How we work.

Essential things to know when hiring Superawesome for your next project.

Why You Should Hire Us.

Design is a skill that is best cultivated in a collaborative environment, and Superawesome provides that for us.

Integrating design into your company is not a small task, and having a full time designer on staff in your company is just one of the steps you can take in order to do so.

As an agency you can get on board at any time, we possess a wide variety of skills needed to consider your software product, or a website well designed.

Our main advantages remain our company culture, vast experience with multifaceted projects, and a team in which each individual brings their own strengths to the table. It’s something we’ve been creating and nurturing for years.

We're going to get along great if you:

  • Understand the value of design, and view it as a differentiator with actual business value that can benefit your company.
  • Are able to discuss design from your users' perspectives and leave personal preferences aside.
  • Have metrics that will guide us in the design decision making.
  • Can make yourself available for us to ask questions.

We probably won't be the best fit if you:

  • Think of design as the final step of a project that makes it look nice.
  • Constantly put the pressure on through unrealistic deadlines.
  • Are more likely to suggest solutions, instead of asking questions.
  • Consider that design is the most important aspect of a product.

Please consider these lists to be guidelines in determining whether we might be a good agency for you, rather than rules.

If in doubt, get in touch.

How to get along with your design agency.

Having gone through many experiences with different kinds of clients, we've decided to put together a document outlining the basics of designer-client relationship, that sets the proper expectations, and facilitates productive collaboration.

Read our terms of service.

Structuring our collaboration.

There are many different ways people can work together. We offer our clients two specific types of collaboration, depending on their needs.

While we consider ourselves extremely agile and willing to meet the organizational challenges each project carries, we strongly feel that every project needs to follow a specific process.

Depending on your needs and collaboration style it all starts with setting up your project either as executive, or creative. Some projects require deliverables based on very detailed specifications, while others benefit from exploration and learning along the way.

Creative setup

This method mostly resembles a classic client-designer relationship, in which the clients set business-level goals and objectives, and leave the designers to find the best way to meet them.

The client delegates the design decisions to us, and provides feedback from a business perspective. Heavy accent on user experience design.

Executive setup.

Prioritizing production ahead of creative exploration. Ideal for clients that can give detailed specifications, and actionable feedback.

The client is in control of the design direction and we are simply executing against the specification.

Need something different?

Microawesome is our take on fixed scope projects on a budget, giving you access to the power and potential of design thinking, but without the overhead.

Check out Microawesome.

Scheduling.

Depending on whether the collaboration is set up as executive or creative it can be realized in the form of an open-ended relationship, or a single deadlined project.

These options are not set in stone, and projects can transition from one phase into the other at any point in time. What differentiates them is how they are scheduled.

Open-Ended relationships.

Scheduling works on a constant weekly schedule.

We define how many days per week — sometimes which days specifically — certain team member will spend working on the project, and this schedule is applied to the project in perpetuity.

Due to scheduling consistency these projects are much more suitable for changing priorities in our work.

Example

The following schedule would repeat week after week.

  • Stefan: design on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays
  • Milan: front-end on Tuesdays, and Wednesdays

The client is now at liberty to change priorities between outstanding work orders without risking us not being available.

Single deadlined projects.

Prior to kick-off a time budget is defined based on milestone dates, which is than split according to the project requirements between phases and people involved.

A weekly schedule is then created, however this time on a week-by-week basis.

These projects can rarely be scheduled to go into production the same week, so some lead-time is required.

Example

Let's consider that the project is meeting a milestone a month from now:

  • We decide we have 18 available man-days between Stefan (designer), and Marko (front-end developer), thus the time budget is 18 man-days.
  • We estimate that the project can be completed if we assign 12 man-days to the design phase, 5 days to the front-end phase, and 1 day for quality assurance.

From here we can derive a weekly schedule, based on individual availability at the moment. The scope of work needs to be locked down before kick-off in order to honor the schedule.

The process.

Being agile and willing to adapt to change is one thing. However, it can all too easily lead to chaos and being forced to wing it day in and day out.

It’s easy to be organized when things are going as planned, but when it’s crunch time, that's actually when we need a process the most even though it may seem that it's slowing us down.

We try our best to keep to a simple but very specific flow in collaboration with our clients, at the heart of which is a work order.

Work orders.

All actionable items are called work orders — sometime we refer to them as “WOs” — and it is the equivalent of a task, ticket, or however it’s called in various other systems.

Every client request must exist in our system as a work order, and each work order must be signed off on by the client. This process ensures we are never doing work based on a free-form email or a comment, written on a whim in the middle of a boring meeting.

This exercise really shines when we get feedback that's either very specific — e.g. “change font” — or on the other hand so vague — e.g. “I don’t feel it” — that it makes it really difficult to base an iteration off of.

That's when we have to dig deeper to find out what the problem with the work actually is, and construct some actionable feedback in the form of a work order.

Reviews and discussion.

We conduct work reviews either in written form by submitting our reasoning along with deliverables, or in person where we present the deliverables and take you through the deliverables in conversation.

Whatever the case may be, the feedback that we get/collect needs to be consolidated in written format. We use feedback in this format to extract work orders from it.

This process eliminates the hear-say, and cases of “we talked about it during the review”.

Billing.

At the moment most of our billing is based on billable time, but we're constantly experimenting with this as we're well aware of its shortcomings.

If you are interested, you can read our thoughts on pricing design services.

We consider 4-5 hours of productive time per day to be a healthy, sustainable pace for our team.

Time-Based.

Each invoice is a simple sum of billable time for a given month.

Fixed.

You receive a fixed quote for a very specifically scoped out job.

Retainer.

Commit to a certain number of days per week and enjoy a discounted rate.

Flat rate billing.

Pay a fixed monthly fee for unlimited design work from a dedicated designer that will work on your projects up to three days per week, one task at a time.

Send inquiry.

Invoicing.

The unit of time that we use for billing and scheduling is a day. If a client signs off on a single work order — or multiple tiny ones — that don’t add up to a full day’s work, it’s still billed as a full day.

All invoices go out on the first of the month and are generally due on receipt. Advance payments are treated the same as retainers, in that we work towards the balance and invoice the difference on the first of next month.

Time tracking.

All of our time is tracked through Harvest, and all customers are able to receive a detailed timesheet along with their invoice on request.

You should know about:Productivity multipliers.

Efficiency can be a major issue on projects with time-based billing. Expectations can wildly differ, and trust is easily shaken, especially in the beginning of the relationship.

Our take on tackling this issue is the so called “productivity multiplier”, where a base hourly rate is multiplied with it in order to adjust the rate to the corresponding work output.

  • Rate 1 has the PM of 1 (base rate)
  • Rate 2 has the PM of 0.75 (25% discount)
  • Rate 3 has the PM of 0.5 (50% discount)

It's important to note that it's completely at our discretion to apply these modifiers, and clients can not request for them to be applied.

Dig deeper:

  • How we work

    Take a look into our process and learn how we go about running projects.

  • Terms of service

    We thought it would be a good idea to write up and publish a set of guidelines that would help the collaboration run smooth between us and our customers.

  • Playbook

    Learn how we run our company.

  • Building a product Coming soon

    How can we help you build your product, if we haven't built one ourselves? Take a look at a venture of our own into the world of SaaS.

Go.

Featured project:

WinOnline

Our Work.

No doubt you are interested to see some examples of our work by now. We’ve prepared a couple of case studies in order to give you a bit of insight into our process.

If you aren’t into going in depth and just want to check out some visuals, you’ll find some in there as well.