Software is about design, not just technology. And the act of designing is a process centered around conceiving and creating original, successful products or services. But the "why" of design is the part most often left out — you're designing something because a real human has a need that isn't met.
Our process for designing and building products for the web and mobile that delight users and help them meet their needs centers around combining Human Centered Design (HCD) or Design Thinking practices and Lean Startup. Both of these approaches seek to effectively meet and serve customer's needs through a systematic, low-risk path to innovation in face of the uncertainty that is modern digital product development.
This page serves as our guide to how we approach projects with our clients. It's a living guide that we'll surly update over time as we're constantly learning and experimenting with ways to improve how we innovate products for the web and mobile. It also focuses on our philosophy and how we run our company which is what drives everyone at Tandem.ly.
Product development consists of two distinct activities: discovery and delivery. Our approach ensures that each of those activities is ongoing through out the life of the product. And, that each autonomous, cross-functional team engages in each activity to ensure there is a shared understanding of the product and empathy for the user.
Why has design thinking been embraced not only by forward-thinking innovators like IDEO but large enterprises like IBM? For one, it brings everyone into the process, not just designers; Design thinking also helps scale the design process through large organizations. allowing organizations to confidently create better, human-centered user experiences and disruptive products.
The Lean Startup approach allows organizations to be more capital efficient and leverage human creativity more effectively. Inspired lean manufacturing, it relies on “validated learning,” rapid experimentation, as well as a number of practices that shorten product development cycles, measure actual progress (not vanity metrics), and learn what customers really want. It enables a company to shift directions (pivot) with agility, altering plans inch by inch.
Our process pulls from a number of different inspirations; and we're constantly learning and evaluating what works best for our teams. But ultimately, our process is focused on bringing innovative products to the web and mobile that make our clients successful by keeping focus on the user and helping them meet their needs.
Product planning is done with the understanding that the product discovery and product delivery cycles are ongoing throughout the life of the product. Our primary goals are to increase the rate at which we validate our learning about our users and our design direction through frequent prototyping, observing, testing, delivery and measurement of iterations of our product.
All our projects are user-focused and design driven. We like to kick off projects with design sprints and frequently use them for challenging problems in the design as well. We engage in design thinking practices as a full team, building a shared understanding of the problem and gaining real empathy for our users. This results in innovative, delightful products that our users love, delivering true value to our clients.
Our development practices pull from a number of different sources which, over the years, we've found work best to improve the quality of our work and the happiness of our team. It's also a set of practices that we're constantly adapting as we learn and experience more.
Whenever possible we also work in "tandem", using pairing between our team's roles and matching roles from our client. This affords us the ability to ensure communication is transparent, we maintain a shared understanding of the work and outcomes, and allows us to both learn from and mentor our client on specific practices, skills and technology.
We live in a magical modern era where many problems have already been solved for us. We focus on the core product as much as possible and outsource operations as much as possible to external services.
An important part of the build-measure-learn cycle is clearly the "measure" portion. Determining what to measure can be hard, but there are good guidelines, such as the AARRR framework, or HEART. Using these frameworks as a basis, we can instrument our code to track those types of metrics that are important for determining value for our clients and whether we've moved the needle on customer behavior.
What's it like to work with Tandem.ly? Imagine a partner that wants your product to succeed almost more than you do. That partner also has the diligence of an engineer, the passion of an artist and the vision of an experienced strategist that is able to answer the hardest question, — What "should" your product be.