Custom Apps: Tech Done Right

Table XI is a trusted UX design and software development company.

We are 35 meticulous and curious minds in Chicago with a 15 year history of building websites, mobile applications and custom digital experiences for everyone from startups to storied brands. Our partners trust us to create innovative solutions that drive their businesses forward.

Want to learn more? Stop by one of our events: http://bit.ly/2sDC2Oy

 
$75,000+
 
$150 - $199 / hr
 
10 - 49
 Founded
2004
Show all +
Chicago, IL
headquarters
  • Table XI
    328 S Jefferson, Suite 670
    Chicago, IL 60661
    United States
    1.312.450.6320

Portfolio

Key clients: 

Industry Leaders: Northwestern University, Dickson, The Field Museum, Outcome Health, Rice University, Keiser | Startups: Everything But The House, The Wabash Lights, SuperBetter | Media Companies: Chicago Ideas, RogerEbert.com, PechuKucha

Training doctors with a flexible, CME-crediting mobile app

JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association needed a new way to offer CME credits that would engage and educate young doctors. Table XI was able to learn what those doctors needed through user research, then build a mobile app that delivers on-demand education for the next generation of JAMA readers.

Read the case study

Using a chatbot to engage student leaders at Rice University

How do you grab the attention of an 18-year-old? That’s the question Rice University came to Table XI to answer. The school had recently launched its Doerr Institute for New Leaders, and needed to show students all it could do.

We used user research to find the best solution — a chatbot that would survey students via text, then match them with a customized leadership program. Then we built it alongside Rice's IT team, so they could manage it long after Table XI wrapped.

Read the case study

Building a homecare app, and business model, from across the globe

Tend's founder came to us just as Australia was deregulating homecare — opening up an opportunity to bring technology to a previously paper-bound industry. He needed a technical partner to make the most of the moment. Together, we conducted user research to identify pain points and find solutions. The resulting app gives caregivers, clients and families a digital space to coordinate and communicate, making homecare more transparent and flexible than ever before.

Read the case study

Supporting PechaKucha's worldwide event series as it doubles in size

As PechaKucha’s storytelling series became a global phenomenon, its founders called Table XI to build technology capable of supporting their growing international community. Over the years we've collaborated on a website and an iOS app, taking turns flying between Tokyo and Chicago. Today our technology supports events in over 1,000 cities worldwide.

Read the case study

Building an ecommerce site capable of increasing revenue by 35 percent

The first ecommerce site we built for The Spice House in 2006 drove a 14-fold increase in online sales. So the bar was high 10 years later, when we embarked on a total redesign. Fortunately we've learned a lot about the business in 15 years of working together. When the new website launched, revenue jumped 35 percent, and it's still going strong.

Read the case study

Transforming Participate into an Agile product company — and boosting active users 43%

Participate came to us in early 2017 in the middle of merging businesses and transitioning to a product company. We were able to help them adopt an Agile mindset, establish a UX practice and weave design thinking into everything they do. The result is a 43 percent increase in active users and a 45 percent increase in satisfaction with UX for the entire product team.

Read the case study

Building a marketplace to help a plant seller disrupt its own 100-year-old business

The LandscapeHub team came to us with more than 100 years of family experience in the nursery business — and a desire to disrupt everything. We helped them build a two-sided marketplace connecting buyers and sellers, then train a new tech team to run it. Today they're a fully-funded startup with big plans to expand. 

Read the case study

Giving Northwestern a seamless, transparent platform for research management

Northwestern University was using a patchwork of systems to track usage and payments for its sixty research facilities. Table XI developed NUcore to serve as a single, seamless and transparent core facility management software. We've earned more than 90 percent adoption so far, giving administrators clear data on utilization and saving staff manhours.

Learn more

Developing an e-commerce app for Everything But The House

After bringing startup innovation to the unlikely world of estate sales, Everything But The House needed an iOS app that could manage its hundreds of thousands of active users. We worked alongside them to develop an e-commerce app that can keep up with their rapid growth — and deliver the insights and analytics necessary to help them scale.

Learn more

Delivering better UX for the Field Museum

The Field Museum of Natural History wanted to learn more about its users — and it was looking for a UX design team capable of approaching the question with the same scientific methods the museum prizes. We embarked on a four-month research project to learn what users were looking for and what they were getting on the existing website. Analyzing the interviews, data and tests allowed us to give the Field a whole new understanding of its users, and a redesigned website to better serve them.

Learn more

Creating a publishing site worthy of Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert wanted a website to host his archive and feature the work of movie critics he admired. He hired us to bring that vision to life. We were able to migrate his writing, build out search functionality and deliver an SEO-friendly website. We continue to support the site as it publishes brilliant new writing worthy of Roger's legacy.

Learn more

Bringing Dickson into the Internet of Things

For the past 15 years, family-owned Dickson has looked to Table XI to secure its future through technology. We started by helping Dickson’s team understand their users’ behavior, then worked up to revamping their entire e-commerce strategy.

As a technology partner though, our job is to identify new ways to grow Dickson's business. That’s why we’re proud to announce the launch of the DicksonOne app, a centralized hub for product data that’s giving Dickson an opportunity to own a slice of the Internet of Things.

Learn more

Giving Chicago Ideas a global media platform

We’ve been the official tech sponsor of Chicago Ideas for four years running, helping it grow from an annual gathering of influential speakers to a global idea-sharing brand. That’s meant building a new event management platform and mobile ticket-scanning app, moving Chicago Ideas to a new administration platform and upgrading it to an AWS infrastructure.

This year we tested new ways forward with a Product Design Workshop. The result was a total responsive redesign and a custom content management system that lets CI’s staff build new pages from 38 stackable design blocks.

Learn more

Building a CMS and iPad sales tool for Keiser

Keiser came to us with big plans. The more than 30-year-old maker of high-end fitness equipment — think training machines for NASA and the MLB — was preparing a huge marketing push ahead of their conference season. We were able to deliver a new website, CMS and iPad sales tool on a tight timeline and on budget.

Learn more

Preparing Cobbler Concierge for scale with stronger systems

Cobbler Concierge had seen rapid growth in its first year and a half in business — and its original system was starting to show the strain. The shoe and handbag repair startup came to us for a code audit to identify any weaknesses or limitations in the software. The findings allowed us to stabilize the product and create new opportunities for growth. In the seven months since we started, Cobbler has increased business by 66 percent, and growing.

