Tech Done Right

Table XI is a trusted software development and UX design 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

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Reviews

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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.

Website Development for Global Events Company

“Table XI has been a key component in our growth, and without them, we couldn’t move forward.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Aug. 2013 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Table XI rebuilt a website to promote events across 250 cities. They managed the migration to the new site with no downtime, built a video player, and developed an iOS app to deliver daily content.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Tokyo, Japan
Mark Dytham
Founder and CEO, Pechakucha
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Four years later, the platform still looked attractive and performed exceptionally well. Table XI's capable management, extensive technical knowledge, and flexible scheduling were crucial supports. Their transparency and commitment to the project built a strong long-term relationship. 

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the founder and CEO of PechaKucha, a global events company operating in 113 countries. PechaKucha means ‘the sound of chitchat’ in Japanese.

We have five full-time people on staff in Tokyo, and we’re now in 1,015 cities around the world, including Chicago and New York City. It’s a massive global events company operated by organizers in different cities.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Table XI?

We'd outgrown our previous website because we’d gone from one event in Tokyo, to 200 events around the world. Our previous site was beginning to operate poorly due to this high volume, so we realized we had to do something a bit more industrial. We decided to go with Ruby on Rails because it is able to handle our global expansion. Table XI developed the application for us, and we are now on our third stage of development for a new platform for education and enterprise.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We came to Table XI with an existing website of about 200 cities needing to be incorporated again into the newer version. There was a huge amount of transitioning from our old site because of this, and we also needed to incorporate 50 additional cities. We couldn’t have any downtime, so this all had to happen while both sites were live. The old site would crash due to the high volume, so we had to find a way to seamlessly move from the old site to the new. Table XI did this extremely well and with much efficiency.

They also developed our video player software, which houses over 10,000 searchable and viewable online presentations. Each presentation consists of 20 images shown for 20 seconds each, so they’re basically a cross between a video and a podcast.

Table XI also built an app which acts as an extension of the video player they’d built. We now curate one presentation daily, and the app is called PechaKucha of the Day. They were fantastic in streamlining and simplifying the app, and it’s also very succinct.

The app is currently only available for iOS due to financial issues. PechaKucha is a nonprofit organization, so Table XI is also helping us build a new web-based education and enterprise presentation platform.

What is the team dynamic?

I’m working with about 30–40 people from their staff.

How did you come to work with Table XI?

We did a global search around the world, including Tokyo, the US, and the UK. Table XI stood out compared to other companies by a wide margin because they weren’t trying to tell us what to do with our product. They also analyzed the project in order to give us a notion of how the website build would eventually work.

They were the only company out of seven different ones we interviewed that offered a reasonable cost. None of the other companies could justify their prices, whereas Table XI built a fantastic spreadsheet detailing the cost for 149 stories. They had a really practical nature about them, and their Agile setup made all the spending extremely clear.

I recommended them to a friend in Japan, and they’ve also had a positive experience due to Table XI’s clarity when it comes to cost and timeframes.

How much have you invested with them?

The total expense for the website was between $100,000–$200,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with them in August 2013, and the relationship is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Our users around the world still look at the website today and think it’s incredibly fresh. It hasn’t dated over the past 4 years, and we’ve have very little downtime. Even when we had some issues that caused the site to do down temporarily, it was rectified within hours. Table XI’s staff is so dedicated that they even took the time on Thanksgiving Day to find a solution for an abrupt issue.

I still see people in their office today who built the website. They are very conscientious, and they really believe in our product as well as what we’re trying to accomplish. It’s not just work for them. They really believe in what they do, and we’re always impressed their perspective.

We’re currently looking to them for the next revamp of the entire site because their quality and execution are both fantastic.

How did Table XI perform from a project management standpoint?

We start any job here with a 2-day inception where I fly to Chicago to meet with their developers, programmers, and project manager. After that, I only communicate with the project manager, and they operate through a very simple traffic light rating system (green, amber, red) that displays project status.

The project manager can help translate what I’m saying in English into more technical jargon for the developers. We generally have a call every week with the project manager, but we can also see the project status online through the Agile spreadsheet. We’ve had no problems, even though we are working in different timezones.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Table XI’s depth of knowledge is impressive, and they always have an expert within the company who knows how to solve a problem. With smaller firms, our site would go down for 2-3 days, and nobody seemed to know what the problem was.

