Atomic’s Process

Make, test, adjust, repeat.

1. Pre-Project Consulting

Before you even hire Atomic, we’ll give you feedback on your idea, your plan, and your budget.

This usually involves a few meetings with our Project Consultants, who are all experienced developers. They’ll work with you to:

  • Assess Fit – You'll learn about us and we'll learn about you, to decide if our cultures and work styles fit together.
  • Refine the Idea – We'll ask a lot of in-depth questions and help you re-evaluate your assumptions and explore alternatives. (If you're thinking about an NDA, please read this.)
  • Budget and Plan – We'll help you set a responsible budget. Then we'll create a broad plan for finishing the project, and we'll put together a proposal.
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Atomic is great to work with. They really break everything down into layman’s terms so it’s easy to understand. Working as a team, we came up with some great ideas. I love their enthusiasm and their creativity. Jasmine Olsen, City of Grand Rapids
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2. Research, Design, and Planning

Your stakeholders will meet with the project team for a Research, Design, and Planning (RDP) engagement, tailored to fit your project.

  • The Atoms on your team will learn all about your business, potential users, and product ideas.
  • We'll all put ourselves in the users' shoes, with provisional personas and context scenarios—validated with user research, if appropriate.
  • We'll prioritize product features into a Story Map, set milestones, create an estimated task backlog, and review the budget.

These artifacts make up our preliminary plan, which will guide the rest of the project. The RDP phase helps us become a team with shared goals and a shared concept of what the product will be.

Atomic really helped us understand the end user. They helped us get inside the mind of the customer were were trying to serve and determine the essential things vs. the nice-to-having things. Jim Mellado, Willow Creek Association

3. Software Creation

Armed with the preliminary plan, we'll start creating software in iterations—weekly cycles of creation and refinement.



Set priorities for the coming week's work, fine-tuning the original plan and making sure we're making the smartest use of your budget.


Write code and design interfaces to create functioning software, using Agile methods.


Write automated unit and system tests to know when our code is done and working properly. Test visual designs with usability tests and design review meetings.


Discuss the past week's work, plus any difficulties or new ideas. Review progress toward milestone and budget.

Iterations help us stay on track, adapt to change, and incorporate new ideas. They make the difference between a mediocre product and an amazing one.

It’s great to work with an iterative, agile process. Something comes up that looks like an obstacle, and a week later you have a bunch of possible solutions. Mike Rohwer, Ottawa Area Intermediate School District

4. Support & Maintenance

When your product is ready, Atomic helps you bring it to the world—working with a 3rd party host, getting approval from the App store, or integrating it into your company's infrastructure.

When you're ready to make some changes—even small tweaks—Atomic is here to help. We offer chunk-of-time support contracts; you'll only pay us for the work we do, but you don't have to negotiate an agreement or secure funding for every 2-hour task.

5. Planning for the Future

Launching your first release is really just starting another Test phase. There's a lot to learn: How are people using the product? What else would they like to see it do? We can help you make sense of all this feedback and lay out a plan for future releases.