Why Substantial

Creating a path to a brighter future

Our Philosophy

We approach every challenge with an eye on what’s next

We are mindful makers with a knack for delivery – from foundational research all the way to launch and sustainment.

With information and digital connections playing a greater role in our lives, we must become stewards of the overall human experience. As your strategic partner, we help you mindfully consider the outcomes and impacts of your mission, at scale.

The intersection of ethics and technology leads to the development of more compelling research, outputs, and products, as well as more conscious innovation cultures. We are committed to providing a side-by-side learning environment and first-hand experience of creating more intentionally. Substantial was founded to strategize, envision and build for our clients, their customers and the world around us.

Ready to partner with us? Let’s talk.

We Are

  • Optimistic
  • Pragmatic
  • Strategic
  • Open-Minded
  • Battle-Tested

We're Not

  • Magical
  • Cynical
  • Egotistical
  • Fatalistic
  • Nostalgic

We Do

  • Equity-First Research
  • Informed Strategy
  • Empathic Design
  • Digital Experiences
  • Organizational Change

Our Approach

Sustainable inspiration

We empower organizations for ongoing success, prepared to meet future challenges. We’re optimistic about the role of design and technology in shaping tomorrow’s world, and we help you embrace the mindset necessary to stand the test of time.

  • Design Research + Strategy

    Value creation starts with a clear vision of success by understanding end users and their context. We’ve cultivated our methodology of deep listening and empathy through equity-centered research attuned to the particular needs of user communities. We interrogate our role as researchers and designers by embedding in your challenges to select the right research methods – helping you uncover actionable insights, define strategy and shape solutions that provide a stronger foundation for the future.

    Capabilities
    • Equity First / Focused / Centered
    • Equity-Centered Design and Research
    • End User Research & Insights
    • Experience Strategy
    • Outcomes / Impact-Focused Design
    • Service Design
    • Business Design
    • Systems Thinking
    • Concept Development + Testing
    • Ethical/Responsible Technology Innovation
    Featured project
    Human-centered design research for the Middle School math experience
    View Project
  • UX / Product Design

    Every product interaction informs your customer’s relationship to your brand. We don’t think of design as a phase but rather an ongoing opportunity to answer complexity with simplicity and to ensure frictionless customer engagement. We synthesize your product vision into a user journey that prioritizes your customer at every touchpoint, designing to maximize usability and joy for all your users. Working in concert with development, we iterate, test and optimize to ensure transactions are transformative.

    Capabilities
    • Prototyping
    • Design Audits
    • Inclusive Design
    • UI / Visual Design
    • UX / User Experience
    • IXD / Interaction Design
    • Design for Accessibility
    • Experience Design
    • Integrated Design + Development
    Featured project
    An integrated approach to supporting early learning
    View Project
  • Full Stack Development

    Technical excellence is in our DNA, but software is as much about creative problem solving as lines of code. Our developers thrive in agile cross-functional teams collaborating to create innovative and thoughtfully applied solutions. By working hand in hand with design and deploying through continuous delivery, we get to working software quickly—and deliver value early and often.

    Capabilities
    • Rapid Iteration
    • Technical Audits
    • Continuous Validation + Testing
    • Data Integration
    • Responsive Systems
    • IA / Information Architecture
    • Scalable Architecture
    • Front-end Development
    • Back-end Systems
    • HIPAA Compliance
    • 3rd Party Integration
    • Hardware Wearables
    • Web + Mobile Apps
    Featured project
    Simplifying the complicated world of legal cannabis for customers
    View Project

Let’s build a better future, together.