto the project so late in the game, we were way behind the curve. They worked weekends with me in order to get us on track, which made all the difference in the world. In just a few weeks' time, we were on schedule.

What distinguishes MSTQ from other providers?

There are a few things. By the time we got them engaged, we had already been several months into the project, so they were thrown into the deep end. People were clamoring for us to move forward as quickly as possible, but MSTQ jumped right in with fantastic attitudes and proved their value right off the bat. They asked all the right questions and helped us realign our process to make it more fluid.

The other thing that I appreciate is Yaz's [MSTQ founder Yazin Akkawi's] ability to bring a graphic and UX design perspective to our development meetings. Instead of having one person represent each discipline, he came with a very knowledgeable and experienced perspective. He was immediately respected for his knowledge, and it was nice to work with someone with such a strong skill set.

Is there anything MSTQ could have improved or done differently?

No. There isn't. My biggest need is communication and they have consistently been great at that. Another thing that I can't fault them for is that they fight hard for their recommendation when they feel strongly about it. I can only respect that, but there have been a couple of instances where I've had to veto recommendations. We had appropriate discussions about it, but they ultimately accepted my decision. I've come to rely on MSTQ, and they haven't disappointed me.

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