The better way to buy design
The Design Business Association needed to find alternative income streams and identified a business opportunity in creating a Design Directory.
Prospect developed the Design Directory from the ground up. The solution was not to create a Rolodex of design firms, but deliver an online tool that would provide businesses the necessary intelligence to assess agencies in the pre-qualification questionnaire (PQQ) process.
The Prospect solution, which officially launched in May 2011, has received glowing reviews from the design industry and from commissioning agencies and is on its way to changing the UK design services procurement landscape.
The Design Business Association promotes professional excellence in design throughout the UK, by enabling productive partnerships between commerce and the design industry. As an organisation primarily reliant on membership fees for income, the DBA needed to find alternative income streams to broaden its income base. It identified a need for a Design Directory that would enable businesses to easily access and qualify design firms and realised there may be revenue opportunity through the provision of the Directory. The challenge was to design and develop the Directory in the most effective way to engage both business and agency audiences.
Prospect was commissioned to develop the Design Directory from the ground up. The solution was not to create a Rolodex of design firms, but deliver an online tool that would provide businesses with the necessary intelligence to assess agencies in the PQQ (pre-qualification questionnaire) process, as well as access critical information on best practices in design buying. This benefitted both sides, by giving businesses access to a listing of agencies that were already PQQ approved and design companies the ability to present their credentials (and confidential information) to prospective clients in a secure, online forum.
The Directory was divided into three levels, with all visitors able to view Level 1, displaying design agency capabilities, sectors and some visuals. Level 2, which is password protected, provides in-depth case studies and more sensitive financial information, while Level 3 is the deepest, and gives logged-in clients the opportunity to download agency business and policy documentation.
The Prospect designed Directory was launched at an industry-wide event in May 2011. It has already received glowing reviews from the design industry and from commissioning agencies. The Directory has been endorsed by both the Institute of Directors and the Marketing Society and is on its way to changing the UK design services procurement landscape.
We were looking for a group with strong capabilities in user-centred online development and found our agency in Prospect. We were really impressed with their working processes and are very happy with the outcome.
Adam Fennelow, Director of Development , Design Business Association
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Two clear paths access the Directory, one for commissioning businesses, one for design agencies.
Commissioning businesses select their criteria on the search page
A list of potential agencies is returned that fits the criteria
The agency page features details on specific projects
Case study page
Projects can easily be viewed in greater detail