Let's build something your users will love.

Gold
VERIFIED

We are a team of designers and developers that make web and mobile applications for our clients. We aim to create great user experiences powered by well-made software.

During the sales process, we will seek to understand the jobs your users need to be done. When we start a project, we'll typically run a product design sprint where we create and test a prototype with real people in the first week.

We then design and code while focusing on quality and maintainability. We work iteratively and deploy working code regularly. We have no project managers. Everyone you hire is a designer or developer.

 
$25,000+
 
$150 - $199 / hr
 
50 - 249
 Founded
2003
Show all +
Boston, MA
headquarters
  • 41 Winter Street, 7th Floor
    Boston, MA 02108
    United States
other locations
  • 1384 Broadway, 20th Floor
    New York, NY 10018
    United States
  • 795 Folsom Street Street
    San Francisco, CA 94107
    United States
  • 3rd Floor, Griffin Court 15 Long Lane
    London EC1A 9PN
    United Kingdom
  • 600 Congress Ave, 14th Floor
    Austin, TX 78701
    United States
  • 334 Blackwell Street, B015
    Durham, NC 27701
    United States

Portfolio

Key clients: 

Our clients are any organization creating a new product or service under conditions of uncertainty. They want customer feedback and rapid prototypes. They know that designing great productsand achieving product-market fit is hard. We've worked with organizations such as Yammer, Postmates, LOLA, Iora Health, edX, LevelUp, Tile, JoyDrive, and SplitFit. 

Teikametrics: Exploring and developing a new SaaS platform fueled by data engineering Image

Teikametrics: Exploring and developing a new SaaS platform fueled by data engineering

Watch the full video: https://thoughtbot.com/work/teikametrics

Aatish Salvi joined Teikamatrics as CTO to take on an ambitious plan he had formulated with CEO Alasdair McLean-Foreman: explore an entirely new product direction that uses Machine Learning to help small to medium-sized online sellers compete in the market. In addition to the technical

challenges, Aatish needed to develop his engineering team and hire principal engineers at the same time.

In the video below, Aatish talks about why he reached out to thoughtbot Boston to help him explore the concept with design thinking, architect their data pipeline, and ship an MVP. In the end, thoughtbot not only gave him the bandwidth to focus on hiring but developed his existing team's capabilities and culture for future success.

Bark: Developing a full-stack team while launching a new product Image

Bark: Developing a full-stack team while launching a new product

Bark & Co. is a venture-backed consumer product and services company out of NYC. Their popular flagship product, BarkBox, provides a monthly delivery of innovative treats and toys for your dog.

Challenge

VP of Engineering, Becky Segal, realized she needed to add capacity in order to launch a business-critical gift subscription product in time for the holidays. Her team was thin on senior

developers though, especially on the Rails side.

In addition, she recognized the importance of investing in her team’s development so that they could seamlessly take over and handle this work in the future.

Solution

thoughtbot and Bark got to work rewriting the checkout flow to handle gift subscriptions. Once the gift subscription flow was finished, the team expanded the same treatment to the overall shopping cart and checkout flow, with an eye towards extensibility and maintenance.

thoughtbot worked with Bark to introduce larger design patterns to unify the frontend codebase and test-driven development was introduced to the JavaScript frontend. Through pairing, thoughtbot demonstrated how to navigate the full stack, from the JavaScript frontend to the Rails server and back. 

Outcome

After teaming with thoughtbot, the Bark engineering team successfully pushed the new product in time for the holiday. The new architecture performed so well that the team proceeded to work on integrating other product areas beyond gift subscriptions. 

Escape the City: In-house Prototype to Foundation that Secured Funding Image

Escape the City: In-house Prototype to Foundation that Secured Funding

Escape the City, founded in 2010, started as a community driven project with a mission to help over a million people quit jobs they are unhappy or unfulfilled in.

After outgrowing an in-house developed solution, they needed a safe option. Escape the City knew that in order to attract investors, they needed to build a robust platform with experienced and mindful product experts.

Improving conversion and code for NYC startup LOLA Image

Improving conversion and code for NYC startup LOLA

LOLA is a New York City startup that offers subscription services to delivers 100% organic feminine products to your door. They launched in 2015 and have had great growth and early traction. LOLA came to thoughtbot to support new product launches, improve customer conversion, and stabilize their codebase.

Joydrive: Going from concept to Super Bowl Sunday Image

Joydrive: Going from concept to Super Bowl Sunday

Joydrive reduces the stress of purchasing a car by providing customers a hassle-free online storefront where they can browse multiple dealers for new and used cars, get immediate Kelly Blue Book trade-in value, and have cars picked up and delivered right to their front door all in a single app. Joydrive came to thoughtbot looking for a strategic technical partner to help them bring their product idea to life. After successfully

beta testing with thoughtbot, Joydrive was ready to product launch with a Super Bowl Commercial that announced this new service to the world.
How thoughtbot is helping Splitfit disrupt the fitness industry Image

How thoughtbot is helping Splitfit disrupt the fitness industry

SplitFit was founded by three childhood friends who saw an opportunity to revolutionize personal training. Having been in the fitness industry for years they realized that between noon and 5pm gyms typically have unbooked trainers on staff who are being paid to wait until their next session. By building an easy way for people to find and book these trainers people would be able to access training at a lower price point while

still generating additional revenue for the gym.

