Philly Development & Design Company

Tonic Design Co. is a technology agency committed to imagining and producing extraordinary digital products. We’re flexible dependable problem solvers providing strategy, design, and development for some of the world’s most iconic brands.

 
$10,000+
 
$100 - $149 / hr
 
50 - 249
 Founded
2010
Show all +
Philadelphia, PA
headquarters
  • 441 N. 5th St., Suite 301
    Philadelphia, PA 19123
    United States
other locations
  • South Africa

Reviews

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Web & Mobile App Dev for Health & Wellness Company

"They were very good with communication, always glad to have in-person sessions, and always enthusiastic."

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$1,000,000 - $9,999,999
 
Feb. 2013 - Mar. 2016
Project summary: 

Tonic provided mobile and web development as well as market research for two separate iterations of digital products for a healthcare company.

The Reviewer
 
10,000+ Employees
 
San Diego, California
Product Manager, Healthcare Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

After Tonic’s work in development on the first product version, bugs were reduced by about 75% and comments and reviews in the App Store improved significantly. Their work was timely, responsive, and forward-looking.

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 a product manager at a company division focusing on digital health and innovations to improve communication between patients and medical teams.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Tonic Design Co.?

We have been working on a digital product to improve medication adherence by helping patients to remember their medication and to understand the reasons they need to take it. We were also interested in tracking other medical information and behaviors such as exercise, blood sugar, and blood pressure. We had an existing product but were considering ways to evolve and improve it.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Tonic provided much-needed development assistance for our existing product and produced market research for the forthcoming iteration. On the existing product, which included iOS, Android, and web applications, they did code assessment and made recommendations to the development team to improve stability and fill in some gaps. When we decided to start working on the new product, Tonic did extensive market research and a stakeholder analysis with some interesting results, but did not actually do any development work.

How did you come to work with Tonic Design Co.?

Tonic was recommended to us by another team within our company.

How much have you invested with them?

We invested in the range of $2.5 million.

What is the status of this engagement?

The project began in February 2013 with a gradual progression of increased scope and completed in March 2016.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

The rate of bugs in the product was reduced by about 75% within the first six months of working with Tonic, and the reviews and comments from in the App Store have definitely improved.

How did Tonic Design Co. perform from a project management standpoint?

Their project management was excellent. I specifically worked with Allison Reighart [Account Director, Tonic Design Co.], who managed the business relationship and Marty Bair, who played the scrum master role keeping the development team on track and communicating the timelines and issues that came up. We used Confluence and Jira for collaboration and task management.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Tonic is a nimble team with expertise in both software development and the healthcare space. They were very good with communication, always glad to have in-person sessions, and always enthusiastic and willing to take the next steps toward achieving our vision for the product.

Are there any areas they could improve?

At times they could be so focused on the future of the product that there was some concern over whether progress was being made in the short-term, and we had to recalibrate and refocus on creating a minimum viable product. Also, there was occasionally some disconnect between Android and iOS developers, when we wanted it to be a single cohesive product.

4.5
Overall Score Generally this was a great relationship with only a few challenges interspersed.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They were pretty transparent with timelines.
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    Their rates are fair and their quality is high.
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They brought huge improvements in quality, but could do better to look across multiple platforms.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    They're a good team, and I would definitely recommend them.

UI/UX & Web Design for Real Estate Wellness Corporation

"They go all in for their clients, and that really sets them apart."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
July 2016 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Tonic overhauled a website’s design, building content modules that are conveniently transferable to various site pages. They sifted through hundreds of materials to help organize a massive online database.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
New York, New York
Vice President of Marketing, Public Benefit Corporation
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Tonic worked collaboratively to create an end product everyone can be proud of. They took the time to gain deep insights about the project, and the improved UX has earned glowing feedback. As a midsize agency, they’re highly adaptable to any scope or timeline changes, and offer negotiable pricing.

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 vice president of marketing for a wellness company that focuses on improving human health through better architectural standards.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Tonic Design Co.?

We wanted to overhaul our external facing website, implementing a full rebrand from a UX perspective to give our pages a less corporate, more welcoming feel.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

For the first phase of the project, we leaned on them for UX and design services. We have a strong technology team that was able to implement everything on the development side, so Tonic worked in a creative role to completely overhaul the look and feel of the website.

They first focused on the homepage, core products pages, and the About page, and used this time to conduct exploratory work to better understand our company. We had several kickoff meetings to articulate our goals and products, and from there we worked with their preliminary staff to develop a new design concept. Once the details were pinned down, we were able to move extremely quickly in applying their modules to the supporting pages.

The second phase was much more technical. We spent hours sifting through hundreds and hundreds of PDFs and online content in order to redesign our main product, the wellness standards guide. This is a searchable, online database compiled from a number of sources. Tonic organized these various materials and drastically improved the UX design.

What is the team dynamic?

We had a team of five or six during the first phase, while phase two was slightly smaller, relying on four or five individuals. These were nimble teams that worked under tight deadlines.

How did you come to work with Tonic Design Co.?

As a remote employee based in Philadelphia, I've gotten to know the local digital agency scene. I reached out to a few companies, but Tonic always put on amazing events during Philly Tech Week and was clearly a standout agency with their finger on the pulse of new digital trends.

What is the status of this engagement?

