Innovative Digital Design
Chelsea Chambers Photos Kimberlee Miller
Ventive is an award-winning digital product agency that specializes in so much more than website development. Located on 9th Street in downtown Boise, Ventive has been designing and developing digital experiences such as mobile and web apps, since 2014. They help companies develop and implement digital technologies to gain a strategic advantage, by following a paradigm that focuses on five key operations: discover, ideate, prototype, test, repeat.
“We like to see what employees and consumers are doing, then build upon that,” says owner and founder, Jonathan Cardella. When taking in new clients, Ventive focuses on identifying a problem to solve or a vision to develop and build upon. With the growing technological world, there are always new issues to tackle, and for that reason, Ventive treats the discovery and brainstorming process as key first steps in the product development process.
Once the goals, pain points, or vision have been identified, the idea generation process begins. Ventive works side-by-side with clients, searching for new and inventive ways to grow, expand, and develop their businesses. Within this segment of the paradigm, the real innovation begins. The creative possibilities within the digital world are nearly endless. Whether it involves launching a new app, improving an existing online experience, or implementing a CRM system for streamlining the work of employees; Ventive’s focus is on producing useful software that generates value for its users and owners. Sometimes this is achieved by automating mundane tasks, bringing disparate data together where it can be useful, and surfacing insights. Other times it’s helping diabetics track their caloric intake and stay faithful to their exercise regimen, or helping parents keep track of their children’s reading progress and keeping them safe from online predators.
During this phase, Cardella and his team do what they call a “sanity check” for scope and budget, as well as testing the fit of the vision with the actual users’ needs. In a fast-paced world, it’s definitely easy to take on more than you can chew and leaving your users out of the design decisions is one way that companies miss the mark. This is resolved by rapidly prototyping solutions and testing them with real people. Ventive works with clients and their users, focuses their goals and objectives, and ensures that the team can achieve their combined aspirations within a realistic timeframe.
The testing period involves a series of mock trials, surveys, and feedback sessions they call “user research”. Ventive begins testing their prototypes and developed strategies to see if they meet both the goals of the client and the digital world in which they will appear. For example, they will often do web page tests, ensuring ease of navigability, potentially measuring findability (the success rate of finding the information a user is looking for) and time to complete that task. Other times they measure preference of a design or user experience over the existing.
Based on the initial testing, the resulting feedback and findings are incorporated into the design prototypes. Next, the tests are repeated with the revised designs to measure the difference in the desired outcome relative to the last round of testing and determine if the team is moving the product in the right direction.
Cardella has been in the industry since 1999. Starting with a digital marketing agency, he discovered early on that what he liked most was creating, developing, building, and implementing products. Over the years, Cardella has worked on several startups, such as building Ski West, an online travel company focused on helping people create luxury vacation packages that were formerly unavailable to be booked online. In 2005, Ski West was purchased by Overstock.com to expand their offerings into tourism. After Ski West, Cardella left Utah for California and began a new startup in the world on online real estate.
Cardella launched an online platform called NeighborCity. With home buying being one of the largest purchases most consumers ever make, stakes tend to be high. NeighborCity sought to make an extremely opaque market easier to maneuver for consumers.
After several years and numerous hurdles navigating the National Association of Realtors, Cardella left NeighborCity and California in search of a new place to do what he does best: simplifying the digital world for consumers.
When asked what brought Cardella to Boise, his response is not unlike most native Idahoans: “It’s a safe and beautiful place to raise a family.” Along with several other benefits, like our lower cost of living, comparable wages, low industry competition, beautiful natural landscape and rivers, and a wealth of tech-savvy people, Cardella and Ventive have found a nice home in Idaho, and it’s helping his company grow each year.
Ventive provides services for all kinds of clientele with a variety of different needs, but works a lot with travel, real estate, healthcare, and educational technology companies, as well as startups and nonprofits. They are currently working on launching a platform that allows non-technical staff to publish custom mobile apps and websites that are essentially private social media networks for specific businesses and organizations; like their own private Facebook. This allows companies and organizations to keep their audiences engaged and in the know, while allowing its constituent users to network with each other to drive value for the organization.
Whether you are looking to solve a problem, make things easier, or create something new, Ventive is the go-to agency for digital product development and design. Ventive is always looking for talented user-experience designers as well as web and software engineers to join their team. For more information about Ventive, check out their (beautifully designed) website at GetVentive.com.