They’ve also been incredibly accommodating with our funding as a nonprofit, and they give us preferential rates, which is fantastic. They’ve also been lenient with payment schedules.

They do have a design component, but it’s focused on engineering, which makes a big difference. Many web companies begin as graphic companies, then become web designers or firms, so they’re coming from a non-technical perspective. However, with Table XI, it’s very evident that they come from a highly technical background.

They are really a close, sociable team, and they care about us and our product. It’s not just a job to them, which is the reason we’re still working with them 4–5 years later. Right now, we have 100 events that are operated by local volunteers all over the world, and we’re looking to increase our online presence. Table XI has been a key component in our growth, and without them, we couldn’t move forward. We could go to another provider, but we don’t because we really see them as a partner. It’s all quite exciting.

Are there any areas they could improve?

We’ve had a few discussions concerning budget, because some things have ended up being more complicated than they originally thought. However, we’ve resolved this amicably, and there hasn’t been any issues.

5.0
Overall Score It's more than work because it's an enjoyable experience. We're in touch on all sorts of things, and they always go to our Chicago events. Everything runs so smoothly, and they've become really important friends for us around the world.
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They're not perfect, but they're certainly very good.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    The fact that our current website has lasted as long as it has is a good measure of value. The others couldn't explain the details of the final cost, which was worrisome for us, because we knew cost would fluctuate as details arose.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They’re the best people we’ve dealt with by far. Their service goes beyond the call of duty most of the time, which is really important. It’s a big family here.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I’ve already recommended them for another big project. This person was interviewing seven firms, and still ended up going with Table XI. I have no problem recommending their services.

App Dev for Estate Sale Online Marketplace

“Our end product was better because of their collaboration and the ideas that they brought forward.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
June 2016 - Nov. 2016
Project summary: 

The Table XI team worked with in-house resources to create a native, iOS application and release the working app into the app store.

The Reviewer
 
501-1,000 Employees
 
Cincinnati, Ohio
Drew McKenzie
Director of Products, Everything but the House
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Table XI brought a toolbox full of experience building apps. With excellent communication and collaboration, they delivered an app that is generating growing traffic, increasing downloads and usage by double digits monthly. The end product is functional, stable and high quality.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m Drew McKenzie, director of product for Everything but the House, a premier online estate sale marketplace. We have taken classic estate auctions at someone’s property and turned them into an online auction. We have bidders all around the globe. We have over 900 employees. Our headquarters is in Cincinnati, Ohio.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Table XI?

Like any company that is scaling fast, we needed additional resources for a key initiative. At the time, this happened to be an iOS application that we wanted to get out into the app store. We leveraged them to augment our existing staff to help with that project. This was our first go at creating a native, iOS application.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They take all of their clients through an inception process that really helped us scope out the project, understand its complexity, and plan out the project over a period of weeks so that together we could achieve it. The deliverable was releasing a working app into the app store. Auctions typically run 5–7 days. The functionality is centered on finding different sales and items and placing bids. It’s pretty simple. Both sides had responsibilities on the executional front.

We continue to build on the app. Since working with them, we’ve hired more resources internally, but we have stayed in touch. We keep them apprised of what’s going on. If we have the need, we will give them a call.

What is the team dynamic?

We had a mobile developer on our team and we engaged with a product lead and two developers on Table XI’s side. They were an extension of our team as we built the app.

How did you come to work with Table XI?

We met Table XI through an introduction from a trusted colleague at another development firm very similar to Table XI. We don’t outsource projects often, but this was a critical need. We received a strong recommendation and we knew of them; they’ve been around awhile and have a great reputation.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together June or July of 2016. It was a 4–5 month engagement.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

We’re a very fast growing company. The traffic that is coming to the iOS app with people downloading and using the app is growing by double digits every month. It’s a key piece of how our users engage with us. The functionality, stability, and quality of the app have met our expectations.

What we really enjoyed about working with them was they weren’t just coders. It wasn’t a “throw it over the fence and do the work” mentality. Table XI has a ton of experience. Our end product was better because of their collaboration and the ideas that they brought forward. We’re really happy with the end product.

How did Table XI perform from a project management standpoint?

They were great. We used Slack, and we had very fluid communication. We had real time communication all day, every day as we worked on the project. We went to their offices a few times in Chicago, and they came to our office a few times as well. They are top notch from that perspective.

