Our clients trust us to help them grow their digital business.
We would love to publicise our client list — there are some big names, some even larger budgets but a consistently small problem — sensitivity.
Since early 2008 we've been asked to sign "confidentiality clauses", "non-disclosure agreements" and even a "secrecy agreement". We've asked why and the reason is "protecting reputation" as the internal cost of failure is being quantified. Some of the numbers are staggering — typically caused by unsatisfactory user experiences generating calls or additional contact.
Despite this restriction we've been pro-actively sought out by organisations in 3 countries with turnovers ranging from 2b to 35m to 2k (that last one was a freebie for a start-up!)
So we're available and we're discreet. We have to be. You can hire us and no-one will ever know! Think of the freedom that gives you — you can share all your dirty laundry, get it washed, dried, ironed and folded and start to recover some of those lost costs.
“Thanks to your direction, customer-centric design is now the norm in our organisation.”
“The find & fix business case is very strong – for every £1 spent fixing the issues, we save £5 – and that’s conservative!”
A large £0.5b change programme credited the performance improvements experienced with “forever changing the way the organisation delivers new services”
Large Government Department adopted Digital Framework as their preferred strategic project lifecycle for all new online projects.
Digitalworks Europe were retained to lead the consolidation of 200 online services under one brand.
Saw a new self-service project increase user completion rate by 71%
Find & Fix
Find & Fix — financial services organisation
A UK corporate wanted to enter the financial services market. After successful experimentation with a variety of business models the decision was made to invest in a user-centred web experience to step-change the number of quotes and insurance policies sold.
There arose an issue with one of the business stakeholders, who held a strong belief that their system design was already first-class and could not be improved on.
- problems with existing customer experience
- ambitious sales targets
- demanding commercial environment
A competitor review was carried out to identify how many other providers were currently in the online space and provided quotes and sale services. The sales techniques used were then categorised.
This was followed by the user testing of the competitors sites. Those with the best quote and sale experiences were pulled apart and analysed to identify their particular strengths and weaknesses. A new user journey was identified which combined the best of each, and in one stroke moved the user experience to the top peer-group – reducing an 11 screen journey to 6 screens.
- usability testing
- competitor review & usability testing
- designed optimal experience
- negotiated down to viable solution
- stakeholder management
This was refined further against IT, Business and financial constraints until detailed wireframes were agreed by all parties which ensured high user conversion rates, straight forward ‘build-ability’ by IT and satisfied the business requirements.
- Independent benchmarking conducted an independent review. They found that sales and quotes had moved up half its peer group in six months
- Within just six weeks, the average conversion rates were up 83%
- 60% increase (weekly) on volume of policies written up
- 99% increase in gross written premiums
“We focussed on understanding what customers experienced from us and what they could get from our competitors. Then we set out to trump it in one iteration”
Head of Business Development
“This has surpassed all our expectations”
Traction — large public sector organisation
Six weeks prior to launch, questions were raised by a large public sector organisation about the usability of a complex online form. It was asked that a final check be run on the suppliers equipment of a true visual representation of the web pages that end-users would experience. A usability review was requested
The project team were defensive and suspicious about the end-to-end usability review. Politically, it was key that whatever the outcome, the project team owned it and therefore fifteen people from the project team asked to witness the review.
- skeptical project team
- complex online form with tight timeframe
- no leverage - consensus driven
Six personas (composite characters based on demographic data) were developed with typical tasks commonly performed by users. Ordered by volume of representative users, the two most prolific personas were unable to use the service. Mainstream tasks were unachievable without staff assistance. Issues included questions not being answerable, users drawing incorrect conclusions and an interface layout which was difficult to navigate.
- heuristic review
- report on findings
- stakeholder management
- implement changes
- coaching & training
The attendees concluded that the needs and context of its users had not been given sufficient priority in the design process and that the inability of users to use the service was a direct consequence of this. The project team, supported by the Self Service Programme Manager, were determined to take the necessary steps to correct in order to ensure that all online services were made useful and usable.
As significant usability issues were identified, a follow-up workshop was arranged in which relevant stakeholders could walk through the user experience from the user's perspective. The walk-though workshop was held in a large group context with business, IT stakeholders and user representation present.
Recruitment advice was subsequently provided with specialist role profiles written in order to help staff recruit its own team of user experience designers. An induction was provided including design guidelines, quality standards and informal mentoring and support.
An approach to fix the issues was recommended and staff, familiar with user experience design (UXD), ran workshops, provided consultancy, advised on copy and improved the overall usability and usefulness of the service.
- 67% reduction in journey length and a 72% completion rate
- 42% of users didn’t need to phone
- Team received hand-written letters of thanks from public for first time in twenty years
“Unprompted customers have contacted us to thank us… not in the hundreds, mind you… but I’ve never experienced that before”
“In the early days of designing the site, we attempted to design what we felt was suitable for our customers, without the benefit of user-centric design knowledge and experience”
“Before [the workshop] I didn't really understand how what you were doing fitted into the project. Now I understand, and it's absolutely core”
Feedback from workshop attendee to Interaction Designer
New Build — leading motoring organisation
One of Europe’s largest motoring organisations wanted to replace an outdated journey planner within very tight time constraints and in such a way that it would be a positive brand experience, not detrimental to this well-known brand.
- replace out of date service
- meet branding requirements
- under fixed time pressure
A user-centred approach which focused on identifying the customer base and understanding their needs was implemented.
A back-to-front approach was used, defining tests which rejected routes which users could not successfully use in-car, en route. The design of the user experience was further informed by usability where different designs were tested to resolve the easiest experience for users to navigate. The end result was a very simple navigation menu with advanced options appearing further down the page.
- usability testing (service & competitors)
- identification of user requirements
- tender based on ability to meet user & business requirements
- tender based on route performance ahead of commercials
- best usable routing provider chosen
Certain features, such as ‘Map display’ were made dominant as user behaviour illustrated the helpfulness of having a ‘large map’ to quickly gain a sense of location and context.
Users’ needs were of primary importance in the supplier selection process. Some suppliers opted not to bid due to their inability to customise sufficiently. The highest performing suppliers were then invited to submit costs based on comprehensive business & user requirements.
- 328% increase over 48 months with minimal support and investment
- Supplier contract was renegotiated with a discount because volumes exceeded all forecasts
“Journey planner has become the most frequent point of contact we have with our customers”
Business Transformation Director