Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?
The impact was good. Vishal Jadhav [Co-Founder, Prismic Reflections] and his team are not energy experts, so I couldn’t expect them to understand fully where I was coming from a technical standpoint. Despite this, doing independent research and coming back with suggestions around how our platform should look, as well as setting up the actual UI [user interface] teams, was appreciated. Prismic Reflections worked on not just the frontend look and feel, but also gave us a number of digital assets and ideas on which UI style set we should use. The impact was huge, and it helped us speed up our process. Our time to market was reduced a lot.
Once our work with Prismic Reflections was completed in August, and even though we had budgeted for designing the second round of modules, we did not have to do that. The digital assets and the user philosophy created by them were integrated seamlessly by our own team. This was important since we’re a software company, not a design one. In one sense, we had a consulting project with Prismic Reflections as well, which was a plus for us. We were not straddled into having to use them again and again, which is something we experienced with other companies that would not hand over the actual intelligence to us regarding how they were thinking and what sources they researched.
The design assets created by Prismic Reflections are new age, and we believe we won’t have to change anything for the next five years. This said, no matter how many other pieces we add to our functionality, based on industry changes, we will not need to go to another designer. Prismic Reflections helped us develop with a module first philosophy.
We’ve recently rolled out Android and iOS apps into the market, and we didn’t need Prismic Reflections for the job. They had already laid the foundation, so all we had to do was use those pieces.
How did Prismic Reflections perform from a project management standpoint?
It’s rather difficult to undergo a remote design project. Prismic Reflections was based in Nashik, while we were in Hyderabad, but they came up with some creative ideas on how we could share screens in real time. They implemented something called Draw.io, for drawing collaboratively, but we also used Skype, Basecamp, and other tools. We were able to articulate to each other well. Prismic Reflections is a small company, but the way in which they leverage assets made our lives easier.
Many times, a company will disappear and come back after a month. At the end of that time, we will see that the results are not what we expected and this was definitely not the case with Prismic Reflections. My team members and I had access to the actual design resources on their site. We had full transparency and around-the-clock interaction.
What did you find most impressive about Prismic Reflections?
Prismic Reflections’ work culture stands out. The second differentiator is that they don’t monetize knowledge, but rather expertise. Someone can pose as an expert and help a client, earning money from that as opposed to keeping the actual knowledge and assets hidden so that they can be reused. I haven’t seen Prismic Reflections reuse any assets, which many design companies do, employing one to three user philosophies which they sell to everyone. What Prismic Reflections ended up delivering to us makes us independent. We don’t need them anymore. We are still trying to engage with them on some projects for customers since our larger company is a customer-facing IT solutions provider. For the money we spent, the long term benefit is beyond that.
Since we are a US company headquartered in Omaha and Portland, we did explore some American agencies, but Prismic Reflections’ bang for the buck was much higher.
Are there any areas Prismic Reflections could improve?
I’ve suggested to Prismic Reflections’ principal that they should start, at some point, to specialize in some verticals like pharmaceuticals or education. That would give them some actual domain knowledge which could lead to some more depth and insight into the designs. I couldn’t find this for the energy space while looking for partner companies. The field can be researched, and we can have a dialogue, but I still made the suggestion. His response was that, at the size and scale of the company, they cannot afford to do that and they would rather focus on the design itself.
Prismic Reflections is also limited in terms of actual HTML development. We were able to take it in-house since we are primarily an IT company. Their founder told me that this wasn’t their front in any case and that they didn’t want to stretch too thin.
They undergo six or seven projects per year. Based on Prismic Reflections’ expertise and culture, I would really wish for them to be more scalable, but that’s a conscious choice. Their principal values their current module, and I’m fine with that.
What tips or recommendations could you share that might increase the likelihood of success with Prismic Reflections?
Clients should always have a short face-to-face discovery session. It will help when talking about user experience. Vishal might ask seemingly dumb questions, but you should be patient with him since he’s processing information and it can take some time to understand what needs to be designed.
Also, try to have realistic targets. Prismic Reflections is a small company, so you can’t expect them to finish a huge project inside a month.