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Partnering with an industry expert to design and develop a web app.

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Crisp needed a trusted co-pilot to build an MVP web app for their client base on an aggressive timeline. As a premier law firm growth company, they sought to provide a way for their clients to refer cases to other firms in the Crisp network.

Vision
  • Crisp sought a dependable partner to co-pilot them through the process of web app design & development.
  • Black Airplane stood out because of our reputation for delivering reliable and innovative technology solutions.
  • They needed help defining a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) that would still deliver exceptional quality and functionality.
  • Despite being an MVP, the requirement was for the product to offer a high-end user experience, reflecting Crisp's commitment to excellence.
Victory

The Black Airplane design and web app development team met the challenges and exceeded expectations:

  • Delivered final designs in 4 weeks.
  • Exceeded initial MVP targets by integrating extra features, such as multi-stage SMS notifications.
  • Developed admin tools, enhancing business management capabilities for the new product.
  • Successfully launched the project on schedule and within budget, achieving both technical and business objectives.

Client Industry

Legal Marketing and Coaching

Platform

Web App

Services Performed

UI/UX Design,Web Development,QA,Project Management

Technology

Laravel

Vue

Inertia
Twilio
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The difference maker for me is truly the transparency.
I always know where my project stands and they dilligently document any feedback I have. Even if I make an off hand comment about something I would like, they will make it happen. They make work “light” and “effortless” which has made them an invaluable joy to work with.
Hannah Doksansky
Crisp

Vision

Mission Brief

As an organization, Crisp continually pushes the boundaries for their clients with new ideas and services. As they’ve grown their social community of clients, they noticed members of their private Facebook groups organically referring law cases to one another. Obviously, law firms needed a way to exchange these cases, but surely there was a better way than through Facebook. For Crisp, that was the lightbulb moment.

Crisp aimed to build an easy, intuitive, and more private way for their clients to refer cases within the Crisp community. In short, “Tinder for law firms.” This would be yet another way for Crisp to add value to their ecosystem.

Challenges

Crisp, with its extensive industry experience, aimed to meet market needs through a new web app. Given that this project was an MVP, it was crucial to balance delivering substantial value to users while adhering to budget and timeline restrictions. Compounding the challenge, our primary contact was overwhelmed with their duties in the marketing department and the upcoming annual conference.

Despite these hurdles, Crisp was determined to maintain its competitive advantage by moving quickly. With the late August timeline, the goal was to unveil the new product at their November conference and launch the first version by January of the following year. This left us with a tight window of 4-5 months to transform their vision into reality.

Why Black Airplane

Our client needed a partner they could trust to build it right. And one they could trust to guide them through the process. We had already worked together on other types of initiatives over several years. With our blend of design savvy, technical expertise, transparent process, and proven track record of reliability, Crisp knew Black Airplane was the perfect co-pilot for this mission.

logoAbove & Beyond

Our efficient development process enabled us to deliver features beyond our initial MVP targets. We reallocated resources to incorporate this valuable multi-stage SMS notifications, enhancing the referral system with timely notifications. This addition ensures that law firms can promptly act on referrals, streamlining communication and improving responsiveness.

Flight Plan

Design

For this engagement, we ran a lean, fast-paced design process that relied on client/stakeholder/SME domain knowledge and our team’s experience with UI/UX design best practices. Not all projects begin with the same inputs. Some clients bring clear product requirements. Others rely on our team to collaborate with them to shape and define the product.

We can work either way and we’re not afraid of ambiguity. For this project, the client provided a short, one-page written outline of their concept. They roughed out how they thought the referral process would work and some other details. Using this as a starting point, we leapt into action:

Discovery & Wireframes

We met with our point of contact frequently to understand the needs more clearly and begin building out early wireframes. During this phase, we focused on foundational pieces such as central user needs, key functionality, user flows, information architecture, and rough screen layouts. As those conversations progressed we continued sketching wireframes, clarifying any additional requirements, working through iterations, and building up the complete wireframes for the application.

