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Construct Has Launched

June 12, 2018

Introducing Construct, a new web app for creating beautiful fee proposals.

We couldn’t be more excited to announce the launch of Construct, a new web app that makes creating and approving fee proposals faster, easier and more intuitive. It is perfect for all businesses that write and send fee proposals, including creatives, agencies, consultants and almost every other professional service.

Instead of a traditional press release, we thought we would take a little time to talk about our background and why we built Construct. So here we go!

The Problem
Having spent the best part of a decade working in design services, we have spent countless hours writing, re-writing and managing fee proposals. Traditionally, this is done by creating individual documents, usually PDFs, and manually emailing them to clients. This process presents many issues, including version control, content errors and difficulty for clients to provide approval. For less tech-savvy clients, editing and signing a PDF is cumbersome and often results in printing proposals and sending them back by email, fax or the post. We talk a lot about friction in our industry, and this is friction at its worst. It became clear to us that this wasn't a great experince for anyone involved.

Construct Studio

Our Process
They say (not sure who exactly) that great products are built by solving a problem you have, because the chances are that if you have the problem, someone else will too. So that got us thinking: How could we make a better experience for those who write proposals and their clients?

We started the old-fashioned way, with pens and paper, filling notebooks with ideas, features, and wireframes. Although our original vision for the platform was vastly different from our product today, this process was invaluable to figuring out how this was even going to work. The first iteration of Construct was rough, and we quickly realized we had a lot to learn. We designed a complete first draft of the app, but it felt clunky and was overly complicated to use.

It was time to re-evaluate. At this stage, we went back to our original wireframes and stripped out all non-essential features and re-designed the simplest product possible. It was a sobering experience, but it quickly became apparent that a lot of our features were based on assumptions and investing heavily in assumptions is a dangerous game. The second iteration (a complete redesign) is close to the product that is Construct today, even though we have consistently improved, problem solved and refined features along the way.

Designing Construct has taught us a lot, not only about design and development but also about the sheer amount of work required to support a digital product, including onboarding, transactional emails, payment processing, writing support articles and much more. Designing a new app is a daunting task, but we took one step at a time, excercised a lot of patience and here we are today!

03 Construct Proposal App Editor

Our Solution
Construct makes proposals easier, faster and more engaging for both our users and their clients. When building great digital products, investing in good design, UX and development is now the status quo, but we believe there are a few features in particular that set Construct apart.

The Editor
We invested by far the most of our time in the design and development of our editor, the core component where you create proposals. We aimed to strike the right balance between usability and capability. The editor provides rich text formatting, visuals, and tablets as well as calculation and management of fees. In addition to content formatting, the editor tackles a number of complex variables such as tax calculation, optional fees, and proposal structure. We have many more features planned for the editor and hope to invest a significant portion of our resources building an even more powerful and robust content-creation platform.

Modular Content
Modular content goes hand-in-hand with our editor's capabilities and means that any section of content you produce can be easily added, modified and reused in any proposal. For us, this is a game-changer, as it significantly reduces the repetition and chance of errors when creating proposals.

Analytics
Through our research, we found that many designers and studios simply do not have data on their proposals and the preliminary phases of a project. In most cases, the capture of data only occurs once the project is won, which are usually amounts invoiced and hours spent. Construct provides new insight into businesses, including; recipient behavior, success rate, proposal value, approval times, and much more. (You can read more about our analytics here).

Responsive Proposals
Responsive means that when a recipient receives a proposal, it will be automatically optimized for the specific device it is viewed on. Proposals can be easily read on desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. The approval process is responsive too, making it easier for the recipient to make a decision and approve on the spot. No more friction! (Read more about our apporval process here).

07 Construct Proposal App Smartphone

Next Steps
We have spent the better part of two years to get Construct to this point, but feel like we are just getting started. We have a roadmap of features, improvements, and ideas that we will be continually working on. But before we dive into these, we first want to spend some time getting to know our users and better understand their needs. We hope this will help us prioritize our roadmap and focus on features that serve the real needs of our users.

