We work on UI / UX, Mobile Apps, Web Design, Web Applications and Marketing Communication. We do it with honesty and without pretense.
We have a healthy mix of developers, designers, front end developers and product + communication people. Maybe we qualify for what is often referred to as a Multi Disciplinary team.
No not the mythical kind, the ones you find in the pages to a Tolkein book. Dwarves in most folklore are industrious, hard working builders. They build with hands. In the face of a mountain of challenges, they carve out a beautiful world. Today it is easy to find a jedi or a ninja or even a maven, but there are no dwarves. The last decade has seen focus on story telling, engagement, consulting, research and it has become less and less glamorous to be builders first. Dwarves are relegated to movies and books.
At Ajency.in, we think that building something is the best part of the process. We are not molding rocks into shapes or mining gold from the bowels of the earth, but we are the builders of the modern age. Putting together code and design and building beautiful, usable web and mobile products. We are, as we like to call ourselves, the Digital Dwarves. (Digital Dwarves Private Ltd is also our legal business name and the one you will see on our official communication and invoices).
Design and technology are both filled with use of words, terminology and language that is difficult to comprehend for most. The use of “jargon” as a superficial lacquer designed to impress, with scant regard for truth, has only one description: bullshit.
Because we see ourselves as builders, our processes, our focus and our rewards are all geared towards the same. There is no denying the value in strategy or consulting. In digital projects, user interface is extremely important. That is a given. But the proportion of value ascribed to these softer deliverables seem to far outweigh the value ascribed to the actual building. We have structured our teams to focus on the build output. If you are someone who is more of an 'idea person,' then we may not the best fit for each other. Similarly using research, brainstorming, meetings as a replacement for tangible output is actively discouraged.
Our research and brainstorming is rather done by building a prototype and testing it out. We don't offer nor do we indulge in arm chair consultancy. Our walls scream aloud the message of avoiding the bullshit that has become part of many web/mobile design/technology discussions/projects.
Q: What do we do while at work?
A: We build mobile and web apps.
Q: What do we do for fun? A: We build mobile and web apps. Yes, we are boring like that :) Tuckshop and Dilbert are our internal apps that we have built for ourselves and use everyday.
Tuckshop - As the name suggests its our own shop where we stock all kinds of junk and health food. Numerous types of chocolates, candies, cookies, cakes, chips, juices, aerated and non aerated drinks, fruits, salad, Maggi (how happy we were when it came back to the market!), popcorn, soup, sandwiches. Anything that catches our fancy. The odd days when we had pastries or boiled corn (with butter!) or freshly cut pineapple. And the best part, it is all on the house. The fridge is always stocked, the Tuckshop is always loaded. So where does the app come in? Well, there is the boring part of running the Tuckshop where we have to manage inventory and stock, reconcile usage data with consumption. Also, you need some kind of checks and balances to prevent misuse of the perk. And so we went and built an app for our Tuckshop. We have Android and iOS versions and Tuckshop is the most used app on some of our team members' phones (right after Whatsapp, Facebook and Instagram). We are trying to convince a local supplier to integrate with our Tuckshop API so we don't have to call him to replenish stock. That, and gifting, are the two features we hope to add soon.
Dilbert - Dilbert is cheekily named after the comic strip. We knew we did not want to build a workplace that imposes unnecessary rules and restrictions on our team members. At the same time, with an office of 35+ people, you do need minimal processes. Also, as a services company, we need some flavor of time sheets to bill clients accurately and fairly. Dilbert is our attempt at managing one of the most sensitive topics in any organization - measuring effort and quality. It is a work in progress system and we keep tweaking it to suit our changing needs. We built our own Gtalk bot and it does away with the need for having to manually punch in or create time sheets. Dilbert (the Gtalk bot), based on your presence, auto updates your daily logs. Thanks to Dilbert, we have flexi hours at Ajency.in. We completely did away with the concept of office hours and instead moved to a weekly log of effort. Everyone is free to choose when they begin and end work, how long their breaks should be and how frequent. Along with measuring effort, we now get data/charts on time spent on features vs bugs, client A vs client B, meetings vs learning. All this data helps us identify the problem areas and measure effectiveness of our work processes. Both Dilbert and Tuckshop are also being piloted at a couple of other startups/organizations. We are excited that our side projects have value for others as well.