Sidebench

LA's Top Mobile App & Software Development Company

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Sidebench is an award-winning strategy, design, and development consultancy based in Los Angeles. We cater to innovative enterprise companies and top new ventures seeking product strategy, bringing them the strategic value of management consultants & experienced founders, the technical chops of expert data & systems architects, combined with the UX-first approach of one of the best product design teams in the world. 

$100 - $149/hr
50 - 249
2012
Locations
United States
2912 Colorado Ave. #201, Santa Monica, California 90404
3108933589

Focus Areas

Service Focus

30%
30%
20%
10%
10%
  • Mobile App Development
  • Software Development
  • Web Development
  • App Designing (UI/UX)
  • Web Designing (UI/UX)

Client Focus

50%
40%
10%
  • Large Business
  • Small Business
  • Medium Business

Industry Focus

40%
30%
15%
10%
5%
  • Healthcare & Medical
  • Consumer Products
  • Financial & Payments

Sidebench Executive Interview

Kevin Yamazaki
Kevin Yamazaki
Founder & CEO
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Please introduce your company and give a brief about your role within the company?
I’m the Founder & CEO of Sidebench, an award-winning digital innovation lab, and product design studio. Sidebench incubates select early-stage startups and partners with enterprises & brands including Red Bull, Facebook, Oakley, Andreessen Horowitz, Accel, Sony Pictures, United Talent Agency, NBC Universal, Cedars-Sinai, Instagram, American Heart Association, among others. Sidebench’s goal is to create positive disruption in all industries and to impact the most number of lives through our work positively. We are closely aligned with the Los Angeles Design Community as a company through OpenIDEO, Social Enterprise Alliance Los Angeles, the WITH Foundation, and I’m also personally a board member for multiple non-profit companies, including American Red Cross and the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Our work has been recognized in Entrepreneur Magazine’s most entrepreneurial companies in America, the Forbes 30 Under 30 list, and Inc Magazine’s fastest-growing companies in America.
What was the idea behind starting this organization?
With my background in technology consulting and user experience & product design, I had a vision for building next-generation applications and custom software for large enterprise companies in a very different way than the industry’s big players. I wanted to digitally transform large businesses while also incubating, investing in, and launching startups at the same time. My idea was to integrate human-centered design, modern technical architecture, and forward-looking business strategy into every step of a new product design framework, one shaped around our start-up style of rapid prototyping with the risk mitigation planning and testing needs of working with Enterprise-level IT, Marketing, and Operations teams. It didn’t take long before it was clear that we could go toe-to-toe with the big guys and win.
What are your company’s business model–in house team or third party vendors/ outsourcing?
We operate with an in-house team of Technical Architects, UX Designers & Researchers, Product Designers, and Product Managers in Los Angeles, and our software engineering team sits in Egypt. We acquired ownership of the engineering team last year after two years of delivering successful, scalable products as an integrated team. They were by far the best engineering team we had ever worked with out of the hundreds of developers we had worked with locally, as employees, on client teams, at previous tech startups, Fortune 500's, abroad, or anywhere else.
How is your business model beneficial from a value addition perspective to the clients compared to other companies' models?
One of our biggest differentiators is that we have proven time and time again to solve “impossible problems” across multiple industries. In order to do this, we integrate our expertise in 1) Product Strategy, 2) User Experience design, and 3) Technical Architecture at every major decision point of a new business concept and product design project.
We are extremely unique in this way. This is how we have been successful in building everything from apps that reach millions of users, to internal “corporate innovation” platforms that generate millions of dollars in profitability, to systems that fundamentally change how the government makes decisions.
What industries do you generally cater to? Are your customers repetitive? If yes, what ratio of clients has been repetitive to you?
Sidebench caters to all industries; however, in the past, we have had significant experience across financial services, media & entertainment, consumer products & retail, along with healthcare and government. Our clients usually partner with us on multiple projects, most over the course of multiple years. We are often brought in for Product Strategy, and then move into a separate Product Design engagement, followed by Implementation, and then Data Insights & Support. We have a number of clients who hire us as an ongoing engagement to support the various project and product types.
Mention the objectives or the parameters critical in determining the time frame of developing a mobile app.
When determining the time frame for development on a mobile app, critical parameters to Sidebench are defining overall objectives and the alignment of features that make it into the MVP. We focus on this, as an MVP offering allows us to be lean to get a minimum set of features and bring them to market to gauge user responses. Other questions we consider are if there is an existing code base, existing designs, and how much of these existing materials can be reused.
How much effort in terms of time goes into developing the front end and back end of a mobile app?
Both Front-end and Back-end development requires continuous and close collaboration across cross-functional teams. We will usually quote between X and Y weeks for development projects depending on the complexity of the solution needed. Products with complex back-end work and many user flows can take several months to develop. For Sidebench, it is important when building quality products to ensure development teams have the right balance of high effort, clear communication, and efficiency.
What are the key parameters to be considered before selecting the right platform for a mobile application?
There are a number of factors to consider when choosing the right platform. Other than time and cost, understanding the platform’s users, their demographics and loyalty are equally important along with the complexity of the platform, and it’s compatibility with the type of app you want to create.

