DockYard - a digital product agency review
The concept of custom software development is based on the need to create a software product that exactly meets the specific wishes and specific needs of an individual or a company. Unlike off-the-shelf software, customized solutions are more efficient and more adjustable for a particular client and satisfy specific requests, which in turn stimulates the process of achieving customer goals.
Key facts about DockYard
|Service lines||Custom Software Development, Web Development, Mobile App Development, Design|
|Avg. hourly rate||$150- 199|
|Location||Hingham, Massachusetts, USA|
DockYard - digital product development agency with more than 9 years of experience in custom software, mobile, and web application development consulting. The team is knowledgeable about modern application UX, design, and architecture, which allows providing multiple solutions for any kind of client's requests. DockYard portfolio includes not only web and mobile solutions but also a blockchain, and IoT products. DockYard guys also specialize in providing testing and QA, project management, training, support, and staff augmentation.
Services provided by DockYard
- Product Strategy
The DockYard guys specialize in providing a complicated and effective product strategy, which is based on the analysis, determining the goals of the business and audience, as well as establishing a clear vision and determining success indicators.
The first thing a team does after meeting a client is conducting a practical, thorough analysis of potential users' needs and thinking to create a successful product. Besides, one of the stages of foundational research is the careful study of other relevant factors, such as markets, competition, or operations. The second component of the DockYard successful product development process is to study data from existing client applications and sites, information from operational or financial centers, while the client’s previously used strategy and its relevance to the goals are also taken into account.
The company takes into account the human factor at all stages of product development, therefore, focuses on developing the most realistic profile of the potential user and detailed journey maps for each key segment of the audience. This is done to develop intuitive interactive features depending on the needs of the audience.
According to the team, control and discipline are the keys to well-coordinated and productive work, therefore it forms a clear strategic vision, on which the company focuses, even at the initial stages. Creating a product strategy is a troublesome process, which consists of many constituent elements to create all the conditions for targeted and coordinated actions in the process of creating a product. This, in turn, ensures an uninterrupted workflow, avoiding obstacles, and timely quality results.
- Product Design
Thanks to a team of talented developers, DockYard can provide a modern and efficient product design that integrates complex components into simple and functional user interfaces that aim to bring technology and people together.
In the process of creating a product design, first of all, the analysis of the target audience is taken into account, due to which the direction in which it is worth building the user experience is determined, understanding of which turns into precisely honed user software. Reliable testing and iteration are indispensable components in the process of digital products developing. Proven levels of risk reduction over the years and rigorous checks adjust the subsequent design steps to ensure that the results are consistent with customer expectations.
The visual component, intuitive perception, and functionality are what the potential user/partner/buyer draws attention to, so the DockYard guys do everything to make this first impression positive and memorable. How do they manage to achieve this? They seek the help of color, hierarchy, typography, content - all the components that allow them to bring a brand to life and exceed the expectations of the audience. The company strives to embody the best world practices in its work in order to provide the best results, which is why it effectively uses design systems with modular, reusable components and a library of brand and style manuals, which will enchant them to achieve clients' goals in the shortest possible time, while maintaining accuracy and quality.
One of the features of the company is the fact that their team consists of cross-functional specialists who can skillfully implement each phase of the project - strategy, user experience, design. This allows showing cohesion and continuity of the product creation process, as product designers are present during research and creating prototypes, effectively embodying all acquired knowledge about the project in the process design creation.
As mentioned earlier, the team aims to use advanced techniques in the process of design solutions development that would serve the client for many years and be relevant. The company's design prototypes promise to be flexible and scalable to meet not only today but also future business needs.
High-quality engineering is one of the most important components of the digital product creation process. Responsibility consists of creating a flawless product for each client, while the difficulty is consists of correctly assess the volume, technical requirements, approach, and feasibility of work. According to DockYard engineers themselves, their main goal is to create scalable, pixel-perfect custom software by using for writing best-in-class tools as Ember, Elixir, and React.js.
Considering that the company aims to provide products that meet the desires and needs of users when developing engineers focus on availability, localization, and performance for the audience. This is achieved through a user interface development tool - or UXD, which directly translates projects into responsive front-end interfaces.
Another obvious advantage of the company is its ability to use such future technologies as Ember.js and React.js, which allow endowing end products with more interface functionality. These technologies are used by world leaders such as Google, Facebook, IBM, and Microsoft, and DockYard implements them in their projects. Used by the team, Elixir and Phoenix are also best-in-class technologies, leading the way in creating scalable, supported applications.