We collaborated a lot on the design. We came together every week and said, “Okay, here’s what we like and here’s what we don’t like. I think we could do this a little bit better.” If we had just dumped our vision on them, it probably wouldn’t have been as successful.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They’ve developed a great culture. When organizations like Table XI do that, they’re able to retain great talent. That’s what we were looking for. They had several iOS developers that had a lot of experience. You might think iOS has been around forever because we’re on iPhone 7, but it’s still a new platform in regards to software development. Having a lot of experience building different apps is critical. Their culture allows them to have experience on their bench that you wouldn’t find at many shops of their size.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No, not really. They’ve been great and we’ve stayed in touch with them since the engagement.

5.0
Overall Score It was a great experience and I wish more organizations operated like they did.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    Their rates are very competitive as far as what we would expect.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They met and exceeded our expectations.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    We’ve already referred them to other people.

Web Dev and CMS Integration for Non-Profit

“They really felt like partners in the project instead of just a company we hired.”

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Apr. 2016 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Using a Google Ventures Design Sprint Process, Table XI developed the website and CMS integration for a nonprofit, resulting in increased session times and a 10% ticket sales boost.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
Sona Jones
Director of Marketing and Media, Chicago Ideas
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Diligence, intelligence, and impeccable communication sets Table XI apart from the rest. They are truly invested in the success of the business, and their ability to overcome a challenge is impressive.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your organization.

I am the Director of Marketing and Media of Chicago Ideas. We produce Chicago Ideas Week, which is the world’s largest ideas festival at the accessible price point of $15 a ticket. Our business is partly a live event, but we’re also a year round media platform publishing digital content all year round. We offer ticketing staff for the events, promotion for both the events and speakers, and we’re also hosting a video library.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What business challenge were you trying to address with Table XI?

One of our challenges was getting the audience to really understand our core differentiator, which was that we are democratizing ideas festivals and communicating the breadth of Chicago Ideas and the people behind it. The second challenge was pivoting between selling tickets to Chicago Ideas Week one part of the year, then getting people to watch our videos for the other part. So, we had a twofold objective in place that needed to be marketed differently on the website. Being able to merge these two things seamlessly and build a system that allowed us to pivot based on where we are in the year was really important.

SOLUTION

Please describe the scope of their involvement in greater detail.

They inherited our old website built by a previous developer, as well as a lot of code and then merged the CMS and backend systems. We knew we wanted a complete website overhaul, so we met with them to go through it and used Table XI’s Google Venture Design Sprint Process. We both interviewed members and stakeholders of our team to understand overall goals and objectives, and then I synthesized that into a brand briefing for them. We collaborated together and decided on everything from brand to website goals.

Along with working on the backend that we’d already built out, we asked questions like, “What flow did people need to follow?” and “What ticketing system does it need to integrate with?”. Our prior infrastructure made for a very complicated process. After we aligned on those objectives, we did a week long Sprint with a number of their developers and designers and quickly prototyped the website. The final day of that week, we did some quick usability testing, and then ended up with a final design after the Sprint process.

We had a very tight timeline, so we spent the next 4-6 weeks with their design team and developers building out this brand new website. We decided the best way to go about it would be for them to build us 26 customizable CMS blocks. All of them followed a flexible, easy to use design that allowed us to promote events, speakers, or videos depending on what we had or what time of year it was. The overall system, based on the versatility of needs we had, was one of Table XI’s ideas which ended up being a critical piece. We, along with our leadership, loved a couple of custom pages that came out of the Design Sprint, so we didn’t get rid of them. They figured out a way for us to highlight the people who work for Chicago Ideas, which is important to us when organizing funding and booking speakers.

The “About Page” they built for us was really smart and helped us achieve the goal of differentiating all the points of Chicago Ideas. They did a really excellent job with that. Table XI also found a way to put our “Schedule” on our “Attend” page, allowing visitors to sift through 150 events with no issue. Everyone loves it and it’s worked well for us this past year. They also built a mobile compatible site, which was such a blur to us because we developed the website so fast, but we did do a good amount of testing towards the end to make sure everything worked properly and how we wanted it to. The team was really diligent in making sure any minute detail was rectified. Aside from maintenance, they are now currently working with us on integrating all of our data from our website into SalesForce, which is incredible.

How did you come to work with Table XI?

I was not a part of that process because I came on board last year.

What is the status of this engagement?

I started working with them April 2016, and have been working together since, but the organization's relationship dates back further than that.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any statistics or metrics from this engagement?

