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We decided to do things differently

In 2019, when we started Resonate, we had a clear goal — not to be yet another design and development agency.
Jul 5, 2023 ∙ read
We decided to do things differently

Having worked within various digital agencies and product companies over the years, we became aware of the importance of truly understanding what users want. Sadly, proper user research was often neglected, and the term “user research” was misused. The “user” was often the highest-paid individual in the meeting (on the client’s end), or it was a colleague sitting next to the designer working on a new product (within the agency).

We wanted to change that.

Specialization: A product design company focused on user needs

When someone asks us what sets us apart, we say that our work is based on research — understanding users’ needs and behaviors, and our design is a visual manifestation of product thinking.

We set our focus and said NO to the conventional scaling models of digital agencies that offer a broad range of services such as software development, growth marketing, hosting, and more. Instead, we chose to specialize in defining and designing products, with a strong focus on what real users need.

Such specialization has two aspects. On the downside, it involves focusing on a specific niche, which means you need to excel in your chosen area, requiring in-depth expertise. You cannot simply go and hire anyone to work on projects for your customers, making it difficult to scale your business rapidly.

However, the positive side benefits our customers. They receive greater value for their money and have the reassurance that the products they are building meet their customers’ genuine needs.

“… understanding users’ needs and behaviors, and our design is a visual manifestation of product thinking”

Delivering value, not hours: our services as products

We practice what we preach! Over time we have develop various research packages tailored to efficiently address our customers’ specific problems. For example, we assist with optimizing self-service onboarding (for scale-ups looking to expand), implementing new features to boost further growth (for companies experiencing stagnation), crafting unique selling propositions (USPs) and compelling website storytelling (SaaS companies in general), and generating ideas for entirely new solutions (startups and enterprise ventures).

We deliver value, not hours

Even our UX/UI design is treated as a product. Unlike many other agencies that simply sell design hours, we take a different approach. We tightly integrate design with product research and product management to ensure that our UX design effectively addresses real problems while also possessing a visually stunning appeal. Our customers aren’t purchasing a design from us; they’re getting a solution to their specific business problem.

By treating our services as actual products, we can maintain control over their quality and continually enhance them.

Growing slowly: an additional mechanism for quality control

We believe in growing slowly as an essential way to maintain the highest quality of our work. Even though we’ve been in business for over four years, we’ve deliberately kept our team small, consisting of just 10 dedicated individuals.

We carefully choose whom we hire into our team and ensure they are completely onboarded with our way of doing things before they start working directly with our customers.

Internally, we’ve adopted a collaborative mechanism called Braintrust, where the entire company (yes, we’re only 10 people) comes together to brainstorm and find innovative solutions for our customers.This incredible support system has proven to be vital in rapidly integrating new team members and maintaining our customer satisfaction at its peak.

Collaboration: being a part of the customer’s team

Our most powerful sales and marketing tool is word of mouth – when our customers recommend us to their networks. That’s why we never just deliver our work and walk away from the customer. Our priority is to ensure that our recommendations and designs are effectively implemented and give the desired results.

Typically, we initiate our projects with thorough research, and this often evolves into a long-term product design collaboration where we work closely with the customer’s product development teams, marketing teams, and even C-level executives. We actively participate in numerous weekly meetings, brainstorming sessions, and workshops. In fact, if we were to reveal the number of Slack or Teams company accounts we’re part of, you might think we’re crazy. But this level of involvement is essential to us.

We bring in the user’s perspective into the decision-making process and introduce fresh and innovative solutions to solve problems. As time goes on, the line between being an external provider and an integrated team member gradually fades away, and we become equally invested in the success of the product.

Full Service: a network of partners

We are fully aware that our customers’ needs extend beyond research, design, and product management. To address these broader requirements, we’ve developed a network of strategic partners who excel in development, marketing, sales, and funding. Working closely with these specialized companies, we provide our customers with the best possible solutions.

This collaboration allows us to stay focused on our expertise and what we do best.

Final thoughts

The relentless pursuit of focus and specialization has helped us to create truly innovative products, such as the first AI-assisted dental procedures app (YSS) from the ground up, and to completely redesign complex solutions like Emil Frey Inside, one of the biggest automotive enterprise solutions, to name a few — by “just” putting the user in the center of everything we do.

Continue reading
Navigating the path to product-market fit
Navigating the path to product-market fit