Learn more

Reviews

Sort by

App & Web Dev for Investment Firm

"They're amazing on all fronts, and their development team is particularly amazing."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$1,000,000 - $9,999,999
 
Aug. 2014 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Table XI offers services in web and app design and development. They identify business problems regarding IT needs and offer solutions in a variety of areas such as education and customer service.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
Owner, Digital Investment Firm
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

They are adept at identifying and solving problems in addition to being responsive and communicative. They are also trustworthy and reliable, consistently delivering high-quality work. The client’s online traffic, presence, and sales have increased as a result of this collaboration.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I'm the founder of the company, which has three areas of focus. We invest in startups and help them build technology statistics, offer digital marketing and web development consulting services, and buy and build digital assets.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Table XI?

We needed to create several sales-focused digital assets for our client. We needed to redesign their site because it was poorly designed and a disservice to their brand. We also needed to develop a sales app tool for their representatives to take into the field and use as a digital catalog selling tool.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They served as the lead developer for the website. They helped us choose a platform that fits the client's IT needs. They also helped improve user experience and develop the site’s software. They found a lightweight solution for the sales app that we were able to implement quickly and inexpensively. They handled any additional design and development for the app.

They helped build a roadmap for our work process, which we use to uncover problems and architect solutions to bring us to the next phase of our projects. They also worked to solve internal problems that focused on education and customer service.

What is the team composition?

We had two main points of contact.

How did you come to work with Table XI?

I’ve known them for over 15 years, so I've progressed in business alongside their founder. I’ve always admired what he's done with his peers, and I seek opportunities to collaborate with them any chance I get. They're really smart people.

How much have you invested with them?

We’ve spent over $1,000,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together August 2014 and still collaborate.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

We've been able to significantly increase our client’s online sales, and their sales will probably reach 10% of this year’s revenue. Our client’s presence online has increased by 500%, and their exposure and traffic have increased.

How did Table XI perform from a project management standpoint?

They’re extremely responsive and communicative. They take communication seriously and update us on each and every development in order to avoid issues. They’re also great at defining the problem and bringing all of the stakeholders together to agree on the problem. After hearing every stakeholder, they come back with a proposed solution that meets the concerns of everyone involved.

They're amazing on all fronts, and their development team is particularly amazing. Their project management is great, and their ability to understand the business problem motivating a project is incredible.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Nowadays it’s hard to find a partner you can trust, but they’re definitely a trustworthy company. They will do everything in their power to develop a successful project, and they're an extremely reliable partner.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No.

5.0
Overall Score They hire the brightest people available, and it's a pleasure of working with them.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They’re fantastic, and they work hard to make sure that expectations are set, which helps drive their online deadlines.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    I’ve spent a range of amounts on them for different projects, but they're consistently efficient and cost effective.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    When deliverables are sent to me, they’ve been done correctly.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    They’re so good that I sometimes want to keep them a closely guarded secret.

Dev for Web Push Notification Platform

"The quality of the work is really good, and we have never come across significant problems."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Jul. 2017 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

After a prior vendor’s development work fell short, Table XI was hired to fix a web push notifications platform & then expand upon the extant project, most recently focusing on a load-testing environment.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
San Diego, California
Keith Linder
Product Manager, Subscribers
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

A willingness to challenge requests in order to build the best end product possible helped Table XI to cultivate an effective collaborative relationship. A dedicated project manager helped to streamline the organizational process and allow the other team members to focus on building the platform.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the product manager for Subscribers, which is a web push notification platform. Design, user research, and user experience all go through me.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Table XI?

Before I came on board in August 2017, the company had a different U.S.-based dev shop build out the platform, and although it was not a complete disaster, it was close to it. We needed a new development team to be able to come in, fix all of the extant problems, and then work to maximize and perfect the product we wanted to put into the marketplace. The end product aims to create a platform to better enable websites to utilize web push notifications, allowing them to send their customers messages on any (non-iOS) device rather than requiring individuals to download a separate app first. Using this technology is relatively new and there is a lot of room for growth in this space, of which this platform aims to take advantage while the technology itself matures and grows in the marketplace. Our team is heavily focused on marketing, so we aim for this to be another tool to add to our marketing stack to offer to our clients.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

The first couple months of our engagement with Table XI consisted entirely of them fixing bugs and scaling issues that were left from the previous team. Table XI did a fantastic job of going through the entire codebase and figuring out what we needed to fix and scoping out the amount of work that they thought was likely, which allowed us to prioritize accordingly. Then, they prepared the product to make sure it would be able to scale to a much larger level than was currently feasible. Over the past four months or so, we have been adding a lot of features based on the research that my team and I have been doing alongside Team XI.

Since the advent of the new year, we have been building a load-testing environment to adjust for the growth of the platform. Some of our current users have been beginning to test the boundaries of the platform, and the immediate goal is to address strain issues and figure how to solve them going forward. Table XI reconfigured our team, including bringing in an outside expert to augment their team, and scoped out the entire environment for us. Now we have two developers working on building, testing, and troubleshooting it part-time. Table XI has built a system that’s allowing us to easily test the platform both vertically and horizontally, as well as allow us to get ahead of our user base by fixing any potential issues before they can arise.

What is the team composition?

We have our own dedicated project manager, and then we currently have two developers working on our product. The team has scaled up and down throughout the project work, depending on what we need at any given time and for individual tasks.

How did you come to work with Table XI?

Our founder was referred to Table XI from a friend of his, although I was not here when they made the decision. I do know that them being in the U.S. and having a time difference of only two hours was a big advantage during our consideration process. Their relative proximity makes for a much easier working environment for us all. When we first began looking into hiring Table XI, our office had them do a full code audit for us, and it was after the success of that exercise that my colleagues decided to engage them.

What is the status of this engagement?

The engagement began around July of 2017, and the work is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

It is hard for me to say anything regarding results yet, because we haven’t marketed the product except to a very exclusive group of people. I would hope to have a more concrete answer to that question in a couple months, but for the moment, the only metrics we use are how much dev work they are completing on a week-to-week basis in our sprints. All of that also depends on the scope of the work and who is assigned to the team at any one point in time, so the relative productivity changes fairly drastically on a regular basis.

So far, the quality of the work is really good, and we have never come across significant problems. Every development project is bound to have some bugs, and any issues that do arise, they fix promptly and effectively. They think carefully through any problem before jumping into a solution.

How did Table XI perform from a project management standpoint?