High Fidelity Visual Designs

As we firmed wireframes, we transitioned to building high fidelity visual designs. Though an MVP, it was still important for Crisp to give users a high quality visual and user experience. As the foundation for the product, we built a light, but custom branded design system. We then converted the final wireframe sketches to beautiful, high fidelity designs, keeping everything as clearly organized and labeled as possible.

Development Support, Handoff, and Documentation

During design, we included a developer on most project conversations. This ensured alignment on MVP feasibility and helped us identify and plan for any potential technical challenges.

As part of our design process, we always include clear annotations, notes, diagrams, and any other design artifacts that will help communicate the design specifications to any audience using the final design files. This especially helps with the handoff from design to development. At the end of the design phase, we had development handoff conversations. We talked through expectations, surfaced any potential challenges, and continued to get aligned across internal and external teams.

Development
Assembling the Engineering Crew

For the Crisp Connect project, Black Airplane understood the need for a specialized team to meet our ambitious launch deadline. We assembled a group of specialist engineers, including expert frontend and backend developers and a solutions architect, to create a comprehensive plan that enhanced our project's likelihood of success.

Technological Mastery: Laravel & Inertia

In selecting Laravel and Inertia, we were guided by our extensive experience and proven track record with these technologies. Laravel's robust backend capabilities combined with Inertia's streamlined approach for developing server-driven web apps provided the perfect solution for rapid development of a high-end user experience. Inertia, particularly, allows us to create client-side rendered, single-page applications more efficiently, matching the expectations of Crisp's users.

Laravel

Learn more about our Partnership with Laravel

Agile Methodology in Action

Our agile methodology played a pivotal role in the success of Crisp Connect. Through daily standups, Sprint Plannings, and Demos, we maintained a focused and efficient engineering team. Our customer’s active participation throughout the development of this application served us well in prioritizing tasks, and refining the direction of the product in real-time.

In the creation of Crisp Connect, our design team excelled in establishing a strong foundation, enabling our engineers to swiftly progress with a clear blueprint in hand. However, true to the nature of software development, it was during the hands-on engineering phase that we encountered nuances and details that only become evident in the context of a functional system.

Thanks to our agile approach, we were able to identify and implement improvements in the law firm matching workflow. We also enhanced the clarity and intuitiveness of the language—changes that were critical yet not as apparent during the design phase. These specific refinements, identified and implemented during development, significantly elevated the user experience, exemplifying our commitment to dynamic and responsive solution-building.

Enhanced Functionality with Laravel Nova and Twilio SMS

Implementing Laravel Nova equipped Crisp with a powerful "Super Admin" system, which required minimal custom development yet offered a high-value system for the Crisp management team. Additionally, integrating Twilio SMS Messaging was a strategic move that enhanced communication between law firms. It ensured prompt notifications for successful matches and necessary inputs for stewarding referrals. We also assisted Crisp with A2P 10DLC registration, a testament to our experience in navigating the complex terrain of compliance and message deliverability.

Victory

Final Results

The launch of the MVP app for Crisp Connect marked a significant milestone, achieved on time and within budget, demonstrating our commitment to delivering high-quality solutions tailored to our client’s unique needs. By facilitating a more efficient and private means for law firms in the Crisp network to refer cases to each other, the app addresses a previously unmet need in the industry, moving away from less secure and organized methods like private Facebook groups. This advancement signifies a leap forward in how legal professionals manage referrals, enhancing both privacy and efficiency.

Our use of Laravel and other powerful technologies allowed us to rapidly develop the app, maximizing value while meeting our business objectives. The addition of Twilio SMS integration was a key feature that exceeded initial expectations, enabling law firms to receive notifications about incoming referrals and respond more promptly. This functionality, along with ongoing enhancements, underscores our dedication to evolving with our clients’ needs, further cementing our role as a trusted partner in their journey to innovation and excellence.

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