Case Study: Datacolor

People find that perfect shade with Promptworks.

Datacolor: Help paint professionals coordinate the perfect color palette.

Datacolor creates color management solutions to support a variety of industries, including paint, textile, apparel, plastics, and more. Datacolor developed a portable ColorReader device that paint professionals could use to identify colors from painted surfaces, but needed expertise designing a companion mobile app to allow painters to fully utilize the device’s capabilities.

Here was our challenge:

Datacolor had to bring the product to market in four months and needed a partner with experience in quickly building quality mobile apps.

The app had to help professional painters match colors using the ColorReader, organize these colors for each job site, display complementary colors, and identify similar colors.

Painters also needed technical color specifications translated into something actionable—for example, that Color A looked brighter in daylight than Color B (the metamerism index).

Here's how we solved it:

1. We identified the user journeys that mattered most.
We helped Datacolor surface 10+ potential use cases and prioritized those with the highest impact on success.

2. We designed for the core business need, not the technology.
To define a minimum viable product, we focused on the product and its users, answering questions like, “Which use cases are most likely to satisfy the addressable market?” and “Which features are likely to differentiate the product and drive real usage?”

3. We built with React Native for speed and compatibility.
Developing separate native mobile apps would have been costly for Datacolor, requiring their engineers to maintain separate code bases for iOS and Android. Promptworks recommended using React Native for its ability to use one code base across multiple platforms. This also made it possible to harness native APIs, such as bluetooth radio, which would have been difficult with other cross-platform solutions.

Their people aren’t just developers, they also rapidly learn their client’s domain. The way in which they’ve solved issues for some of our designs has allowed us to map out our business processes simply and have Promptworks come back with wireframes. This is truly innovative and exciting to us. They get it and propose solutions that are delighting us as well as our customers.
Brian Levey, VP of Consumer Solutions, Datacolor.
We no longer think in terms of 18-month software cycles but rather three or four months…the latest version of the app is a dream to demo and use.
Brian Levey, VP of Consumer Solutions, Datacolor.

See the results:

Within three months of completion, Datacolor had already tracked $1MM in sales opportunities. The app also accumulated a collection of great reviews on the App Store.

Over the past two years, Promptworks has helped Datacolor release three different models of the ColorReader device, launch a wholesale version of this product with paint retailers and manufacturers, and release new features that have helped this project become a $4M product line.

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