Reviews

Sort by

Prototype Design for Online Education Co

"thoughtbot were creative thinkers."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Sep. - Oct. 2019
Project summary: 

Following research into company needs, thoughtbot designed a prototype of an online education platform using Sketch and InVision. The team developed a storyboard and facilitated tests to discern user needs.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
Oxford, United Kingdom
Product Manager, Education Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

thoughtbot delivered satisfying designs to support a more efficient development process. The team listened actively and was receptive to feedback, fostering effective collaboration to support product improvements. They were committed to project goals, which ensured a successful engagement.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the product manager at an education company.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with thoughtbot?

We needed a partner to design our online courses. We wanted a company to help us finder where to start and position us well for our development work. We needed help to focus our vision.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

thoughtbot facilitated a design sprint for us. We shared the feedback received during our previous two design sprints with thoughtbot. Then, they came into our office and worked to understand our company including processes, challenges, and previous research. Their team helped us define the assumptions we wanted to test and the results we wanted from the design sprint. We worked on a storyboard for the prototype and discussed various different solutions. Their team built a prototype product using Sketch and InVision, integrating the content I produced. After, their team managed user tests.

What is the team composition?

Two thoughtbot employees worked directly on the project. In the run-up to the project, we had meetings with their team when they tried to understand our business and needs. Through that process, I communicated with three or four additional staff members.

How did you come to work with thoughtbot?

Our colleague had met a thoughtbot employee at a conference. I spent a lot of time researching agencies to decide which would be the best partner. I looked at about 30 different companies and contractors both onshore and offshore. What made thoughtbot stand out was that they really took time to understand our needs. Their team asked good questions and challenged us, which is what we needed. We didn’t want a partner to only execute a provided brief. Rather, we wanted a collaborator to challenge us, question our assumptions, and maintain a rigorous focus on the user. Even though they weren’t the cheapest offering, we felt like thoughtbot would provide us with the most value.

How much have you invested with them?

The project cost about £16,000 (approximately $20,000 USD).

What is the status of this engagement?

We began the design work in September 2019. We began talking to them in May, but it was quite a long process because we weren’t sure when this project would start. Our work with them has concluded but it’s possible that we will work with them again.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Their designs were impressive. They had listened to everything we discussed in the collaborative design sprint as well as any feedback we provided.

Their team also facilitated the user test well. As a result, we have valuable feedback and constructive criticism that can guide our development efforts. That’s what we wanted: a clear picture of what we needed to build for users. Our work with thoughtbot will save us time during development as we won't be creating a platform that isn't focused on user needs. Their team has enabled us to be more efficient.

How did thoughtbot perform from a project management standpoint?

We communicated well via Slack. I was impressed with how quickly they responded. We also did a lot of co-location work.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They’re relentless in their focus on user needs and outcomes. Their team's not afraid to ask challenging questions, making sure the project hones in on one question or outcome that will shape the product. They were more collaborative than any other provider, listening and acting on any feedback. thoughtbot were creative thinkers. Their team approaches challenges with creativity.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No, I don’t think so.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Have frank conversations and give thoughtbot a call. Before we started the work, they came to our office to understand the cultural fit and work styles. The experience was incredibly valuable.

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

Web App Development for Digital Marketing Company

"I always felt comfortable talking with them because they held our needs in the highest regard."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Jun. - Jul. 2019
Project summary: 

thoughtbot used Ruby on Rails and JavaScript to develop a web app tool for a digital marketing firm. The product handles video submissions, as well as payments and donations. 

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
New York, New York
Chief Product Officer, Digital Marketing Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

External users are pleased with how easily they're able to use the product. Open and collaborative, thoughtbot remained accessible during each phase of the project. Their customer-centric approach, coupled with their wealth of experience, set them apart from other providers.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I work for a product company that also delivers digital marketing services. We make tools that help nonprofits, political organizations, and other altruistic groups solve digital marketing problems.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with thoughtbot?

We were hearing signals from the market about a need for a conversion tool, but we didn’t have the engineering resources to spin that out fast enough. Most of our engineering resources were tied up with our flagship platform.

We hired thoughtbot to not only bring that product idea to fruition, but also to level up our own development practices and methodologies. Our goal was to build a more engaging and personalized form that could handle video and other rich forms of media.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Thoughtbot developed a tool that can handle a variety of use cases. One of the early ones they implemented was collecting video stories for crowdsourcing campaigns.

Another feature provides an easier method for accepting payments and donations. The product itself is a web app, which they built using Ruby on Rails and JavaScript.

What is the team composition?

We had two full-time engineers on the team from thoughtbot. One was a frontend guy who was also a designer. The other focused on backend development.

Throughout the engagement, we had plenty of opportunities to work with other designers and developers as well. Also, during vacation times, they assigned one or two additional developers to the project.

