Custom Technology. Intuitive Design.

Sidebench is a strategy, design, and development consultancy based in Los Angeles. We cater to innovative enterprise companies and top new ventures seeking product strategy, bringing them the strategic value of enterprise-level management consulting, the technical chops of systems integration consulting, combined with the UX-first approach of one of the best digital product teams in the world.

 
$25,000+
 
$150 - $199 / hr
 
10 - 49
 Founded
2012
Show all +
Culver City, CA
headquarters
  • Sidebench
    10317 Washington Blvd
    Culver City, CA 90232
    United States

Portfolio

Key clients: 

Red Bull, NBCUniversal, Oakley, Facebook, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Andreessen Horowitz, Sony Pictures, American Heart Association, Cedars-Sinai, IEHP, Instagram, and many more.

Reefer Loyalty

Our partnership with Reefer Loyalty stemmed from our involvement with Blackstone Launch Pad Student Incubator at USC.  As a result of our partnership, we were able to create an app that incentivizes people to share their dispensaries with friends in order to earn points and get free products from participating locations. 

ROVA

The IoT Group approached Sidebench in early 2016 to build a mobile control application for their latest product — the ROVA Selfie Drone. 

We designed and developed the app on a 4 week timeline and delivered a fully functional, easy to use product that lives on both Android and iOS. 

Red Bull Photo Booth App

Red Bull partnered with Sidebench to design and develop an internationally scalable marketing platform that could be taken and used in a range of different real-world environments. Specifically, we created a photo booth experience that takes photos at live events via an iPad.  The event is set up using a custom built admin app that allows full customization of photo templates, filters and photo frames.  Overall, the final product eliminated their need for multiple photo booth vendors, collected valuable user data at events all over the world and saved them a large amount of money.   

Pabst Blue Ribbon

Our work with PBR initially began as a mobile tool to help their field marketing team keep track of products, events and suppliers. It grew into an app that is not only vital to their internal teams, but the app is also used by consumers so that their core audience can track down events, earn points by checking in to those events and earn free PBR gear with their points. 

Melody

Melody is a social app that aggregates music news and curator-created multi-media music collections.  We designed and developed a prototype that helped them raise over $850k in seed funding. 

NBCUniversal

NBCUniversal was using four distinct marketplace interfaces to distribute digital content and assets. Sidebench was tasked with consolidating and redesigning the marketplaces into a singe, mobile responsive web-app.  By overhauling the existing UI and UX, we created one unified central platform for all user groups to enter and view content relevant to them through different permissions-based layouts.  

Meridith Baer Home - Inventory

Sidebench partnered with MBH to deliver an advanced business process through a custom FileMaker Pro solution (on desktop and iPad) with connected Bluetooth barcode scanning. This custom system enabled powerful tracking and analytics which provides essential insights for Meridith Baer Home’s executives. 

Augmented Reality

Our AR demo was our first augmented reality project. We wanted to see how we could implement the technology into a marketing tool. So, we created a print ad for clothing which, when viewed through our mobile app, allowed users to see all available colors and styles as well as order directly through the advertisement.

Sidebench was tasked with creating a cross-platform, bi-lingual mobile app for both iOS and Android to help serve IEHPs 1.1 million members. The app is HIPAA compliant and is an all encompassing mobile application that allows users to access nearly every piece of information regarding their healthcare provider and personal records. 

Facebook

Facebook wanted to target international markets for further, continuous growth. Sidebench has been Facebook’s creative strategy and design partner for digital advertising since 2013. Sidebench’s strategies and designs have resulted in a sustainable 450%+ increase in CTR.

WorkGrades

WorkGrades is an online employment verification tool that allows employers, employees, and job seekers to have a place where references can be documented and confirmed. Sidebench was brought on to fully redesign the WorkGrades experience.

Baublebar

Sidebench teamed with Baublebar to develop a sales-generating marketing strategy and created an interactive promotional web game that allowed users to play for discounts and other perks.  During the campaign 200,000+ emails were obtained.

Oakley Lens Guide

The Lens Guide showcases all available lenses by sport, color and it debuted Oakley's Prizm technology. Despite initially being limited by their in-house resources and outdated technology stack, Sidebench was able to get their new platform to market with an 81% increase in their load times across desktop and mobile.