To focus on building adaptable and scalable solutions, DockYard also creates code that is clean, safe, and stable. Such reliable experience in creating products, not only gives the client obvious advantages but is also more economical in the long run, as it is developed for the future, taking into account all the threats coming from outside.
The company is deeply convinced that strict quality control during software development provides a result that does not require improvement. The team is responsible for the testing process as well as for all services provided, focusing on testing functionality, quality, and accuracy in all use cases.
Given the company's individual approach to creating results, it is obvious to assume that testing also considers the individual characteristics of the tested products. The team does not recognize a unified approach to identifying faults and places in need of correction, so it takes into account the unique features of the project - from content to functionality and scalability.
It is important to note that the team conducts a thorough check of each project, under the means of running automated scripts that put pressure on the most vulnerable sections of the project to detect hidden failure lines, testing common user flows along with extreme cases, that ensures smooth operation in the future.
Unlike frequent cases where newly created systems have nothing to do with existing client systems, DockYard’s deep engineering expertise provides full compatibility between them. Moreover, during the testing process, the team will foresee all scenarios of moving data between systems on different platforms, which guarantees the reliability, stability, and preparedness in any situation.
- Project Management
The company provides a full range of services, including project management. DockYard project managers lead the development of digital products using high-level strategic thinking and using the latest tools to ensure control over the volume, schedules, quality, and cost of provided services.
In the process of project management implementation, the team uses modern methods, providing a fast and frequent iteration. Efficiency is ensured by using the Agile development methodology, which allows creating incremental iterative web applications that are tested and ready to be released.
CollegeVine - software whose main goal was to facilitate potential students the choice of suitable universities, while also facilitating the fate of the staff of the received commissions. The main goals that the client set for DockYard were to reduce the risks associated with new features, as well as scale the entire web experience. To make this possible, the company divided the process into 5 components.
The collaboration began with a company understanding of user needs, which was embodied through interviews that helped prioritize the users that were presented at CollegeVine. After identifying the target audience and its needs, the DockYard team immediately began to develop a set of questions that were necessary to filter out inappropriate places for students, taking into account the region, scores, AP classes, etc.. All the questions are user-friendly, and all possible answers are presented.
The client wanted to provide clear and accessible results. For this purpose, it was decided not only to add a search function but also a function of the ability to determine what are the chances of a future student to get to a particular university. For this, information previously obtained from the student during testing, for example, assessments, is used. This feature provides realistic predictions and allows them to evaluate the chances of admission.
Much attention was paid to the creation of the characteristics of educational institutions, which included everything from the cost of training to diversity on a school campus. The DockYard guys presented a solution that was based on the data gathered about the student and providing him with information about whether the particular institution aligned or misaligned with their expressed interest.
The first thing to be achieved was to build trust in the platform. This was achieved through the creation of a network of contacts between potential students and instructors. Instructor profiles were created, including all the information necessary for students, including experience, recommendations, the number of students trained before, and more.
Instructor profiles are multi-functional and have features such as conversation-based messaging, interest-related blog posts, and student requests for lessons. Any of the instructors can write something that will be useful and interesting for students, for example, their learning experience or useful tips for beginners.
CollegeVine found a response among many potential students, attracting them with its ease of use, intuitive and user-friendly interface, but especially with its accuracy and informativeness.
It has various search capabilities with a clear structure and simple defaults. So, users can use the functions of keyword or zip code to start searching, but also can go deeper into search and filter a search by many categories.rs, and more.
MySunBuddy is a marketplace for solar power, which needed to develop a user interface and branding to attract an audience. Having started cooperation, the company at an early stage provided the client with several sketches of the future project, which allowed him to collectively choose the way forward with the client. At this stage, it was possible to agree on style, layout, and placement.
The second stage involved the development process of a toolbar based on previously created sketches. Besides, the team developed a visual design for the project, with intuitive elements, convenient forms, and a hierarchy of pages calling for action. As for the home page, it was created focusing on the customer's need to attract customers: a unified style was created, reflecting the modernity of the proposed technologies, and the product was also demonstrated.
To create a general visual appearance of the site, the team chose restrained, but at the same time bright colors, reflecting the essence of the product, as well as modern typography and iconography, which would be legible and accessible.