Better Interactive Through Science

We’re not experimenting anymore. We have a method.

After thousands of successful projects with hundreds of partners, we have collaboration on interactive work down to a science. We took copious notes in science class so you didn’t have to. Want help with your homework? Study our notes on Creative Technologists, DNA, Trigonometry and Ecology.
As Thomas Dolby once said: “Science!”

Project DNA

Collaboration is in Our Genes

While our primary focus is usually on development, we know that strategy, UX and development all need to be aligned to deliver the goods – and Project DNA is our way of visualizing the delegation of roles between The Nerdery and our partners.

Discovering Project DNA/What You Need

Project DNA defines the roles that must be played for a project to succeed. We can play anywhere between one and several of these essential roles, depending on your project. It’s all about you. As your partner, we play well with others by collaborating in a real-time, back-and-forth parallel effort to cover all the bases.

We’ve seen enough snowflakes to know that no two are alike – same goes for interactive projects. However, just as a scant 2% of their DNA separates a Nobel laureate from a chimpanzee, interactive projects as diverse as a flash banner and a full fledged, self-contained social network all share a common set of roles that must be filled in order to achieve success. We’ll work together to map your Project DNA so you get what you need.

Project DNA Samples

As illustrated, sample projects A, B and C have the same essential roles; their unique qualities come from the collaboration of their creators and the distribution and delegation of roles.

Any way you want it, that’s the way you need it

We rock many roles, but some we just don’t do. Peruse the adjacent DNA sample like an a la carte menu to explore the services we can offer to supplement your team and their creative vision. Lean on us for tech input on your strategy; lean harder on us to engineer and execute your idea. Faithfully.

More on our scientific method(s)

You’ve discovered Project DNA. Now, see how Creative Technologists can help you brainstorm interactive possibilities, bone-up on our Project Trigonometry approach to collaborative bidding, and learn who’s who on your team through a quick study of Nerdery Ecology.

Creative Technologists

CREATIVE CATALYSTS

Creative technologists are catalysts who accelerate your brainstorming process by bringing emerging technologies into focus. Fixated on technology trends, these are the nerds in the room at the beginning to provide the technical foresight to complement your strategic vision. A creative technologist will also spot features that would be budget sinkholes and logistical nightmares before project stakeholders have had a chance to set their hearts on them.

WHO ARE THOSE CREATIVE TECHNOLOGISTS?

While this role is personified by a number of Nerdery nerds, you won’t see it on our business cards. Our creative technologists go by titles like user experience designer, solutions engineer, software project manager, software engineer, engagement manager and on and on. What matters most is how they can fuel your imagination while making sure your vision fits your budget and timeline – and helping you avoid logistical dead-ends.

TECHNOLOGICAL VISIONARIES

Interactive technology is advancing at a dizzying speed and to the untrained eye, it’s a blur. Through the eyes of a creative technologist, the mind map on your conference room whiteboard becomes a technicolored window into your formative project’s final budget, timeline and functionality. We can design for software, plan around system constraints and plan development per a specific budget.

A creative technologist in the room will inform your strategic process and further the evolution of your interactive ambitions. Our creative technologists help you fit your vision into “the box;” then we help you break out of it. You need creative technologists; we know this because we need them, too. Engaging our creative technologist is as simple as saving a seat for a nerd at your next brainstorming session.

Collaborative Bidding

Your Project, Shaped By Your Priorities

Collaborative bidding is about being flexible. In discussing cost, time and features, we come to understand a partner’s priorities. We ask, what can’t you budge on? What’s the limiting factor? We help partners crystalize a vision while understanding how choices on features will affect cost and timeline. Then we scope accordingly, and we do the math on what it will take to do the work.

Project Trigonometry

Understanding your motives on cost, timeline and features is an essential first step in making sure you get what you need and determining how we engage with you on your project. These factors form a triangle. While a triangle is always a triangle, its angles change when one side (let’s say, features) grows. There’s a formula for every project, and they often follow one of three patterns:

Features Forward

A features-forward project places the greatest emphasis on achieving a defined set of features. Timeline and budget may change slightly to ensure that the project is feature-complete at launch. An example of a features-forward project might be an API for an existing web application. The partner may be flexible on the launch date, but intent on having the project fully implement their API specification in order to inter-operate with other projects being developed in parallel.

Budget Backwards

A budget-backwards project starts with a given project budget and adjusts features and timeline to maximize value. These can involve wish-list feature discussion to capture project priorities. A typical budget-backwards project might involve a partner who knows they have no more than $40,000 available to create their new website. They have a list of six different functionality ideas and they want to know what is reasonable to accomplish within the budget.

Deadline Driven

A deadline-driven project marches to the order of a specific launch date of some importance, with each point of functionality given ample time and staffing to be a punctual success. A typical deadline-driven project would be a site supporting the launch of a new product or brand. The partner is interested in having as much functionality as possible available for the launch but there MUST be a site with at least a subset of the functionality available for launch on a given date (to coincide with media buys, product availability or other external factors).

Project Teams

EVERYONE YOU NEED, NO ONE YOU DON’T

When we get a gig, we don’t just grab a random sampling of nerds, throw them in a blender and press frappé – heavens no. We do, however, have the ability to quickly customize a dream team of interactive professionals for any project by picking and choosing from our vast ecosystem of specialists. With hundreds of complete nerds, we have an embarrassment of riches and a learned understanding of what it takes to give your project a balanced nerd ecology.

THE NERD ECOSYSTEM

The Redwood Forests, the Great Barrier Reef, that Chinese takeout from last month in the back of your fridge; what do all these things have in common? That’s right, a dynamic and diverse ecosystem. Building functional Interactive project teams requires that same level of dynamic biodiversity. For a project’s execution to be successful, the team requires a variety of different skills at different points so we can ensure your team meets those requirements.

By partnering with The Nerdery, you gain access to our vast nerd preserve with its resident experts on user experience, project management, quality assurance and, of course, dozens of species of programmers. We’ll help you stock your project team with the perfect combination of helpful organisms (dogs are optional) and make sure that we adapt to changes in your project as it happens, bringing in new talent when they are needed.

Your project’s dream team may include a wide variety of specialized roles including: solutions engineers, software project managers, software engineers, front-end Developers, QA engineers and UX designers - all of them total nerds.

Is that Everyone?

No, but it represents most of the folks who’ll touch your project. Come in sometime and you can meet the Nerd Hunter (really, it’s a thing), our accounting and admin staff, and the doodlers in marketing who peddle the sort of propaganda you’re perusing now.