Reviews

Sort by

Web App Design & Dev for Venture Capital Firm

“They're very hands-on, reliable, and thoughtful. … We had a great experience.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Apr. 2014 - Apr. 2016
Project summary: 

Sidebench designed and developed three web applications to facilitate interactions between networks of clients. The apps are mobile responsive and integrate with Google and Bing.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
Menlo Park, California
Former Partner, Executive Talent, Venture Capital Firm
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Exceeding all expectations, Sidebench produced a high-quality product on time and on budget. Proactive in their recommendations and creative, they have their clients’ best interests in mind, while their expertise and ability to guide the process makes them a reliable partner.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

At the time of the project, I worked at a venture capital firm.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Sidebench?

We were building various technology platforms to help us manage our network of clients and our interactions with the network. We only had Salesforce administrators in-house, so we were looking for a company to create a business application and handle all of our custom integrations.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They managed the entire process from designing to prototyping the product. Using node.js, HTML5, and other technology, they built a desktop application that was also mobile responsive. They automated a lot of functions on the backend and made it possible for us to capture data from the users and improve communication. Also, they integrated the app with Google and Bing. In total, they built three applications for us: one internal and two external facing apps.

They explained to me how InVision works and walked me through the entire process. They're good listeners and did an excellent job bringing my ideas to life. In addition, they performed product testing and continue to maintain the applications.

What is the team composition?

We worked with a product manager, a designer, and a number of engineers.

How did you come to work with them?

They're proactive in making recommendations and offer a strategic value rather than just execution. They're honest and efficient when it comes to thinking about business problems and marketing. In addition, we liked their design ideas and cost estimates, so we decided they were the right fit. 

How much have you invested with them?

We spent about $200,000. The first product they developed cost $30,000 and the second one was about $75,000. Our large software development project was close to $100,000, which was a great value for the size of the project.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with them in April 2014 and the project was completed in April 2016.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

They've produced very high-quality products, making our job easier. It was as if they read our mind and then delivered exactly what we needed. With their help, we were able to hit our KPIs quicker.

How did they perform from a project management standpoint?

They're very hands-on, reliable, and thoughtful. They were always on time or they gave us detailed reasons as to why they had to change the timelines. We used Basecamp to keep track of the project.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They're smart, professional, and understand their clients. Some agencies are either very creative or good at implementation, but Sidebench is a perfect combination of both. They're innovative when it comes to business models, and at the same time, they're always looking out for their clients' best interests. Their primary focus is not on making money, which is why their clients end up with better products than they had expected.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No. I never had any issues with them.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Be clear at the beginning about whether you need help generating ideas or you already know what you're developing. Those will be two different processes. If you know what you're developing, they can execute on it. If you're not sure about the product, they can help you define your vision and then bring it to life.

5.0
Overall Score We had a great experience.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They met their deadlines.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They could even raise their prices and it'd still be worth it.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    Everything was very high-quality.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I've already recommended them to many people.

Mobile App Dev for Health Insurance Company

“Since releasing Sidebench's app, we've seen about 90,000 installs and close to two million transactions per year.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$1,000,000 - $9,999,999
 
2015 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Sidebench developed iOS and Android mobile apps, managing the frontend, backend, and internal application integration. They continue to iterate and maintain the platforms.

The Reviewer
 
501-1,000 Employees
 
Los Angeles, California
Michael Deering
CIO, Inland Empire Health Plan
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The new apps increased member downloads from about 1,000 to 90,000. User transactions have significantly increased and the apps have received high ratings in app stores. Accessible, quick, and organized, their team continues to be a great partner to work with as the platforms evolve. 

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I'm the chief information officer at Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP), a safety net health plan with about 1.2 million members within the Inland Empire. Our services include Medicaid, Medicare, and HMO, so we work on the provider side as well as on member engagement and maintenance.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Sidebench?

We wanted to increase our member engagement and improve on how we communicate our services.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Sidebench developed iOS and Android mobile apps, acting as a full development shop for us from concept to finished product. One app acts as a member portal, where users can check claims, see their prior claims and HMO authorizations, and communicate to our internal staff. Users can also access their ID through the app, make appointments, and choose or change their primary care physician (PCP). We plan to also include wellness functionality to the app in the near future.

They provided both frontend and backend development of the apps, integrating them into our internal applications. They've also helped map out a communications strategy around member engagement.

What is the team composition?

Most of my interaction is with the president of Sidebench and one of his senior account managers. Our team collaborates with their team of developers and project managers as well, so we've probably worked with a total of 15–20 people.

How did you come to work with Sidebench?