We first started working together in July 2016 and our relationship is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

One of the big things I would underscore about Tonic is the flexibility of their content modules. I've worked with design companies in the past that treat each webpage as a separate endeavor with new price points, but Tonic’s modules made it easy to apply their designs to multiple pages.

We’ve received extremely positive feedback from users about the improved UX, which has made the site easier to navigate, and Tonic carefully considered any critiques in order to make small tweaks to the design.

We’re very satisfied with the work we've done with Tonic. The online standards guide delivers value to our customers and is one of our proudest launches.

How did Tonic Design Co. perform from a project management standpoint?

We had a few hiccups in our first few rounds, but they were able to make quick adjustments to ensure we felt totally comfortable with the project management process. Everything has been delivered on time and they help keep our end on track, as well.

We coordinate through InVision, but most of our communication is done through email and conference calls.

What did you find most impressive about them?

One of Tonic's strengths is that they’re able to come into a company in an unobtrusive way. We were able to seamlessly integrate their people into our teams and work together to push through the finish line.

As a midsize agency, they're able to be extremely nimble. They’re not so big that internal red tape complicates project pivots, but they’re still large enough to accomplish any goals set by the client. Their perfect size allows them to respond quickly and effectively to any project changes.

They also take the time to really understand your brand. This isn’t the case with all design companies, but Tonic has sacrificed their own time and money to ensure they have a firm grasp of our product and helped us deliver to market in a clear way. They go all in for their clients, and that really sets them apart.

Are there any areas they could improve?

Not really. At this point, our work with Tonic moves like a well-oiled machine. We’ve worked together through a number of pivots and have built a strong relationship.

5.0
Overall Score Reflecting back on our journey together, it's been gold stars all around.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Tonic is flexible, accelerating deadlines when needed.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    Digital deliverables are always an investment, but Tonic is negotiable on costs.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They always deliver and are very focused on the end result.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    We’re in an effective partnership, so I’m always quick to refer them.

Native iOS Mobile App Dev for Online Dating Platform

"They are all very nice people and very easy to work with."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
Jan. - Jul. 2016
Project summary: 

Tonic Design built a dating app for iOS along with the backend API system. They built the whole onboarding process, including chat features and a cover screen that displays dating candidates.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
New York, New York
Ben Celebicic
VP of Engineering, Hinge
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Thanks to Tonic’s involvement, the app is one of the highest rated dating apps on the App Store. Their weekly release approach and ability to help improve ratings are great but their ability to sort through other people’s mess and simplify things is what makes them stand out over other firms.

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 engineering for Hinge, which is an online dating application.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Tonic Design Co.?

We needed help with rebuilding our native iOS mobile application from scratch, including the backend API systems.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They provided engineering and project management services only. They didn’t do any of the design work for us as we had an internal product team which handled all of that.

We’re based out of New York and they’re based in Philadelphia, so in the beginning, they would travel here twice a week to discuss the problems we had to solve. We spent three or four months just building small prototypes and testing them out in small coffee shops, as well as here in the Hinge office in order to improve the concept we were going with. They would quickly build those prototypes for us to test out.

Once we realized the direction we wanted to go in, we created requirements and again they came once or twice a week to the office to work. They led the development entirely on the iOS side and helped build our backend API system as well. At that time, we did not have an Android application or plans to build one at all.

They developed the application in its entirety, including the whole onboarding process which is when someone logs in with Facebook and goes through questions about their preferences. Tonic developed a cover screen where someone can browse two people that fit their preferences and also a chat screen, where they can talk with those two people once they connect.

What is the team dynamic?

We had around six people from their team working on this project. On the iOS side, we had three developers and their tech lead, Jason. On the backend and API side, we had two API engineers as well as a project manager.

How did you come to work with Tonic Design Co.?

I met them at my previous job and brought them in on this project because of how well they did with my previous company.

How much have you invested in them?

We spent between $400,000 – $500,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together January 2016, and the project wrapped up in July 2016.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Our application has 4.5 stars in the store, which is the highest rated dating application out there. On top of that, performance-wise, every screen opens in less than one second, except the cover page, which is three seconds. They crushed all the goals we set for them.

How did Tonic Design Co. perform from a project management standpoint?

They were great and their project manager was amazing. They did weekly releases on Fridays and had what we called a “Demo Day” where they presented their entire work for the week. The deadlines were built around those Fridays, and they didn’t miss any of those.

We used Pivotal Labs for project management and bug reporting. We also used InVision for prototyping and Zeplin for design.

What did you find most impressive about them?

When I worked with them previously, they were brought in by another agency as a subcontractor. Their biggest strength is to come in and untangle the messes that someone else made. They simplify things and make them work. If you need someone to come in and figure out how to improve performance, raise your store ratings, or make things scalable and maintainable, they're the best bet as this is their biggest strength.

Are there any areas they could improve?

We had no issues whatsoever. I brought them with me on this project because I thought they were all rock stars.

We like everyone to be here working in the same space. The only problem was that they had to travel all the time and we had to plan the logistics of it. Other than that, everything was perfect.

5.0
Overall Score They are all very nice people and very easy to work with.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    I don’t remember them missing a deadline; everything was right on schedule.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    We evaluated companies from the New York area, and those that were similar in quality were probably around 50% higher in cost.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    Our store rating is the highest of any other dating app out there, and the performance of the application is according to the stretch goal that we set in the beginning.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I have recommended them many times and they have already worked with other large companies that I had recommended them to.