Inside a Dev Shop: The StudioLabs Process
Working with a Dev Shop
If you’ve never worked with a dev shop before, you may not know what to expect when you make the first call. We’re here to demystify the process for you.
Keep in mind that StudioLabs is more than just a web development company. We are a full-service digital production shop, able to step in and help you with any software-related project. Whether that’s creating a mobile app, a new SaaS Platform, or just providing an extra set of hands for your development team, we’ve got you covered.
StudioLabs has been creating digital products for over 16 years, and we’ve honed our process to provide you a pain-free experience.
Discovery and Definition Phase
Before writing a line of code or creative conception, we spend time evaluating your current digital assets and asking you questions about the outcomes you need from the project. We work with you to document features, integrations, and user journeys to make sure we align with all stakeholders.
At the end of this phase, you’ll fully understand the structural design for your project, and we will give you a sitemap and wireframes for your new site. The sitemap and wireframes are architecture documents. Think of these architecture documents like blueprints. Just like an architect creates blueprints for a new house, we create detailed architecture documents for your new site to precisely illustrate what we’re going to build for you. We’ll also provide a comprehensive timeline and cost projection for the full build, including any necessary post-launch maintenance.
This process can take as little as 1-2 weeks for basic websites, or as long as 6-8 weeks for complex software projects. For an intricate build, like what we did for KKR, it can take many weeks of stakeholder interviews, user journey mapping, functional requirements gathering, and technical specifications drafting. We must uncover all assumptions and risks and put a plan in place that matches the best possible user/employee/customer experience with the tech stack.
Once you approve the informational architecture of your new site, we begin the creative process. Our award-winning design team starts by working with you to draft a Creative Brief and mood boards. We use these tools to hone in on your aesthetic and branding requirements. Once all the stakeholders settle on the design style of the project, we begin designing the user interface of your site.
We start by providing you multiple key screens that illustrate the user experience. The concepts we deliver for your review explore a range of options that we believe represent your brand and gives a clear and contemporary user interface.
Once a concept is chosen and approved, we design the remaining screens of your website. Our team will take into consideration aesthetics, scale, and functionality across all supported desktop and mobile screen sizes.
Once you’re comfortable with the look and feel of your new site, we start writing the code. Our development process leverages key components of traditional, Agile, and Kanban – only the components that work well for our teams and our clients. And our expertise in industry-standard tools such as JIRA, CircleCI, GIT, and Confluence to reduce the risk of failure.
But we don’t use a cookie-cutter approach to build your project. Some products require incremental, fast-paced development so that we can get working software into the hands of users as early as possible. Other projects require a traditional approach to development because the shelf life of the final product is tied to a short-lived campaign. Either way, our process is flexible enough to accommodate various client needs and dependencies.
We work on a full range of software projects, as well. Some projects entail a single product, like a website or a standalone mobile app. Others have multiple interrelated products that we’ll build simultaneously, like Addinex. Here, we built a mobile app and a web app, each with a different target user. We also created a new API both apps use to connect to backend processes and the database.
Quality Assurance Phase
The Development Phase links to the Quality Assurance Phase, and they often overlap. QA entails both requirements testing and usability testing. These are sometimes automated, sometimes manual, or often both.
Support and Maintenance Phase
Then the project moves into a support and maintenance phase. Minimally, we fix bugs for two weeks post-launch. But because websites and other digital assets need regular care, we offer a monthly or quarterly package that includes a bucket of hours you can use for upgrades and expansions.
The StudioLabs Difference
Two things set us apart from other development shops: our process and our people.
And our success over the last 16 years, delivering thousands of projects, demonstrates that our commitment to our process and people works. We hire the best engineers in the industry, and we follow a tried-and-true process from inception through delivery.
We know that our process helps us build exceptional web, mobile, and software products for our clients. But we also know that a process must continue to evolve and improve and that the best engineering process is the one that’s flexible enough to keep getting better.