CHURCH EXTENSION PLAN
Mobile App Design for Nonprofit Financial Services Company
- Financial Services
- Nonprofit Company
- UI/UX Design
- 11-50 Employees
- Salem, Oregon
“Praxent made sure we thought about the project from both a customer experience and UI point of view.”
– Christopher Lund, Programmer & IT Manager, Church Extension Plan
5/5 CLIENT REVIEW
Praxent designed a mobile app for a nonprofit financial services company. They brought in a developer to help steer the design thinking process, and they also redesigned the client’s customer web portal.
Introduce your business and what you do there.
I’m a programmer and the IT manager at Church Extension Plan, a nonprofit financial services company. Our company provides financial services to churches and ministries of the Assemblies of God. We primarily fund loans to churches and support them with various investment offerings, retirement account options, and estate planning services. We make sure our clients aren’t borrowing more than they can pay and support them if they run into difficulties.
Opportunity / Challenge
What challenges were you trying to address with Praxent?
Our executive team and board recognized that having a mobile app would afford us trust and prestige. Although we had a website, we also wanted to give our existing customers an app option to have on their phones. However, we didn’t have the time or resources in-house to create an app ourselves, and the board wanted it developed relatively quickly.
What was the scope of their involvement?
Praxent provided us with the necessary resources to bring our product to market on time. Mauricio (Senior Site Reliability Engineer) from Praxent was an Praxent designed our mobile app. A developer from their team helped us think through the design and how it would influence the build down the road. Additionally, they delivered a design for our responsive desktop web portal.
What is the team composition?
I worked with two people during the sales process. When we moved to the design stage, we had a project manager, someone overseeing the project, two designers, and a third one shadowing the process. One of the original designers gave birth near the end of the process, so the third designer took over for her. We also worked with the developer who advised on design. In total, we worked with 5–6 people from Praxent.
How did you come to work with Praxent?
We did Google searches, reached out to app development companies, and Praxent was one of them. We had ongoing conversations with 3–4 developers. While others were content to take our existing portal and cram it into a phone shape, Praxent asked questions about the value of professional design. Others did very little to recognize our lack of expertise. Meanwhile, Praxent paid attention to our needs during the sales process. They wanted to ensure we got what we needed and not just what we asked for.
They requested our design documents, which we didn’t have. So, they suggested pausing the development process and designing the app first. In our initial conversations, they were very transparent about their prices, and they were out of our range for development. However, their design prices were a bit lower, and they had compelling arguments for starting with a professional design, so we hired them.
How much have you invested with them?
We spent around $70,000.
What is the status of this engagement?
We worked together from December 2021–to March 2022.
Results & Feedback
What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
The response to Praxent’s work has been almost universally positive. Everyone in our company, including our board members, thinks the design is fantastic. This is a hard consensus to achieve, and it’s helped us feel comfortable that we chose to go with them.
I’m very happy that they steered us toward designing first. Initially, we were putting the cart before the horse, and we would have ended up with our customer portal scrunched up into a phone shape. Praxent made sure we thought about the project from both a customer experience and UI point of view and that we had the design nailed down before going further.
Their expertise has been valuable to us. They were happy not just to design the app but also to coach our team on why they made certain decisions, how things were used, and why they were important. They provided a lot of experience and insight that we didn’t previously have, both from a design and a technological perspective; Praxent’s work involved bringing us up to speed on UI design.
The team had some really valuable conversations with our technology team that helped us think about the technical challenges of an app in a new way. Even though we’re going with another company for development, we’re in a stronger position to tackle the challenge thanks to Praxent’s help. We closed the engagement very amicably, and they offered suggestions and help to pick another vendor and even offered us their employees at an hourly rate.
How did Praxent perform from a project management standpoint?
Their project management was very effective. They delivered either on time or within a week. Even though we had holidays and someone giving birth through our engagement, Praxent found ways to connect and make sure the process was seamless regardless of any issues. For example, the transition to the third designer went very smoothly, and we didn’t experience any interruptions in the workflow.
The sales team threw in the portal design near the end of the sales process, and the team was very realistic about how much time that would add to the plan. They were very good about delivering on a reasonable timeline and within the budget set at the beginning.
What did you find most impressive about them?
I’m impressed with Praxent’s transparency. We had very few surprises, and there wasn’t any dishonesty involved. As a result, we felt pretty comfortable being open with them about our budget, timeline, hang-ups, and slow-downs. The team was very transparent about everything from costs to what they wanted or didn’t want to do.
Additionally, everyone on Praxent’s team was really kind. Although they were professionals, they were also friendly, and we enjoyed talking to them. Their skills were also impressive.
Are there any areas they could improve?
We had an issue with miscommunication during the sales process. After a casual conversation, I thought we’d agreed to one thing, and they thought we’d decided on something else. However, we were able to rewind and locate where the communication had failed, so we got through it. Although nailing down specific topics could have been better, the team fully recognized that and worked on it going forward, so no hard feelings were left.
Do you have any advice for potential customers?
Praxent can take a holistic view of your project even if you don’t have the experience to do so. My advice is to lean on their expertise, even to help figure out what stage of the process you’re actually in. You can trust they have the skill and experience to find the best way to solve the problem and then actually solve it.
On Time / Deadlines
Service & Deliverables
Value / Within estimates
Willing to Refer
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