We create human-first digital products

We believe in delivering human-first digital products which move the world forward.

We’ve spent the last 10 years building digital products. We believe that ideas need validation, nurturing and strategy and the best way to help our clients is to share our experience. With every project we deep-dive into your business and ambitions to consider different creative approaches. We achieve this through workshops, research, design and real-world testing.

We believe collaboration brings the best in all of us. Transparency is at the heart of everything we do and every challenge we face is an opportunity to learn and make an impact, together.

We can help you:

  • Build your digital product from the ground up
  • Reimagine your business through digital design
  • Refine and maximise the value of your existing digital product
  • Help your brand innovate, rapidly

We’ve built and nurtured a team of some of the most talented minds in the industry and together we can help you with:

  • UX Audit
  • Product & Digital Strategy
  • Ideation, Wireframing & Prototyping
  • UX, Visual design & Design Systems
  • Monetisation Strategies
  • Full-stack Development
  • React, React Native & PHP Development
  • Usability Testing

Got a product idea or looking for innovation?

 
$25,000+
 
$100 - $149 / hr
 
10 - 49
 Founded
2007
Show all +
London, United Kingdom
headquarters
other locations
  • Despark
    11 Georgi Benkovski St
    Sofia 1000
    Bulgaria

Portfolio

Key clients: 

Vodafone, Associated Press, Best Beginnings, BNP Paribas, ExterionMedia, StepJockey, King's College London, XenZone, Reading Friends, Postbank, Vercida, Roo'bar

Vercida

As this project had great potential, we took the approach of delivering core and essential features first as an MVP that focused on a build-measure-learn feedback loop for future enhancements to the platform. Once the MVP was established, we gathered recommendations to roadmap all current features including enhancing usability, design, user experience, accessibility and convenience for all members.

Read the full case study at https://despark.com/work/vercida

Almentor

The Almentor platform is vast with many complex features and two very unique user groups. The focus of our work was to understand each user and define their user journeys within each part of the platform through workshops and research to ensure that all feature design had a purpose and ultimately would be useful to the end user.

To demonstrate our findings and ideas, we created wireframes and clickable prototypes of the application. This allowed us to bring the platform to life and test our ideas from a user experience perspective. Working alongside Almentor, we then designed the Graphical User Interface (GUI) for the app as fully responsive desktop and mobile versions including versions for Android & iOS.

Read the full case study at https://despark.com/work/almentor

Kooth

The problem we wanted to collaboratively solve with Kooth was to provide young people with an anonymous, safe and friendly way to talk to someone, anywhere. We began by reviewing all existing documentation and analysis, as well as holding stakeholder interviews to understand the real challenges being experienced with the current platform and service. We also covered some of the technical capacities and challenges. We used the results to define the end product, prioritise features and to develop user stories. Considering the audience and sensitive nature of the service, usability and consideration for the counselling experience were paramount to the product success. The user journey was designed to encourage users to seek support at any time so even when the online counselors are unavailable late at night, Kooth serves up advice and support for the user.

Read the full case study at https://despark.com/work/kooth-from-xenzone

Baby Buddy

More than 95,000 unique users have downloaded Baby Buddy and it has received endorsements from some of the largest healthcare organisations across the UK. Not to mention Alison Baum the founder and CEO has been awarded an OBE.

Baby Buddy has also received health specific awards at the inaugural AXA PPP “Health Tech & You” and RCM Awards. “Best online resource for mums and mums to be”. Most recently Baby Buddy won the digital industry's prestigious BIMA award for the Well-Being & Health category and 'Digital & Technology' category at The Guardian's Public Awards.

Surveys conducted found that Baby Buddy helped more than 80% of users learn more about pregnancy and almost a 100% of parents felt it helped them to look after their own health with a quarter reporting a significant health impact.

Read the full case study at https://despark.com/work/baby-buddy

StepJockey

By exploring how the current users engaged with the app, and by running in-depth customer user testing interviews, we could redesign a more intuitive user experience and define a simpler navigation. Based on this feedback, we introduced some new features to push the app to the next level. This redesign led to a 97% uplift in stair usage.

