Yellow Book

Setting excellence as a minimum standard

Founded in 1852, Willmott Dixon is the UK’s largest privately-owned contracting and fit-out group. Their purpose is to deliver brilliant buildings, transform lives, strengthen communities and enhance the environment, so our world is fit for future generations.

Willmott Dixon realised that to achieve these aims, they needed to raise their game in terms of efficiency and quality – and keep it raised. The solution is an online space known as ‘The Yellow Book’, two websites accessible from a single landing page. The Yellow Book: Design is a manual for efficient digital design and procurement, while The Yellow Book: Build is a guide for workmanship and installation.

Liven Creative led a series of round-table discussions with Willmott Dixon colleagues and partner businesses to determine core functionality for the new websites. High priority requirements included: secure login; an architecture flexible enough to accommodate new content; a favourites library; and built-in analytics supported by an easy-to-understand dashboard so that the Willmott Dixon team could gain actionable insight into usage and content metrics.

The design phase commenced with a detailed sitemap to organise content into a navigable architecture. Next, we built a click-through wireframe prototype to explore options for layout and functionality and create an optimum user experience.

The design team organised most content into an underlying three-column grid: the first column for descriptors and titles, the second column for the main content, the third reserved for recommendations and key supplier contact details. This consistency of layout aids familiarity and expedites user access to the content they require.

We future proofed wayfinding against content expansion by building a sticky navigation bar with mega menu functionality. We also incorporated a breadcrumb trail so that, however deep into a content area a user goes, they can always understand where they are and the route they have taken to get there.

Liven Creative made sure that the design of the new site honoured the letter and spirit of Willmott Dixon’s visual identity guidelines, sharing a primary colour palette, typefaces and an uncluttered approach to layout. To improve the user experience further, we introduced a specific range of colours to consistently highlight different elements of content such as quality alerts, strategic partners, external links, and mandatory instructions.

Rather than limiting creativity, Willmott Dixon acknowledges that the project now helps design and installation teams to focus their attention on delivering imaginative solutions that astonish their customers.

Over the last 12 months, user logins have increased by over 300%, and over 25,000 unique visits resulted in over 180,000 individual page views across the two sites. The construction industry has widely accepted The Yellow Book as the definitive standards guide when undertaking Willmott Dixon projects. The analytics prove that it is increasingly being used by all 14 of Willmott Dixon’s local company offices and throughout their trusted supply chain.

Any questions, or if you would like to discuss a similar project, please get in touch with Liven Creative on 01483 331250 or email:

Kind words

We continue to partner closely with Liven Creative across the business. They are astute, creative and always ready to respond to the challenges we face with well thought out ideas and innovative solutions that help us drive our business forward.

Emma White, Strategic Communications Manager, Willmott Dixon