Table XI has a really good approach to project management. Everybody gets a dedicated project manager on their team, which helps move the work along smoothly. It also frees me personally from having to do a lot of the day-to-day organizational work, allowing me to focus on higher-level strategic tasks, and ensures that the project progresses smoothly. The project manager they assigned to us, Judith Sol-Dyess (Delivery Principal, Table XI), is fantastic. She takes the lead on organizing all of our meetings and sprint planning sessions, and the two of us talk multiple times a day. Our teams have a stand-up meeting three or four days a week, and we have a two-hour planning session every Tuesday to go over the sprint for the following week. Judith helps me organize all of those meetings and keeps us on track if we start going off-topic during one session. She fills a role that we don’t have a single person dedicated to on our in-house team. When they first brought on the outside developer to help with load-testing environment, they were able to onboard him very quickly, and he has been working extremely well with their other developer since January. Table XI provides us with the staff that they think is best suited to tackle any individual task or issue.

They run everything with a very Agile, lean approach, which we really appreciate because it allows them to be both flexible and adaptable, no matter what big changes we throw at them at the last second. Their team members are always happy to accommodate our preferences and schedules, and they do everything they can to make the collaboration as easy as possible on us. They have never balked at anything we have asked of us; instead, they just figure out how to complete what we have requested.

What did you find most impressive about them?

In general, they are just a good, smart group of people to work with. Table XI is great at helping me prioritize what we should be working on that could add value to our business. They are not your typical dev team that just follows orders; they challenge you and make sure that you are thinking about your project in the most effective way, and that you have thought everything through before implementing any changes. Having them challenge us when they feel that it’s necessary has been a refreshing and atypical approach for a dev shop to take. If you still want them to do what you had originally requested, they will do so, but they voice their concerns first. I personally truly appreciate that, because we have a small internal team and our ideas might not be best suited to the project from a development standpoint.

They encourage taking the project one step at a time rather than rushing to the finish line. Because of their measured approach, we are building a much better product. Table XI has done a fantastic job of managing the project and building the platform fairly quickly. They are able to scale up and down on short notice, and have done so for us a number of times and at a fast pace. We are very happy with their work right now, and that is what stands out to me the most.

Are there any areas they could improve?

They are a little pricier than a lot of other vendors, but their level of service and quality of work generally makes up for that differential, and they have occasionally been flexible with our budget.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Be prepared for them to challenge you in order to create the best end product possible. Come into it with the approach that they’re a part of your team.

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

Prototype Dev for Financial Services Business

"Their research will allow us to reduce development time and ultimately create a better product for our customers."

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

Table XI conducted an eight-day research sprint to outline development of a website pay button. They assisted with UX design and built a prototype for testing, creating a revised model based on feedback.

The Reviewer
 
10,001+ Employees
 
Riverwoods, Illinois
User Research Project Manager, Discover Financial Services
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Table XI’s research will ultimately streamline the development process. As a strategic partner, they provided expert functionality recommendations to guarantee a successful product. Their responsiveness allowed them to operate under a strict deadline and guaranteed future contracts.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I work in the marketing department of Discover Financial Services, specifically on the team responsible for digital user experience.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Table XI?

We planned to launch a pay button feature on our website that not only placed us at parity with our competitors, but also set us apart. We wanted to conduct a design sprint before investing in the development process to understand what features customers would consider valuable differentiators.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We engaged Table XI for not only design and development, but also as a strategic partner. During an eight-day sprint, they worked with us to test a number of hypotheses. They advised us on what our product could realistically include based on existing technologies and we added new features based on their expert recommendations. They helped create the pay button’s UX design, a prototype to test with customers, and a blueprint for development.

What is the team composition?

We had a team of three. Alicia [Drucker, Director of Software Delivery, Table XI] served as our primary project manager, and we also worked with Rex [Chekal, Director of Digital Strategy, Table XI] and Noel [Rappin, Senior Software Developer, Table XI].

How did you come to work with Table XI?

We work with a few agencies on a week-to-week basis, but it’s sometimes helpful to hire new vendors who can offer solutions from an outside perspective. One of my colleagues discovered Table XI at a design sprint conference. They were one of the presenters and they seemed to have an in-depth background in solving high-level problems during short sprints. We were also impressed by their portfolio.

What is the status of this engagement?

We worked together between October 2017–November 2017, but we plan to engage them on a regular basis.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

The goal of the sprint was to narrow the focus of our product in order to cut costs during development. While we had a number of lofty ideas, Table XI’s technical expertise was very helpful in determining what was realistically feasible. Their research will allow us to reduce development time and ultimately create a better product for our customers.

How did Table XI perform from a project management standpoint?

We were operating under a strict eight-day timeline, and during that brief window, Table XI was able to create a fully-functioning prototype for user testing and a revised prototype based on an initial round of customer research.

We communicated through Slack and their team was highly responsive, even after conventional office hours.

What did you find most impressive about them?

We've gone through similar sprints with other agencies. One of the biggest differentiators with Table XI is that they played an active role as a strategic partner. Rather than follow rote instructions, they suggested revisions and gave professional input based on their experience in the digital field.

Are there any areas they could improve?

Nothing stands out.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Make sure you understand your priorities. Our team involved multiple product owners. Each of these owners had to be aligned and adjustments were sometimes needed to ensure we were all on the same page. Table XI was always able to pivot, but it would have made things easier for them if all of our stakeholders had a clear understanding of our goals from the beginning.

5.0
Overall Score In addition to being a great strategic partner, they provided excellent design and a solid prototype.
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They were great about scheduling, even if we sometimes lagged in setting up conference calls.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They were responsive, transparent, and their deliverables met our needs.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    They delivered to our specifications, so we plan to hire them for future projects.

Design-Thinking Training for Foods Business

“I think they have a unique model for approaching agile that differentiates them.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Oct. 2017 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Delivering ongoing facilitation, training and coaching, Table XI brings agile and design thinking to an innovation lab and leadership of a large corporation.

The Reviewer
 
10,001+ Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
Rizal Hamdallah
Head of The Futurist, Tyson Foods
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Table XI is meeting expectations and delivering the requisite tools. They have equipped the client team to deliver even faster than planned and have impacted corporate leadership’s thinking and approach.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I was hired by Tyson Foods 5 months ago to lead their innovation lab. I’m meant to transform the way they operate and ensure their innovation pipeline.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Table XI?

When I started, the first thing I wanted to do was introduce two different tools, design thinking and agile thinking. I have a lot of past experience leading a lab focused on design thinking. I also had my own company focused on agile. But when you’re running your own startup, there’s more independence. Now I’m in a corporate environment, trying to use agile in the company and change the culture through the innovation lab. I needed to take a more formalized approach that could help progress the designs and the process itself.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

The role of Table XI is helping me to equip my team with all the tools and with an understanding of the process we’re going to kick off in January to launch something by June.

