Qimtek.co.uk rebuild: putting the user and content at the heart of the offer

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Keith Jay
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One of the things we’re keen to do here at Five Mile is to share our professional insight, approaches and experience. A great example is the recent work we did with the Qimtek.co.uk rebuild, which we did from the bottom up.

Whenever we start a site build, we focus on two key things: users and content. These two elements must be at the heart of the emerging site. Why? Because without understanding the user needs your offer will never resonate... and without meaningful content, your user’s experience will never be compelling.

A mobile user looking at phone

Qimtek’s need

Qimtek aims to be the leading UK online sourcing company for suppliers of custom manufacturing parts. The challenge they had was their site was old, unresponsive and not fit for purpose.

Clearly articulating the core offer

Given our approach of putting the user and content first, we didn’t want to focus too early on Qimtek technology solutions. Business objectives help dictate what tech is used, plus the type of team you put around it, but none of this matters until you’ve got your users, their journey and the content right.

Qimtek was no different: Before we started working on their site, they had a confused offer, pointless content and over complicated user paths.

Challenging the assumptions

Qimtek users needed to find things intuitively. That meant we needed to deliver a message that was appropriate for each type of user according to their needs: as a manufacturer this was posting a project and as a supplier this was responding to a project.

Despite our intel and research showing that most users accessed the previous site on a desktop, we argued the case that the new site had to be responsive: Qimtek users needed something that would work on their phone, on the shop floor and on the move. Why? Because the intel we had on user metrics were more likely based on fact that the old site was badly designed.

The reason people weren’t accessing the site on mobile or tablet was probably because the experience on those devices was terrible.

Interpreting the intel intelligently

It was clear we had introduce change: we know people are going to start to use tablets and mobile more and more in the workplace. We wanted to ideally build an interface that would work anywhere, by simplifying it, removing all the clutter and making the user experience (UX) much, much better.

Introducing UX 

A wireframe sketch of Qimtek page

We stripped everything right back and exhaustively wireframed the site. We considered each of the users on each of the wireframes, which in turn covered every single interface step for each of the user types. We ensured the wireframes answered a series of questions:

  • Is the interface intuitive?

  • Does it deliver the same results across all devices and sizes?

  • Why does each page exist, and what does it need to achieve?

  • How does the interface intuitively deliver X, Y or Z for the user?

  • How do we design the interface to encourage the user to do what Qimtek needs them to do - eg, sign up?

  • How does the interface adapt for each role?

  • How does the interface adapt from mobile to desktop?

  • How do we remove as much clutter as possible?

The result 

The Qimtek old website

I’m really proud of how we took bold steps to strip the Qimtek interface from top to bottom… and all the way back. Yes, it’s a radical change. But it’s one that not only we’re happy with, most importantly Qimtek user’s are too.

New Qimtek website built by Five Mile Media

Want to learn more? Then check out the Qimtek Case Study in full

About Keith:

I am owner and Managing Director of Five Mile. I specialise in business strategy as well as creative design, content strategy and user experience. I’m a developer and have been a web designer since 2000.

@fivemile