We went through an RFP process and gave a handful of developers six weeks to deliver a concept to us. Sidebench had the best presentation.

How much have you invested with them?

Over the last few years, we've spent in the range of $3–4 million.

What is the status of this engagement?

We've been working with them since 2015.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Previously, our member portal was utilized by about 1,000 registered users annually. Since releasing Sidebench's app, we've seen about 90,000 installs and close to two million transactions per year. It's received an average user rating of at least four stars in app stores.

How did Sidebench perform from a project management standpoint?

We both run an agile shop, so their processes line up well with our in-house processes. As bugs come up, Sidebench's team is quick to fix them and make any iterations relatively quickly. We don't have any trouble reaching them and generally track projects and communication through Workfront, Slack, and Jira.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They can transform a simple idea or concept into a concrete deliverable in a short timeframe. They do all the research and hard work in between without us having to worry. They've made it easy to add to our roadmap as needed.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No. They continue to become more experienced in the healthcare industry, so that's an added bonus for us.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Look for a partner that's flexible and able to fill in the blanks when you need them filled them.

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

Product Roadmap Dev for Medical Technology Solutions Startup

“They respond promptly to every request, they stick to the timeline, and they stayed within the limits of our budget.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Oct. 2017 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Sidebench provided business strategy and research services for a medical tech company looking to scale up. They performed an architectural review of existing software and devised marketing and growth plans.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
Los Angeles, California
Co-Founders, RobustForLife
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Sidebench’s expertise and attention to detail have helped connect investors to a developing product while avoiding unnecessary expenses. Their research has also helped refine product goals and narrow down intended user groups. They deliver products quickly and adapt well to budget constraints.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

John Armato: I’m a practicing physician specializing in internal medicine.

Ronald Ruby: I’m an endocrinologist.

JA: We’re the co-founders of RobustForLife, which is an early-stage business model that involves the use of a software to help prevent Type II diabetes.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Sidebench?

JA: We’ve developed our own software and report-generating capability, which we’ve been sharing within a small medical community that focuses on the prevention of diabetes and its complications. Our challenge has been figuring out how to scale up our business and position ourselves in a way that can help us attract investors and new customers.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

JA: We brought in Sidebench to review the technical architecture underpinning our software, our server setup, and the way we’re linked to different hospitals and labs that provide data or services to us. Next, we asked them to build us a strategic roadmap and identify the steps we still need to take in order to grow our business and fully launch the software. They’ve also come up with marketing plans and consulted with us on website development and scalability. We tasked them with helping us plan how to move from a purely informational “brochure-style” site to a full patient platform when our service is totally up and running.

RR: They’ve finished the roadmap and some additional research tasks so far.

JA: We asked them to make a report on any FDA compliance issues we might run into, which they’ve delivered. Right now they’re nearly finished with the web design review.

What is the team composition?

JA: So far, we’ve worked with a production manager, a UX/UI designer, a business strategy consultant, and a web developer.

How did you come to work with Sidebench?

JA: A family member was a client of theirs and referred them to us. They also had previous experience working with healthcare-focused clients, so that appealed to us as well.

RR: One of the members of their team is actually a medical student, which made for an easy working relationship. If there were topics they weren’t familiar with regarding medicine or specific regulations, they were very efficient in connecting us to third-party sources who could answer those questions promptly and thoroughly.

How much have you invested with them?

JA: As of right now, we’ve probably spent around $35,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

RR: We started working with them in October 2017.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

JA: Their architectural review allowed us to avoid spending money on a technical expansion we didn’t really need. The information they provided in our roadmap has helped us move forward in talks with our investors. We now have funding commitments for the next phase of our plan, which is a pilot project. They’ve also affected our strategic plan in terms of modifying the final product so it generates information more efficiently and focuses more specifically on two specific groups of end-users they helped us identify.

How did Sidebench perform from a project management standpoint?

JA: We usually meet twice per week. We found that transparency regarding expectations on both sides made the process run smoothly.

RR: In terms of communication, there’s a combination of in-person discussion, Skype calls, and online interaction. They were very easy to work with. They’re efficient and they outlined their costs and the total number of hours very carefully along each step in the process.

JA: We’ve worked with other vendors before and Sidebench’s level of service really distinguishes them. They respond promptly to every request, they’ve stuck to the timeline, and they stayed within the limits of our budget.

RR: We really didn’t think we could afford their services, but they’ve adjusted in order to accommodate us. They’re very thoughtful about how to proceed.

