Introduce your business and what you do there.
I’m the director of consumer engineering of a pre-launch startup building a consumer electronic device with a companion mobile app.
OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE
What challenge were you trying to address with NineTwoThree Studio?
We needed help to develop our mobile apps. Although we had an internal developer that started the project, we needed to start moving more quickly and iterate on both platforms. I decided an outsourced development team was the way to go, so we hired NineTwoThree Studio. Additionally, we needed some modifications to our e-commerce website.
What was the scope of their involvement?
First, we signed a four-month service agreement with NineTwoThree Studio. They’re developing two apps, one for iOS using Swift and one for Android using Kotlin. They provide full service, including project management, development, and QA.
The apps are companions for our consumer electronic device. The team has created the app’s UX flow and functionalities to play videos and view images. The core feature allows the apps to connect with the device and transfer data back and forth, such as over-the-air updates. Before working with NineTwoThree Studio, we managed file transfers with a Wi-Fi feature with reliability issues. They’ve rewritten that feature for us and converted it to Bluetooth using Bluetooth Low Energy and Wi-Fi for larger file transfers.
Currently, the apps are pre-launch. NineTwoThree Studio does internal QA. Their developers do local testing and then shift to other team members within the organization to do QA before passing it over to us. Additionally, they’ve created a multi-stage checkout on Shopify for our e-commerce website. I’ve pitched them a site redesign based on new Figma designs, and they’ve also taken on this project as an additional contract.
What is the team composition?
I work primarily with Andrew and Pavel (Co-Founders) and with two people on the project management side. We’ve also had calls directly with some of the developers.
How did you come to work with NineTwoThree Studio?
When looking for a provider, the location was a concern because we had physical devices that needed to move back and forth, so I searched close to our Massachusetts office. I found five development shops that fit my criteria. NineTwoThree Studio seemed to have very specific experience with device-connected apps. They had done another app with a laundry company and a baby monitor project, so their experience was very relevant to the type of project we were trying to do.
How much have you invested with them?
We’ve spent about $150,000.
What is the status of this engagement?
We started working together in February 2021, and our engagement is ongoing.
What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
Previously, we had a technically intense syncing-up feature using Wi-Fi that was pretty brutal as it crashed quite a bit. Since NineTwoThree Studio rewrote that feature, the UX for transferring data has improved, as well as the stability of the apps. Thanks to them, our development time has also decreased. The speed at which they turn around features is very impressive, and it has allowed us to shorten our development cycles.
Moreover, their internal QA team does a pretty good job; once they release a feature to us, it’s in pretty good shape. We communicate any issues we find back to them. We also appreciate that they pop teammates in and out as their skillsets are needed, so we’re getting a whole team for half the price.
How did NineTwoThree Studio perform from a project management standpoint?
They provide project management services using Monday.com boards for task assignments, bug reports, and bug-tracking. Their communication is good; we do a weekly touch-base meeting to go through the project. However, we mostly communicate through Slack, sending information back and forth. Our device engineers have a lot of communication with NineTwoThree Studio’s developers, and we’ve done calls with them to discuss aspects of the project.
What did you find most impressive about them?
I’ve worked with many development teams, and NineTwoThree Studio is really good. They’ve retained their development team throughout the years, so the group is cohesive and works well together. The quality of the code itself plus the team are outstanding.
Are there any areas they could improve?
I don’t have any complaints; we’re really happy with their work.
Do you have any advice for potential customers?
I would advise spending some time with them in the beginning, clearly defining what needs to get done. Come in with as much information as you can, and once you have the major details down, NineTwoThree Studio is great at estimating and pricing the project.