We will also be introducing our development program, which will be open to all subscribers and will involve the occasional question, conversation and testing of new features. We hope that our users will play a vital role in the direction of the platform and help us build a product that makes creating proposals and doing business better for everyone.

Connect
We plan to document the Construct journey and would love you to be a part of it. Along the way, we will be providing insight into our process, our inspirations and future developments on both Medium and our Journal. You can also sign up for our email updates or follow us on Twitter.

That's it for now! Thanks for reading and an even bigger thank you if you made it this far. We're excited about the future of Construct and hope to see you again soon. Until next time.

Thomas Williams
Co-Founder

06 Construct Proposal App Tablet

Press & Media
A selection of high-resolution product images and videos are available below. Please ensure all images are attributed correctly and if possible, link back to withconstruct.com. Thank you in advance!

View Assets

We also have a short bio:
Construct is a new web app for making beautiful and engaging fee proposals. Our mission is simple: to help businesses save time, get approvals faster and provide valuable insight.

In 2016, after almost a decade of writing proposals the 'traditional' way, we began searching for a better solution, but quickly realized what we were looking for didn't exist. We started designing Construct immediately. After six months of prototyping, testing, designing and redesigning, we started building. In June 2018 we launched the first version of Construct, marking a significant milestone for the product.

Construct is built by a small remote team of like-minded designers and developers that have collectively written hundreds of proposals. Our business is based in Los Angeles, but we work globally from Sydney, London, and New York. Construct is independently owned and entirely self-funded.

Construct currently offers an all-inclusive 14-day trial, with no credit card or commitment required. Plans start at $18 (USD) per month and all offer unlimited team members. Simply visit withconstruct.com to get started.

If you would like to learn more about Construct or request an interview with our founders, please get in touch! Thanks again!

Insights with Construct

April 19, 2018

Overview
During the research phase of Construct, we quickly learned that almost every person and business we talked to, kept very little data on their proposals. It became evident that most only started collecting data once a project commenced or when the first invoice was sent. We believe there is a lot of value in this data, as it can provide insight into how clients interact with your proposals, how long they spend reading and when they are most likely to approve.

Here we take a look at the analytics and insights that come with every Construct account.Before we get started, it’s important to understand how the status of your proposal impacts your data.

Draft
A proposal will remain in draft status until it is sent for the first time. All draft proposals are excluded from your analytics.

Pending
A proposal that has been sent, but the recipient has not yet declined or approved. This is considered an ‘active’ proposal.

Approved
Approved status is when your recipient has approved your proposal. Good times!

Declined
Declined status is when your recipient has declined your proposal.

Archived
An archived proposal is one you wish to keep but will be excluded from all analytics. Only a Pending, Approved or Declined proposal can be archived.

02 Construct Insights Proposal Framework

Insights
Once you have sent your proposal, it’s status will change to ‘Pending’ and you will have access to a number of insights. This data can be accessed by navigating to the ‘Proposals’ section of your account, clicking the ‘Pending’ tab and selecting the individual proposal you wish to view. These insights include:

Amount Pending
This is the proposal total that includes tax, but excludes any optional fees.

Time in Review
Once the recipient has opened your proposal, this is how long they have spent with the proposal active on their screen.

Activity
This section provides a lifetime overview of your proposal. It includes when your proposal was first created, sent, and if it has been updated. It also include who modified the proposal, which is perfect for keeping track of revisions.

Sections Viewed
This section provides insight into how your recipient engages with your proposal. It shows how much time they spend on each section and the percentage of the total time spent. This can be particularly useful for refining future proposal’s structure and learning how to better structure your proposals and prioritize your content.

Response Time

This is the time between your recipient first opening your proposal and when they respond. A response is when the recipient either approves or declines you proposal.