How did you come to work with thoughtbot?

We’d borrowed some things from thoughtbot in our own development methodologies and practices. They’re not only consultants but also practitioners. This made thoughtbot stand out from other development teams.

When it came to choosing a partner, we thought it would be useful to engage with a company that wrote the book on a lot of development best practices. We searched around for other development shops, but ultimately thoughtbot seemed to be the best fit, both in terms of culture and skillset.

How much have you invested with them?

The total cost of the engagement was between $90,000–$110,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started at the beginning of June 2019, and we were done by the end of July 2019.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

We recently started launching the product, and people seem to be very impressed with it. It’s much easier to use than other leading forms tools, and that was one of our goals.

We learned a lot from thoughbot during the engagement, mainly because of their agile expertise. They also built an amazing product; something that few people have seen before. Overall, the experience was extremely positive.

How did thoughtbot perform from a project management standpoint?

The project management was excellent. thoughbot was very good at understanding our needs and goals, and they planned each week of work to meet those requirements. We were also embedded in their offices; they were very gracious to let our team members sit in with them. We were able to talk through processes, as well as our clients and users, which made for a very collaborative environment.

We had a Slack channel that we used and a Trello board to track tasks. We also communicated through a DevOps platform. They guided us throughout the project, and they were always receptive to adjustments. Sometimes we would go to them with things that we learned during the week, and they would respond with ideas for how to make our new vision happen. It was a warm partnership.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Aside from their technical proficiency, they were able to listen well and understand our perspective. They were very customer-focused. I always felt comfortable talking with them because they held our needs in the highest regard.

They didn’t push things on us, but they did offer suggestions based on their past experiences. I was impressed with how they were able to adhere to our needs and deliver an awesome product.

Are there any areas they could improve?

Maybe the handoff of the work at the end could have been smoother. Even so, I felt like that transition was pretty fluid. It was honestly more on us to be more receptive.

It’s hard for me to come up with things that could’ve been improved. We gave them a two-month timeline, so we didn’t expect them to help us set long term goals or anything like that. There’s some room for improvement with the UI/UX of the tool, but we knew that would be the case with a quickly-launched web app. Overall, they did a great job.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Research what you want to build. thoughtbot can spend plenty of time problem solving, but if you don’t know what you want, you may not get the right product. We did tons of user research and planning, and I think that allowed us to maximize the time that we spent with them.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    We set deliverables week by week, and always knew the reason if we didn’t hit a deadline. We honestly got more done in two months that we expected.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    We were able to meet a tight deadline thanks to thoughtbot. The opportunity cost of not having a product is much higher than what we paid them.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They brought our team to the next level, and their work product was stable and well-tested. We'd love to work with them again.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Custom Software Dev & Training for Digital Advertising Firm

"They’re great in leveling up an engineering team."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
Nov. 2017 - Nov. 2018
Project summary: 

thoughtbot provided software development and staff training. They coded mostly in Ruby on Rails and worked on experimental applications.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
Durham, North Carolina
VP Engineering, Digital Advertising Firm
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

thoughtbot provided tools and guides to improve development processes, and their work improved testing times. They offer experienced and capable developers.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the VP of engineering for a digital advertising firm. We specialize in creating digital advertising for the real estate industry.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with thoughtbot?

We were looking for expert developers who specialize in the same language that we used on our codebase which was Ruby on Rails.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We originally intended to get some help on some really difficult software that we were writing. We found out that the best way to use thoughtbot at the time was to help level up our current development staff to make them better engineers and help them solve these problems. That went fantastically and really set the stage for all the other engagements that we’d have after that.

In our first engagement, we used them primarily for teaching and pairing with our developers. After that experience, we used thoughtbot to augment our team. We were going through a transition in our organization; instead of immediately hiring the next engineer, we were able to be a bit pickier. We needed thoughbot to give us the right amount of staffing to execute on our projects that we were looking for.

We found that the best projects for them to be a part of were new ideas. For short-term engagements, because we have a pretty complex business model, and it didn’t make sense for them to get in the weeds on some challenging business logic. It takes our developers months to learn those things.

They were exclusively on the development side, mostly Ruby on Rails but did some frontend work for us, too. They worked with our designers and product managers and they brought their backend skills.

They were embedded alongside our team and worked on our whole platform. They didn’t work on any one big project on their own but worked alongside the existing set of product developers for our existing application. They were also working on some experimental applications that we were prototyping at the time.

Their services included building custom software with us, providing in-depth training, and implementing developer best practices that we hadn’t been following yet on our team. They also did feature development and architectural review help.

What is the team composition?

We worked with four thoughtbot developers. I worked directly with their Raleigh managing partner. There were a couple of people who helped with weekly project status meetings as well.

How did you come to work with thoughtbot?

They’re a national company, but they also have a Raleigh/Durham office and that made them a really great potential partner to work closely with. Their engineers were well-known in our development community as very knowledgeable. We had a lot of trust in thoughtbot.

How much have you invested with them?

