Who we are, where we've been and what we stand for.
May Stanley Ltd is a software design agency based in Farnborough, Hampshire. Created in January 2013 by Daniel Hill and his partners, our goal is to provide a fresh, reliable alternative to the methods applied by traditional software developers. We want to shake it up to make the whole process easier and less risky for our clients.
We are, and expect to remain a small but well-resourced team. We know our strengths and our capacity, and will never risk our business, reputation nor the trust of our clients by over-selling ourselves just to win new business.
It may seem strange, but we genuinely have no designs on becoming anything other than a small company. We like being nimble and versatile, able to express our personality and flexible to changing situations. We're not sure that would be possible if we were bloated with layers of management and high overheads.
Instead, we structure ourselves as a key part of the overall jigsaw. Rather than becoming a Jack of all trades, we'll stick to being a master of analysis and design, and our wider network of trusted partners will provide the rest. These include graphic designers, developers, Quality Assurance engineers and infrastructure experts.
You may feel that our size poses a risk to your project. Contrary, we will it is a significant benefit. Adding our small team to your project is much simpler and more flexible than employing full time staff or engaging with a larger organisation with reams of red tape.
Get in touch and let us explain how you will benefit from our involvement.
Our aim is to look back on our death beds and feel genuinely proud of the company we have created; a company that never strays from its core values and strives to leave people, be it client or employee, with a smile of satisfaction on their face.
Our objectives include:
To provide our clients with honest, straight-talking advice, opinion and guidance, even if doing so jeopardises our chances of winning business.
To always provide realistic timescale and cost estimates and keep clients informed in line with our promises. We don't like unwanted surprises either…
To always maintain focus on the needs of the end user and long term client satisfaction. We only grow if our clients endorse us.
To stick to our principles and beliefs, and never compromise our integrity nor our client's trust in the pursuit of profit.
If you want to work with a team that genuinely cares about the quality of work produced, we'd like to work with you. We would be delighted to explain how these objectives may apply to your own project. Get in touch today.
When we created May Stanley Ltd, we were exciting by the opportunity to build a small company of professionals that shared our vision. Our collective experience shows us that if you don't stick to the right, core values, instead chasing financial reward, you create an atmosphere that soon becomes fragile and polluted. Your hard-earned reputation is jeopardised, leaving your clients unsure of your suitability to help them.
We will vehemently fight to avoid that happening by staying true to ourselves and placing faith in our capability and beliefs.
Our founder and managing director, Daniel Hill relies on over 15 years of experience in the software development arena, spanning small, medium and large companies. He is out-spoken, passionate about software, full of ideas and personable.
His dream is to surround himself with a hand-picked collection of like-minded and equally passionate people that will help him achieve our aim.
Experience across our team includes business and requirements analysis, software architecture and interface design, database and software development, client relationships and commercialisation of software products.
Our collective team of contributors has decades of experience in the field that we're ready to add to your own to create the perfect project team. We don't limit ourselves to a specific industry nor a particular technical discipline. Instead, we take each project on its own merits and provide advice and guidance to suit.
We also have strong partnerships with a range of companies that offer a host of specialisms that compliment our own, so through this network, we have the perfect blend of skills.
Don't look down; look up
For some companies, regardless of industry, it's all about the money; constantly focused on the short term "bottom line" profit.
We think that's short sighted. If you only ever focus on the bottom line, you lose sight of all the contributing factors that sit above it.
Instead, our team is driven by accomplishment; the concept of making things better and loving the reaction we get when someone uses something we've created.
We also believe that looking after your staff and your clients properly, rather than caring about every penny, will not only lead to a sense of well-being for everyone, but naturally means you're successful.
As a result, the "bottom line" takes care of itself.
Just say NO!
Just answering "yes" to everything you're asked for is a dangerous and risky game. It may win you business, but it seldom ends well. It would be simple for us to say "yes"…
"Can you bring all my requirements in on time and to my budget?"
"Yes, of course."
"Are you able to get started quickly and work non-stop until the end?"
"Yes, no problem."
The problem with this philosophy, is that we would be setting ourselves and our clients up to fail, and destroy any chance of future trust.
You can rest assured that we'll tell it as it is, however unpopular the answer; even if it costs us work. We stick to our guns to protect our clients, the integrity of our work and our reputation for honesty.
Sometimes, saying "no" is just what the doctor ordered. It ends up saving everyone lots of time, energy, money and heartache in the long run.
Build less, not more
Technology is amazing. So much is possible, and it just keeps getting better and better. Software developers are chomping at the bit to experiment with the latest stuff and build awesome applications.
That's all very well and good, but it has its place. We firmly believe that the applications we build should be lean, mean fighting machines - battling against avoidable frustrations to make life easier. Over-complicated software that takes ages to build then ages to learn doesn't make life easier.
At May Stanley, we believe that less is more. The less you build, the more you save. The shorter the development process, the quicker you get to start benefitting from it. The less to learn, the more you get done.
We make a point of constantly challenging our clients as to whether they really need a function. We challenge our own designs to make sure they are as lean as possible, and not carrying any unnecessary bloating.
Technology must be applied appropriately and wisely at the right time to fit an identified need - not just added because it 'looks cool'. Otherwise it just becomes yet another frustration.
Listen & learn
This principle isn't centred around simply listening to the requirements of our clients. This principle is about everyone listening to everyone. Us listening to our clients; directors listening to managers and managers listening to staff.
It is commonplace within our industry for sales folk to prescribe a solution before they properly diagnose the problem. This enables them to mould a solution around the capability of the developer. It leads to compromise, misunderstanding and ultimately, software that is just as unfit as the original tools they're replacing. Software should fit the business, not the other way around.
By selecting May Stanley as your design partner, this risk is removed. You avoid having to make a premature decision on capability and technology until you know exactly what your ideal solution looks like. When we're designing the solution, we are technology independent, therefore avoiding any need to compromise. Our loyalty is to the needs of our client, not the capability of the developers.
We listen to, and learn from everyone with an interest in the system. We audit staff opinion, the objectives of the management team, and only then do we prescribe the right software design.
Beauty is in the eye of the user
When you're looking to move home, you can typically tell in a few seconds whether or not you think you will like a house, just by the way it looks. The size of the bedrooms, the awesome shower and huge garden are all important, but often secondary to the way its appearance makes you feel.
The same is true of software. We've seen some ugly applications in our time - applications only a developer could love. And that might work out okay - the functionality may compensate for the way it looks, but that's a poor excuse.
At May Stanley, we are huge advocates of 'prettification', and it doesn't have to be expensive either. We think it's a mistake to consider aesthetics as a secondary concern. The well-being, buy-in and efficiency of the end user is directly affected by the look and feel of the tool you're asking them to use. And, let's face it, any solution we develop is all about the user.