Read the full case study at https://despark.com/work/stepjockey

Reviews

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Web App Dev for Nurse Staffing Technology

"They've done a great job making the web app simple and easy to use."

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Mar. 2018 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

From wireframes to scope to deployment, Despark is developing and designing a custom web application for temporary nurse staffing. Key features include a compliance process and hospital integration.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
London, United Kingdom
Co-Founder, Altrix
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The MVP, which is ready to launch, has received positive feedback from key stakeholders. Despark keeps the process moving and on budget while guiding the project through the entire development cycle. Communication can be stifled by distance, but efficiency and quality of work generally win the day.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m a co-founder of Altrix, a web-based marketplace for temporary nurse staffing in the UK’s National Health Service (NHS).

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Despark?

A massive staffing challenge in the NHS has led them to spend £3.5 billion on temporary nurse recruitment in 2016–2017, of which £400 million was fees to recruiters. Our goal is to increase efficiency — and save the NHS money — by automating and digitizing the temporary staffing recruitment process. We needed a partner with the technology expertise and capability to help us build a web application.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Despark is designing and developing a recruitment web app that's scalable and optimized for mobile. It enables nurses to work through the compliance process with us and then they be listed as available to book shifts. Hospitals can also publish their staffing needs on the web app.

They took our conceptual idea and translated it into documented user requirements. Leading the project through the development cycle, they provided the scope and wireframes, as well as developing an end-to-end solution. The minimum viable product (MVP) is complete, and ready to go live early next month with our first hospital. Then they will do enhancements based on any issues that come up from the go-live process.

What is the team composition?

We engage with three people on a day to day basis. There's another 4–5 people working on graphic design and customer engagement.

How did you come to work with Despark?

My co-founder met their CEO when we were looking to build this product. We looked at several other companies, and they came out on top. We thought they’d be a good fit because they could meet our timeline and work within our budget. We also looked at examples of their previous work and liked what they could deliver.

What is the status of this engagement?

The main scope of work began in March 2018 and the engagement is ongoing. They mocked up wireframes for us to take to potential investors in December 2017, but work on the MVP didn’t start until the spring. The web application is the first planned phase of the project. Once it’s launched, Despark will develop an iOS and Android mobile app.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

The feedback has been very positive. They've done a great job making the web app simple and easy to use. We've tested it with nurses and hospitals, and they’re pleased with the platform. The real test will be when we go live in a couple of weeks.

How did Despark perform from a project management standpoint?

Their team is strong on project management. They really led the whole process. We had a lot to learn because we haven't built something like this before. We've gone over to Bulgaria twice, and we've had a handful of face-to-face meetings here in London. The bulk of our communication is Skype and phone calls.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They've really taken our team on a journey. We had an idea that we wanted to do, but no real way of knowing how to achieve it. They've helped us with all facets of the project from start to finish. It’s impressive to find a partner that can scope out what an idea might look like, as well as designing, building, and deploying the app.

Are there any areas they could improve?

Project elements can sometimes get over complicated working with the remote team. I'm old fashioned, and believe that face-to-face conversations can cut through those kinds of complexities quicker. It’s a tradeoff. We chose the low cost option based in Bulgaria as opposed to a London-based team.

4.5
Overall Score There's always things that can be done better.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They did a very good job meeting deadlines.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I’d definitely recommend them.

UX Design for Startup Bank

“Their flexibility and willingness to do a great job made them stand out.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Nov. 2017 - Jan. 2018
Project summary: 

Despark designed wireframes and clickable prototypes of the UX for Android and iOS applications for a bank. They arranged testing with clients to refine the build and helped design the app’s features.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
London, United Kingdom
Jonathan Corner
Insight & Strategy Director, GKBK
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Despark’s work garnered positive feedback from key constituents, particularly their clickable prototypes. Their work brought ideas to life and laid the groundwork for the future of the apps. They quickly understood the work at hand and delivered it swiftly and affordably.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the insight and strategy director of GKBK, a startup bank which is looking to launch into the digital retail market.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Despark?

