What were the results of the project?
The technical quality of their work is good, but their design skills are a little lacking. I've had things designed by people in the U.K. and in the States, and I find the western design style a lot more appealing. It might just be the way Peerbits looks at art or at aesthetics, and mobile platforms are certainly a bit different from websites. But, in terms of design, I think their team as a whole probably needs to polish that up.
If I were to criticize anything else, it's the lack of attention to detail. I think with some sort of better project management and better user testing, they could achieve a better finish. If I press a button and it shakes, or if something happens that I don't expect, obviously it looks like it's bugged. To them, they're just all about the functionality. Functionally, the app works perfectly. In terms of the design and the user experience, it wasn't really up to my standards. That's why I got some people in Australia to come on board and fine-tweak the app.
On the other hand, Peerbits Solution is hard working, they're always communicative, and they're always online on Skype, so I can always have a chat with them. They're always happy to oblige. You ask them anything, and they'll help you. That's what I really liked about Peerbits.
The way we used Peerbits was to get them to create the foundations of the app. We then took the code and polished it to a level that we obviously think our customers need to have. The small things are probably my only criticism of Peerbits. Other than that, their founders always reach out to me and are always asking how the project's going. They're always looking for feedback, and I know they've taken feedback well. They're looking to improve their team and fill positions where they obviously need better expertise. Apart from that, they're an excellent team.
Is there anything unique or special about Peerbits Solution that really makes them stand out?
I haven't really had too much experience with other firms, so I can't speak to their uniqueness. When you go onto Elance, you're absolutely smashed with proposal after proposal. I think, for that project, I got close to a hundred proposals, and I had to filter through all of them.
The thing that I really liked about Peerbits is they actually went to their prior customers and got video testimonials. People actually spoke in real life about their experience with Peerbits, and that's what kind of swayed me to them. Those videos gave a bit of credibility to the company because one of the biggest challenges of using Elance is the credibility of some of these companies. I've been in this business for 10 or 15 years, I've imported products from China, and I've been scammed before, so due diligence is essential. When I saw those video testimonials and real-life feedback on Peerbits, that's what made me choose them.
I'm on Skype every day, and I'm constantly connected with two or three of their programmers. They're always there on Monday to Saturday, and they're always open to questions. Some of their programmers that are not even on my project anymore are more than happy to help me out. It's not like they won't help if they are not getting paid. They've got that good customer relationship beyond just making money. They're obviously working hard to establish themselves. I've spoken to the founder many times, and they are eager to improve their business.
Looking back on the work so far, is there any area that you think they could improve upon or something that you might do differently?
Aside from the design issues, probably the only thing I would think of was the project management aspect, which was not always as structured as I would like. We are running two projects on Android and iOS, and, in hindsight, I should've just focused on one platform at a time, finished it, and then tried to get traction with that before creating a different one. But, we were going parallel with both Android and iOS, and we had different developers on each platform, and they weren't talking to each other.
One platform was ahead of another, and some of the features were getting implemented slightly differently because there were two programmers implementing it in different ways, and they obviously weren't communicating. It was proving to be a bit of a headache. A project that we'd originally estimated that would take six months took significantly longer. So, the project management could be looked at and improved. That, and the design elements, were my biggest concern, but the quality of the work was good.