JA: They’ve been able to find creative ways to accomplish our goals within the confines that we have, which we appreciate.

What did you find most impressive about them?

JA: I don’t like investing money if it doesn’t get me where I need to go, so we were initially hesitant because of the cost. I’m glad we moved forward because they’ve delivered incredible value in return. Not only have they helped us work within the confines of our budget, they’ve also given us realistic feedback on how much money we should expect to spend as a new start-up.

And, the caliber of their employees is really impressive. We’ve worked with a lot of people over the years and Sidebench’s team stands out for their expertise, creativity, and flexibility.

RR: I’m impressed by their efficiency. If we have a meeting on a particular day, they’ll send out reminders in advance and be fully prepared by the time we talk.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

RR: Listen to what your consultants say because they’re usually right. That can be difficult, especially in our line of work, because you’re used to assuming you have the answers, but their team will use its expertise to guide you down the right path.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    We really appreciate the value they’ve been able to deliver.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Web Dev & UI/UX Design for Media Conglomerate

“We really like the product. They gave us exactly what we were looking for and better.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Jan. - May 2016
Project summary: 

Sidebench developed the UI/UX design of a new website to consolidate a larger online presence. They collaborated on mockups through several iterations and presented to executive-level staff for approval.

The Reviewer
 
10,000+ Employees
 
Los Angeles, California
VP, Global Media Operations, Media Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Communication was initially inconsistent but vastly improved over time. Through a cooperative approach, Sidebench took the time to understand the project’s true scope. They adhered to creative direction, but proactively made suggestions when necessary to ultimately improve the final product.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the VP of global media operations for a media company. I oversee our company’s digital supply chain operation.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Sidebench?

We were consolidating our marketing websites and needed their help designing a framework and UX that is cohesive with all our other sites.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

The first steps included giving them a demo of the existing systems we planned to retire and talking about our vision for the new framework. Then, we provided high-level design principles for them to follow. They interviewed us to fully understand the business process and dug deep into the existing systems and designs.

They came up with a few proposals on how the new site could flow and be structured. We collaborated to further refine the designs and they presented the proposal to our executive management staff. Once that was approved, they provided us with the detailed design mockups and components we needed to build the site. In total, they designed 10–15 pages of mockups that went through four rounds of iteration.

What is the team composition?

We interacted with an assigned project manager and an analyst, but there was probably a larger team doing a lot of work as well. Additionally, their CEO was heavily involved in crucial executive meetings.

How did you come to work with Sidebench?

They came through a recommendation from either an employee or contractor that I was working with. We had discussions with them to see if they could deliver the right scope of work. They demonstrated their portfolio and we found their approach valuable. Therefore, we decided to hire them.

How much have you invested with them?

We spent around $50,000–$100,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We worked with them from January–May 2016.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Hired designers often have their own ideas they want to impose on the given project. The people at Sidebench were very good about listening and understanding the journey we need to go through for a successful transition. They stayed consistent with our needs and principles, but also added some flair and creative ideas. That kind of innovative thinking led to a more polished product.

How did Sidebench perform from a project management standpoint?

The beginning of the project was a little shaky, but after a quick escalation, they got back on track. We’d communicate primarily through email but also had multiple meetings through WebEx. We had no issues with the budget and they completed the project within the expected timeline.

What did you find most impressive about them?

One area of the site didn't follow the specific themes that we were looking for, but they were asked by one of our executives to design it that way. They did an outstanding job of articulating some of the challenges with that theme and supported us in convincing the executive to move away from that direction. That’s impressive to see because most vendors just take orders and do exactly what you tell them. Sidebench had a good approach to pushing back and offering something above and beyond what we asked of them.

Are there any areas they could improve?

Management level personnel could’ve been more involved at the beginning of the project, rather than waiting for us to escalate. That’s a minor complaint and overall, I’m satisfied with the way they performed.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

The ability of a company to understand our needs is extremely important. The listening aspect of a partnership is often undervalued. Looking at a company’s portfolio is standard practice, but it's vital for them to understand our vision and culture. Sidebench did an excellent job with that aspect and I’ve seen it lacking in other companies we’ve used.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They were on time and within budget.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    The cost was reasonable and below what we expected.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    We really like the product. They gave us exactly what we were looking for and better.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

iOS Mobile App Dev & Design for Health & Fitness Program

“They have a really good pulse of current markets and strategies; they're a talented group of people.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
July 2017 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

After many concept workshops, Sidebench is developing a health and fitness app for iOS while providing the design work. The app is rife with content and features unique fitness evaluation capabilities.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Portland, Oregon
Lauren Jenai
CEO, Manifest
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Sidebench blends practical development with innovative design principals. Internal and external feedback to app development has been positive. They complete project milestones by the planned schedule and deliver within budget. The team’s responsive and willing to engage in productive dialogue.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the founder and CEO of Manifest, a health and fitness program for people who aren’t already participating in health and fitness.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Sidebench?