These days, almost all new products must support both iOS and Android. iOS is more important domestically, Android more important internationally, but you'll always miss out on potential users unless you build for both.
Which platform do you suggest your clients to begin with when they approach you with an idea (Android or iOS) and why?
There is not one platform that we always suggest. At Sidebench, choosing a platform is always based on the client’s business goals and long-term product vision. We have recently encouraged partners to choose React Native as an alternative to deciding between Android or iOS. React Native lets you build mobile apps using mostly JavaScript. It uses the same approach as React, letting you compose a rich mobile UI from declarative components. With React Native, you don’t build a mobile web app, an HTML5 app, or a hybrid app; you build a real mobile app that’s indistinguishable from an app built using Objective-C or Java. React Native uses the same fundamental UI building blocks as regular iOS and Android apps. You just put those building blocks together using JavaScript and React.
Android or iOS, Native or Hybrid — which platform is best to use to build your app? What are your recommendations?
This is very much driven by the overall needs of the project. If for example, the project being developed is a game, we would likely start with recommending a native iOS or Android app. A hybrid or non-native solution “could” work, but the advantage of running as fast and as smooth as possible, for something as intensive as even a light game, would push the needle towards a native solution above others.

If however, a project only had access to Javascript developers, and the project did not involve a very resource-heavy solution (like a game), there is a good chance a React Native hybrid solution might be suggested. This would also have the advantage of enabling development for both Android and iOS simultaneously (not quite, but much closer to that) than individually/separately.
What are the key factors that you consider before deciding the cost of a mobile application?
Before presenting our clients with a quote for their mobile solution, we will first take into account the number and complexity of user stories needed to achieve an MVP. At Sidebench preparing the right UX/UI flows for the client and their users is extremely important, and we more often than not suggest clients engage in a discovery process with us to ensure the user experience is optimized for their targeted customers. Finally, the tech stack is also an important factor to consider before deciding the costs of the mobile application.
What kind of payment structure do you follow to bill your clients? Is it Pay per Feature, Fixed Cost, Pay per Milestone (could be in phases, months, versions etc.)
We typically work with our clients to define a payment structure that works for them. Most often it is either Fixed Cost or Sprint Based Time & Material.
Do you take in projects which meet your basic budget requirement? If yes, what is the minimum requirement? If no, on what minimum budget you have worked for?
At Sidebench we have predefined ranges which give an estimate of the types of budget’s we work with, however depending on the circumstance that minimum budget will change and we can get creative with our cost structures. There is an expectation, however, that both the idea/concept is validated and we will do our best to put forth an accurate estimate based on the information that we have present. This is one of the key focuses of our discovery process is to define to a more granular level the development cost. Software development is always difficult to pinpoint due to the nature of phased rollouts and the extent as to which features are included in the first release of the product.
What is the price range (min and max) of the projects that you catered to in 2018?
For 2018, we have worked on a myriad of different types of projects, everything from product and concept ideation and strategy to full-scale agile development. These projects have ranged from $10k to $500k+.
Which business model do you suggest to your clients enabling them to generate revenue from mobile applications? Why?
At Sidebench, recommending the right option for them is the most our highest priority. When it comes to the business model, it always comes down to the overall vision of each of our clients. Factors such as the industry, whether it is a service, or has an e-commerce element, and whether or not it is public-facing will help define the appropriate business model. There is no one-stop approach to determining the revenue model.

