May 25, 2022

Based in Warsaw, Poland, Intent helps a wide range of companies with everything from product design and UX to the development and implementation of connected devices. This sleep tracker is suitable for various industries with clients such as URA, Trivia Game HQ, Tomorrow Health, Samsung, Mercedes-Benz and Nike.

To see how Intent tailors its approach to customer needs and how the company helps customers get their products from start to finish, we spoke with Wojciech Borkowski, Head of Business Development, and Peter Tuszynski, CTO.

As a developer store, how do you help clients test ideas before launching their apps?

Our service goes beyond the typical development shop as we team up with clients to be a “thinking partner” – an approach we take when working on a new project. We help clients validate ideas as their success is critical to the outcome of a project. We act as a second pair of eyes and evaluate the project and its concepts through our frameworks and methods such as Design Sprint and Lean Canvas.

We only accept a small percentage of the clients that contact us as we specialize in providing digital solutions that include a physical device.

It is important to have a proven product verification process. Our clients often pay a lot of attention to the hardware side, which requires us to work harder on the software/firmware side of the project to make sure everything runs smoothly.

Can you describe the process of accepting new clients? How do you assess their needs and what information do you need before sharing the project’s estimated timeline and budget?

Depending on what stage of product development the client is at, we implement all or part of our processes. Our PM and UX teams also run workshops as we usually work on new types of projects and things we haven’t come across before.

We need to understand the budget, project objectives, and timelines to help the client navigate the project and make it fit their needs. We do this through workshops and the many methodologies we use to align ourselves and the client in terms of knowledge and scope of the project.

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What is the average rate for an average project and how often do you communicate with clients after work has begun?

Every project is unique, but most projects fall within the six-figure range.

We have developed different methods of work that we implement depending on the type of project and the expectations of the clients. We use a variety of tools to keep clients informed and this usually includes various meetings such as daily and weekly or fortnightly developer demo sessions, as well as planning meetings that follow a skirmish format.

What percentage of your customers are non-technical people with ideas but no programming experience? What is the application launch limit?

Approximately 50% of our clients are non-technical founders starting a completely new project, which means that their intention is to act as a “thinking partner” or essentially the technical director of their project. Many successful startup founders do not have a technical background but have excellent product, sales, and marketing skills, so a lack of technical knowledge does not limit working with the right technical partner.

Not only do we act as a partner, we can help them build their own team, even by hiring a technical director.

Is helping clients avoid scaling up an advisory part of your role? If so, how do you help them manage their expectations?

Yes, which is why we insist on understanding their customer persona and user journey. We then work with clients to define their MVP using industry-leading methodologies and workshop processes.

We are very diligent in prioritizing features that make it into prototypes, and we actively avoid reinventing the wheel by using a few off-the-shelf components that we can quickly integrate into a project without spending a lot of time Ha. Invest in custom development.

What is your average delivery time for a working application after signing a contract? What do you need to achieve before you can share wireframes?

Each project is very unique as we try to prioritize the development of new ideas that take us out of our comfort zone. However, we can usually create an MVP for any product within four months.

Do you also control the quality assurance process? Can an Intent help customers get through the App Store approval process?

Not only do we oversee the quality control process, we also strongly believe in the need to involve quality control engineers from the early days of a project to give them an edge in developing the overall test strategy and creating test cases.

In addition, our employees have a good understanding of the principles to be followed, as well as the approval process for a specific application platform. Our engineers regularly attend conferences such as Apple’s WWDC or Google’s IO, where they meet and connect with those in charge of the approval process so they can provide better support when unforeseen issues arise during the application process.

Do you provide marketing services?

We do not provide purely marketing services to clients, but we can help them find personalities for their types of clients, which in turn will help them identify the best distribution channels.

Do you work on both hybrid and native apps? What can you tell us about the advantages and disadvantages of each, and when would you advise customers to switch to a hybrid?

We work with both native and hybrid apps. Since we specialize in building applications that interact with various peripherals and connected devices, native technologies prevail. However, we have experience with almost all hybrid stacks (React Native, Flutter, etc.). We also maintain some of the most widely used open source Bluetooth Low Energy libraries for React Native.

Every project is unique and the work we do is very new which means it has never been done before. There is no silver bullet that we recommend to our partners. However, our team has found that Flutter is great for rapidly deploying prototypes. For apps that require a native look and feel, especially on iOS, we lean towards the native toolchain.

Have you ever turned down a client? Are there any apps you don’t work on, like games, dating, etc.?

Unfortunately, we only accept a small percentage of customers who contact us because we specialize in providing digital solutions that include a physical device. The connected device industry is still evolving, which means we’ve had to coin our own term “PXD”, which we describe as “the intersection of physical and digital”. Good cultural fit for both parties is also an important factor as no one wants to bump into each other throughout the project.

Who owns the source code after the project is completed? How is source code managed?

Intellectual property rights and project code belong to our partners. We do not apply vendor binding. We have come to the conclusion that the best way to retain a client is to do your job well with years of experience.

Typically, we use Github to store all of our source code and integrate it with continuous integration pipelines so that every code our engineers add to the repository can be automatically tested and built. For some specific projects, we have used our partner’s setup, which includes Gitlab and our own git repositories.

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