Design Consortium

Building leadership through collaboration

Willmott Dixon commissioned Liven Creative to help establish The Design Consortium, an online space that would promote and nurture more collaborative relationships with a roster of trusted supply chain partners.

The aim was to bring like-minded companies, from across the spectrum of built environment disciplines, together in one place – enabling all participants to work together more effectively and efficiently. The forum had to encourage participation and provide all partners with a sense of ownership and belonging.

Liven Creative facilitated workshops with all key partners to ascertain collective aspirations for the new website’s content and functionality. Core requirements included: designated landing pages through which each partner could promote their services; a ‘shared pipeline’ area where participants could post new opportunities or respond via an Expression of Interest form; a forum to discuss pertinent issues and share best practices; and a resource library to aid training.

To build consensus around the site’s scope, architecture and technical specification, Liven first created a detailed sitemap to show all parties how the website should be organised. A coherent sitemap also helps to streamline content and avoid duplication.

We then expanded the sitemap into a click-through wireframe prototype. Wireframes allow the design team to explore how to best match functionality with defined user journeys – making the experience as intuitive and efficient as possible. How do partners log in, update their pages and respond to pipeline announcements with expressions of interest? How would Willmott Dixon be notified of partner activity?

Large images, clear titles and bold introductions help all users to navigate and engage with the site with almost instant fluency. Liven Creative also facilitated an on-boarding process for all participants to make sure all members of The Design Consortium could undertake the various possible activities ‘right first time’.

Built on the popular WordPress CMS, the website contained a host of bespoke functionality. A highlight included the development of ‘intelligent’ buttons. These play a vital role in managing Expressions of Interest from partners in the Pipeline area of the website. Buttons are ‘status dependent’, so they automatically change in colour and wording depending upon a previous interaction.

This functionality allows the Willmott Dixon team to ascertain if consortium members have read or ignored a pipeline opportunity at a glance. Similarly, partners can see if their expressions of interest are ‘Under review’, ‘Declined’ or ‘Approved’, all by just scrolling down a page. Automatic email notifications also help keep all parties up to date with the status of active opportunities and submissions.

The Design Consortium portal has proven easy to use and fully scalable. It allows Willmott Dixon and all participants to collaborate more efficiently and effectively in commercial opportunities that make a real difference to their financial bottom line – all while sharing best practices and benefiting from collective experience

Need a secure multi-user website? Looking to build enterprise-level technology that streamlines traditional bureaucracy into a seamless online experience? Let’s talk. Call Liven Creative on 01483 331 250 or email