Sidebench Clients & Portfolios

Imagine Entertainment: Impact Mobile + Web Applications
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Imagine Entertainment: Impact Mobile + Web Applications
  • Imagine Entertainment: Impact Mobile + Web Applications screenshot 1
Not Disclosed
10 weeks
Art, Entertainment & Music

Impact’s mission is to cultivate and empower creative storytellers from around the world by taking an innovative and collaborative approach to content creation. Imagine Entertainment is one of the most reputable production houses in the world and Sidebench served as a strategic partner in the discovery, design & development of the Imagine Impact ecosystem, covering iOS, Android and web applications. 

LA County Foster Care: Time2Connect Web Application
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LA County Foster Care: Time2Connect Web Application
  • LA County Foster Care: Time2Connect Web Application screenshot 1
Not Disclosed
10 weeks
Government

The Department of Child Services in Los Angeles, California spends 2 million hours a year arranging 4 million hours of Foster Child visits. They partnered with Sidebench to develop an MVP platform from which they could improve their process into the future. This new platform, called Time2Connect, is expected to save over 500,000 hours/year, allowing social workers to dedicate more time and energy to result-driven outcomes such as reunification of foster children with their biological parents.

Melody: Social Music App
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Melody: Social Music App
  • Melody: Social Music App screenshot 1
$50001 to $100000
8 weeks
Art, Entertainment & Music

Worked with the founders of Melody, a music-focused social content aggregation platform, on design, product strategy, and technical architecture of their flagship mobile app.

  • Designed multiple iterations of the prototype in order to help the co-founders communicate their product vision to investors and to hire and onboard an internal team
  • The original prototype enabled the team to raise over $850k in seed funding and acceptance into Mucker Labs Accelerator
Red Bull: Global Photo Booth Platform
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Red Bull: Global Photo Booth Platform
  • Red Bull: Global Photo Booth Platform screenshot 1
$100001 to $500000
12 weeks
Art, Entertainment & Music

Recognizing a global opportunity, Sidebench helped Red Bull marry a custom user experience design with a digitally-focused business strategy to create a photo booth experience that represents Red Bull brands properly all around the world.

  • Built a custom desktop admin system to customize photo frames and filters to cater to various Red Bull brands across thousands of events
  • Created a backend system to deliver photo collages or looping GIFs to event attendees
  • This proprietary technology allows Red Bull to license and sell their technology to other brands and enterprises to create revenue opportunities
NBCUniversal: B2B Digital Asset Marketplace
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NBCUniversal: B2B Digital Asset Marketplace
  • NBCUniversal: B2B Digital Asset Marketplace screenshot 1
$100001 to $500000
8 weeks
Art, Entertainment & Music

We consolidated 4 distinct workflows & marketplace interfaces into a single digital asset marketplace platform to be used by international distribution partners.

  • Redesigned the marketplace while synthesizing the competing interests of several NBCU business groups and balancing two external legacy technology vendors
  • Created a system that offers different views, workflows and capabilities for different users based on specific permission levels
  • The platform is used to distribute digital content and assets to syndicates, airlines and location stations worldwide
American Heart Association: Care Plan Platform
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American Heart Association: Care Plan Platform
  • American Heart Association: Care Plan Platform screenshot 1
$500000+
14 weeks
Healthcare & Medical

Collaborated with AHA’s Innovation Group to translate their guidelines and content into actionable Care Plans that can be delivered through mobile platforms, encouraging patients to take a bigger role in the management of their health.

