Please introduce your company and give a brief about your role within the company?
Creative Navy is a UX/UI agency, and we work on a wide range of human-computer interaction projects, not just web and mobile applications, but also embedded systems and native software. We're not a large organization, but all our people are senior designers. Focus on excellence and delivery of challenging projects is what defines us.
At Creative Navy, we practice evidence-based UX/UI design – part of our team is formed of people with backgrounds in cognitive science and ergonomics. My role is to create the right habitat for these highly skilled designers to be able to deliver for our customers. This is not always easy, because the challenges our customers bring to us are unique in every case, but it is great to be able to rely on people who have dealt with the impossible many times before.
What was the idea behind starting this organization?
When Creative Navy started ten years ago, there were very few UX/UI agencies out there. There were all sorts of designs and development businesses, but hardly any of them had a genuine focus on UX/UI design. So Creative Navy was born from this context, to become a leader in the field of UX/UI through discussion.
We noticed early on that the design practices and methods that work in advertising or commercial design, do not apply to design interactions in applications or software. The focus here is on ergonomics, not on persuasion. This designed has a tradition in modernism and in the deliberate pursuit of making things more useful. This is where cognitive science comes in, because most of what we know about how people think and expect to interact with an object, be it physical or abstract, comes from a rich tradition of research.
So, the idea of Creative Navy was to apply the concept of ergonomics design to the digital industry, to create more useful and enjoyable digital applications.
What are your company's business model–in house team or third party vendors/ outsourcing?
We do everything in-house, and this is important because most of our staff have been with us for a very long time. The types of projects we do at Creative Navy require senior designers with considerable experience in highly demanding projects. This also means that the team routines and processes we follow must be second nature to everyone.
This type of synergy can only come from a substantial commitment that manifests by everyone being in-house. Forming this type of bond with an outsourcing partner is close to impossible because it takes a long time to, and usually, businesses don't have such overlapping long term goals. When we work as a close-knit team, the human element makes us more aligned and attentive to each other's needs.
How is your business model beneficial from a value addition perspective to the clients compared to other companies' models?
What sets Creative Navy apart from other UX/UI agencies, is the size and high level of expertise. Other agencies that are larger than us and have highly valuable knowledge distribute it across a large team that is made up of more junior designers. Thus, customers can't get the focus the best people for their project.
With Creative Navy, customers get a highly focused team of senior designers who have been together on many challenging projects. Thus, we can deliver better solutions faster, and most customers report that they genuinely feel an uplift in their product development cycle, even when the project is complicated, or all the technical limitations appear impossible to overcome.
What industries do you generally cater to? Are your customers repetitive? If yes, what ratio of clients has been repeated to you?
Given the diversity of the UX/UI design projects we do, Creative Navy doesn't have an industry focus. We have worked with customers in industries such as automotive, national security, finance, manufacturing, consumer applications, and many others. Many of our customers sit in between sectors, where there is room for innovation. A lot of the UX/UI design projects we work on are enterprise or B2B, but we also work on many projects that cater to consumers or with mixed models.
Mention the parameters which are most essential for you to in developing a web design.
The types of UX design projects we do at Creative Navy are either complex or challenging and therefore, we have to devise a design strategy that fits the details of the customer and their strategic role. However, generally, there are a few parameters that affect our thinking, in a precise mix that is unique to every design project:
- The people who use the application with their roles, cognitive abilities, goals, purposes, and expectations;
- The context the system is being used is essential in many projects, especially when it comes to UX design for embedded systems that are not a regular web or mobile app;
- The business goals of our customer – this does include not only the notion of monetization but also operational capabilities to support individual customer experiences, strategic milestones in the development of their digital product, timelines and so on;
- The tasks that users have to perform are a factor in and of itself because the UX/UI layer of a digital product is a place where the needs of different stakeholders converge and what people do in the digital environment is a sort of mediation between those needs;
- The technical constraints are sometimes vital because we work on many projects that are cutting edge and push the boundary of what is technically feasible.
At Creative Navy, we have to be mindful of all these factors when creating the UX/UI design for a digital product.
What key aspects do you keep in mind while developing a web design to enhance its usability?
The parameters above have to be kept in mind when designing. In essence, the design is a decision-making process that takes stock of all parameters that affect an interactive system. In the process of UX design (and also UI design), we actively integrate research and data that we interpret with the help of insights and models from cognitive science. We use principles of ergonomics and how the human mind works to create more intuitive and efficient interactions. This is something that defines Creative Navy.
What are the key factors that you consider before deciding the cost of a website design?
Ultimately the cost of a project is determined by complexity, which can manifest in many ways: it can be the breadth of an application in terms of features and modules, but it can also be an application with very few features but with a large number of user types or limitations. At Creative Navy, we work out dependencies and consequences of design decisions and then always do our best to simplify the user experience.
This process of making the complicated simple requires large amounts of effort, including research, exploring alternatives, testing and defining conceptual aspects of the digital product. This is what determines the cost of a UX/UI design project at Creative Navy.
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.)
Usually, we work in sprints that are tied to a project plan and milestones, so payments are related to both these aspects. The projects we work on at Creative Navy don't have a straight forward solution that is obvious from the start, so fixed pricing doesn't work. However, we do give highly reliable estimates for each milestone ahead, and we work closely with our customers to control cost.
Do you take in projects which meet your essential budget requirement? If yes, what is the minimum requirement? If no, on what minimum budget you have worked for?
We don't have a minimum budget, and given how involved everyone in the team is in what we do, the most critical factor for us is how exciting a project is and if we can work well with a customer. At Creative Navy we haven't turned down anyone because they were not willing to commit to a minimum spend, but we have turned down customers whom we thought would not be able to handle what is required to get their digital product off the ground.
We work with large corporations or state entities, but we also work with one-person startups quite regularly. One of the fun aspects of what we do is that we get a chance to meet people who are smart and come up with ideas that no corporations could have ever invented.
Kindly share your feedback on how GoodFirms has been doing so far in increasing your visibility among potential clients.
GoodFirms is an excellent place for potential customers to find out more about Creative Navy and to compare us to other businesses. We like the ethos it inspires and is glad to be part of it.