About the project

IQ is an app for intelligent conversation between designers, architects, developers, contractors and clients.


With its help, professionals can share about their work, comment on the work of others, answer questions from beginners as well as clients.


Beginners are able to get valuable input, and clients are able to choose contractors based on informed commentary.



This project is put together by the studio of Stanislav Orekhov

Project Background

The goal of the studio is to circulate a systematic knowledge of design. In order to gain knowledge, we speak with clients and make projects. And in order to systematize, we write articles, organize conferences and host training sessions.


These things are interconnected:

  • The designer shares what he knows — he confirms his status as a professional
  • The client sees activity — believes in the work and contracts the project
  • The designer completes a project — gains experience
  • The designer systematizes his experience and shares it with the world — he confirms his status as a professional.

Establishing a continuous cycle of knowledge is the simplest and most honest way to attract both clients and projects.

In order to create a stable cycle, the following three fundamental requirements of the designer must be met:


  1. A professional project plan
  2. A search for employees and partners
  3. The creation of a convenient database for the designer’s solutions

Let’s take a closer look at how to solve these issues

1. A professional project plan

The simplest way to present yourself as a professional is to share about any interesting situations or instances of problem solving in regards to design that you have experienced at the work site while a project was in progress.


The problem: easy to talk about, hard to actually do. Structure is needed for a proper plan. And making that structure takes time and requires editorial skills:


  • Structure thoughts and get rid of the excess
  • Write briefly, highlight the point
  • Write using the client’s language
  • Make time for writing the project

Hiring an editor is not an option — an editor doesn’t know the peculiarities of the field and won’t highlight the right stuff.

Because of the difficulties of putting together a plan, there are a lot of projects in a designer’s portfolio that remain unsigned. People want to see what’s behind the curtain, they just aren’t given the opportunity.

We’ve found illustrated notes to be a solution. The designer takes pictures of the site and then piece-by-piece describes the details, inviting the audience to discussion.


As a result of this dialogue, interesting material is available for articles. An editor can put structure to prepared information, which yields a nice plan for a portfolio.

2. A search for employees

The fastest way to choose a contractor is to simultaneously see the portfolio accompanied by pertinent remarks on the project details.


The problem of the portfolio: it’s hard to find a professional contractor when there’s an only picture in a portfolio because there aren’t any clear notes.


The images in the portfolio show what has been done, but what isn’t seen is the thought process of the author or the reasons behind the designer’s solutions. The cost and loss of time is left unclear — and these are the main things in the evaluation.


It takes resources to clarify details — you have to get a hold of the bidder, send the project for an appraisal and then you have to push for a response. Out of ten prospects, only three will respond by the deadline, and only one will be the right fit.


The problem of commentary:it’s hard to chose a professional based solely on comments in various forums. There is no objective criterion to evaluate the quality of an answer.

In forums there is conversation and there are some interesting people. But quite often, those that know a lot don’t do anything worthwhile. They spend time talking nonsense and showing off in front of beginners.


We’ve found a solution in up to date commentary on real work: the professional designer describes the project in notes and adds new notes where the author has forgotten to highlight anything of importance. He uses his own images, and those of others, to demonstrate his knowledge.


The client sees interesting notes, visits the author’s page and gets to know him. It’s unobtrusive and spam less:


  • The client finds a designer, and the designer a client
  • The designer finds a contractor, and the contractor a designer
  • A young specialist can get a job at a high-end studio and the studio gains a valuable employee

3. The creation of a convenient database for the designer’s solutions

For a quick job, a designer will use tried and proven solutions, find inspiration in the projects of his colleagues, systematize others’ knowledge and share his own. All solutions should be conveniently at hand — but this isn’t always the case.


The problem: lots of high end professionals collect their good finds but they don’t systematize them or they don’t share them because they are afraid of the competition — and then the knowledge is lost. Other designers end up having to come up with their own solutions instead of inventing new ones based on already existing ideas — and resources are wasted.

When it comes to information it’s pointless to hide things. Based on our own experience we know that the more you give — the more you get.

The solution: create a catalog of designer ideas that is available to the public. It would be a design encyclopedia with a convenient index as well as tips from active professionals, where each may share their discoveries or their know-how and help their colleagues learn something new.


The benefits

  • Sketches and drafts, comments from art directors, and client presentations are now in one place with an index, a search option and social networks.
  • It’s easy to sort into folders, notes, pictures and commentaries that stick out.
  • It’s a pocket dictionary of solutions with helpful notes from professionals organized by topics.

In conclusion

This concept, which consists of three elements — project plans, a search for professionals, a database of designer’s solutions — has given birth to the app IQ&YOU in which it has found its identity.