We’ve spent $250,000–$280,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We worked together from November 2017–November 2018.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

thoughtbot gave us all the tools and guides to be able to overhaul our whole test suites. We had more accurate tests that ran less time and were more dependable. We found the evergreen projects and the new development that was outside of our core business regular path to be a really fantastic way to leverage thoughtbot's value. They could deliver on a lot of things in that regard.

How did thoughtbot perform from a project management standpoint?

Their project management was highly effective. We had weekly retros to get us all on the same page. We’d talk about the progress we were making and they would talk about any tension that might have existed. There were times when we needed to pivot based on the level of difficulty on our end. We learned that we can’t just throw any developer, regardless of how much of an expert they are, at our hardest business problems and expect them to solve it in a few weeks.

We also had video calls. Most of the time, everybody was remote with the exception of a few in-person arrangements. We communicated on Slack and Google Meet.

What did you find most impressive about them?

We already trusted them due to the fairly public persona of the standards and styles that their team works with. We already were getting inspiration from them. From the beginning, we were aligned from a philosophical perspective of how to build software. That gave them a level of sway that may have been more challenging for another agency.

Are there any areas they could improve?

We learned the best way they could help our team was providing assistance to our existing developers, who had a lot more knowledge than thoughtbot did on how the business works and the business use cases. Short term engagements on systems with complicated business logic wasn't as impactful.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

thoughtbot does really well if you have a team of engineers who are transitioning away from that small, scrappy startup model and are starting to take on a more standard approach to engineering. They’re great in leveling up an engineering team.

If that’s not a concern, thoughtbot can really own the whole development in building a new application. They have excellent strategies for how to start a project and deliver when something doesn’t exist. If some company is trying to use thoughtbot and has a very complex app, I’d advocate that you’d never want to do a short engagement for six weeks because it wouldn’t be helpful for anyone. The ramp-up time in a complex app is such that you can only deliver so much value in a short period of time, and thoughtbot needs a month or so to really start delivering.

They’re really talented developers, but they’re not magicians and it’s easy to forget that sometimes.

5.0
Overall Score They care about our team since they spent so much time with us. I still continue to have good relationships with them.
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They didn’t have the context to be able to deliver within what we thought as the original estimate.
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    You’re paying for the luxury of a well-oiled machine and a lot of consistency within it.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Development for Deal Sourcing Web Application

"Their developers have been great across the board."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$1,000,000 - $9,999,999
 
Nov. 2015 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

thoughtbot designed and developed a deal sourcing application in Ruby on Rails. Features included data collection and internal processing based on an algorithm to output recommended deals.

The Reviewer
 
11 - 50 Employees
 
San Francisco, California
VP of Technology, Private Equity Firm
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The app has been highly successful following its implementation and has received praise from users. thoughbot’s resources are easy to stay in touch with and they have the expertise to quickly adjust to project requirements and expectations.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the VP of technology for a venture capital and private equity firm. I oversee anything technology-related, including IT management, custom software development, and company evaluation.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with thoughtbot?

We wanted our own deal sourcing application to give us a competitive advantage in the VC market. We hoped such an app would incorporate different data sources and utilize internal algorithms to automate the process of finding the best companies to invest in.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They created a deal sourcing application in Ruby on Rails and hosted on Heroku with some AWS-supported functionalities. They started with a design sprint to collaborate on ideas and created some wireframes before moving into development.

What is the team composition?

thoughtbot provided a project manager, but for the most part, I worked directly with their developers. Their resource commitment was anywhere from one to four people depending on our needs at the time. They provided a designer at times as well.

How did you come to work with thoughtbot?

I conducted online research and asked my peers about the best development shops in the Bay Area. I interviewed about 10 local firms, including phone calls and in-person visits. At the end of the day, thoughtbot impressed me the most.

How much have you invested with them?

We’ve spent $1,024,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

They developed the app from Nov. 2015–Feb. 2016 and they continue to provide ongoing support.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

The app has been adopted across our firm, and everyone uses it religiously. It’s been widely praised. I periodically send out user surveys looking for improvements, but the feedback I’ve received has been overwhelmingly positive.

How did thoughtbot perform from a project management standpoint?

I have no problem getting in touch with the developers or one of their managing directors, who has served as a project manager. We manage the project through Trello and communicated through Slack.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Their developers have been great across the board. We’ve worked with a lot of developers over the past few years, and in most situations, we’ve had to get people up to speed as they learned what was going on. However, all the developers from thoughtbot have been top-notch. They’ve picked things up easily and gotten the job done, which I think is a rare skill.

Are there any areas they could improve?

They could do a little better with estimates. I know that tough, but improving their estimates for cost and delivery schedule would make a difference. As long as they understand that, it’s not that big of a deal.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Make sure that you have someone dedicated to the project who can commit to daily stand-up meetings, weekly retro, and constant communication on Slack. Your dedicated resources need to be reliable communicators with thoughtbot’s team.

5.0
Overall Score They have communication, code, and quality—everything is on par or better than other shops out there.
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They're on top of it.
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They do their best to stay within their cost estimates, but it's a very dynamic project.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    The code has been mostly bug-free. They usually get the job done right the first time and deliver when they say they can.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I referred them to multiple other firms already and I’m happy to continue to do so.