Our time on site has doubled since we’ve had the new redesign, our ticket sales rate has gone up 10%, and we were close to selling out all of our programs last year. None of this has ever really happened, and I attribute that to the fact we were able to creatively showcase all of the programs based on what the topics were really about, instead of just a big name.

Table XI built a website that allows us to showcase the topics divorced from whether or not we have a big name attached to it. I think that was highly attributable to why we moved tickets in all of our programs across the board. I wish I had someone who I could dedicate to only updating the website, because I think they did such a beautiful job, and we now have so many options with how to use it. It certainly made things so much easier. We have so little reliance on a designer to build custom graphics, and it’s just much more user and mobile friendly.

How did Table XI perform from a project management standpoint?

I would say Judith, [Project Manager, Table XI] was the best I’ve ever worked with. She was incredibly diligent. They knew what they were talking about, and were timely in terms of responses as well as thorough. They give us a lot of time to make sure everything's running smoothly and exactly how we want. Most of our communication is via email, and we also have a weekly video check in.

What distinguishes Table XI from other providers?

I think the quality of the staff is really great, because everybody is super smart and good at their job. Every team member I worked with was one of the best in their role. It’s nice to have the type of partnership where they are invested in the success of the business. They really felt like partners in the project instead of just a company we hired.

Is there anything Table XI could have improved or done differently?

For us, it was really just figuring out the kinks in our partnership. It’s hard when you have Agile design, where there’s supposed to be a set budget and everything is fluid. 

5.0
Overall Score I enjoyed my time with all of them. The Google Design Sprint process is funny, because you’re in a room with these people for five straight days, which can be a little bit daunting, but working with them was awesome.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    It goes back to the nature of our relationship with the company.
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    It was almost perfect. I think the only thing is that they had a team member go on vacation during a critical week, but you can’t really help that.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I’ve already referred them to a couple colleagues and friends.

Mobile App Dev for Organic Children's Boutique

"TableXI immediately seemed to be listening, understanding, and interpreting what I wanted and put together a proposal in a very professional way. It really impressed me."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Nov. 2012 - Feb. 2016
Project summary: 

Table XI designed and developed a shopping app, which also synced with the store's main website. In addition to researching unique and creative solutions, they had to coordinate with a number of different teams. 

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
San Francisco, California
Suzanne Price
CEO, Sprout San Francisco
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Table XI's exceptional understanding of the customer experience is evident in the app's design and functionality. Most impressive was their project management. They were communicative, timely, and highly motivated to bring the end goals to fruition.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your organization.

I am the CEO of a company, called Sprout San Francisco. We have five physical stores and an online E-commerce site. We sell organic and natural baby products.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What business challenge were you trying to address with TableXI?

We have a baby registry so people can select what they want their friends to buy them for a baby shower. We wanted a solution for people to be able to scan products in the store, ideally using their iPhone and those products are added to their registry online. For this specific idea, we came to TableXI directly, but we have used many different technology providers through different aspects of our website and E-commerce build and point of sale and all the different things that we’ve had to use technology for. So I do have a very good point of comparison; the way companies do things.

SOLUTION

Please describe the scope of their involvement in greater detail.

We introduced our idea to TableXI and told them what we’d like to happen. After taking in all of the information and what our goals were, they sketched out a plan, design-wise, and also function wise. They came up with a lot of ideas that they thought would be interesting to add to the app, and we ended up using them. They had to coordinate with me and other members of my team who help with the website, as well as my outside web developers who help with my E-commerce site and make all of the pieces work together.

They had both a developer who did the actual work and a point person who could translate all of the information and keep us informed and on schedule.

As for the app, you can use the camera on your phone to scan a bar code in our store and then it will give you information on the product. Then, you can choose to add it to your registry and it syncs up with the backend of our website. We went through a number of iterations of that. They really worked with us on how to display those items to the customer and categorize them correctly.

There were also some tricky things. For instance, we have items in our store that are not available on our website. As a result, we had to come up with a creative solution for what would be displayed to the customer when they added that item to their registry. We wanted the customer to still be able to add it, but also make sure they know that this an in-store only item. Table XI came up with a notification, and then a way to add the item to the backend even though it wasn't online. 

How did you come to work with TableXI?

For this specific idea, we came to TableXI directly, but we have used many different technology providers for different aspects of our website in the past. 

