Repositioning an established business

UX, Personas, Information Architecture, Wireframing,

Server installation
Server installation


The client was a long established business that originally started in the '90s from the owners spare room supplying computer and networking hardware to businesses. Sales were predominantly by recommendation but also through a catalogue and more recently the web site with Google Adwords and LiveChat seen as good sales tools.

The problem

Transition from hardware wholesaler on razor thin margins to an expert solutions provider, educating and upselling to their customer base.

The company had built up into a large SME with their own warehouses and sales teams so business was good. However with the advent of Amazon and other online retailers the business of hardware wholesaler on razor thin margins wasn’t sustainable in a meaningful way.

They realised over time that for a few clients they had found a niche as an expert services provider so instead of just supplying commodity hardware they had been asked to supply and install custom telephony systems and network infrastructure adding value to the client relationships they had as well as offering support and warranty packages after sales.

The marketing department were in the process of updating their messaging to reflect the change in direction to both existing and new clients but the web site still acted as a portal to a catalogue of hardware parts.

What we did

Discovery workshop

Following a couple of initial meetings with the project stakeholders we started with a discovery workshop with staff and the company owner, Helpfully the client had already drawn up the existing website structure and created Personas for their existing client base which gave direction for discussion in the session.

We looked at the customer Personas and asked the staff which they would like to prioritise going forward.

We asked participants to write up needs for the Customers, Business and Company systems collating them in groups on a wall for discussion. After this we ran a MoSCoW session to prioritise the Must have, Should have, Could have, and Won't have’s of the project. Based on that exercise and the discussions surrounding we created a revised direction for the content and structure of the new web site started to unfold.

Information architecture

I diagrammed the proposed new IA for the site based upon the themes that came from the session which was iterated upon a number of times following discussions with stakeholders.

Proposed information architecture
Proposed information architecture after several iterations with the client

Clickable wireframes

I then created rough wireframes in Axure to show stakeholders how with the creation of the right structured content we could support the new direction of the company, informing visitors of the offerings and directing them through the corresponding funnel whether it be infrastructure supply and fit, a support package or hardware purchase.

The outcome from the team included;

  • Refreshed logo to modernise their brand (not shown)
  • Redesigned web site that looked much more enticing to customers than the previous ‘catalogue listing’ one
  • Content structure reimagined to support the marketing teams new direction
  • New content management system (CMS) with the catalogue of thousands of hardware products imported across from the legacy system
  • Integration with their existing Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) and Analytics packages
  • ‘LiveChat’ retained as performed well for sales leads