Why Hire a Design Team for Ongoing Support

Ward Andrews
By Ward Andrews
Cover Image for Why Hire a Design Team for Ongoing Support

Imagine you’re gearing up for an intense whitewater river rafting trip. Do you:

a. Inflate your raft, jump on and go b. Hire a master river guide to lead the way

A solo rafting trip down the river might be thrilling (for better or for worse), but think of how much better it could be with an experienced guide—someone who knows the best and safest route, how to avoid the large rocks, when to redistribute weight in the raft, and what to watch out for in terms of weather or unfavorable conditions.

When all is said and done, a guide is going to get you through your trip safely and more efficiently than you would be able to do yourself. You’ll probably enjoy it more, too!

When you’re trying to create a software product or get a design project done, you’re faced with similar options. Do you go it alone, using your existing in-house team to try to solve problems you’ve never faced before (while staying on time and within budget)? Or do you work with an experienced 3rd party, one that can bring insight, expertise, and seasoned skills to your project?

At Drawbackwards, we strive to be the “guide” our clients need, helping them navigate the frequently rough waters of bringing a product experience or design concept to life.

There are four main ways to work with us:

  • Team Augmentation
  • Project Execution
  • Strategic Planning
  • Training and Advising

In each of these areas, Drawbackwards’ top-notch talent and decades of experience give your organization an advantage in any design project.

Team Augmentation

Your team, optimized.

Every team is unique, but not every team is uniquely qualified to handle every project that comes their way. Whether you need more hands on deck, a more diversified skill set, or expertise to fill experience gaps, Drawbackwards can step in to help your team do the work better and faster.

Product Leadership Unclear direction? Red tape? Internal structural problems? We can help align your team and establish a clear path forward, giving you a fresh perspective and a clearer vision for your project.

Specialized Talent Fill in the talent gaps on your team with experienced, world-class talent. We can bring in just the right person for the job that needs to be done, whether it’s strategy, research, design, development, or management.

Collaboration Avoid wasted time, unnecessary hassle, and potential miscommunication. We stay aligned with your team every step of the way, through weekly meetings, designated communication channels, and project workshops. Plus, we work in small sprints, so there are no costly surprises. We’re in this together.

Flexible Engagements Our flexible support models can adapt to various team sizes, time constraints, and project needs. Customize our partnership to meet the unique needs of your organization.

We’ve successfully collaborated with a number of great companies who needed help augmenting their teams, including:

Project Execution

Get it done—better.

We’ve worked with many companies who know what they need (e.g. an app), but aren’t sure how to make that vision a reality. Fortunately, turning vision into reality is one of the things we do best.

Strategic Planning We identify the needs of the user, the employee, and the business in order to establish a clear vision and actionable plan for the project. We know what questions to ask in order to get things moving in the right direction.

Product Leadership It’s easy to say “yes” to everything when creating your product, but that can quickly steer you off-course. Clear product leadership and total alignment help you build the right product, with the right features, for the right audience.

World-Class Talent We’re great at what we do. Period. With decades of experience working with Fortune 50 companies and creating billions of dollars of ROI, Drawbackwards offers top talent that will bring your project to life.

End-to-End support Need a little help? Need a lot of help? Either way, we’re here. We offer support and insight from inception to delivery, and beyond. Even after your product has shipped, we can help collect and interpret feedback to refine the product and create the ideal user experience.

Flexible Engagements We scale to fit your project’s needs. From the length of time required to complete the project, to the number of sprints we’ll break it into, we can customize our involvement to meet your unique needs.

We’ve worked with several companies to see their projects through from start to finish.

  • General Dynamics
  • Sophos
  • Matrix Medical

Strategic Planning

Align. Unite. Move forward.

Even within a single organization, different teams and departments can all have slightly different visions of what a product “should” be. We’re good at aligning and uniting those teams so they can make decisions together and move the project forward.

Go-to-Market Strategy Too often, organizations know what they want their product to do, but no one is quite sure what the user wants the product to do. We can help identify market segments and their needs, evaluate how users respond to product features, and adapt accordingly. We can also determine the best way to get the word out and generate excitement about the product

Team Alignment As a 3rd party, we help bridge the gaps between user needs, internal team needs, and business needs. As we bring these needs into alignment, we end up with a clearer picture of what the product needs to accomplish. As teams communicate what they want to us, those ideas get clearer and eventually morph into an executable strategy.

Product Vision Without a clear product vision, no one can be sure who the product is for, how it will be used, and what exactly it needs to do. Our team knows which questions to ask to help bring the product vision into focus. Only with this focus can we design clean, clear, comfortable interfaces that will delight users and accomplish end goals.

Flexible Engagements Different teams can describe and execute the same process in different ways. Our flexibility allows us to recognize and understand those different processes, identify any major gaps, and bring everyone to a shared understanding of the process and workflow. We’ll point out the tradeoffs and help you decide what’s best moving forward.

Our strategic planning expertise has served many great companies over the years, including:

  • American Express
  • Zerorez
  • Matrix Medical

Advising & Mentorship

Learn from the best.

Many organizations want to build their own talented, competent teams, but they’re not sure how. Our mentorship process can show your team how it’s done, with education, workshops, guidance, critiques, and audits every step of the way.

Design Thinking Evangelism Chances are, your organization’s leadership has never taken a design- or user-centered approach to creating products and services. We help to show your entire company to know what they don’t know, and to commit to continuous improvement.

Design Direction We create design systems that allow teams to leverage reusable components in their projects, creating a consistent experience and giving the team momentum. Establish design leadership to direct the project based on business objectives, user needs and employee goals, prioritize resources, and create a more seamless experience for users and employees.

Mentoring Your designers may know what to do, but do they know how to think? Our mentors offer feedback and critique to help junior designers grow, while also teaching them how to request and implement feedback effectively.

Code Reviews A great product needs great code. Our team can help ensure your code is clean and using best practices. We work together with our clients to raise the quality of all code involved in the project, for a better overall deliverable.

Product Audits You’ve completed a project, but aren’t sure if it’s as user friendly as you’d like it to be. We can audit products from a user-centric perspective, pointing out areas for improvement to help you create a product you and your users will love.

The bottom line: don’t underestimate the value that an experienced and seasoned design team can add to your projects and products.

Whether you’re still wading in the shallows or ready to take on the fierce rapids, we can help you create the team, the products, the processes, and the experiences that will take your organization’s design efforts to the next level.