Our philosophy

  • IQ&YOU can be decoded as intellect and you — only the essence and only the work.
  • Knowledge and use, quality images and detailed descriptions are valued. The more useful and applicable the knowledge is, the higher the rating and evaluation of peers.
  • It’s not a direct advertisement but an unobtrusive professional opinion: assistance for clients and colleagues, as well as a means to spread information about oneself and his work. It’s harder but it’s what the market needs.
  • Description is more important than image. Images can be generic, but thoughts are personal.
  • It’s a thematic medium free from the selfies and kittens that clog social networks.
  • Information is passed on directly to the user — without journalists who write about what they vaguely understand. The professionals themselves describe their own work and that of others.

Our principles

We create and improve the app for ourselves, but if it helps you and you share our principles, then join us!

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Content. The basis of our content is substantial commentary about the work. A cursor is placed on an image and commentary pops up to describe it. Another option is that the user can ask a question and the professional can respond.

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Quality.We recommend uploading clear and sharp images that are not distorted or in a vignette style, have a balanced focal point. The definition should be no less than 1000 pixels.

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Advertising. Spam is prohibited. Users don’t advertise directly in their posts but on their own profiles. If you have something to add, mention it on the thread. The client will get interested, check out your profile and call you up and make the order himself. Designers don’t junk things up and they don’t impose on the client. Active sales are prohibited.

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Conversation. We communicate smartly, on topic and respectfully with other users. Any abusive language will be blocked.

Making a profit isn’t our main goal. We made the app for indexing designers’ work and other good ideas and their descriptions. If this format is convenient for instruction or work, feel free to use it.

What issues can be resolved with the help of IQ?

Quickly generate content.

Professionals don’t like to write, and people don’t like to read long texts. The graphic format is more interesting than a world of text. It’s not hard to leave notes — two clicks and the post is ready for publication on Facebook or Instagram for all your friends to see.


Ask a question about any given picture

Find out how it’s done. Or else take a picture of your own home and ask for advice. Professionals will help you out.


Asking colleagues for help

Sometimes designers get tunnel vision and aren’t able to see what’s working and what isn’t. He needs help from the outside and his colleagues are there to answer the call. They can see the issues and they can help him see it from a different viewpoint.


Make a note about a design

Indicate in the photo what isn’t right and what needs to be fixed in order to turn the project in. Check the notes to make sure your thoughts were all recorded. Use the interactive checklist.


Use other people’s projects for your own thoughts.

It doesn’t matter who the author of the image is. What matters is who is writing the commentary and what kind of commentary it is. Find the most interesting and popular topics and share them on your own site or on social media. If there’s a need to find content for daily publications, look in the system for finished discussions and share them. Become the generator of solid content for the audience.


Answering questions

The designer adds comments to the image in order to systematize his knowledge, show he’s a professional and attract potential clients. A potential client sees the comprehensive notes and by extension gets to know the contractor. He can see his thoughts in action before signing a contract.


Making notes

Writing takes time, but taking a picture is easy. Professionals can list the facts in the illustrative format so that they don’t get lost.


Clients get to find a contractor

Clients can choose a professional based on his knowledgeable comments and his rating. It’s convenient to get to know the professional and his approach to work before having a face-to-face meeting.


Put together your portfolio

It’s easy to present the project. Gather all your best work and give it new life. Describe the details and answer the questions of other users, detail the work in your portfolio using interesting explanations.


Sharing about the products

Vendors can find designers and share with them how to work with each element; they can show the product in person and describe its qualities. If they know the dimensions they can draw up a plan and give an example of what it would look like in the design


Critiques for beginners

New designers and clients who do something on their own can send the work to professionals for commentary and get a detailed analysis, protecting them from mistakes.


Beginners can learn

Read the commentary of leading professionals. Ask questions, begin a discussion and absorb the knowledge. Learn.


Coordinate comments with the client

Reconcile the summary of a meeting with the client comments. Send the image along with its notes in the mail and receive confirmation.


Altering the work

Take a picture of the alterations and post it above the comments. You’re leaving the meeting and your assistant is already working on the corrections.


Beginners get a quick start

If there aren’t many projects, leave notes on the work of others. Comments can attract the attention of a certain type of client:


  • Those that make decisions while reading the text
  • Those that have been turned down by established designers or studios
  • Those that need help with certain parts of their work — the layout or color choice.

A small portfolio is not a problem. The right designer attracts attention by his sharp descriptions.


Working with vendors

The designer draws up plans for a cabinet, marks the dimensions and the materials and in one click sends it to interested vendors for an estimate. The estimate is right there in the comments to the post.




Have you thought up your own way to use the app?
Share in the comments.


Development

Natalya Kobyakova

Project Manager


Andrey Lukin

Backend Programmer


Andrey Maksimkin

Frontend Programmer


Design

Taras Senkiv

UX Consultant


Yuriy Kobernik

Designer


Website

Pavel Kuligin

Art Director


Grigoriy Mashkovtsev

Designer and Engineer


Idea and concept

Stanislav Orekhov