Co-creating a design tool for the world’s largest collection of modern furniture.
Design Within Reach’s B2B business, DWR Contract, sells large volumes of furniture to architects, designers, and hospitality brands furnishing non-residential spaces. The sheer scale of potential within the product collection, along with the logistics of orders, requires a different lens from consumer-focused retail. Regional sales reps covering large territories were stretched thin from working without a central product inventory or customer relationship management. Likewise, clients were self-servicing by going to 20+ different brands' sites to hunt for information and images. The right tool could elevate the entire design and specification process, making everyone’s job more creative.
Make large feel light.
Architects and interior designers needed a source that sped up finding and sorting all furniture options, as well as "just in time" information for multiple projects at all stages. The lack of centralized resources for shared industry processes suggested workforce technology could support collaboration between clients, sales reps, and the brands they sell.
It’s very hard to do something when you think you already know the answer. Language Dept. is always willing to embrace the question. And I think that’s something that comes from being outside.
former SVP of Marketing, Design Within Reach
Create a tool for the entire design and specification process.
DWRC's key differentiators—industry knowledge and breadth of product—created an opportunity for a bespoke web product that could replace or integrate industry tools. In interviews, we learned from their top clients where time gets lost to research, where they turn for inspiration, and what search criteria is most helpful. We learned the importance of having digital resources easily available to help them get the project, well before the project becomes an order. With sales and operations teams, we mapped the logistical flow from onboarding an account to large scale purchases and deliveries. We then aligned complex product requirements with user needs, and consolidated systems for shared communications.
Merge the best features of ecommerce, design planning, and CRM.
The new DWRC site allows architects, design teams, and sales reps to collaborate throughout the project cycle. Logged-in clients can filter by use, size, style or color; download 3D resource files or swatches for presentations; create their own custom furniture configurations; request options to meet budget or timelines; organize by projects, floors or rooms, and coordinate delivery dates and logistics. For sales reps, the platform transforms what used to be a trail of emails, attachments, tear sheets, and spreadsheets into a visual interface for increased productivity with a single database of product information. The end result is a visual purchase order that gives confidence to all parties.
Mobile first workplace.
Across all industries, the “workplace” is no longer in the office or on a desktop alone. To set a new standard, this web product needed to be completely mobile so designers and reps can search product information on the fly, communicate with clients and collaborators, and track orders in progress.
Build complex UX/UI on a flexible atomic design system.
A modular system of components designed for growth ensures the consistency of the DWRC brand language across a growing product catalog. Lines and planes of color give order to space, and heroed product silos create sustainable unification of 20+ global brands. This nimble design system creates a scalable infrastructure that can adapt and evolve with future business needs.
- Stakeholder Interviews & Workshops
- Audience & Landscape Research
- Art Direction
- User Experience
- Web & Mobile Design
- Storytelling Strategy
- Jenn Cash, Strategy & Creative Direction
- Jesse Lankford, UX and Visual Design
- Jenna Park, Creative Strategy & Visual Design
- Tanya Quick, Strategy & Creative Direction
- Niquita Taliaferro, UX & Visual Design
- DWR Digital Marketing and Operations Teams
- DWR Contract Reps
- Xngage, building on Insite