Dev for Public Policy Professional Network App

"The way that thoughtbot treats each other and treats us is something I want to emulate in our organization."

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

thoughtbot built a native iOS app for a public professional network. They organized data solutions, created a directory and social network, and provided consulting. The project is ongoing.

The Reviewer
 
2-10 Employees
 
Washington, DC
Head of Product, Professional Network Startup
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The app has yet to launch, but it’s met praise from beta users so far. thoughtbot delivers top-notch development work as well as valuable insights to guide business decisions and build up a future internal team. They lead a smooth workflow thanks to their transparent communication and mindfulness.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the head of product for a network for public policy professionals.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with thoughtbot?

We needed a company to develop our iOS app.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

thoughtbot took the concept and idea of our product and guided it through the whole development process. We now have a working beta and are anticipating a native iOS app launch this fall.

The app is built around a directory of congressional staffers and registered lobbyists in Washington D.C. over the past 10 years. thoughtbot took these data solutions and united them. They plugged legacy data into our live data streams that we update weekly. The database serves as a directory and a social networking site. Staffers can find and claim their profile and then participate in the network.  

When the project started, I met thoughtbot in their office in New York. We ran a five-day design sprint to create a prototype that we began testing and building the product towards. We’ve just finished up another design sprint with them last week where we focused on the lead generation, getting users, and the initial marketing page and user onboarding flows. We went through the same type of sprint procedure and ended up with a clickable design prototype. 

thoughtbot has become a part of our team in their way of thinking and advising. They took our concepts and helped shape them into actual prototypes and products. They’ve also helped to change the way that we think about our business plan and how to build out the product in a way that mitigates risk, challenges, or assumptions, and helps us go forward. They really forced us to examine our value proposition and our business goals.

Product owners and clients like us can often have very strong biases towards features, objectives, or items that they think are going to work. thoughbot has helped us to label them as assumptions and challenge them in a very healthy way. We’ve reconceptualized the way we look at our product priorities and opportunities. They have had a monumental impact on how our business functions.

What is the team composition?

There are two full-time people and a project advisor who runs retrospectives every week and works with the managing director there. We’re soon going to be bringing on a fourth person.  

How did you come to work with thoughtbot?

They were working for the company before I started working here. One of the original partners with the firm had worked with them previously, and he recommended that we use them.

How much have you invested with them?

We’ve spent $1 million–$5 million.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together in 2015, and the work is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

We have great feedback from our beta users. Several power users have really taken to it and use it for their jobs every day, finding the right people in Congress to talk to in order to move their legislation or gain support for their offices’ initiatives. We haven’t done much marketing at all other than in-person, grassroots-style outreach to individual offices. We’re focusing now on testing the user onboarding and marketing page experience and validating our work based on past user interviews. We’re very excited about how this polished experience will essentially sell itself.

We’re scaling up our thoughtbot team to launch our iOS app in the next few months, and then we will lean on thoughtbot to help us build our internal team. They allow me to focus on hiring people into an existing system, with an existing culture and robust practices and workflows. They way they built the app and maintained the code makes everything very transferrable to the next person who will work on the project. thoughtbot is increasing the breadth of knowledge across our organization about our project. They’re doing internal code reviews with the rest of their team before they deploy it to our QA site. Whenever we shift or move to a new developer or designer, it’s a seamless transition. Everything is done in a way that makes me feel very confident in the way they’re building the application and preparing for an internal tech team in the future. The last person we’ll need to hire is a CTO. thoughtbot plays the part of a really experienced, seasoned CTO and an entire technology team.

How did thoughtbot perform from a project management standpoint?

Communication is excellent and highly constructive. We have daily morning standups and retrospectives at the end of every week with thoughtbot. Even when there are tough decisions we have to talk about, we’re able to have those conversations with them in a very structured and beneficial. It’s never a drag to have to speak to them.

thoughtbot uses Trello and GitHub for project management and code management. We use monday.com internally, and the team joined our tool and could integrate nicely. They can view things that we’re working on and contribute when needed. The way they have set up their Trello boards is amazing. I’ve never seen a system so meticulously created and maintained. It’s extremely simple but incredibly developed. It’s seamless to use the tools they’ve set up. 

What did you find most impressive about them?

The way that thoughtbot treats each other and treats us is something I want to emulate in our organization. The way they hire and develop their talent also stands out to me. For their typical hiring phase, they bring a new developer and a new designer onto their team and put them through an apprenticeship phase. I’m very impressed with the high level at which they are thinking about and producing their work. Everything—from the way they run their company to the way they organize their office—is set up in such a mindful, intentional way. 

Are there any areas they could improve?

It would be fantastic if they had an office in Washington D.C. Working remotely with them has been seamless though. I don’t have any complaints.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Evaluate your project idea by doing a product design sprint with them. It’s a five-day process where you are in a room together and go through the process of structured brainstorming, assumption listing, mind mapping, and storyboarding. You start with these relatively amorphous ideas and assumptions, but those first 3–4 days are truly paradigm-shifting. thoughtbot then builds an actual design prototype that you can test with users during that week.  

