How Arter Mobilize Uses Jot! Whiteboard to Mockup Screens and Win Customers

Last week Geoff and I had the pleasure of meeting Rick from Arter Mobilize at MacWorld and seeing how he and his team use Jot! for iPad in their unique process to win customers and scope projects.

Arter Mobilize designs and develops custom mobile apps for businesses and they’ve developed an amazing process for keeping their projects in scope and on budget. Rick is a self-described “professional doodler” and when he first meets with a prospective customer, he explains that they extensively use mockups before actually developing anything in order to to flesh out the app that they will build.

Once a customer has signed on, Rick and his team hold a 2-3 hour kick-off concept design session where they use Jot! to  mockup the screens to be built. They start with a fresh .jot file that they’ve saved with 2 iPhone templates as a “stencil” and immediately start drawing the screens as they talk to the customer.

When they want to move on to a new screen or try a new concept, they copy and paste the whole clean iPhone stencil first so that they always have a clean iPhone stencil to work with for the next screen mockup. They use the duplicate and copy/paste features to move things between mockups.

Rick has come up with a way of pricing development based on purchasing credits. Credits are used to purchase UI elements and these are applied during the design phase, which gives his clients an immediate way to determine the scope and price of the app they’re building. More UI widgets = more credits. I think this is ingenious. As a developer, I know that UI complexity doesn’t necessarily equate one to one with development effort, but it’s a great way to give clients something tangible that they can equate to the cost of their app. Even if it’s not 100% correct, it must be invaluable to give clients a transparent and understandable way to realize the cost of their apps as they’re designing them.

In the end, they flesh out all the screens and assign credits to the UI elements so the client knows the cost of the project up front. This gives the client complete ownership, control and customization of the development process to purchase what is needed.

They take their Jots back to the shop and create full-fledged mockups using a mockup tool (they use Balsamiq). They can then produce a formal concept report to their customers that fully describes and illustrates all of the screens to be included in the app.

Rick is a visual thinker and exactly the kind of person we had in mind when we created Jot! and we were privileged to meet him. You can work with Rick on your next mobile app by emailing him at rick@artermobilize.com.

We would love to meet you too and hear how you’re using Jot!. If you’d like to be featured here on this blog,  email us at contact@tabularasalabs.com.

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