Our team was formed in October. We had October, November, and December to get ready. Table XI is providing facilitation of the training, built models, and coached us through the journey of discovery phase including design sprints. When we start the first project in January, my team only has a 6-month incubation period to get something to market. They helped us to design a direct communication and agile workshop. That's their core support. Table XI will continue coaching until May.

I would like to continue the partnership in the future if we need to. So far, it’s been about facilitation and workshops, more project- and software-based. They also have modules for non-software company which is unique.

What is the team composition?

We work with the CEO and others on the team.

How did you come to work with Table XI?

Through networks. When I was previously at SC Johnson, I had the same type of projects that needed to be launched within six months. At the time, I spoke with multiple firms from across the nation. We had liked Table XI but those projects were focused on e-commerce so we gave it to another company. The scope of the new work is all about building the soft skills to launch whatever we want to launch. It didn’t have the same limitations as the e-commerce work. That’s why I connected again with my network. I reached out to a couple of companies that I know in Chicago and also in some big US cities. I remembered their CEO so we talked.

One of the criteria I was looking at is whether the company itself is showing what they call agile during their interactions and through the bidding process. So many companies are not operationalizing the concept of agile and I can’t trust them to talk about agile with my team. Table XI demonstrated agility and independence.

My second criteria was from the perspective of tools. I wanted to know what they had in mind, what they would plan and focus on for the next 3 months to equip my team. What kind of training, what kinds of workshops, what kinds of coaching. The proposal from Table XI was the most concrete. It was different from the other proposals which, even though they were from top schools of design, were more academic. My team has basically no experience in agile or design thinking, so they needed to start with focusing on empathy and inspiration. My problem with the academic-centric proposals was that they were going to be boring. Table XI took it in a more experiential direction and I think that works well.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started in October and they’ll work with us until May 2018.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

The deliverables for Table XI are all about how they facilitate the process and equip my team. They’ve been delivering all the tools to me and meeting our expectations. We’re on track to deliver even faster. We gained time in October and used it to practice the tools. Now we have concepts to present in January to make decisions on and define sprints and launch.

I’m getting positive feedback from my team and from leadership, who are watching the evolution and transformation of the team. My group’s president came to me recently to tell me he had a reframing about our team. He said, ‘I used to think this team was a group of creative people with a passion for doing things differently and that we’d have something quickly. Now I think that this is all about collecting great minds of people who want to transform the business and industry.’ For me that’s big, coming from the group president in front of the whole team.

We’ve hired Table XI for the changes they’re creating. We’ve seen changes in the innovation lab through the collaboration. And we’ve also seen changes in our leadership. They invited Table XI to help coach the leadership to see things differently. For me, that’s a big achievement. I’m so impressed with how they operate. They introduced agile and design thinking to a big cooperation like Tyson Foods.

How did Table XI perform from a project management standpoint?

Communications are impressive. They're very quick to respond. Our buildings are next to each other and we didn’t even know, which means it’s really easy to meet. We also email or pick up the phone to solve problems. The whole team is always available. Their CEO is also very hands-on, which for me represents the spirit that we would like to have.

What did you find most impressive about them?

I think they have a unique model for approaching agile that differentiates them. I’m a person who is leading innovation with a more agile and intrapreneurship approach. If you’re looking for a company that operates holistically, in a hands-on way and to the point, it’s Table XI.

Are there any areas they could improve?

There are times when we wait longer in between check-ins than we probably should. We should probably check in every day or every two days. That way it doesn’t seem like reporting. I hate the word reporting. I don’t want them to report to me and I don’t want to report to them. What I want is collaboration. I think they could take the initiative to check in with us more often.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They're really on spec on the timing.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    I reviewed the rest of the other proposals. They are in the median range, not expensive and not undervalued. They’re within range.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They deliver what they committed to deliver upfront. I can see the result immediately.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I'm happy to recommend them to other corporations who would like to focus on doing innovation better. I think they can help them to navigate the journey.

React Native App Dev for Medical Journal Association

"Their organization had a great deal of integrity and we enjoyed working with them."

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

Table XI built a subscription and SSO-based native iOS app with podcast and interactive features. Integrations partnered many vendors to customize and streamline user experience. The app launched Fall 2017.

The Reviewer
 
501-1,000 Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
Paul Gee
Vice President, JAMA Network
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Successful launch generated positive feedback for functionality and strategic integrations. Well-coordinated teams communicated openly under superior management. Strengths included flexibility and the ability to process complex specifications. Future partnerships are expected for related projects.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m Vice President of Digital Product Management at JAMA Network, which works within a medical society to publish journal information.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Table XI?

We wanted to develop a larger learning platform for physicians to earn continuing education credits. To do this, we needed an app that would provide information via podcasts and quizzes.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They built the app with an interface that accommodates subscription services and SSO (single sign-on) usage. Users are able to listen to informative podcasts and then take quizzes, for which they can claim credit. The credit claiming process was complex to design because it needed to be robust and accessible. Consequently, the team connected the credit data to other vendor APIs; local storage on iOS eliminates the need for users to submit their credits manually. This technique allowed us to build a small app that generates PDF credit certificates.

The app also has a curation aspect that applies content tags to the podcasts. This feature allows users to select topics of interest and have files subsequently curated for them. Notifications subsequently alert users to new content in their specified interest groups.

Overall, numerous integrations with other vendor systems made development complex. The process between user stories and building out the app took 3 months. The team coordinated with an external design firm that we hired to make these processes simultaneous. They performed: UX testing, graphic design, and full-stack development. The app was released November 2017.

How did you come to work with Table XI?

The external design firm referred them to us.

What is the status of this engagement?

Work began June 2017 and ended November 2017.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Internally, the app was well-received. The app was exceptionally well-built; they integrated its features strategically. It is too early to have data because we just released the app and haven’t initiated a marketing campaign yet. We plan to give the team more work based on their performance with this project.

How did Table XI perform from a project management standpoint?

Claire served as the primary product manager. She and her team exceled at coordinating between multiple vendors and groups. We communicated constantly with business print outs and Slack. They had exceptionally transparent communication on business print outs and Slack. Likewise, Developers from Claire’s team and ours communicated with each other on a regular basis.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They’re amazing collaborators. They worked tirelessly with each group connected to the project, often dealing with last-minute changes. Their organization had a great deal of integrity and we enjoyed working with them.

Are there any areas they could improve?

There are small things in our collaboration that we'll tweak, but overall we're very happy with the work.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

No, because the collaboration felt natural. We didn’t need a strategy with them.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They were receptive to changes in our schedule.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    We got more accomplished than what we planned in the original scope.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They put together a great product and were fantastic to work with.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

MVP Development for Plant Nursery

“Their protocols are solid, their methods work, and they have a clear playbook that delivers good results.”