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    thoughtbot will always caution you against building something expensive. They’re very efficient with our time and money.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I recommend them without reservations.

Web Development for Health Care Nonprofit

“...users are already very excited about the site and we've received a lot of positive feedback.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Mar. 2018 - Aug. 2018
Project summary: 

Thoughtbot designed and developed a website from scratch, using technologies such as Ruby on Rails. They also conducted user testing and research in the process, and continue to maintain the site.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
Boston, Massachusetts
Manager of Parent Education, Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Thoutbot delivered a high-quality website that's exceeded expectations and generated a lot of excitement from targeted users. Their thorough approach to user research and testing sets them apart. They're also a very collaborative and responsive group of people to work with overall.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I support our parent education and support program at the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with thoughtbot?

We engaged thoughtbot to help us develop a website for our educational program that parents could easily access on their phones.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Thoughtbot walked us through a design sprint process and helped us hone in on what our goals were for the website before going into development. In the process, they helped us conduct user testing, interviews, and hosted a parent education workshop, so we could incorporate additional feedback into the build.

They then developed the site from scratch, using Ruby on Rails and other technologies, and helped us develop some of the interactive scripts and content we wanted to include.

What is the team composition?

We work with the owner, as well as a designer, developer, and a couple people managing the sprint process and project as a whole.

How did you come to work with thoughtbot?

They responded to our RFP and were also highly recommended by someone within the Planned Parenthood network. Their vision aligned with ours and we also liked that they were local, so we could spend a decent amount of time with them in person.

How much have you invested with them?

We've invested around $85,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We engaged them in March 2018 and conducted a design sprint week in June. The site launched in September, but we continue to work with them to make updates and small changes as needed.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Even though we just recently launched, users are already very excited about the site and we've received a lot of positive feedback.

How did thoughtbot perform from a project management standpoint?

They're very accessible and responsive by phone or email. We also track projects and make requests through Trello, which has made the whole process rather seamless.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They ask good questions and have a strong initial process to help clients hone in on goals before going into development. They've been patient with our lack of technical knowledge and are very accommodating overall.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I don't think so. Any issues we had initially were resolved very quickly.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Keep an open mind to their processes. We found their approach to be very valuable in the long run, despite some initially challenging tasks we had to walk through to figure out the best approach to designing our product.

5.0
Overall Score It's been a wonderful experience all around.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They worked well around busy summer schedules and made themselves very accessible.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They stayed within our budget and delivered exactly what we wanted.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They developed a website that exceeded our expectations.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I've already recommended them to a couple of people.

Legacy Code Update for Internet Marketplace

“The quality of their work has even helped boost the morale of our own engineers...”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Mar. 2018 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Thoughtbot provides additional development support that involves cleaning up and updating code for iOS and Android consumer-facing products.

The Reviewer
 
501-1,000 Employees
 
New York Metro Area
Senior Engineering Manager, Internet Platform
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Thoughtbot's expertise in coding languages for iOS and Android is second to none. Their proactive, thorough approach to projects has not only improved products, but also improved internal morale of engineers. Driven and highly communicative, their work ethic sets them apart.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I'm the senior engineering manager for an online platform.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with thoughtbot?

We needed to hire more senior staff with skill sets beyond a standard background in iOS and Android technology.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Most of the work we've given thoughtbot has involved cleaning up our existing code for both iOS and Android consumer-facing products. They've rewritten and updated much of the code in Android's Kotlin language.

What is the team composition?

We work with a project manager and about four developers on their team.

How did you come to work with thoughtbot?

I wanted to work with them at a previous company I worked for, because I was so impressed by their work. I had also been interested in working for their company in the past, because I really liked their business model and how they continue to develop their employees.

How much have you invested with them?

We've invested about $100,000 thus far.

What is the status of this engagement?

We've been working with them for over six months and the relationship is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

We're 100% confident in the coding work thoughtbot has done thus far. The quality of their work has even helped boost the morale of our own engineers, who now feel more empowered to take ownership of their work and learn from thoughtbot's team. We've very much enjoyed having them work with us on site.

How did thoughtbot perform from a project management standpoint?

They've been flexible and responsive throughout the engagement thus far. Despite the fact that many of them work remotely most of the time as consultants, we haven't had any communications issues.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Their engineers are very enthusiastic and proactive when taking on new projects. They're also very autonomous; I don't have to micromanage anyone on their team. They even come up with lists of recommendations, which has been very helpful.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No, but I'd like to see them expand their staff so we could work with them even more.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Trust their team from the start of the relationship, because they truly know what they're doing and will work hard to meet business goals.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    Their services aren't the cheapest, but they're worth it.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    The quality of their code is stellar.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Mobile App Development for Personal Training Startup

"They were committed to understanding what we were trying to do and helping us be successful at all levels."

