What we offer
All the advice and delivery expertise you need to launch effective mobile apps with supporting databases, web portals and APIs.
Organise your ideas
Typically 1-2 weeks
You'll have ideas about what you want to do with your app. We help you organise these into a feasible roadmap within a budget and timeline that works for you.
- Understanding your goals
- Advising on trends
- Helping you clarify your strategy
- Checking feasibility of your ideas
- Checking ROI of your ideas
- Offering new ideas and fresh thinking
- Creating a plan with a budget
Design your concept
Typically 2-4 weeks
You'll save time and money if you test your ideas before building them for real. We assist by conducting user-research, concept design and user-testing to give you a strong start.
- Understanding your customers
- Understanding your IT setup
- Gap analysis on your competitor offerings
- Designing app and web prototypes
- Validating that the prototypes will work
- Creating branding, logos and icons
- Artwork for stakeholder presentations
Create your app
Typically 3-6 months
Once you're happy with the direction, it's time to create and launch your app. We use agile delivery to keep you in the loop and to get something to market quickly.
- Native mobile apps
- Progressive web apps
- Websites and admin portals
- Data dashboards and visualisations
- Promotional websites for your app
- API's and integrations
Advice & Strategy
APIs & Integrations
Native Mobile Apps
Support & Maintenance
Do you just do apps?
We do a little more than that. When working with us, you have a full digital product team at your disposal. This means we can help you build a complete solution including web sites, progressive web apps, portals, dashboards and of course, mobile apps. We also have experience in databases, analytics and connecting systems together using API's and integrations.
What are the trends we should be considering?
The most exciting opportunity is around how customer habits are changing, particularly with their use of mobile apps. There's an opportunity to observe customer behaviours and then design mobile experiences that engage with them, create loyalty and drive sales. Of course, this advice depends on who you and your customers are. We can give examples when we meet, but we'd encourage you to look at our "perspectives" section.
Will you sign an NDA?
Yes, as long as it's mutual. We speak to many companies and hear dozens of ideas every year, so we will warn you if there is overlap. If needed, help yourself to our mutual NDA :)
When do we start paying for your services?
One of our values is to "always be useful" for our clients. So, despite the first few meetings being FREE, we'll be doing work that provides value to you. After those first few meetings, we ask you to embark on a low risk £5K-£10K discovery phase that involves research, analysis and concept design.
How do you charge for your services?
We work on a fixed price, variable scope basis. This means we agree a sensible budget-cap, and allocate a team to your project each week at an agreed rate. We only charge for work done, and if you have budget left over at the end you can invest it in more features or we can give it back to you. You're probably wondering what happens if we go over budget? We continually run project budget projections, so in the rare case that this happens we will notify you well in advance, and then we can discuss ways of mitigating that risk.
Do you provide estimates for the work?
Yes. Before you decide to partner with us, we give you an illustrative estimate based on your initial ideas. You can use this to see if we're competitive. Then, after the fixed-cost discovery phase where we refine the ideas and research unknowns, we will revise that estimate.
Would you invest in my business?
The most important thing to us is to see our work out there in the wild being of value to you and your customers. We consider investments where it's likely that the long-term success of the venture requires a vested technical team. Typically, we'd consider investment after the first iteration is complete and we have some real data to work with.
Do you offer support?
Yes, if you're like many of our clients, you'll be creating a app mobile to generate revenue or improve your business operations, so it's important your app remains online at all times. This includes making sure that things don't break when Apple or Google update their operating systems. Our most basic packages are £550 a month. For those that need it, we also have 24/7/365 support packages covering server infrastructure and apps ranging from £3,000 to £7,000 a month, depending on the size, scale and transactional volume of your solution.
Who owns the intellectual property?
Our contract grants you ownerships of things we create for you, as long as they are paid for. We assign copyright to you on request. You have access to any plans, strategy documents, source code and designs we create.
Will you work alongside our internal developers?
Yes. If you have an in-house team we often will work with you to blend our resources to create a single project team. The Pocketworks team work from our Leeds offices, although we are happy to arrange a weekly collaborative session at your site or ours.
We want to build an in-house team one day, can you support that?
Yes, some of our clients are growing their own technology teams and want us to hand-over at some point. We can support this, offering training and growing your internal capabilities.
What is the Discovery phase for?
The discovery phase involves collaborative workshops, research and visualising ideas. If you're worried this might be a bit "fluffy", please be assured that our discoveries are lean, and focus on things that will directly influence the success of your project. This might include auditing your IT so we can check feasibility, gaining an understanding of who will be using your app so you only invest in the right platforms and features, and visualising ideas so you can build confidence in the direction you're taking.
Do you charge for hosting?
No. If your application is hosted on a server in the cloud, you pay the raw cost without us marking them up. Hosting is incredibly low-cost these days, so you can benefit from that. If we are involved in looking after your servers and uptime, we can agree a support contract.
Can we work on a retainer basis?
Yes. Some of our clients spread their app investment over the year at a fixed monthly fee. This is often combined with a support contract. The nice thing about this is that, if you don't need much support one month, a chunk of it goes in the "pot" so can be used for feature development. This means you get the most cost-effective support possible and all the benefits of continuous improvement to your product.
What services do you provide for IoT and smart hardware manufacturers?
You may have noticed that we create apps and web platforms for many hardware manufacturers. We're experienced in creating apps for both industrial IoT and consumer IoT. This often means dealing with large quantities of sensor data, handling device connectivity and building gateway products. We can talk about this specialty if it's of interest to you.
The techie stuff
For all you CTO's, CDO's and technical folks... We're a full-stack digital team who focus mostly on software platforms where mobile is hugely important to the success of the business.
When creating any digital product, we use a combination of design-thinking and agile delivery. This is because we believe these globally accepted best practices give you the best shot of creating a product that actually gets results.
Unlike many software houses, we adhere to the core principles of agile set out in the agile manifesto, which encourages collaboration, flexible project planning and doing the simplest thing that works.
We recommend native apps because they're the gold standard for a slick user experience. This means we use Java and Swift. We're also using Google Flutter for cross platform apps, but the jury is still out on this. We underpin our apps with just enough unit tests to give us confidence we don't break things when we refactor. We use Git Flow for managing branches and releases in different environments.
We prefer ReactJS for any non-trivial front-end web sites, admin portals and data dashboards. Underpinned by Elixir + Phoenix on the server side. We also have a lot of Ruby on Rails experience. We plan for scalability and security as appropriate, not being fans of premature optimisation.
Databases & API's
We have data expertise in-house, working on some high-scale solutions capturing millions or records a day. Postgres is our current favourite SQL DB, scaled vertically with a replica for read-heavy use cases. We have experience with CouchDB for distributed databases. For integrating web sites to apps, we like RESTful API's with appropriate caching mechanisms, and are also exploring GraphQL.