Aerial view of a suburb
Aerial view of a suburb
Australian Reinforcing Company

Inspiring digital innovation in contruction and steel reinforcing industry

Category: B2BDesign SprintEcommerceTechnology
Scope of work: Design SprintDesign Strategy & ConsultationUser ResearchUX DesignPrototypingTesting & Validation
Product: ARC Mobile App
Tradesman working
The Australian Reinforcing Company (ARC) reached out to Relab to assist with User Research, Prototyping and Design Strategy.

ARC is one of Australia’s leading manufacturers and suppliers of steel reinforcing products with facilities throughout Australia, supported by a comprehensive network of retail and service outlets in both metropolitan and regional locations.

The user needs

Upon running a series of market segmentation research against their core customers - concreters, builders and general trades - ARC had identfied that there is a great opportunity on their residential customer segment, typically a small operator concreter/builder.

As part the facilitation, we helped ARC in developing a key user persona. Named ‘Ned’, he is a solo concreter who has a short term focus, busy in the job and needs a tool simple enough that won’t take him too much time to fiddle with. Like most B2B trade customers, Ned is likely an existing ARC customer who values his relationship with his local branch manager. Ned sees the value in having an online portal simply for the purposes of speed, efficiency and transparency on his orders.

The business needs

The Australian Reinforcing Company is set to provide a point of difference to their core group of customers in the residential sector by servicing them more efficiently through a mobile application, that strategically can help the business improve revenue and margins.

The goal was simple – to be the market leader with a more responsive & transparent product/service offer through a user-friendly mobile app. The business believes that simplicity and familiarity will do it’s job that ultimately will bring results to the bottomline.

In order to successfully do this, a vision needed to be created. A proof of concept where the customers get to validate what they need (and don’t need). This is where the team at Relab came into the picture, to help accelerate the process in finding the balance between business goals and customer needs, in a form of a high-fidelity mobile app prototype.

Our approach
The 5-Day Design Sprint process enabled us to help frame the business challenge and come up with a solution quickly, while getting buy-in from key stakeholders.

The first day of the process took the team through a series of exercises all focusing on mapping the problem and deciding on the key focus of the Sprint. On day two, the team brainstormed and came up with lo-fi idea sketches. Day three was a decision making day, where the team and stakeholders voted for a winning idea, which lead to day four - the prototyping day. We created a mobile app ‘facade’ that is real enough to test the idea in day 5, where we invited ARC’s target customers to give us feedback and validate the business’ ideas. The process was intense, extremely productive and insightful.

Man placing sticky notes on a wall
Day 01
Map & decide on target

On Day 1, we gathered teams and stakeholders to align ourselves and together decide on the most important objectives of the Sprint week, relative to the top user goals.

Sketched user flows and an image of two people writing on paper
Day 02
Sketch for ideas

Day 2 is all about sharing inspirations and coming up with ideas. The Sprint team sketched their unique thinking individually, that will be presented to the rest of the team the next day.

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Paper sketches with red voting dots
Day 03
Make decisions & storyboard

A winning concept is selected, which will be expanded further into a product design blueprint, known as the Storyboard.

Mobile app screens and someone designing on a laptop
Day 04
Prototype & trial run

With a solid Storyboard on hand, the design team works on a product façade that looks and feels like a real mobile app. This is called a high fidelity prototype.

App screen and image of woman with a quote caption: "Oh my god, I would use this heaps."
Day 05
Test, note & plot next steps

Relevant customers are invited for a facilitated user interview session. By going through specific scenarios in the prototype, these users help the business validate critical questions around the idea.

High value, low risk investment

Invaluable opportunity to innovate and re-imagine the customer journey at low investment risks

Get customer feedback early

Real customer feedback gathered early in the product design & development stage

Alignment like never before

Collaborative co-design process involving key stakeholders, that aligns perspectives on business priorities

Relab's Design Sprint process was insightful, effective and enjoyable. We could not have facilitated this outcome without their expertise. Overall I was really impressed with the level of service from Relab and consideration for our business' and customer's needs.
Maral TecerNational Marketing and Innovation Manager, The Australian Reinforcing Company

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