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
Sept. 2016 - Mar. 2017
Project summary: 

thoughtbot developed and designed a mobile app to better serve a specific user base. thoughtbot coordinated all wireframing and user interface design and continues to provide maintenance services.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Boston, Massachusetts
COO, Personal Training Startup
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The app has proven to be reliable since its launch, a product of thoughtbot’s passion for the project and desire for its success. They were organized and transparent as to all stages of development. Their creativity and vision has led to a strong product and a healthy ongoing engagement.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the COO of a Boston-based startup. We're making personal training more accessible and more affordable to people by splitting the cost of personal training.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with thoughtbot?

We wanted to develop a tool that allowed gyms to post their personal training availability and gave users the ability to book sessions with those personal trainers.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We approached them only with an idea and some research that showed there would be a market and interest for this app. They helped us translate what were simply ideas into an MVP. Once we had the basics of a product, we collaborated to get that into the hands of users to get feedback. Our app used Ruby on Rails, and we worked with UserTesting for the user acceptance testing and Marvel to manage mockups and wireframes.

What is the team composition?

We had one designer and anywhere from two to three developers.

How did you come to work with thoughtbot?

We sent out an initial RFP, and taking direction from our initial investors, we decided to search for firms that had a presence in Boston. We wanted to work with people we could sit across the table from. We put out our proposal and ultimately selected thoughtbot through that process.

How much have you invested with them?

We’ve spent about $500,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We reached an agreement in August 2016, and we did our first design sprint in September 2016. Our MVP was available in the marketplace and in the hands of users in December 2016. We’ve made several rounds of changes over time. We still continue to use thoughtbot for maintenance and support, and they occasionally do some development work for us.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

I don’t have exact metrics, but the product has been very reliable since its launch.

How did thoughtbot perform from a project management standpoint?

They were organized and easy to work with. I found all the members of their team to be personable and knowledgeable. We weren’t tech people so it was important to have guidance, and they were generally capable of explaining every step to us.

What did you find most impressive about them?

The aspect of partnership with them was important to us. They were committed to understanding what we were trying to do and helping us be successful at all levels.

Are there any areas they could improve?

They prove their value by virtue of what they develop, but they’re a high-end firm. We knew it would be expensive to use them going into the project, so I can’t criticize them for that, but they’re a high-end firm.

Any advice for potential customers?

I should have spent a lot more time thinking about what I wanted. Considering those initial user requirements and specifications would have saved a lot of time and money. They were useful in getting us from a blank piece of paper to an MVP, but it would have been better to have that figured out internally.

4.5
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Web and Mobile Development for Fantasy Sports Company

“I was very impressed how safe we felt with our decision to hire thoughtbot from day one.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
May 2017 - Jan. 2018
Project summary: 

Using Ember.js, thoughtbot built custom features for a fantasy sports website and mobile app. Deliverables include writing code and managing the backend development.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
New York City, New York
Justin Seeley
Director of Product, DRAFT
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Thanks to the improved functionality, there was an 8% increase in users depositing money on the site. The developers' ability to deliver high-quality work and complete major updates before the deadline was crucial to the success of the engagement.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

My names is Justin Seeley and I'm the director of product at Draft. We're a fantasy sports company, with a website and a mobile application for both iOS and Android.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with thoughtbot?

We needed to get our website up to date before September 1st, which is the beginning of the NFL season. Our website was lagging behind the app to the point where we had to ship twice as many features on the web just to catch up.

We needed a developer who works in Ember [an open-source JavaScript web framework].

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

The thoughtbot developer is running the entire backend development of our Ember application, as well as owning basically all of the Ember codebase. He built 4-5 big features on the app. This required ingesting a lot of the API in order to allow users to add players to different lists and other features.

In addition, the developer helped us interview candidates when we were trying to hire a full-time web developer. He also taught one of our other web developers a little bit of Ember.

How did you come to work with thoughtbot?

A friend recommended them, so they were one of several companies up for consideration. Our CEO made the final call to hire thoughtbot.

How much have you invested with them?

We spent between $100,000-$150,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

Work began around 8 months ago, and is finishing up this month [January 2018].

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

The biggest metric of success was that we were able to ship 5-6 major features before the September 1st deadline.

Since launch, we’ve seen a 10x jump in traffic on the website. Some of the credit for that goes to marketing, but the site and the new code performed well. A metric that's important to us is the deposit rate, which is basically the percentage that people deposit on our site. That rate increased from 22% to 30%. Some of that growth is due to the features that thoughtbot implemented around allowing users to play with the site before depositing.

How did thoughtbot perform from a project management standpoint?

They're great at communication, checking in frequently even when the developer was working remotely. He was always communicating what he's working on, and asking intelligent questions about how things should work.

The developer’s ability to act like a product manager for our other web developers saved me time as well. His ability to grasp what tasks needed to be done without a lot of direction was very helpful.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Definitely their professionalism, and the quality of their work. I was very impressed how safe we felt with our decision to hire thoughtbot from day one. We knew we were in good hands because their developers are extremely talented. It took a lot of the pressure of hitting the deadline off because we had confidence that the work would get done.

Are there any areas they could improve?

They don't work on Fridays, and it would be nice if we could get that extra day.

