The plan for Vocal was to provide a web-based app that would allow patrons of local businesses such as shops and restaurants to provide anonymous or private feedback. Customers could search for businesses near them, find the business they want to give feedback to, and then write a short message to the owner or manager of that business. Businesses could sign up to see the feedback people have given them, and have the opportunity to reply. The mission of Vocal is to improve communication between businesses and their customers through a simple, frictionless and private process.
"As Tom is a UX designer by trade, he had some great designs ready to go when he approached us. Even so, once the product materialised into something he could actually use, Tom could see room for improvements. This shows that even if you create the most well thought-out plans for your product before development has started, you can’t anticipate all the permutations of how someone might use your product once it’s built. That’s why it’s better to get stuck in with development sooner rather than later by building something like an MVP."
Russ Peterson, Bad Dinosaur
As the client behind Vocal is in full-time employment, the whole project had to be approached with a very bootstrapped attitude. Luckily, Vocal approached Bad Dinosaur when the project was already in quite a mature stage, as a trial had already been conducted by providing businesses along one street with a spreadsheet-based version of the app. Furthermore, as a UX designer, the client had designs ready for us to start working on right away, and this side of the project ended up being a collaborative effort between the client and our in-house UX staff.
"Bad Dinosaur took the time to understand our mission upfront and translated that into a technical design that could help us test our hypothesis with real customers quickly. At the first co-design meeting, it was great to see the service taking shape at this milestone and it was a good opportunity to reassess the direction and priority of work still to be done with the time we had left. Bad Dinosaur have helped us deliver the first piece of that puzzle which is incredibly exciting. I would recommend Bad Dinosaur to others - I think they are a great partner for startups looking to go out and prove a business model."
Tom Harries, Founder, Vocal
Vocal received funding from Scottish Enterprise for their initial MVP build. Vocal is about to be launched in Edinburgh very soon, with other cities to follow later on in 2018. Vocal will also continue collaborating with Bad Dinosaur, as they have opted for our managed hosting package.