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
Feb. 2017 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Through an intensive discovery series, Table XI produced a supply chain platform in Ruby. They provided an MVP, tested it in the market, and made adjustments. They now act as consultants to the in-house team.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
Lisa Fiore
President, Fiore Nursery and Landscape Supply
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The platform’s strong foundation makes data management easy. Insight, transparency, and communicativeness allowed for an integrative, positive team dynamic. They continue to add value by sharing strategies.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the founder and CEO of Landscape Hub, a digital marketplace connecting landscape contractors with growers, nurseries, and supply companies.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Table XI?

We founded Landscape Hub as a platform to support Fiori nursery, a 100-year-old legacy business. The platform gives visibility into the supply chain and streamlines the procurement process for buyers. The nursery and landscape supply industry is huge, and extremely fragmented. The procurement process is clunky and inefficient, and contractors waste a lot of time sourcing products. Since we’re dealing with living plants, the production cycle can vary wildly, which creates periods of shortage or excess. Knowing the available supply data is critical. We were looking for a technical partner that could build us a platform prototype and test its validity in the marketplace.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Ruby is the platform’s core language, but it also uses Java and Postgres. We started the process through a week-long discovery series. Through an intense week of Google sprints, our two teams integrated. They provided an MVP [Minimum Viable Product] and proved its usefulness in the industry. We had something for users to test in a matter of days, with assuring results. The platform aggregates local and national supply, and makes it easy for buyers to build orders through their chosen suppliers. It can coordinate shipping logistics—a major pain point in the industry—and mitigate suppliers’ credit risks. It can also facilitate payment and financing options, provide data insights, and forecast trends.

What is the team dynamic?

We work with Jess [Project Manager, Table XI], Josh Golden [Founder and Principal, Table XI], and other members of their team.

How did you come to work with Table XI?

We connected with a few companies in and around Chicago. A colleague recommended them, citing them as the best option in the area. We had two frontrunners to choose from, but after that week of sprints, we felt they had the edge over their competitors.

How much have you invested with them?

We’ve spent around $600,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We first got to know each other in February 2017. They now advise our in-house tech team.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

We’re still at a very early stage, so we haven’t settled into our stride enough to provide any quantitative metrics. Since we started the project, I have hired a well-connected CTO with a lot of experience in various consumer-related companies. He works inside the architecture they created, and needs to do very little to the existing structures. The tech team we have now can work quickly, thanks to the quality foundation Table XI provided. Our CTO thinks their work is exceptional.

How did Table XI perform from a project management standpoint?

They are outstanding. We still work with them on this project, even though we now have a team of five engineers and a CTO. We want our team to adopt the way they manage the project. Their protocols are solid, their methods work, and they have a clear playbook that delivers good results.

What did you find most impressive about them?

I’m a big fan of theirs. They’re brilliant people at all levels, and they provide solid quality. My entire team was blown away by how well they performed.

They’re very communicative. Managing customer expectations, specs, and projects is an important part of software development. They are immediately trustworthy and transparent, and they communicate positively and without disagreements. We feel very good about the final product.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Find out if there are any options to provide equity stakes as part of the compensation package. Everything worked out well for us, but in retrospect, we wish we had been able to further incentivize them and align our two companies by working that into the structure.

4.5
Overall Score They’re trustworthy and eager to please.
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    The quality is great. UX could be a little more aligned in design elements, but that is my only critique.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Web Development for Bank Rating Agency

“They helped us make decisions based on what would be best for our customers.”

Quality: 
4.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
2014 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Table XI developed, designed, and marketed a website, integrated it with proprietary systems and an analytics panel, and built payment and search features. They continue to provide ongoing development.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Hartland, Wisconsin
Kevin Rude
Controller of the Company, IDC Financial Publishing
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Table XI’s seamless design and usability has garnered a high percentage of satisfied customers. Their project management, adaptability, and communication all continue to make for a positive engagement, as well as their willingness to really understand clients’ businesses.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

IDC Financial Publishing Inc. is located in Hartland, Wisconsin, and we evaluate all financial institutions in the country. Our subscribers primarily use our information for safety and due diligence to check what financial institutions are investing in and who they are doing business with. I’m the controller of the company.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Table XI?

We obtain regulatory reports from governmental agencies to evaluate financial institutions. We run these through a proprietary program, and then come up with a rank which has ratios that go along with it. For 30 years, we were doing this process in paper format or a book-type process.

We wanted to bring the company up to date by transforming this process into an electronic format through the use of a website that would be subscription based and require log-in. Users would need to pay subscribers to obtain or view the information we create. We needed someone to work on the development of that project.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Table XI visited us a few times to learn about our business and the direction we wanted to take it in, and since this project was a first for them, it was an exciting process for both parties. They used their experience in website development to create a schematic of our goals which incorporated our priorities and non-vital tasks. We wanted to wait until our customers used it so we could receive feedback and make changes moving forward. The product is always evolving, which helps keep it fresh and also helps us keep our customers happy.

They redesigned our complete website, and also took care of the marketing for both the website and the portal, which is the subscription-based area of our site. They integrated it with our proprietary systems, including Stripe for payments, and a mixed panel for user analytics. The payment portion is seamless, so it makes it a lot easier for customers to order on their own terms because they can do so outside of business hours or in different locations. The mixed panel was also a great integration because it gives us a lot more insight as to what our subscribers may be doing or what institutions they’re looking up.

One of the main features is the ability for users to be able to search for any institution and see if we’ve evaluated them before they actually pay for a subscription with us. They’ve incorporated some features into the website that are very beneficial to our customers. We also had them create a watch list, which stemmed from customer feedback. Users can create a list of institutions in their account that they can monitor on a regular basis. It provides easier access in finding these institutions and also allows users to simply come to the portal instead of having to look them up every time.

How did you come to work with Table XI?

Kevin: We interviewed a couple of local companies when we were looking to go electronic, but they didn’t really understand what we wanted to do. One of Table XI’s employees is a relative of the owner of our company, and they suggested we give them a chance. They did a great presentation, and overall, they knew exactly what we wanted. We’re a small company, and we all feel very comfortable with them. They are straightforward and provide transparency into their development process.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together in Fall 2014, and the engagement is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

We primarily receive feedback from our customers through phone calls or emails. They’ve expressed that they’re happy with the design and layout, as well as how easy it is to obtain information. We have a very high percentage of satisfied customers.

How did Table XI perform from a project management standpoint?