5.0
Overall Score Excellent quality and professionalism.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They delivered on our major deadline.
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    A little bit pricey, but worth it for the quality.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They're very talented developers who deliver good work.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I would feel extremely comfortable recommending them.

Custom RAILS Development Data Analytics Firm

"Their ability to understand our core technical and business requirements is bar none."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Apr. 2013 - Sept. 2014
Project summary: 

Using Ruby on Rails, Thoughtbot built an interactive web platform for 140 partners to share healthcare data. They provided visual and feature design, data processing, and back-end development. 

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
London, United Kingdom
Managing Director, IT Firm
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

End users praised the platform's fluid, accessible structure, and the internal team was impressed with its solid code. It generates few support requests. Thoughtbot excels at providing custom, high-quality solutions that meet exacting requirements. Their transparent communication is a key asset. 

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Could you briefly describe your organization?

I work for a specialist data analysis company, focused at the moment on health care in the U.K. We work with national and local organizations, including government agencies, to help them use data and information to guide their decisions, whatever those decisions might be.

What is your position?

I’m the managing director.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What business challenge were you trying to address with thoughtbot [formerly New Bamboo]?

We had an intelligent product, which we had created and shared with 140 organizations plus the NHS [National Health Service] every quarter, and we wanted to turn this into an interactive online platform. We had the data knowledge and the vision, but we were not Web developers. We had the technical knowledge to undertake the data analysis, and we knew what we wanted to do with the data. We had an idea of how we wanted it all to look and feel, but because we weren’t trained as developers, we simply couldn’t build the platform ourselves. For that reason, we went in search of outside expertise.

SOLUTION

Could you describe the scope of their involvement?

We initially approached thoughtbot in April of 2013, and shaped the project, the requirements, with some initial work on visuals and functionality. We started the website build probably in July of 2013, and the initial, minimum viable product went to market in November of 2013. We then disengaged from thoughtbot for a short time, but went back to them in the spring of 2014 to make some changes and upgrades to the platform’s core functionality. Then we went back to them again in August and September of this year [2014] to make some additional improvements to the functionality. In all of these cases, they’ve been serving as our core development team.

How did you come to work with thoughtbot?

We looked at firms in the London area that had significant technical development expertise and had a track record of building interactive, data-driven websites. I suppose it was more of a gut-feeling approach because any decent vendor could have developed what we wanted, but we wanted a partner that could offer more than that. We wanted a company that would not only be able to build our platform to our unique specifications. We wanted a company that would be in a position to provide additional strategic insight. We wanted them to be able to provide key recommendations in areas in which we have little knowledge.

We knew that we needed to go through a fairly intensive iterative design process, with people that would understand what we were trying to do and, quite frankly, were perfectionists like we are. Unless it was exactly our vision, it wouldn’t be good enough. The reason we chose thoughtbot is because they demonstrated that they could do what we wanted, technically, but much more to the point, they demonstrated that they had a passion for what they did.

Could you provide a general cost estimate for this engagement?

Total spending for the project was probably half a million dollars.

When was this project complete?

The relationship is still ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

In terms of results, could you share any statistics, metrics, or user feedback that would demonstrate the quality of their performance?

There isn’t any real way to track metrics and isolate their own individual contribution. Because they’ve worked alongside us as more of a collaborator, it isn’t all that effective to monitor metrics in that way. However, anecdotally, our end-users have been very impressed with the functionality and accessibility of the platform. Rarely do we come across defects or malfunctions. We’ve been very impressed with the overall quality of the code they deliver to us; it’s always viable and in accordance with our specifications.

When working with thoughtbot, is there anything you’d consider unique about their strategic approach or development methodology that distinguish them from other vendors?

Their internal drive for delivering high-quality, viable solutions is a key differentiator. Their ability to understand our core technical and business requirements is bar none. Those two characteristics combined with their transparency and responsiveness make them one of the best vendors out there. It’s extremely difficult to come across that mix.

In retrospect, are there areas in which you think thoughtbot could improve as a service provider?

As with any relatively small business, continuity of staff is always a problem, and they have sometimes had to change members of their team. It hasn’t occurred during a piece of work, but between finishing one element and starting the next. That’s not always worked out so well. They haven’t put as much thought as they could have into the fit of a particular developer on our team. Certain temperaments and personality types are better suited to our corporate culture than others. On a high level, I know they understand this, so I would have expected more thought put into which developers are newly incorporated into our team.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They’ve openly acknowledged that they’re relatively expensive, but they’re bloody good at what they do. That’s a value proposition, and I’ve chosen to agree with them, others might not.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
Verification

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Verification Level
Gold
VERIFIED
Business Entity
Status
Active
Jurisdiction of Formation
Massachusetts
ID
203438204
Date of Formation
Sep 9, 2005
Source
Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Last Updated
Feb 1, 2019
Payment & Legal Filings
Bankruptcy
No
Tax Lien Filings
0
Judgement Filings
0
Collections Count
0
Last Updated
Jul 19, 2019
Client Reviews
VERIFIED CLIENT REVIEWS
11
OVERALL REVIEW RATING
4.9
Source
Clutch
LAST UPDATED
October 17, 2019