We had a concept that aligned well with customer needs, and we wanted to make a first iteration of the user experience of the mobile app. We wanted to map out all the features of the user experience and also test it with customers in order to refine and shape it.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Despark brought our vision to life in terms of wireframes and UX. They produced clickable prototypes with the wireframes so we could test the product with our target audience. The UX work was done for both Android and iOS apps. They also worked on web journeys, but the focus was on the mobile app.

We worked through every journey in the app. We designed a total of 150 screens, the vast majority of the app’s features and functionalities. This set the foundation for moving to the design phase.

They worked collaboratively with our team to do user testing with the wireframes and clickable prototypes. We put those in front of target users and had them complete the key journeys. We also looked at some of the key features to understand what needed refining. They organized and led those research sessions with clients.

I will use them again when we come to the UI and turn the UX into high-fidelity interfaces.

What is the team composition?

I’ve primarily worked with their CSO who acted as the liaison for the team.

How did you come to work with Despark?

I found a website that offered reviews for UX agencies and gave information on each one’s size and specialization. I spoke to a few people from different agencies, and Despark impressed me from the start. We asked them for a proposal and ended up selecting them for their UX expertise and specialist support on UX design.

How much have you invested with them?

The cost of their work was £35,000 ($46,475 USD), which was a great value for what we got.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with Despark in November 2017 and finished in January 2018.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

Our team and board were very impressed with the wireframes, particularly with the clickable prototypes. Seeing those prototypes helped bring the proposition to life for the internal team. These wireframes and clickable prototypes are invaluable for moving forward.

They started with a good understanding of our vision and translated it back to the team. They came up with wireframes and journeys that brought the product to life. They only needed to do one or two iterations before we got to the point of being happy with them. They were able to do a lot in a short time, which I was most impressed with.

How did Despark perform from a project management standpoint?

They were there when they said they would be, and took care of everything. They kept me well-informed of what would be happening and when, and things happened on time. It was a painless experience. Despark went above and beyond. We got more screens than initially discussed, and they were reasonable in this regard. Some of those screens were obviously simple repetitions with only minor tweaks. There was no debate or argument around this, just a common sense approach. They delivered everything effortlessly.

We used a number of tools for communication including Basecamp, which they shared with us. We also used email and InVision, and a lot of the work was done face-to-face. Their CSO collocated with us for just over three weeks.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Their flexibility and willingness to do a great job made them stand out. Value for money and speed were also great. I will use them again.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I have PDF journeys of the outputs and user experience flows, but it would have been helpful to have them in a more easily exportable format. We have to use InVision to follow the user journey and pull out separate screens to create it ourselves.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

UX/UI for E-Learning Platform

“We were wise to choose them.”

Quality: 
4.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Jan. - May 2017
Project summary: 

Despark started by assisting in strategizing on the business model. Then, they designed and executed the UI/UX for an e-learning platform. They continue to refine the work.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Dubai, UAE
Ihab Fikry
CEO, Almentor
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Despark delivered the work as planned, but with an even nicer format. Although their rates are higher than their competitors, their high-quality work makes their rates worthwhile. They excel in project management, offering flexibility and professionalism with shifts in scope.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the CEO of Almentor.net, an online video marketplace for e-learning and development.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Despark?

We had a new initiative to build a high-quality, video-based digital learning platform. The major challenge was to make sure that the user experience would not be overly sophisticated and that it would be easy to use. We needed to focus on promoting self-education.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

The first six weeks were consumed with planning and discussing the business model. We approached the business model together, which was not very mature in our heads at the time. We started the project 16 months before our launch, so Despark helped us a lot in challenging our business model.