Their project management has been excellent. During very heavy development, we’d have weekly calls and updates with them. We probably spent a minimum of 1 hour per week going over progress, updates, and concerns. This would be the time when we could address different aspects, and they would present various scenarios of how we could go about incorporating something into the website. We’d take a couple of days for review, and sometimes, they’d set up a small test stage site where we could explore the 3 different options. They helped us make decisions based on what would be best for our customers, our knowledge, and their information.

We’re continuing to work with them to develop the website going forward. They’re very accommodating, and they know that we’re a small company that gets into heavy production every quarter. We are able to put things on hold for a couple of weeks or a month until we finish our cycle, and then pick it up right where we left out. They’re very understanding, and it works out really well for both of us.

We were in communication with multiple people over the course of the project. Our project managers would either be Mark [CEO, Table XI] or Judith [Delivery Principal, Table XI]. It’s always clear who is doing what, and they’ve always been available to us anytime we have questions or concerns in order to address or resolve them.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They’re responsive to questions or concerns, and quickly gained an understanding of how our business works.

Are there any areas they could improve?

There’s nothing I can think of that they need to improve upon.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Clients should be open-minded, because Table XI has some great ideas. We had some of our own ideas, so when we had brainstorming sessions, we experienced a few struggles because we didn’t understand the intricacies of a website or e-commerce site. Once we discussed some of those issues, they reassured us that the idea would work very well. It wasn’t their way or no way, but instead, we were able to work through and discuss things openly in order to propose better solutions. Overall, their recommendations were great.

5.0
Overall Score We’ve had a great experience with them, and we continue to work with them. We haven’t been dissatisfied with anything.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They’re always very timely. They inform us of delays, and always keep us aware of what their schedule and deployment is.
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    I’m not sure what other web developers and designers charge.
  • 4.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    They’re an excellent company to work with.

Mobile App Dev for Home Care Platform

“Table XI’s quality of work, service, and responsiveness are all first class.”

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

Table XI developed an iOS and Android app that offers scheduling and communication functionalities, including a timeline feature that allows users to share information and upload photos.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Australia
CEO, Home Care Platfrom
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Dedication to researching what’s best for the end user, unparalleled responsiveness, and the ability to provide thoughtful suggestions continues to make Table XI a vital resource. Their project management and astute planning not only impressed, but allowed them to deliver a truly useful end product.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

We haven’t started the company yet, but it will be a home care company in Melbourne. We will provide home care and the technology associated with it that allows communication with families and amongst caregivers to give a better experience through the use of the application.

The end client, the person that’s actually receiving the care, doesn’t necessarily have to use the app if they don’t want to, but everyone else in the process will be able to utilize it. I’m the CEO.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Table XI?

I was looking more for an app with similar features to Uber, but it ended up morphing into more of a communication tool because I realized home care is more about personal service and having trust, transparency, and quality of service.

Table XI performed research to ultimately help me transform my original app idea into something I liked much better.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They were instrumental in the research and also gave advice, including a lot of feedback regarding features, which I really liked. It wasn’t just me directing them, but rather them telling me what they thought would be a better product for customers according to their research.

I went to Chicago in March to sit down with them for 5 days and discuss my vision, as well as the product. It was a very intense week, and they informed me that they liked what I’d done and had researched what other companies were doing. They mentioned several U.S. companies that were offering similar services, and suggested that I do something different.

We started on the project, and every 2 weeks, we had a discussion regarding decisions regarding product development. I really liked working with the product, and the process was incremental.

Many of our competitors have caregivers who work by themselves. Table XI was adamant about there being more communication amongst caregivers in order to offer better consistency of care. They also created a timeline feature so that the person receiving care can communicate with friends and family. People they know can log on and update or upload photos from events, which allows for a better personal connection. Table XI really recommended this feature, which is not only easy to use, but the main element which evolved the product from a scheduling to communication tool.

The scheduling part has become the least important part of the project, and we’re now finishing with our new focus on communication. Our company is more concerned on the connection, which will be our strength and what differentiates us from the competition. Table XI suggested many of these changes, and they built the platform for both iOS and Android.

What is the team dynamic?

They had one project manager, Claire, who worked very closely with me and was in touch every day. There were also 3 programmers working on development, 2 of which were full-time, and the other came in and out as needed. Rex [Director of Digital Strategy, Table XI] worked on the design. They’re very responsive to any changes, and make recommendations often. We also worked with an outside design company that Table XI recommended, and they were very good as well.

How did you come to work with Table XI?

When I first started looking at developers, it was very difficult. I looked up the best available in San Francisco, along with other places, but it was hard to choose. I emailed several people, and also received calls from India, but I wanted the development to take place in the U.S. I needed the vendor to have a more Western way of thinking, so I went to a friend in Japan who had worked with Table XI, and he recommended them. I got in contact with them from there.

How much have you invested with them?

We will have spent U.S. $475,000 when the project is completed.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started in March of this year, and the project will be completed in the next couple of weeks.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Compared to other companies, they’re clearly one of the best. I’ve looked at other companies even throughout this particular project, and Table XI’s quality of work, service, and responsiveness are all first class. I don’t have any consumer feedback yet.

We’ve had some crashes, and I’ve had some issues in terms of photo speeds, but every time that’s happened, they’ve fixed the problem within 1–2 days. We just launched on Apple today, and although users can’t download it unless they’re invited to it, I’m very proud of the product.

How did Table XI perform from a project management standpoint?

The person I talked with every day, Claire [Project Manager, Table XI] was fantastic. I rate that as the best experience of the whole project in terms of responsiveness. I’d send her an email at any time of day, and she’d respond with suggestions or ideas. Their project management was the highlight of the experience. I met the whole team at the start of the project in Chicago, but after that, we used Slack and conference calls to communicate.

What did you find most impressive about them?

The best thing about them was the collaboration. They weren’t just trying to make what I wanted, but were trying to make a product they thought would work in the market. They’re very strong with doing research as well. What I find great about the experience is that the product I initially wanted is quite different to the product that I’ve received, which is all due to the collaboration and their research. They made a great effort in making a difference, and that’s why they’re a great company.

Are there any areas they could improve?

The only thing I had an issue with was the cost. They were a bit expensive, but this is my first experience with something like this, so I don’t have many comparisons. I’ve tried to research to see if I’ve paid too much, but I’m still not sure. However, I’m happy with the quality of the product, so I’m satisfied.

Do you have any advice for potential clients?

Give them a call, and try to develop a relationship with them. They’re good in terms of not just developing what you want, but also have a good understanding of what would be better. They’ll try to make a product that will work, as well as stand apart from what other companies are doing. They’ll put the research in and make a team effort, and they want their clients to succeed.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    I don’t have any complaints, but they are slow sometimes.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    I think they’re a little expensive.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I truly recommend them.