Working with other firms, I had issues melding design with development and wanted to find a vendor who could collaborate effectively across those domains. I needed a cohesive team to create my company’s mobile app.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

I worked with two previous developers and had a version of the Manifest app complete. However, the focus changed and it had to be significantly updated. I had already spent a lot of money and it became apparent I’d have to hire a designer. I wasn’t comfortable moving forward with that plan and instead, hired Sidebench to redesign and develop the app from the ground up.

We’ve gone through workshops regarding the flow of the app and they’ve been very thorough in getting a full understanding of the concept before starting development. Now with a defined vision, they’re currently developing the app for iOS.

As a key feature, we have a proprietary formula for evaluating people's states as they begin the program and throughout the program. This ultimately yields an adherence score as a measure of success. Additionally, the app supports communication between our participants and facilitators. Another feature is that the app’s going to be extremely rich with video and written content compared to other fitness apps. Once completed, Sidebench will help me create a visual pitch presentation for pitch deck purposes.

What is the team composition?

I’ve worked with six members of their team including a project manager, development lead, design lead, and two supporting staff members. There’s also a business development manager. I assume there are more people involved with whom I didn’t interface.

How did you come to work with Sidebench?

Sidebench was referred to me by a trusted colleague. They felt like the right choice during the interview process. I appreciated some of their previous work and we had a great rapport, so I hired them.

How much have you invested with them?

I’ve spent about $370,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together in July 2017 and the relationship is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

I have an internal team that works with Manifest and helps me gauge if the new design work is up to par. So far, everyone on the team is excited about what Sidebench is producing. Additionally, their business development manager introduced me to a contact who runs a health conference. That meeting led to us presenting Manifest at the conference and receiving a lot of outside validation of Sidebench’s work.

How did Sidebench perform from a project management standpoint?

I'm not good at sticking with budgets or schedules, but they do a fabulous job. We have weekly check-ins where they go over what they're working on and so far everything has been right on-time and within budget. We communicate via email and Google Hangouts.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They offer a thorough and organized process, but what’s truly notable is their creativity. Everyone’s input is extremely valuable and it helps keep me on-task. Communicating with developers is often frustrating, but that was never the case here. They're a young and exciting team with a fresh perspective. They have a really good pulse of current markets and strategies; they're a talented group of people.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Work with like-minded developers/designers that understand your concept and have enthusiasm for the project.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They set the schedule and consistently keep appointments.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    I’ve spent a lot of money, but I've gotten more value for it than I did working with previous companies.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    The work they’ve done is beautiful, unique, and exactly what I hoped for.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I’d recommend them to anybody looking for development or design.

UI/UX Re-Design for Online Healthcare Booking Platform

“They really understand healthcare and the design challenges within it.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Aug. - Sept. 2017
Project summary: 

Sidebench provided UX/UI for an online booking engine in the healthcare sphere. Working within a highly regulated vertical, they built the new product through an iterative process.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Los Angeles, California
Co-Founder, Online Booking Engine
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

They delivered the product within two months and ahead of schedule. Their performance exceeded expectations and the app increased conversion rates. A project manager was readily available via phone or email.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the co-founder and COO of an online booking engine for substance abuse recovery treatment. We help match individuals to the appropriate facilities and level of care.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Sidebench?

We had a rudimentary web application that we wanted to take to the next level.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They did UX/UI work for our web app, as well as some mobile design. The healthcare vertical is highly regulated, so we had to overcome some challenges from an aesthetic standpoint. They provided an initial comprehensive scope of work with all the features we wanted, followed by design builds for review. We gave feedback and made changes before landing on the final product.

What is the team composition?

They had two designers and a project manager.

How did you come to work with Sidebench?

We had a couple of local referrals. We started off with introductory calls and an in-house meeting with their team. I liked their clear, concise, and prompt communication style and their relevant body of work.

How much have you invested with them?

We invested about $20,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

The project went from August to September 2017.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

They came in ahead of schedule and increased our conversion rates in a portion of our funnel. The quality of their work went above and beyond our expectations.

