Selvin got his start as an iOS intern and worked his way up to chief technology officer (CTO). Later, as the first tech employee at a number of companies, the entrepreneur amassed a wealth of experience about how to create apps and websites. He’s seen companies succeed and he’s seen them fail. And along the way, he took note of the dos and don’ts of building tech from scratch.
Now Selvin harnesses that expertise to help businesses, creatives and entrepreneurs transform aspirations and concepts into living, functioning products.
In 2020, Selvin founded K LABS NYC. His clients have run the gamut from college graduates to Grammy-winning artists and successful CEOs. He’s helped many app and website companies get their start by helping translate ideas into code.
It’s not something that everyone can do: take an immaterial wisp of thought and turn it into something tangible. But Selvin excels at it.
“I talk to so many people who have awesome ideas but don’t really know where to start,” he says. “It can be hard to take a sentence of an idea, flesh it out into enough detail, and then transform that information into a usable product in the real world. That’s where we do our best work: helping clients go from maybe a Word doc with some notes about an idea, to an awesome user experience.”
As he helps his clients crystallize and distill their ideas, Selvin tries to apply what he calls the “Super Mario Method.” On Level 1 of Super Mario Bros., the game teaches you how to play without any explicit directions. You quickly learn the controls and the objective just by playing.
“That’s the experience we strive for with every product—make it so intuitive the user can easily figure out how to use it without much help or tutorials,” Selvin says.
He guides clients through a six-step process to bring their ideas to life.
Selvin’s 6-Step Process
- Define the end goal you want your product to achieve for your users. For example, a company could aim to allow users to find and meet with therapists regularly through an app.
- Define high-level ideas of how your product can propel your users to the desired goal. Continuing with the same example, therapists could list their bios, hourly rates and schedules. Users could browse the bios and associated reviews, then select a therapist, book an appointment, and pay for and conduct a video chat with the therapist, all through the app.
- Create low-fidelity wireframes. Next, clients take all the work they’ve done so far and translate it into a screen-by-screen “stick-figure” diagram that details exactly how a user will move through the app or website. The diagram details the way the components of the user experience flow together: from creating an account to finding and booking the right therapist to having a therapy session.
- Create a finalized design. Next, a UI designer individually converts each low-fidelity wireframe into a high-fidelity view. These views are near-perfect models of the completed app or site. Clients can also use these screens for marketing purposes and pitch decks.
- Start coding! At this point, the client knows exactly what needs to be built, and what types of developers will be required to get the job done.
- Test and iterate. Next, the client does a small initial private launch to identify bugs and observe how users interact with the app. This sheds light on which features people use, which they don’t use, and what new features they are asking for.
K LABS has current and past clients across a range of industries and company sizes. No matter how many employees the company has, or how big its budget, K LABS’ goal remains the same: Eliminate all the extra noise and help people make the leap from idea to cutting-edge product as efficiently as possible.