Software Dev for Mobile Marketing Platform

"At every level, we had good communication and collaboration.... There was mutual trust."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Sept. 2016 - Aug. 2017
Project summary: 

Table XI augmented an internal development team for a major SaaS expansion project. They acted as domain experts, helped update a legacy Ruby on Rails component of the service, and built out additional SDKs.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
Ken Kunz
VP of Technology, Vibes
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Table XI’s contributions brought peace of mind and allowed internal teams to focus on other efforts. Their understanding throughout the project was solid, as was proven by their accurate cost estimates. Despite some issues in merging code, the team was responsive, accommodating, and collaborative.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

Vibes is a mobile marketing engagement software as a service [SaaS] company. Our software platform is widely used by marketers, retailers, service companies, financial services, and insurance or healthcare companies.

Through our platform, those marketers engage their customers in one-to-one direct marketing tactics over mobile channels. Mobile channels would include SMS and MMS messaging, mobile web, mobile wallet (not the payment part of wallet, but offers, coupons, tickets, and loyalty cards that you can put into your Apple wallet or Android Pay Wallet), as well as Push notifications and now some other emerging channels like Facebook Messenger.

We built the technology platform and we fully support it. We also have a customer success side of our business, and we help some of our bigger customers with their execution and strategy as well. I’m the VP of technology. I have oversight of all our technology teams and products. I’ve been here about 6 ½ years and in this specific role for the last two years.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Table XI?

We’ve done all our development in-house. We needed to extend our existing staff in order to accelerate the development effort. We wanted to bring in specific expertise. We might have been able to do this project internally, but we thought we would decrease risk by bringing in a third party that had some deeper expertise in that specific area.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Vibes had taken on a $40 million investment in July 2016 from a company called Syniverse, which is a global telecommunications messaging company. The investment was tied to a partnership with Syniverse to take our platform and services international. Considering that investment, we were looking for the extra support, especially in terms of accelerating some of the work and bringing in specific domain expertise.

We have multiple components, multiple applications in our application suite, and our technology stack is complicated. One significant component is a little bit more legacy in terms of the code base, and it was running on some outdated versions of Ruby on Rails. Part of the effort with Syniverse was we wanted to be able to internationalize that platform. To do that, we wanted to leverage features and capabilities that were built into newer versions of Ruby on Rails. Given the degree of legacy code and how old the versions were that we were on, we knew that was going to be a challenging effort and we didn’t necessarily have people in-house that had done that kind of work before. That would slow us down from some other things we were trying to get done in parallel. That’s where we looked at Table XI to come in and help.

We wound up that effort, and meanwhile, Vibes was starting to build out more internal domain expertise. We wanted to do our own hiring and get our own engineers to expand our products, focusing more on Push notifications and other in-app-type SDK [Software Development Kit] work.

We had some time to think about what we wanted to be able to bring to market with that new product offering. Having had a good experience with Table XI, we engaged them again to talk about their expertise in the app space. We felt good about that as well, and continued to use them to jumpstart and accelerate the development of our Push SDK, as well as a demo app for that. We have since wound them down and internalized that effort as we built up the internal team to support them.

For the versions of Ruby on Rails that we were trying to upgrade from, on such a large code base as ours, there’s a lot of risk of breaking something or getting into an integration nightmare. We didn’t want to risk getting stuck on something for a long time. Title XI had a very collaborative approach and we worked out a good strategy for how we could merge their changes with other changes we were making at the same time in the code base. We developed a good approach in how to mitigate risk associated with that kind of upgrade. They brought good technical and architectural expertise to what we were doing.

What is the team dynamic?

We had three to four team members from Table XI. We embedded one of our mid-level engineers to work with them day-to-day, full-time. We also had one of our senior team lead engineers act as the acceptor of their work and their changes. He acted as our product owner to guide and direct them on priorities, scope, and what was ultimately acceptable. He provided oversight. We do two-week iterations in our Agile process here. We kept them working with us at the same iteration pace and approach.

How did you come to work with Table XI?

The original way I found Table XI was through a referral. I asked our team who they knew in the Chicago area. Someone knew an engineer at Table XI. After engaging them, I realized there was an engineer there that I knew. The “known entity” aspect was an additional factor in their favor. I did a bunch of other independent research, and checked out companies local, regional, national, and even offshore. I decided I wanted to go with a local Chicago company that had strong Ruby on Rails expertise and had the deeper technical chops to be able to handle this kind of upgrade work.

As far as evaluation, I looked for supporting information, including what I found on Clutch. I had several vendors that seemed to have the right expertise. I narrowed it down to a shortlist of three. I met with each of them a couple of times and dove deep with them. I spent some face time with the specific engineers that would potentially work on the project. Under NDA [non-disclosure agreement], I shared our codebase with them and explained the potential scope. We had them come back with a more detailed estimate, along with a plan of how they would approach this type of an upgrade, and how they could help mitigate some of the risks associated with it. We really liked the story that Table XI came back with.

How much have you invested with them?

[Confidential]

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together in September 2016 until August 2017. If something new popped up where I needed to accelerate something or needed some additional support, they would immediately be the vendor I would look to.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

We engaged them on a time and materials basis, but they provided good estimates about what they thought it would take. I appreciated that they provided a range. “On the low end, it’s going to take at least this and at the high end, we can’t see it going over this.” With time and budget, they came in close to that middle range of the estimate. Given the size of the projects we were working on, that’s impressive. They weren’t in a T&M [time and materials] type contract. They weren’t blowing smoke to try to win the deal and then take twice as long or twice the effort to get it done. There was no arguing about scope creep or anything. They had a good, solid understanding of what it was going to take, and they had a pretty accurate estimate and could deliver within that. We were monitoring quality on a week-in/week-out basis.

How did Table XI perform from a project management standpoint?

We had constant, daily communication. We’re on Slack with them. Our engineer is sometimes working in their office. Their engineer is sometimes working in our office. There are code reviews by our more senior person before stuff is merged into our codebase.

The code quality was generally very high. If at any point we had a merge request or a code that they were submitting that we didn’t feel great about, and we provided feedback, they addressed any concerns that we raised. I wasn’t involved in the day-to-day, but I was getting good communication from their project manager about progress and status and how much budget we’ve used and whether we’re on track. Their invoices had a nice level of detail, broken down to where the hours had been spent, by whom, doing what.

There was very good synergy at every level in the organization, even from me at the VP level working with the BusAd [Business Administration] on their end. I was working with Mark [Rickmeier, CEO, Table XI], who was the COO at the time, just to get the contract underway; everything has been very organized even since then.