How did Sidebench perform from a project management standpoint?

They were fantastic. Our project manager was always available by phone or email, even on weekends. We had a lot of back and forth on Zeppelin, where they delivered all the mockups.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They really understand healthcare and the design challenges within it.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Come up with the goals and deliverables you want, and do your due diligence before engaging an outside vendor.

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

React Native Mobile & Web App for E-Learning Company

“If … you give [Sidebench] the freedom to explore your project, they will create something amazing.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
Feb. 2017 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Sidebench created a mobile app for iOS and Android and an accompanying web app using React Native and React respectively. Key features include time tracking/approval, PDF exports, and a social feed.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Los Angeles, California
MIchael Kadisha
CEO, Treedom House
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The target audience has shown substantial interest in implementing the app upon its release. Sidebench's open communication and detail-oriented approach fostered a collaborative process, which yielded a product that exceeded expectations.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the Founder and CEO of Treedom House, an application that provides solutions in education and climate change issues. We have a free web app and mobile app that help public schools, private schools, and non-profit organizations manage their volunteer systems.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Sidebench?

I was looking for a company that could create a system that addressed the needs of our users. Sidebench was instrumental in identifying the necessary features for the project.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We started off by discussing the specific issues I was looking to address with this application. We also interviewed members of our target audience, including teachers, students, counselors, administrators, and so on, to get a better idea of what specific features they were looking for. Sidebench created several mock ups, and we worked together to create a design that aligned with our business goals. They went on to create a mobile app for iOS and Android using React Native, as well as a web app using React.

I was looking to create an app that would allow counselors to more effectively manage their volunteers. The app encourages a competitive environment with regards to community service in an effort to engage students. I wanted a system that improved on the functionality and usability of community service management systems already in place, and a system that I could offer at no charge to users.

What is the team composition?

I work with about 4 developers at any given time, but about 10 in total. They would add or remove team members based on the phase of the project and the scope of work.

How did you come to work with Sidebench?

I started with a simple Google search and found their profile on Clutch. I was considering about four firms in the beginning, but after visiting their office and speaking with them, I knew they were the right choice. The thoroughness and sense of care that they put into their work set them apart from other firms.

How much have you invested with them?

Around $200,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

I started working with Sidebench in February of 2017 and are continuing to work with them on various features.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

I’ve taken it to several schools and have seen very high retention rates. Every school I’ve gone to has shown interest in using the app. In both public and private schools, administrators have been very impressed by the model that aims to incentivize students. We’re continuing to move forward on the non-profit side of the business as well.

How did Sidebench perform from a project management standpoint?

They were very professional and meticulous throughout the project. I am very detail-oriented, and Sidebench isn’t used to working with individuals as opposed to companies. There were a few instances where I felt that communication could be improved, and they immediately made changes to our process when I raised these concerns. They created a weekly stakeholders’ status call and made every effort to keep me involved in the process. We communicate primarily over the phone and via Slack.

What did you find most impressive about them?

The development process was extremely efficient. I didn’t expect to have such an incredible product within a matter of months. I haven’t run into a single problem. Nina, my project manager is easy to work with, and does a great job managing the process.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I would like to see them hire additional in-house developers. They primarily focus on design, so they have a limited supply of developers. They were great to work with, however, and I had never felt that the development process could have been better.

Advice for potential customers?

Know exactly what you want from the beginning of the engagement. If you communicate effectively, Sidebench will guide you in the right direction and successfully execute your idea. You will encounter problems throughout the process and there will be features that are expensive, but if you can afford their services and you give them the freedom to explore your project, they will create something amazing. Steve Jobs said that “you don't hire smart people to tell them what to do. You hire smart people so that they could tell you what to do.” This quote resonated with me during my Sidebench engagement.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They delivered everything on time and never asked for extensions.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They’re all great at what they do and provide excellent value for your money.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    Provided they’re within your budget, I would highly recommend them.

Mobile App Dev for Drone

“Sidebench shows a real passion for the project and … remains open-minded about changing requirements.”

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Dec. 2016 - Aug. 2017
Project summary: 

Sidebench designed and built the first version of a unique drone companion app for iOS and Android. The team continues to make enhancements for future versions. They also assist with testing and distribution.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Sydney, Australia
Head of Technology, IoT Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Test users praise the app’s intuitive and clean interface, which shows the quality of Sidebench’s work. The team’s passion for the project is palpable. Sidebench delivers solid results despite aggressive deadlines, changing requirements, and multiple time zones.   

