Frequently asked questions
Answering any and all of your app development questions.
The process is broken down into three overarching phases. The first phase is discovery, where we learn about your product idea, business goals, industry competitors, and end users. We then move into the design phase, where we follow a user-centered design process to reach a final design. The designs are then handed off to the development team for the third and final phase. They will implement the design through code, make any needed adjustments, and help you launch.
We handle many different types of projects, and the stages will depend on what your needs are: simple updates, redesigns, “I have an idea but I’m not sure how to get it done,” and “I know exactly what I want.”
• Discovery workshop (Typically 2-8 hrs)
• Design (Typically 1-8 weeks)
• Development (Typically 1- 16 weeks)
• QA testing (1-2 weeks)
The timeline varies depending on the project and scope. The best way to find this out is simply to talk to us!
Our mission is to not only design and develop beautiful digital products for your team but to also meet and exceed your business goals.
Core Technologies & Tools
There’s a common misconception that open-source means low-quality, when the opposite is actually true. The open-source community, especially in Ruby, is extremely active, fueled by developers who love writing Ruby, and who care about writing code well. Aside from the added time (and cost) of developing everything in-house, leveraging popular open-source libraries is a wise choice because they have been battle-tested by many others beforehand. Why spend valuable time and money on something that isn’t the core of your product?
Ruby is meant to be a very productive language. It does waste some server resources, but the biggest cost for any project—especially early on—is in development hours, not hosting. Hosting typically costs between 5% – 10% of the monthly development cost. Using Ruby helps us build what we need quickly so that your idea can be tested and tweaked while using fewer development hours. Once product-market fit has been found and the business optimizes more for cost and less for time, moving to a different, more verbose, performant, and less flexible language makes sense. But that’s usually several years away.
The Design Process
“User experience design” is a design methodology that focuses on the end user of your product all throughout the design phase. By utilizing extensive user research, best practices in design, and behavioral psychology, we design digital products that are intuitive, useful, and beautiful.
UX design not only creates intuitive and enjoyable experiences for your end-user, but also provides business value by enhancing revenue and reducing future costs.
The design process can change depending on the stage of your product. At a high level, we follow a user-centered design process, starting with brand discovery calls with your team to get to know your business goals. We then move on to user research, and finally to high fidelity design, prototyping, and usability testing.
The design phase is important because it allows us to agree on the look and visual layout of your site. The design ensures that “nothing gets lost in translation” between your vision and needs and our implementation and execution. It is therefore extremely important that you take time to review and understand. Once you approve the design, your project manager and assigned development team will implement the visuals as well as the functionality of your site. If something is not in the design, we will not build it.
User research is the first step in any design process to learn everything there is to know about your end users. By collecting quantitative and qualitative data through various user research methods, we can then make better design decisions that improve the overall user’s experience.
Usability testing is a vital part of the design process to test out a prototype of your concept. The goal is to identify problems in the design before launch, effectively saving on future costs of redesign and redevelopment.
We will create the design as close to your team’s vision as possible. Although we will give design recommendations based on best principles and advocate for the end user, you have the final say in all design decisions.
Figma, as they themselves put it, is a “collaborative interface design tool.” It’s the place where we will build the visual look of your project. You will have access to this same space, allowing you to see every single page, feature, and functionality as it is designed and added to the overall look of the project. We use this tool so that you have 100% transparency into our design process, and you can see exactly what your product will look like once we start to build it. What is in Figma is what we build. If it isn’t in there, we won’t build it, so if you see something missing or not right, be sure to speak up! It will only help the process go more smoothly.
You can use your mouse, or a list of pages which will be found to the left, to navigate around the preview of your project. You can then press C on your keyboard and click on a specific part of the design to make a comment about that portion of the design.
You may need to adjust your content. It is extremely important that the design you accept in Figma will be able to handle the content with which you populate your site. If you’re ever uncertain about what you design will or won’t be able to handle, simply talk to your team and we’ll be happy to walk you through it and ensure you’ll be happy with the end result. What you see in Figma is exactly what you get!
The Development Process
The development phase is where we build your project. First, we have weekly check-in meetings to ensure we are on the same page. We may need to discuss functionalities and design updates, and you’ll get a look at where your project is in development. Second, we invite you to look at pages step by step and give us feedback on the look and functionalities, such as if they are fully integrated. Third, once all the pages are built to specs, we go through a testing phase, and towards the end of this phase, we invite you to test your product to ensure that it works and performs as expected. Fourth, it’s time for launch — the day you show the world your site/app. Fifth and last, maintenance is where we improve, update, and fix your site on an ongoing basis.
The design is made as a visual aid for you to see the face of your project. Once you agree on the final layout, the functionality behind the visual interface is built. When we work on your site, we deploy a team that works together to ensure your vision not only looks but functions in a manner that you need. Your team typically consists of a Project Manager, a UI/UX Designer, 1-3 Software Engineers, and a QA Technician.
This depends on the scope and agreed-upon level of client support, which will be decided before work is begun. However, if you’re ever unsure or have any questions, just reach out to your team and we’ll be ready to help!
Launch & Post-Launch Support
Your site/app is officially “done” when we launch. In reality, your site is never fully complete, as it is really a process and should always be treated as such. We accept feedback for 1 week after launch and will fix what is in the project scope, and will provide estimates for updates that are not in scope.
Goji Labs is responsible for bugs that arise from the code we write one week post-launch. If a bug appears after one week or due to new installations of plugins, apps, add-ons, or updates, we will happily repair and fix these issues at an agreed-upon hourly rate, or use hours from your maintenance packet where we provide support at a reduced rate.
Contact us immediately, regardless of the time. We will get your site back up and running!
We do not involve our designers in minor updates and tweaks. However, we have found that for more extensive changes, an hour in design ensures that you get exactly what you envision and that we understand your vision perfectly. One hour in design can save you multiple hours in development.
Yes, we often host our partners’ sites. We offer two hosting solutions depending on the type of site and how much traffic your site has. This service includes your live production site, your backup staging site, and one allocated hour of maintenance a month to update plugins regularly.
Billing & Maintenance
We use a blended rate for our projects. We only bill for strategy, design, and development hours. All ancillary services that going into making the project a success, such as product management, project management, testing, and quality assurance are included in the blended rate.
After your site/app has gone live, we share a maintenance Google Doc with you where each task we work on is listed in detail with estimated work time, date of request, who requested it, etc. In this manner, we commit to full transparency about maintenance hours and how they are spent. We occasionally find minor bugs and issues and will add those if they are less than an hour to fix. Fixes requiring more investment are always discussed with you prior to updating.
Goji Labs offers many hosting and maintenance solutions that are customized to fit your needs. Setting up a recurrent maintenance package guarantees that we have resources set aside for you at a reduced rate.
We recommend that immediately following launch you get 10-30hrs/month while you get acquainted with your new site/app and its functionality. After about 2-3 months, most of our partners drop their hours down to 3-10hrs/month depending on project size and traffic. You can change the maintenance hours prior to the 1st of the month.
Depending on the type of update/fix, we:
• Implement the update on your staging site.
• Test to ensure that the fix works as expected.
• Update and verify the update on mobile.
• Push the update(s) live.
• Test again on live environment.
An update typically involves your Project Manager, a UI/UX Designer, a Software Developer, and a QA technician.
Your assigned designer will make the update, you approve, and we implement the update according to our agreed-upon rate. This amount may be less if we use the hours in your maintenance package, and more if we use hours beyond that package.
Your Project Manager will provide an estimate for the update and get approval from you prior to implementing a change. The rate will depend on if we use hours from your maintenance package or if you decide to pay for additional hours of time.