  • Built a screening tool that creates a score on a scale of 1-10 that gives a measure of a patient’s current health
  • Designed unique care plans that are derived from a patient’s health score which gives patients an actionable, 12-week plan
  • Digital care plans are tailored to the user based on their psychographic profile and AHA’s scientific research
  • The tool works on mobile and desktop which provides flexibility for both healthcare professionals and patients
Oakley: Interactive Lens Guide
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Oakley: Interactive Lens Guide
  • Oakley: Interactive Lens Guide screenshot 1
$50001 to $100000
6 weeks
Consumer Products

Showcased Oakley’s wide array of available lenses by creating an interactive Lens Guide showcase that sorts products by sport, color, and technology.

  • Designed a visualizer that compares images with and without a specific lens to clearly show the difference between lens types
  • Integrated the product with the client’s legacy content management system and server set up
  • Undertook the front end development of a mobile responsive microsite while also performing much needed upgrades to increase backend performance
Pabst: Mobile Field Marketing Platform
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Pabst: Mobile Field Marketing Platform
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$100001 to $500000
10 weeks
Consumer Products

Worked with PBR to launch a consumer-facing marketing platform that also serves as a tool for Marketing Executives and Field Marketing Representatives to track orders, events and clients.

  • Created a loyalty strategy that allows fans to discover and attend sponsored PBR events and bars while earning swag and points through the loyalty program
  • Worked with Field Marketing Reps to build an infrastructure that lists their accounts in their city and log details from visits to those accounts
  • Collaborated with the CMO and Marketing team to choose which insights were the most valuable and how to record them
nOCD: Mental Health Management
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nOCD: Mental Health Management
  • nOCD: Mental Health Management screenshot 1
$100001 to $500000
8 weeks
Healthcare & Medical

Designed and developed a mental health care mobile app that uses objective data to create an actionable care plan to treat those suffering from OCD

  • Redesign led to $1.0M in Seed funding
  • Worked directly with certified clinical specialists in order to understand how leading treatment approaches could best translate into a mobile app
  • Designed a comprehensive on-boarding process that gathers user information while also logging data that creates an actionable health plan
  • Collected feedback after patients completed exercise sessions to objectively collect data that is used to custom tailor their future treatment
Rova: Drone Control App
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Rova: Drone Control App
  • Rova: Drone Control App screenshot 1
$100001 to $500000
4 weeks
Travel & Lifestyle

The IoT Group, a publicly traded company from Australia, wanted to disrupt the drone market and partnered with Sidebench to design and develop a mobile control app for their ROVA Selfie Drone and an e-commerce store to sell them.

  • Partnered with key stakeholders at the IoT group to successfully deliver a fully functioning product to the App Store on a highly accelerated four week project timeline from start to finish to meet deadline
  • Rebuilt existing app provided by 3rd party company and advised on API design and structure
  • Conducted design and development in parallel on iOS and Android
  • Defined the future product roadmap to include an augmented reality game experience and auto-follow facial recognition technology

Sidebench Reviews

5.0 6 Reviews
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  • App Designing (UI/UX)
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Lauren Jenai

iOS Mobile App Dev & Design for Health & Fitness Program

Rating Breakdown

  • Quality
  • Schedule & Timing
  • Communication
  • Overall Rating

Review Summary

I hired Sidebench to redesign and develop the Manifest app from the ground up. We’ve gone through workshops regarding the flow of the app and they’ve been very thorough in getting a full understanding of the concept before starting development. With a defined vision, they’ve developed an app for iOS and we are launching in the App Store soon.
They offer a thorough and organized process, but what’s truly notable is their creativity. Everyone’s input is extremely valuable and it helps keep me on-task. Communicating with developers is often frustrating, but that was never the case here. They're a young and exciting team with a fresh perspective. They have a really good pulse of current markets and strategies; they're a talented group of people.

