Getting Good Shit Done

A guide to building user experiences with purpose

Co-Written by Chris Martin and Jeff Aramini

Operating in a data heavy industry, your problem isn’t merely finding an IT solution. Technology based solutions are everywhere, and there are no lack of companies creating them. Getting the tech is easy; creating a technical solution that actually works for your various stakeholders, that’s hard. We’re talking about a solution that works for the technicians, clinicians, bureaucrats and the consumers who make up the relational ecosystem surrounding your purpose.

Ensuring that everyone using your utility can actually make use of it, understand and implement the results — that’s what makes an IT solution worth investing in. That’s what we do at Focus21.

Don’t just take our word for it, we’ve got results to back it up. Take a recent project of ours, the Vaccine Ordering and Management System (VOMS). The VOMS streamlined vaccine delivery statewide, increasing efficiency, efficacy and ease of use. Simply put — It helped a lot people and saved a lot of money.

The success of VOMS shows our design philosophy in action. It works because it’s been designed to address human psychology as much as IT necessity. A system that doesn’t just aggregate data, but puts the results in a conversational interface. That means it’s easy to understand, even easier to use, and capable of complex and meaningful action.

From re-engineering old IT to building new nimble software applications, Focus21 is ready to deliver on time and on budget with no BS.

Sure, we’ve got the technical expertise to design any sort of IT solution you could need. So do a lot of companies, and a lot of companies still manage to screw it up. They deliver solutions that are functional, but not useable; technically fulfilling their purpose, but cumbersome and confusing to the user. Ultimately, they end up creating more problems than they solve.

We don’t make that mistake, because we understand what matters: designing systems with purpose.

When we say systems with purpose, just what the hell are we talking about?

When we say purpose, we don’t mean some disposable buzzword. We’re talking about solving specific problems with real world consequences. Not abstract or theoretical applications; actual, measurable effects.

We’ve spent a lot of time in data-heavy industries. Science, medicine, civic infrastructure — we know these industries inside and out. It’s why we know that data analysis is one thing, but understanding the real world effects of that data is how you make good shit.

The Essentials of Making Good Shit

There’s no magic bullet, no one size fits all approach. We’re focused on the overall solution, no ego, no bullshit, just results. We’ve got a way of doing that, a framework we adapt to each and every project we take on.

#1: No Bullshit

No bullshit means we’re upfront about everything, both on our abilities and on any difficulties a given project may pose. It means we own any mistakes as much as any success, and by being completely transparent about project updates and progress at every step. As a client, you’ll be able to see these project updates in real time. New iterations are always immediately available for the client to peruse and use, ensuring the product is useable and fulfills all client expectations and needs.

We take this idea seriously. The client is able to “walk through” the product interface before coding even starts, so that everyone is on the same page for the end result. This ensures that the design works for the client and that miscommunication can’t screw anything up.

We’re confident, sure, but it’s confidence gained from experience. No project is ever perfect in the first iteration, and we know it. That’s why we take the client with us every step of the way. We’re focused on being upfront because it gets the best results.

Bottom line: When you look good, we look good.

#2: Designing for Experience
Making things that work for the user

Our work starts with establishing a clear direction: what’s the client’s business, what’s their goal, what purpose does this project achieve?

Data heavy industries are Focus21’s realm of expertise; we understand the language, the applications, and the market. You won’t need to mince words or use layman’s terms — just tell us what you’re trying to do and we can figure out the best way forward. It all starts with understanding your needs. Once we can understand that, we can understand the project and create something that truly delivers.

#3: Building Trust
One milestone at a time

We’re here to work with your team, not to replace them. Maintaining and supporting something is a very different skill set from designing and creating something. We’re designers, creators, and we’re damn good at it. It’s our passion, our focus, and it’s what you bring Focus21 in to do. We’re not interested in replacing your own team, because their skill set isn’t ours. What we are interested in doing is working with them to create the perfect solution.

Building trust is an iterative process, and so is finding the working relationship between the various levels of a company. We’re not offering a snake oil cure, this takes time, and we’re the people willing to put the time in. That’s why we do what we do, why we’re focused on designing experiences with a purpose. Not just to improve productivity and workflow, but because our solutions make real world impacts in people’s lives.

Often, a client’s previous experiences with IT solutions predisposes them towards anxiety about project overrun. We get that. We also get that trust is built over time, and that’s why our commitment to transparency starts at day one.

The Bottom Line

No added costs, no unexpected delays. We deal in bi-weekly milestones and fixed project budgets. Our reputation comes from making damn good products and happy clients, and we’re committed to continuing that trend.

At the end of the day, it’s not that complicated. Our solutions work because we take the time to understand the project’s purpose. Its most important aspect, its most singular trait, and ultimately the reason you want to make the damn thing in the first place.

We can craft a solution that realizes that purpose; no BS, just results that speak for themselves.

Want to make software that changes the world? We can make it happen. Get in touch, and let’s make some good shit.

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151 Charles St. W Unit 100
Kitchener, Ontario
Canada, N2G 1H6