Despark was in charge of the UI/UX design for our responsive web platform. The UX part was challenging in the beginning, but the UI work went flawlessly after that. We agreed on a color scheme of black, red, and white. We haven’t executed the mobile application yet.

What is the team composition?

I worked with five members of their team, mainly with the project manager and the COO of the company.

How did you come to work with Despark?

I received a referral from a good friend who’d had a good experience with Despark. We talked to several vendors and found a synergy and chemistry with Despark.

How much have you invested with them?

I don’t recall the exact cost. The cost was relatively high compared with the average prices in this part of the world. On the other hand, we were wise to choose them. We knew that the quality would be better, and this is what we received. It was a wise decision to choose Despark even though it cost 20–25% more than other vendors.

What is the status of this engagement?

We worked with Despark from January–May 2017.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

Our decision to go with them paid off. They delivered what they promised and what we thought would be best practices. They helped us create a nicer format than we’d imagined.

We have changed 10–15% of the overall UX based on the feedback from a three-month beta phase. We have learned a lot about the learners in our market, and we continue to make changes and upgrade the experience.

How did Despark perform from a project management standpoint?

This is their area of strength and what I like about them. They use tools for project management and ad hoc requests. They provide periodic reports on a monthly and weekly basis for all levels, not only technical work. They provide reports for contractual and financial matters as well. We communicate via phone and email, and three of their members visited our office in Dubai.

It was a push and pull process. We had ad hoc requests at times. We came up with ideas and had urgent meetings to discuss them. We changed our plan, and they showed a lot of flexibility in calculating the workload and listing extra costs. It was handled in a professional manner.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They’re all pleasant people.

Are there any areas they could improve?

They might need representation nearer to our location.

4.0
Overall Score
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 4.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

App Dev for Mountain Resort Users

"Despark is flexible in helping us strategize."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Dec. 2016 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Despark supports the development of a transactional platform for ski services, mapping the product and customer journey and creating a mobile interface and backend for iOS and Android. 

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
London, United Kingdom
Founder, MYDAHU
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Through Despark’s systematic approach, the app has met technical and business objectives consistently. The team’s scalable structure, insightful direction, reasonable price point, and likable resources continue to add value. 

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the founder and lead shareholder of a company that provides an on-demand application for services in ski areas across Europe. The company is made up of myself, 2 investors, and a brand manager. 

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Despark?

We were looking for a third-party to help us develop our transactional platform, including its mobile interface and backend. 

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Despark helped us map out our product and customer journey, from the user interface and backend to wireframing and functionality. Once this was completed, they also helped us develop our promotional website. We plan to use Despark to develop our entire system but haven’t started the process. They are developing our app for iOS and Android. It’s an on-demand services app, with features like creating profiles, transacting and creating bookings, and providing customer ratings and experience feedback. Most people will be interacting with the service through tablets or phones while on vacation.

How did you come to work with Despark?

I interviewed a bunch of developers in the U.K. Despark had a good full-service product, and I liked their team, so we started the collaboration.

How much have you invested with them?

It’s hard to comment without an end-product. Depending on the approach, we can have a wide range of prices, but the value-add is framing the concept and making sure that the solution makes sense.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with Despark around December 2016. The project is ongoing. 

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

I can’t comment on the actual backend code, but Despark has a systematic approach to the work.

How did Despark perform from a project management standpoint?

They’re quite good in this respect. We are approaching the project from the business side, and don’t have a background in development. We know the industry and the business model but are not familiar with building the actual technology. Despark has been a great coach, discussing what was and wasn’t important at each stage. When developing something, we can do everything or only attempt a few things. Despark has been adept and helping us think through the process.

We use Basecamp for managing the workspace. The team is comprised of 6–10 people. Different work streams are managed by the people responsible for them. I’ve generally worked with one member of Despark’s team on the marketing side, and another for UI or UX. They provide great senior level attention and are easy to work with. 

What did you find most impressive about them?