03 Construct Insights Proposal Analytics

Analytics
Under the Analytics section of your account, you will find more in-depth data about your proposals and contacts. All data is organized either by status or by contact.

Number of Proposals
The number of proposals is the total number within the selected status (ie. Pending, Approved or Declined). This data can be viewed by lifetime and filtered by year, month or week.

Value
The value shows the total value of your proposals within the selected status. This data can be viewed by lifetime and filtered by year, month or week.

Response Rate
Response rate provides a lifetime percentage of your approved and declined proposals, essentially providing you with a ‘success rate’.

Response Time
Response time provides an average response time across all proposals within the selected status.

Contacts
Proposal data can also be browsed by individual contact. Here you will be able to see the number of Approved, Declined and Pending proposals each contact has. This data can also be viewed by lifetime or filtered by year, month or week. Viewing your analytics by contact can be especially useful for understand your clients individual behaviors with a a proposal.

Conclusion

Our aim is to provide the data you need, in the most accessible and easy to interprut way possible. What you do with this data is entirely to you, but our hope is that it will provide a greater understanding of your client and their interactions with your propoals. Be sure to keep an eye out for future articles about best practices when writing and creating proposals.

That’s it! All analytics and insights are included in every account with Construct and don’t require any setup or configuration. All you need to do is start sending proposals. If you would like to kept up-to-date with our latest developments, be sure to follow us at: @withconstruct

Thanks for reading!

Approvals with Construct

February 02, 2018

The approval process is the experience your recipient will have when receiving your proposal from Construct. This could be a client, a collaborator or anyone else you send proposals.

First, your recipient will receive an email from Construct, with the sender as 'Your Name via Construct'. The reply-to address is set to your account email, making it easy for the recipient to email you back directly. 

The default subject of the email is 'You've received a new proposal'. However, the subject and the body of the email can be customized to your liking when creating your proposal. 

Inside the email is a link, which your recipient will use to view your proposal. This link is unique and required to open the proposal from outside of your Construct account. As soon as your recipient clicks the link, you will be notified that your proposal has been opened. Good times!

02 Construct Desktop

Once your recipient opens your proposal, they can view it by either scrolling or by using the section navigation in the top left.

03 Construct Mobile

As your proposal is responsive, the recipient will be able to open it and easily read on any device. Once your recipient has viewed your proposal, they have the option to either decline or approve your proposal. We prefer the latter! 

04 Construct Desktop Approval

When a recipient clicks 'Approve' in the top right corner, the approval card will appear. If your proposal has option sections, the recipient will be able to select which ones they would like to proceed with and they will be added to the proposal total. 

Then the recipient is required to provide their name, email and a signature. This process is responsive and can be quickly completed on any device, including touch devices. Then all your recipient needs to do is hit approve! (Don't worry, we'll notify you as soon as this happens). Hooray!

05 Construct Desktop Approved

That it! No more PDF's, no more printing and scanning. Quick and easy approval of your proposals, the way it should be.

Introducing Construct

January 15, 2018

Hello!

I’d like to introduce Construct, a new way to create beautiful and engaging fee proposals. Construct exists for designers, studios, agencies and anyone who goes through the laborious process of writing fee proposals. Construct creates rich content proposals that are responsive and can be approved from any device.

In 2016, after almost a decade of writing proposals the ‘traditional’ way, we began searching for a better solution, but quickly realized that what we were looking for didn’t exist. We started designing Construct immediately. After six months of prototyping, testing, designing and redesigning, we started building. 

Today, we are currently private beta and almost ready to launch Construct into the wild. It has taken us two years to reach this point and we can’t wait to share more with you. We’d love you to be a part of it and will be publishing all of our developments on both Medium and our Journal. You can also follow us on Twitter at @withconstruct or subscribe to our email updates here

Thanks for reading, we’re excited to be here. 

Thomas Williams
Founder

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