When compared to the first firm, BuildFire’s process is less confusing, more straightforward and a lot more streamlined, he said. Patrick also appreciates how the team has been so passionate about Disaster Hawk’s mission.
“BuildFire seemed like they were interested in the project,” he said of his initial conversations. “They seemed like they were very passionate about it. I said, ‘That's what I'm looking for.’”
Throughout the process, Patrick was impressed with BuildFire’s communications, creativity and transparency. Regular communication and visibility into the process were critical items on his list. A strong project manager and people who were excited about the project was the icing on the cake.
Patrick had a clear vision for the Disaster Hawk app. For BuildFire, this meant developing complex custom features — a process that required creative problem solving and transparency every step of the way.
When challenges arose creating certain elements of the app, Patrick appreciates that BuildFire was transparent enough to say the first approach wasn’t working and suggest a new course of action. Through the process, the BuildFire team rose to the challenge and was able to build even the most complex features for the app.
A solid knowledge base supported by good customer service is another differentiator for Patrick. When something came up that he didn’t understand, BuildFire’s knowledge base could explain it 95% of the time, he said. The team stepped up to educate him on the other 5% and showed him the course of action.
On the technical side, a smooth user interface and user experience were paramount. Because the custom disaster plans rely on a questionnaire, Disaster Hawk’s value to the user hinges on intuitive design.
“The user experience has to be smooth as silk, because people are not going to tolerate a disaster app that is annoying,” he said. “They are not going to tolerate a disaster app that makes planning hard or doesn't make the plans the way people want them to.”
Patrick also appreciated how BuildFire took the initiative to suggest a new feature for his app — geofencing technology.