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

Our company works on developing and distributing consumer technology products for the U.S. and Australian markets. I’m responsible for the technical aspects of the products that are being developed.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Sidebench?

We needed to design and develop a new mobile app to accompany a selfie drone. It was a free app that customers could download once they purchased the drone. The app had to be simple to use and provide easy access to social media. Our target market was modern tech and selfie lovers, but even nondrone enthusiasts should be able to learn how to use the app easily. This app would be deployed on both Android and iOS for phones and tablets.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They developed two apps for the Android and iOS platforms, with a heavy focus on the complete UX/UI [user experience/user interface] design to allow for the easy adoption of the product. Sidebench managed the full development and user testing process all the way up to deployment. They managed the upload of the app to the App Store and Google Play. This included controlling regional deployment.

The app connects to a drone and allows users to control the drone. Users can also do live streaming, download media files, and post them on social media. Key features include simple onboarding screens, a link to Wi-Fi settings from the main menu, and an intuitive flight interface. Users have access to the drone gallery. Through the app, they have the ability to download the camera roll and link to social media.

How did you come to work with Sidebench?

We looked at in-house resources, outsourced teams, and a local agency in Sydney. We picked Sidebench because they were reputable. They were recommended by our U.S. affiliate office for their strength in design and deployment. We were advised that Sidebench was capable of turning around work on very aggressive timelines, which was the biggest factor in choosing them.

What is the status of this engagement?

This has been an ongoing development, from the initial app release to periodical updates.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

The drone has only recently been released, so there is currently little data available for the app. However, the soon-to-be-released upgraded flight interface has had a very positive response from our test users, who say that the app design is clean and simple. They find it easy to use and understand.

How did Sidebench perform from a project management standpoint?

We use Slack for daily communication and JIRA for more technical bug management. We have an aggressive timeline, with fortnightly sprints. For the first app release, they’ve successfully delivered despite incredibly tight deadlines.

Our largest challenge has been working with the hardware provider, who is based in China. This is a logistical nightmare since it involves three completely different time zones. Fortunately, Sidebench’s team is willing to work after business hours to allow better communication between all three groups.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Sidebench shows a real passion for the project and remains dedicated to the job. The team remains open-minded about changing requirements, making a great effort to satisfy these changes. Jay [Partner & Head of Product Innovation, Sidebench] and his team are great to liaise with. They make us feel comfortable and confident.

Are there any areas they could improve?

This is a new kindof project for Sidebench, especially dealing with a third-party backend solution that interfaces with hardware. The team has definitely learned a lot from this experience, as have we.

4.5
Overall Score It’s great to work with them. Their team has solid app design and development skills. I can only say positive things about them.
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    The timelines are very aggressive, but Sidebench genuinely makes an effort to meet them. Any delays are quickly communicated so all parties are aware and can react accordingly.
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They’ve stayed within the agreed budget.
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    The UX/UI design is clean, simple, and unique. It has not required a great number of revisions.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I would refer them to any company that wants to deploy a well-designed and well-built app, but lacks in-house resources.

Melody

"The team they proposed was creative, engaging, smart, and accountable..."

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

Sidebench provided technology, product development, branding, and marketing for a mobile app. They first created a POC, then developed the first wireframes. Their work includes design and backend development.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Santa Monica, California
Gregg Colvin
Co-Founder, Melody
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Sidebench’s developed POC raised triple the expected amount of funds from seed investors. Their wireframes and designs saved countless hours and dollars over other contractors. The team at Sidebench is organized and always on time, and their deliverables are top notch and high-quality.

BACKGROUND

Melody is a mobile application that is revolutionizing the way people discover and create content. We are focused on media and content and are based in Santa Monica, California. Melody has ten employees. Our content localizes itself, so our target market is international and domestic. Our target audience is people from 15–30 years of age.

I am the CEO and co-founder.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

We had two primary business opportunities. First, we engaged with Sidebench to create a POC [proof of concept]. In this regard, we tasked them with technological investigation, product architecture, and commercial viability. Their efforts to scope and validate our project yielded an excellent POC. In fact, this POC enabled us to cut time and resources when we began the build in earnest. More importantly, we needed the POC to raise money from our initial seed investors. They delivery was so slick and so functional that it helped us to raise more than twice our initial investment expectation.