What service was provided as part of the project?

Mobile App Development, Software Development, App Designing (UI/UX)

Ryan Easterly

Design Strategy & Universal Design Workshops

Rating Breakdown

  • Quality
  • Schedule & Timing
  • Communication
  • Overall Rating

Project Detail

$10001 to $50000

Review Summary

Sidebench joined our digital health initiative for our Universal Design workshop, which allowed adults with developmental disabilities to give feedback to designers and developers. The workshop was a success, so we expanded it to a symposium and a project we’re calling Beta Day. The hope is to reach a broad array of representatives from tech companies and support them in beta testing their products with adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Our needs are unique among Sidebench’s clients, as they’re not developing technology for us. They provide insight into the way designers and developers think and are ultimately responsible for creating the educational components of the workshop. We want to make sure we speak to the tech community in the best way possible, so Sidebench delivers more content and better outreach. Their insight is strong, and they’re great to work with.

What service was provided as part of the project?

App Designing (UI/UX), Mobile App Development

David de Jesus

Custom Global Enterprise Platform + iOS Application

Rating Breakdown

  • Quality
  • Schedule & Timing
  • Communication
  • Overall Rating

Review Summary

Sidebench was key in our business roadmap, and helped build and scale our suite of iOS & Web Platform Apps. Sidebench’s focus on product management and tech leadership has led to a seamless collaboration with Red Bull’s in-house IT and development teams. The Sidebench team was been able to help guide the vision as well as a back it up with a solid technical team. It's been a seamless process since the beginning. One of the big wins is that the app is being used across all business units. The system and application is now currently being heavily used globally for all Red Bull events and continues to be completely supported by Sidebench.

What service was provided as part of the project?

App Designing (UI/UX), Mobile App Development, Software Development

Anthony Armato

Brand Manager - Pabst Brewing Company

Rating Breakdown

  • Quality
  • Schedule & Timing
  • Communication
  • Overall Rating

Review Summary

They were great. The quality of their work was really high and they delivered on time

What service was provided as part of the project?

Direct Marketing

Evan Carlson

Professional, skilled, and efficient!

Rating Breakdown

  • Quality
  • Schedule & Timing
  • Communication
  • Overall Rating

Project Detail

$0 to $10000

Review Summary

The entire experience working with Sidebench was a dream come true. They were attentive to our needs, and took our ideas and transformed them into the website that we always wanted and needed! We definitely recommend them to anyone considering outsourcing their web development/design projects.


What service was provided as part of the project?

Web Development, Web Designing (UI/UX)

What is it about the company that you appreciate the most?

We share the same attention to detail - which is hard to come by. They were thourough and made sure to take the time to get everything right the first time.

Jordan Burnier

Sidebench Studios delivered exactly what we wanted

Rating Breakdown

  • Quality
  • Schedule & Timing
  • Communication
  • Overall Rating

Project Detail

$0 to $10000

Review Summary

With the launch of a brand new title, we wanted to design and build a mobile responsive website that captures our unique brand and mimics the sensory experience of its readers. Some of the challenges were that we also needed to leave room for extensive growth, e-commerce, and a few more capabilities that we just weren't quite ready to utilize at the launch of the new site. Sidebench Studios delivered exactly what we wanted: a beautiful, fluid, and functional website that is mobile responsive and gives us the ability to manage changes/growth in-house while keeping the door open for future e-commerce capabilities. I cannot speak highly enough of the skill and professionalism of their team, open communication throughout, including handling new requests seamlessly, and completing this project on time and within budget. This hasn't always been my experience when outsourcing similar projects. I would highly recommend Sidebench Studios for any interactive web design and developmental projects, e-commerce fixes and additions, mobile optimization, and other related needs.


What service was provided as part of the project?

Web Designing (UI/UX), E-commerce Development

What is it about the company that you appreciate the most?

- Excellent communication and understanding of client's needs. - Fulfillment of expectations on-time and within budget.