I actually went to college with Mark [CEO, TableXI], but they don’t work on Magento, which is our E-commerce software. So while building my site over the years, I never did any work with them, but I knew about the firm. When I was looking to build an app, I was just so unhappy with my current developers that I asked Mark if it was something that they did and he said yes. I met with the team and discussed the app. I was impressed by their professionalism and their immediate understanding of what I needed to happen and how to make that happen. I find that I have to repeat myself multiple times with other developers to make things happen. In contrast, TableXI immediately seemed to be listening, understanding, and interpreting what I wanted. They put together a proposal in a very professional way. It really impressed me.

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

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

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with them in November 2012 until February 2016.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any statistics or metrics from this engagement?

We’re getting four times as many registries per month than we did before. That’s a huge part of our business. 

They did a great job of capturing and interpreting our brand. They effectively thought through the customer experience and then designed the app based on that, rather than making it as I had envisioned it, which didn't take the user into account. Both the functionality and the design were executed really well, and I don’t often find people who can do both well.

How did TableXI perform from a project management standpoint?

Everything on the technology side turned out great, but I’d say the number one thing that impressed me was their project management. Communicating with them on a personal basis was very pleasant. They were never defensive when there was a mistake; they always fixed it right away. They kept everything on time and kept us in the loop of what was happening constantly.

I just really enjoyed working with them, which I find rare when it comes to developers. Most of our communication was by phone, Skype, and email, and we used Slack a lot. We had weekly check-ins scheduled and they were always happy to pick up the phone if something came up during the week.

What distinguishes TableXI from other providers?

They keep things on time. They weren’t ever condescending, always listening to our needs and explaining things in a helpful way. They worked with us to get the desired outcome on all sides; on the customer experience, on the design, and on the technology and usability. They didn't just do exactly want we asked, but rather, came up with their own ideas and put the extra effort in. Overall, they thought critically about the end goal and helped us to make it happen.

They provided a lot of suggestions in terms of what they thought would be unique or efficient. It ended up working very well. Whenever there was a problem, during A/B testing for instance, they made sure to fix it immediately.

They were also really cost conscious. I had a pretty tight budget and they were able to prioritize things in order for it to be less expensive. I really appreciated that TableXI was very patient and took the time to explain things.

Is there anything TableXI could have improved or done differently?

No. I wish they had more of a scope of developers. I would have moved all of my business to them if they had people with the various skills that I need.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    When I started working with them, I probably would have rated them lower because they were one of the more expensive developers I worked with. However, I found that every time I try to go to someone cheaper, it ends up taking me twice as many hours and it
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

UX Research for International Education Company

“Table XI provides mentorship on Agile development processes, which is really valuable for our team.”

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

Table XI provides strategic leadership on UX design, product development, and project management for a learning platform. A developer also assists the internal team with urgent projects.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Lauren Hanford
Head of UX Design, Participate
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Table XI not only improves the product, but also the process itself. Senior resources provide mentoring and model best practices in project management and UX design. Not surprisingly, there has been a significant increase in signups mere weeks after the launch of the revised platform.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the head of user experience design of Participate, an international education company. I work with one of the platform product teams. We provide a broad range of services to K-20 institutions, including recruitment and placement of international teachers. We provide whole school programming around global education and language immersion education. We also provide an online platform where teachers can take professional learning courses and collaborate with other educators. The company has approximately 65 employees. Aside from our location in North Carolina, we also have an office in Costa Rica.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Table XI?

The overarching goal was to bring clarity to our platform by improving the product development process. This included mentoring for people on that team, including the product owner and myself as the UX designer. We’re a very small team, so we also needed additional manpower to meet different project deadlines.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

When Table XI began working with us, we did not have any functional user experience process for product development. One of their deliverables was to help us implement that process. Table XI started with a UX audit. They sent a senior UX designer and a developer to our office in North Carolina. They went through a 2-day workshop with our product team to understand our business and our history. They also looked at our problems, our context, and our goals. We went through a couple of exercises in that time together.

After that initial audit meeting, they sent us a recap document and their recommended scope of work. From there, I worked with the senior UX designer to run a user research sprint on our platform. She initiated and ran the user testing sessions. Since I had less experience, she trained me on the skill sets needed to run that type of interview. In the process, we documented how successful different aspects of the platform were. This provided the foundation for attacking a critical UX issue and figuring out how to create more value in our product.

