At 900lbs we find that we produce the best results when we work hand-in-hand with our clients to overcome their business challenges. As our client, you can expect to be highly involved throughout the entire creative process from start to finish – but what does that really mean? Let’s break it down together.
The typical 900lbs process includes five phases that allow our team to craft innovative projects with our clients:
Creativity tends to be messy, iterative and the implications of making changes at certain points in the process can be hard to comprehend, so we like to use a “building a house” metaphor to illustrate our typical project. For example during the Plan phase, we develop “wireframes” for the project that serve as the blueprint of the “house” and inform all subsequent design and development steps – or the “construction” of the project. Get it? Good! Let’s start building.
During the Discovery phase, we’ll meet with you and your team to make sure we clearly understand your needs and challenges, while collecting all the necessary information. Putting this phase in the house building metaphor, these are the types of questions we’ll ask your team:
- Where would you like your house built? This provides us context on the technology platform the experience requires.
- Who will live in your house? All the demographic and user information we need.
- How much do you want to spend on your house? A budget allows us to design and construct within our means.
- What do you want your house to say about you? We specify tone, style, themes, and content.
Our Discovery phase requires multiple conversations and heavy documentation – but it’s all worth it, we promise! At the end of a successful Discovery phase, both of our teams should have a deep understanding of your challenges and objectives, which will allow us to build you a lovely house that exceeds your expectations – just like Chip and Joanna (if they were tech nerds)!
In the Plan phase, we start drawing out the blueprints and floor plans of the house. Here, we focus on diagramming and detailing out the user journey through the final experience or “house.” We get into the details and present several roadmaps and technical graphics that collectively form the blueprints of how the house is going to be built. With each passing week, you as the client are reviewing and helping inform major system decisions like “how many bathrooms are needed,” “2 or 3 car garage?” Because 2 weeks before moving in, adding an extra powder room can be a bit tricky…
We typically end the Plan Phase with a “lo-fi prototype”, which allows us to fail fast and iterate. For you, it’s an exciting glimpse into the final result so you can check that we’ve mapped out the full scope before construction begins! At this point in the process, when only the blueprints are established, it can often be difficult for our clients to visualize the big, fancy house. But trust us – these complex technical documents are a necessary step on the journey to your perfectly designed, fully feng-shui’d residence.
Once the lo-fi prototype is finalized, we can move into the Design phase with confidence so we can establish our creative direction (yay! The fun stuff!). This phase is where you’ll decide the interior decoration, specific materials, colors, and overall tone of your new home. This creative exploration is visualized via styleframes, animatics and various creative assets.
- Styleframes: Still scenes that depict the art direction of a project.
- Animatics: Short and rough snippets of motion that create a reference of time, movement, and style
- Creative Assets: Visual elements that incorporate and apply the details into the overarching style of the project
Once we have all the pieces we can start to apply them to the lo-fi prototype, evolving it into a high-fidelity prototype. This prototype is used to continue testing the flow of the experience, functionality, content, art direction and story. This hi-fi prototype step is critical, as it becomes the best visual of your new house before the real one is built. Because so much of what we do are custom “homes”, our builders (developers) actually get started in the Design phase, researching and testing new hardware, effects or technologies so when you ask for that perfect blend between a medieval castle and a space station, we know how to build it.
Unlike some agencies, our Design and Development phases aren’t mutually exclusive. We are an ultra-collaborative crew working side-by-side and in constant communication, regardless of our department or specialty. By the time the Development starts, our in house team of developers have already started building the experience infrastructure. A head start in development is incredibly valuable and relieves our teams from the stress of the quickly approaching deadline.
Our Development phase is broken out into several milestones that allow our clients to evaluate their new home at various levels of completion. From the Alpha build to QA to the Gold build, you’ll see this house as the framing, drywall, roof, floors, windows, cabinets, etc. are installed. Throughout the Development phase, our developers and visual content team members are hard at work – collaborating with the design team to make sure the content, functionality and aesthetics are all constructed properly and each element of your new home meets (and hopefully exceeds) your expectations.
Call the moving company because we’re getting close folks! We typically finalize the Development phase after our final quality assurance (QA) pass with the clients. With physical installations, this final review and testing pass happens on the construction site (remember – we’re building a house here!), and with fully digital projects, this final review happens on the world wide web. Either way, it’s important that our final review and most rigorous testing occurs in the exact environment that will be its forever home. At this point in our process, the house has been painted and appliances have been installed. Flowers are blooming in the garden and the house is ready for residents. Chip and Joanna are ready to pull that canvas apart and reveal your new home!
During this final Launch phase, our team makes sure that you are not only extremely happy with your new home, but that you know how everything works, how to properly tour your guests around your new home and that you know who to call if and when you have any issues or ideas for add-ons. And, much like a home warranty plan, 900lbs offers maintenance and analytics plans to proactively monitor and maintain your house while providing ideas and solutions for upgrades. Now all there is left to do is to enjoy your bright, shiny new home!
All of your hard work, planning and dedication have paid off, and – BONUS – you now have a new, fun, helpful group of friends to hang out with!
CONCLUSION: WRAP IT UP, ALREADY!
From Discovery to Launch, our process relies on our team members and clients working together to build something great. We pride ourselves in creating measurable results for our clients, and we love building crazy, one-of-a-kind houses together built on a solid foundation that will stand the test of time.
The best part? At the end of this process, we have a beautiful house that plays the perfect host location for our next happy hour.