The engineers work together well. The project manager communicated well with me. At every level, we had good communication and collaboration.

What did you find most impressive about them?

I don’t have a lot of points of comparison; up until this project, I’d only worked within companies that have leveraged outsource providers. I had never before worked this directly with a vendor, like providing oversights and having it be a project that was under my team.

But, compared to what I have seen, Table XI had a greater quality of communication, code quality, and consistency of delivering what’s expected than other vendors I’ve worked with.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I asked some of the folks on our team that worked with them. We very occasionally had an issue with some of the code commits, where it wasn’t exactly aligned to our technology standards or approach, or something about the way they were trying to merge without as much transparency than we would normally want.

They sort of went off on a silo for a week and came back with one big, long commit that makes it hard to dig into the details as effectively. When we provided the feedback, we saw improvement from them in those things. It wasn’t a consistent thing. It’s more like this one engineer, who is not full-time on our project. Maybe he was not as in-tune with how to work with us or something.

I wouldn’t overemphasize those things because they weren’t, in general, a problem. As we worked through everything with them, they addressed any issues.

5.0
Overall Score I quickly had a strong level of trust for Table XI. There was mutual trust. Our team members enjoyed working with them. I got the sense it was mutual. There’s a very positive relationship there.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They met the deadlines. They prioritized the tasks in the right order based on our requests. If at any point there was any slippage or impact to the timelines, it wasn’t for arbitrary reasons. There was a good explanation. They communicated proactively.
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    I’m happy with the fact that they came in within budget and met expectations. Their hourly rates are a little high, but they make up for that by doing good work and by delivering on what they promise.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They delivered what we requested in terms of quality, time, and budget.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I’d work with them again in a heartbeat. They would be my go-to vendor when the next project comes up, as long as it’s in their wheelhouse from a domain expertise perspective. I would happily refer them to others in the industry, friends, and colleagues.

App Development for Public Art Project

"[T]hey balance the art and creativity side of their business well with IT competence."

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

Table XI created a web-based application to control lights for a public art project. The team helped create app strategy and functions, advising on tech options and the process as a whole.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Chicago Metro Area
Jack Newell
Co-Creator, The Wabash Lights, NFP
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The team communicated scheduling and development issues quickly and worked to overcome them. The final application was well received and fits the artistic vision perfectly. Table XI demonstrated a passion for the project and gave a discount to the nonprofit for the development work.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m a co-creator and board member of Wabash Lights nonprofit. We are a public art group in Chicago. The project has two parts. One is the installation of interactive LED lights on the L tracks on Wabash. The other part of it is our mission statement which is to put the public back in public arts. 

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Table XI?

We’re creating an app where people can interact with the lights. When my partner, Seth Unger, and I, had this idea, he worked at Gensler and then Herman Miller and I’m a filmmaker, and we didn’t know anything about public art, app development, or the lights. We needed someone to help us think through the app development and the interactivity for local people to control the lights. 

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Table XI helped us come up with an initial strategy for how the app would look. We had a dream of an idea and we came at it from an artist standpoint. We didn’t know if it was possible, and that’s where Table XI came in. They helped us think of things we hadn’t thought about. They helped us guide us. They helped us make it so anyone in the world could interact with the lights using their cell phones. As we started to get funding, we got a tech spike and created a way to text the lights and play a game with them. Table XI also created that functionality.

We started by explaining what we wanted in detail to them. We had visuals and ideas, and we met once and walked through all the user groups and what we wanted it to do. They came up with different websites that we could pull inspiration from to help us define the attitude and the user experience for the app. Since we’re a nonprofit and therefore dependent on when we can get funding, they came up with a plan of what we could do when the funds become available; laying out a strategy for the future. Their deliverables have guided us through the rest of the process.

With the tech spike, we got a grant and we were able to execute level one that they gave us after inception with the specific goal of trying to figure out if we could actually communicate via cell phone with the technology that runs the lights. Within that idea, there were two ways we wanted functionality. One was through texting the lights to change colors and the other was playing a game on the lights. Table XI created a game like Simon to play with the lights. It was very scientific.

The inception took maybe a month or less. The tech spike lasted several months. Because we’re a nonprofit, they were trying to fit us in where they could which sometimes took longer. So far, we’ve created a web-based application but haven’t started on iOS or Android yet.

What is the team dynamic? 

We communicated regularly with John [Senior Software Developer, Table XI] and Dan [Director of Operations, Table XI].

How did you come to work with Table XI?

I knew someone through my filmmaking who does websites for documentaries, and he’s friends with one of the developers at Table XI. He referred them to a couple of places, and we interviewed a total of eight companies in Chicago. We narrowed our choices to three and then chose Table XI because they seemed like they had experience and they also had the interest. The arts are important to them, so it seemed like a natural connection.

How much have you invested with them?

We’ve spent between $10,000 and $20,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with them summer 2016. We go back and forth as we get funds. We’re going to be doing some more work soon.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

We were thrilled with their quality of work. They made the coding process clear to us. They communicated what was happening at every stage. I feel like I’m a mini-expert myself because of their communication and patience. We tested what they did at some events and there were things that didn’t work, but they fixed them quickly. They’re very proactive in a good and reactive way.

The project itself has had amazing feedback. People are blown away. When you can text a public art piece and it responds, that’s pretty cool. They succeeded at taking our artistic vision and turning it into a reality.

How did Table XI perform from a project management standpoint?

They were fantastic. There was never a time we needed something and they didn’t respond. If they couldn’t take care of the issue immediately, it was done quickly. We communicate mostly through phone and email. We also met in person a few times.

What did you find most impressive about them?

We came to them with an art project and they understood what we wanted. They didn’t say they couldn’t do it. They recognized it as a cool problem they wanted to solve. Their guidance was great for us and is why we chose them. Sometimes it’s hard to work when you’re doing a job that doesn’t have a clearly defined goal. They’ve been good at creating deliverables in a project that has no boundaries. In that sense, they balance the art and creativity side of their business well with IT competence. I feel like sometimes those two don’t go together. Sometimes people are super creative, but not reliable. I thought they were very creative, open and excited about the task, while also being super reliable.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I was happy. Because this is such a crazy project, I can’t think of anything we could’ve done differently.

5.0
Overall Score We will continue working with them. We’re happy with what they did and we look forward to doing more with them.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They were always communicative. If a deadline was missed, we understood why.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They gave us a deal because we’re a nonprofit.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They gave us what they promised on time; it was also better quality than we were expecting.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    They’re a good company. They’ve got a lot of experience and do good work.