Art Meets Science.
Why The Big Focus On
We’ve had a front row seat to the changes in user behavior digital has caused. People are more connected than ever, but we’re also more opportunistic with our time and disposable income. The result is less engagement, lower levels of loyalty and lost revenue opportunity.
There is hope, however. Using the latest methods of user experience design and a nearly 20-year background in motivating people to stay engaged, we’re able to successfully shape behavior and retain customers for the long haul. It all starts with our methodology.
The SI Methodology
The Smashing Ideas Methodology organically formed over many years of creating applications, websites, products and platforms. Think of it as a foundational set of best practices that we can pull from based on your company’s specific needs, rather than a prescribed process we must follow to the letter.
DISCOVER & LEARN
This is where we define goals, identify engagement opportunities, analyze information and make recommendations.
STRATEGIZE & PLAN
Beginning with measurable objectives, we work backwards to create a roadmap for your goals.
CONCEPT & DESIGN
Marrying form and function, we merge experience typography, usability, color, gestures and branding to imagine engagement between users and products.
BUILD & QA
Preparation becomes action as milestones are met, sprint plans reviewed, test cases created and usability tests conducted.
LAUNCH & MEASURE
Collecting data, analyzing feedback and reviewing analytics are the hallmarks of this phase.
EVALUATE & ADVISE
We use our data and analysis to recommend new engagements and improve performance. As your user’s needs evolve, so too can your offerings.
This methodology is grounded in 3 key philosophies:
What’s the point of creating something if people aren’t going to use it? That’s where our experience in gaining an understanding of the primary motivations of an end user, along with how to trigger them, come in. Motivational UX™ focuses our efforts on looking for ways to keep people engaged. It’s part art, part science. Together, we believe it helps us create the most engaging experiences possible.
LEAN USER EXPERIENCE
The practice of Lean User Experience, or Lean UX, establishes a highly iterative approach to designing software products. We follow a Design -> Prototype -> Validate cycle that allows us to learn from our ideas quickly. We haven’t worked with a client yet who isn’t an expert on their products and target audiences. With this in mind, we spend a lot of time establishing and visualizing a hypothesis with our clients (known in SI speak as “getting some paint on the walls”), and then testing these ideas while conducting user research. This parallel path of creating and learning yields better products in less time.
When it comes to building, we use an agile process – primarily because it enables us to respond to change, which is inevitable in digital products. Using agile development, we’re able to focus on delivering working software sooner, which is something that aligns well with our Lean UX practices. Our particular flavor of agile has been developed in-house.
The Nitty Gritty
We’re attention seekers – proudly on your behalf – and our number one goal is to craft digital experiences that increase time spent, retention and brand loyalty. Here’s how.
Great ideas come from great insights, so our Strategists work in partnership with you to lay the groundwork for every digital experience, product or platform we create. We dive headfirst into research, data analysis and your business challenge to understand the unique motivations, wants and needs of your end-user. We produce insights and unearth opportunities that set the stage to create engagement and loyalty, leading to a high return on investment.
- Product and service planning
- Audience analysis, development and growth
- Customer experience design (CXD)
- Research planning
- Envisioning activities
- Archetypal audience groups
- User research
- Guided interviews
- Cultural and contextual analysis
- Focus groups
- Content strategy
- Concept testing
- User testing strategy and planning
- Learning analysis and implementation planning
- KPI or goal setting and measurement
- Return on engagement (ROE) definition and plan
- Analytics strategy
- Analytics monitoring and insights
- Innovation workshops
- Ideation workshops
User Experience, aka UX, aka customer experience, defines and architects the overall experience your customers will ultimately experience. With a lens on the thoughts, needs, motivations and behaviors of your target audience, our User Experience specialists are able to intentionally craft the overall design, interface, flow and usability to your target demographic. Brain science meets design.
- User experience design
- User experience architecture
- Customer experience mapping
- Service mapping
- User stories
- Gamification/game design thinking
- Archetypes and personas
Ideation and Design
Our mission is to create the most engaging digital experiences possible. That means generating ideas that put the user at the center of everything we do. Our approach is grounded in the principles of human behavior and motivation, and is designed to solve business problems in a way that makes your customers want to come back for more.
- Ideation and brainstorming
- Visual design
- User experience design
- Information architecture
- Interface design
- Interaction design
- Brand stewardship
- Traditional animation
- Motion graphics
- OpenGl and shaders
Web & Mobile Development
Frankly, we should call this section “technology” since the range of screens we build for is continually increasing. Our multi-lingual developers are well versed in one primary language – be it Android, iOS, Drupal, etc. – and at least one secondary language so they can contribute to projects in a broader way. We build and iterate quickly, always working to employ the latest best practices in lean software development.
- Agile development & continuous integration
- Cross-platform (iOS/Android) development in unity using C#
- Front-end web development
- Interactive design
- Large-scale website installations with Django and Drupal using Python and PHP
- Mobile product development
- Native iOS development/Objective-C
- Visual prototypes
- Functional prototypes
- Augmented reality frameworks
- Android development in Java and C++
- 3D design
- C++ based games and applications
- Cross platform mobile application development in Cocos2dX using C++
- Flash (and Flex/AIR)
- Internet security
- Test driven development and code review
- Usability testing
Digital Quality Assurance
On the hunt for bugs, glitches and anything amiss, our QA Engineers make sure your product goes to market with near-perfection. We derive test plans based on functionality and the number of configurations the product will be used on – be it iPad, iPhone, Android, etc. – on both mobile and web platforms. This includes all various models and corresponding operating systems and browsers dating back 3 years. We push our products past their limits so your users never have a moment of interrupted engagement.
- Test plans and cases
- Regression/isolation testing
- Functional validation
- Code review
- Unit testing
- Smoke tests
- Negative/stress validation
- Usability testing
- End-to-end validation
Digital Analytics and Insights
Data is everywhere, at the ready to provide critical insights into a project’s success. From pre-development data collection to post-deployment analytics, our services span the entire lifecycle of a product in order to provide ongoing insights about what is and isn’t working. Why? To unearth areas of opportunity that create increased user engagement and product longevity.
- Analytics plans
- Analytics integration
- Data collection
- Real-time UX analysis
- Data-driven insights and recommendations
PR / Media Kit
Interested in having SI share our knowledge with your team or convey our smashing ideas at an industry event? Download our media kit to continue the conversation.
We’re always percolating on new ideas and sharing our latest insights. Sign-up for our newsletter to stay engaged. We won’t bug you too much, unless you want us to of course.