From there, the product team went to the Table XI office in Chicago. Their senior UX designer facilitated a 2-day product design studio for us. We went through exercises to understand our business and product goals. We also shared the outcomes from the previous research sprint with the rest of the team. Based on the research, we decided to focus on redesigning a specific feature.

In the next phase, we developed personas as a team and did some competitive analysis. We looked at user goals and then prioritized feature ideas. We even did some hands-on sketching with a team of developers, which was pretty funny. From those outcomes, Table XI’s senior UX designer and I planned Agile design sprints. We created wireframes and testable prototypes, followed by user testing. We would learn from those findings, iterate on our design, and then move to the next level. While we were doing that work for this specific feature, Table XI’s developer was integrated into our development team. He worked with them on another project that had a more immediate deadline. Then we all came back together to deliver the work on the redesigned feature.

As we wrapped up the work, Table XI’s senior UX designer focused more on coaching me individually. Currently, this involves 1 ½ hours each week where I’m able to share the challenges I’m facing. I could also ask for pointers about my role as the team leader — answering questions from developers, handling customer-facing meetings, and navigating the world of UX design. She points me to resources to learn more and shown me how to do things effectively. Her input has given me space to learn a lot and grow.  

How did you come to work with Table XI?

Our development team included 2 former Table XI employees. These 2 developers were very experienced and saw problems more quickly than the rest of us did. Our choice to work with Table XI was definitely influenced by the fact that they had worked there. They could really vouch for their approach and reliability. We weren’t actually looking at any other companies to fill this need.

We had an initial phone call with Table XI. After we discussed our goals, Table XI felt like a good fit in terms of culture and leadership. There were clearly a lot of gaps on our team that they could help us with.

What is the status of this engagement?

We have been working together since March 2017.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

We have seen a 20% increase in meaningful engagement with the redesigned feature, and an initial bump in user sign ups of 185%. We are also seeing a sustained increase in user sign ups at around 58%. Finally, our MAU is continuing a steady incline, with a 43% increase from prior to feature re-design. 

The design process introduced by Table XI transformed our product and our team. The components that went into the new feature now help us build better components across the team platform. We have a solid UX research and design process, whereas before, we had nothing. Our developers now trust the UX process a lot more. We also have strategies in place for tackling problems together.

Table XI provides mentorship on Agile development processes, which is really valuable for our team. Before we started working with Table XI, our team had a broken process for projects. We did not have the regular cadence of Agile development such as retrospectives and stand-ups. We certainly weren’t having any UX-to-development transition meetings because we didn’t have any UX work at that point.

How did Table XI perform from a project management standpoint?

Table XI has been modeling outstanding communication and project management to us. At this point, they continue to bring value by teaching the Agile approach to others in our organization. It’s certainly a very strategic approach to work.

Right now, we have a weekly stand-up via video call. We also use Slack and email as standard communication tools. The senior UX designer and I still communicate using video twice a week.

What did you find most impressive about Table XI?

Table XI is a company that really works side by side with you to solve problems. They’re not just spewing off strategies from an ivory tower or giving you documentation of approaches or things that may work. They’re going to give you materials, but they’re also going to get down side by side with you to help. They really want to understand and become a part of your organization. I noticed really early on that they often use “we” and “us” when describing the project. They want a deep understanding of who we are as a client and what we’re trying to accomplish. When we are successful, they are successful with us.

Are there any areas Table XI could improve?

It would be nice to have a tighter discussion about the budget every week. While we get a tremendous amount of value, it comes at a high cost for that type of service. When you’re really very deeply in that work, there could be a little sticker shock when you see the price on a monthly basis. I don’t think we ever asked for weekly updates on that. Maybe it’s on us to ask for that, but it’s something that they should consider. There should be a clear expectation up front about the budget and how often it should be discussed.

5.0
Overall Score I was quite sad when I stopped having so much side by side time with their designer. It was a really wonderful, transformative experience for me. It has been amazing.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    I was stunned at how quickly they were able to meet our needs and deliver what we needed.
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    It is expensive, but we get tremendous value for the team, the product itself, and me personally. The people they mentored are now able to echo what they’ve learned to the organization.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They’re obviously a company that wants feedback in order to improve their processes and deliverables every step of the way. The quality they deliver is incredible.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I would if they seemed to be a good fit. I would absolutely recommend them and say, “You don’t have a choice. Stop looking for anybody else.”