We get asked this a lot by prospective clients, "what does an average project look like for you and your team"?

The problem is that our team hasn’t had an “average project”… maybe ever? In 2015 we jumped around from designing an Android Mobile app for one of the largest semiconductor companies in the world to designing a local police force website to working on launching our own Software as a Product company in Q1 2016.

While we can’t say “this is how your project will go for sure” we can outline some basic tenets about how we try to work with our clients.

The workflow of our company generally goes like this:

  • Onboarding
  • Research
  • Design
  • Development
  • Testing
  • Delivery

Inside those things there can be any combination of delivery. To be honest we’re kind of a different company than we were when we wrote those things down. We’ve grown to six (to ten depending on contractors) people and taken on business we didn’t know we could do and now in the new year we’ve very intentionally shrunk back down to three(-ish). We want to be more on the ball, more agile and able to get deliverables of any kind turned around faster. We want to deliver things in code as quickly as possible and make the feedback loop with our clients as short as possible. So that said, a client in 2016 can expect speed and probably more touch-points throughout the process.

Onboarding and research kind of bleed together because of the interactions we have with Clients. We ask a lot of questions, often ask that clients complete simple tasks and during research some of those questions either resurface or require follow up. In a kickoff meeting a client will likely hear any one of us at random say that Blue Fish is a “People over Profit” company. This is true from the way we deal with one another to the way we deal with vendors and ultimately the way we deal with clients. We’re really good at what we do (building things for the internet) and theres a premium that comes with that, but it doesn’t mean we’re better or smarter than anyone we work with or for. Ultimately our job is just as much to teach clients about what we’re doing as it is to actually do it. Putting people first means that we put equal weight to user needs, client business goals and our team’s well-being. This ethos has taught us to show compassion and empathy around every turn and hopefully our clients see that when working with us.

Like I mentioned, we’re such a different company that we once were. Design, development and testing aren’t these separate silos of tasks anymore. Design and development regularly interlope and testing on all the devices we have available to us is a priority. The nature of fragmented devices and user inputs has taught us several things, the power of performance (website speed) is one of them. Another good one can be found here. We’re constantly iterating and refining our process, refining tools and processes so that we’re able to deliver a more consistent and maintainable product.

Delivery is a weird term. Yes we deliver the site and deploy it to your specific server but it’s a little more personal than that. In some cases we’re really just starting this relationship with the client. We might be running phases for a few months updating and iterating based on data we collect through analytics and user feedback. We are one of the few ExpressionEngine shops that seems to put as much emphasis on maintaining a relationship as we do closing new business. We'd enjoy the process of refining a website and helping client's close more business by tweaking things. In some cases we deliver a website, shake hands and move on but being people first means we check back in with our clients from time to time to see how things are going. We send small tokens of gratitude and emails we think will be useful. With any luck, delivering the website isn’t the end of our working together. With any luck it’s just the beginning.

So to answer the question, projects with us are educational, fun, productive, relational, and above all else we try and maintain calm. Have questions about our processes or abilities? Shoot us an email.