Secondly, we worked with Sidebench to help architect the first workable wireframes. In this capacity, they provided tremendous help on the server side issues. On the client side, they developed beautiful, intuitive product designs that sped development. Our server-side and client-facing internal teams felt that the delivery was so well vetted that we were able to develop the minimum viable product with great effectiveness.

SOLUTION

We did an enormous amount of due diligence before selecting this critical partner. We met with at least eight separate technology studios. Sidebench delivered the most compelling vision.

Sidebench took our specs and ideas and added to them in ways that moved the product forward by leaps and bounds. The team they proposed was creative, engaging, smart, and accountable, and gave us a measure of confidence we did not get from other companies. Kevin, the founder, and his reputation as a tech/creative leader preceded our discussions. I had heard his name often and was eager to engage with him. We were even more impressed than we expected.

The scope of Sidebench's work was broad. They provided creative ideation, technological development, thought partnership, product expertise, client-side expertise, server-side guidance, branding work, and team training.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Sidebench was perfection. Their work was top notch. We were able to use the POC they created to raise triple our expected seed round.

Their work on the product development side was equally impressive. They expanded on our initial idea to help us create an even more compelling product. Through their tech guidance, we were able to remove potential server-side landmines. Their wireframes and design work saved us months of time and thousands of dollars in full-time equivalent contract work.

Sidebench provides a tremendous and unique service. Their combined expertise in areas as disparate as technology, product development, branding, and marketing is unique in the field and creates exponential gain!

5.0
Overall Score Excellent Work. They are a tremendous partner.
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They were on time and well organized.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    Sidebench is very cost effective and they were helpful in proposing creative/alternative pay structures.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    Sidebench provides great service and great work.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I would provide a recommendation without equivocation.

Android App Redesign for Crowdsolving Platform

"They delivered fantastic quality and communication."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Nov. 2016 - Jan. 2016
Project summary: 

Using the iOS version as a guideline, Sidebench took the 2.0 version of an Android app rewrote, refactored, and debugged the native code to build the 3.0 Android version of this platform.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Orange County, California
Jeff Kunzelman
VP Product & Engineering, POPin Inc.
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Sidebench was complimented for their agile project management and ability to deliver a high-quality product under limited guidance.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the VP of product and engineering for POPin, a crowdsolving platform for enterprises of all sizes. Our solution drives success for a company’s initiatives through the intimate engagement of its employees, partners, and clients. We offer Software-as-a-service via web and mobile apps. Currently, we have 35 employees. Our office is located in Orange County, California.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Sidebench?

We recently launched version 3.0 of our product but did not have the resources to redesign our native Android app. We needed a high-functioning and focused team who could be an extension of our development team.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Sidebench did a spec-less port of our existing Android app to the new version 3.0 design. They only used our version 3.0 iOS and web app as the guidelines for rewriting an existing native Android app. It required lots of refactoring of the native Android code, as well as development and debugging. They had to work autonomously while staying in close coordination with our development team. We were not able to spare many support cycles for this, so they needed to be highly self-directed.  

How did you come to work with Sidebench?

Sidebench was a referral from a team member that had worked with them in the past. After considering a number of other firms, we concluded Sidebench had the right mix of UI/UX [user interface/user experience] design expertise and technical ability.

What is the status of this engagement?

The project duration was approximately three months.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

We had a rough start. Sidebench had a disconnect very early in the project due to some resource shuffling, which we didn't notice for a few of weeks. Once they refocused, they were extremely timely and effective. They delivered fantastic quality and communication. They also seemed to be agile enough to roll with changes and execute without much guidance from us.

How did Sidebench perform from a project management standpoint?

Everything was managed by Sidebench, although they were deeply connected with our product development team. As a result of the early disconnect, they did overrun the very tight schedule by about three weeks. They managed to stay within our budget.

Are there any areas Sidebench could improve?

Had Sidebench maintained a weekly cadence of check-ins with our team right from the beginning, they would have realized the disconnect on their side much sooner. That would have prevented the schedule overrun.

5.0
Overall Score We would absolutely use Sidebench again. They are a fantastic team to work with.
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    We got off to a stumbling start because of an early disconnect. However, once Sidebench fully engaged, schedules and deadlines were consistently met.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They stayed within budget.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    We have a very strong design and development team. Sidebench met all of our expectations for design and code quality.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    The Sidebench team was very easy to work with. They are able to operate with general guidelines rather than needing fully detailed specs. They are also able to sensibly track against moving requirements.