Despark has a U.K. presence, but they’re in Bulgaria, so the development costs are lower. They’re good at helping us think through our options for spending the budget. This is ultimately a CapEx investment. We know what the product needs to be, but there are obviously features we want and others we don’t want. Despark is flexible in helping us strategize.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I haven’t seen the end-product, but they’ve been a good partner thus far, and I don’t have anything negative to say about them. 

5.0
Overall Score I like the team, and they’re good at their job.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They hit their deadlines, but we haven’t really gotten into the heavy lifting yet.
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    Based on what we’re spending and how we’ve budgeted, I believe we’ll get what we want.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    All of the work has been excellent.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    Despark is a good service provider. The only thing I want to benchmark them against is cost.

iOS & Android Dev for Expectant Mother Health Info

“Despark’s team is strategic, approachable, flexible, and responsive.”

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
Dec. 2014 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Despark developed iOS and Android versions of a healthcare information app for parents. Several iterations incorporated user feedback, including developing of user avatars and refining the look of the app.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
London, United Kingdom
Shabira Papain
Deputy CEO, Best Beginnings
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Despark are flexible and strategic collaborators, providing clarity in their communication and taking responsive action to feedback. The award-winning app is now downloaded over 1000 times per week, and is well-received by its user base who praise its attractive design.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

We’re a UK-based charity focused on child health and equality that creates digital resources to support parents for better health outcomes. 

I am the deputy CEO and oversee all our operations. I am the lead for our work with Despark on a day-to-day basis, managing the project along with their project manager.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Despark?

We needed to create an app for public health information. It’s a guide for moms-to-be that tailors the information it provides for each user, depending on the stage they are at in their pregnancy. In the UK, those who are most at risk of poor maternity outcomes are the people who miss appointments and don’t have access to information. The app is built to help those people.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We worked with Despark to develop our iOS and Android apps. We had a spec, from which Despark created wireframes and we worked through multiple iterations.

The app they created has several main features. Users register their information on the apps to help guide them through the antenatal and postnatal journey. It syncs with a user's calendar to include appointments. There are also features for users to log questions they need to remember to ask their doctor, and the option to ask the app the question and receive answers in text and video content. 

After the apps’ first iteration, we had teenage moms review it. They wanted something more personal and attractive, so we came up with the idea of having an avatar. One of the beautiful things which Despark’s designers did was to create these personalized avatars. 

How did you come to work with Despark?

Previously, we created DVD film content, then we won grant money to create a maternity app. We put out a tender, which included a large, 100-page spec, and shortlisted 3 different companies. Out of those, Despark won.

How much have you invested with them?

Our current retainer with Despark is almost £100,000 [$130,000] per year. It was more when we were doing active development work, ranging in the hundreds of thousands.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with Despark around 2012, and the app officially launched in November 2014. 

We’re trying to get funding to develop the next version of the app. Despark has done some discovery work, but currently, we don’t have the finances to bring it to life. They know we're trying to find investment, and asked for a meeting to determine how they could help us win the tender and retain our users.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

We keep track of our metrics through a training process and integration into care pathways and community networks. Currently, we have 1,200 to 1,300 downloads per week.

We also receive user feedback on a weekly basis, through the built-in function. People have found the app easy to use and engaging. We received some comments that the functionalities need to increase. When the app was created three years ago we had different expectations than now, this is why we want to build the next version. 

Generally speaking, however, the app was well-received. People love the avatars and the app’s look. It’s beautiful and engaging. Despark loved hearing about the impact we are having, and together we applied for industry awards, many of which we won.

How did Despark perform from a project management standpoint?

I meet Despark’s CEO every month in the UK. If he is unavailable, we will have a telephone or Skype conversation. We have weekly scrums between our project manager and theirs, in order to set the work program. We have a part-time project manager and a full-time backend developer on their team.

On a personal level, I really enjoy working with them. Despark’s team is strategic, approachable, flexible, and responsive. We aren't always easy to work with, as we’ve gone through lots of changes, but Despark did incredibly well in helping us grow our vision into a reality. 

Overall, Despark is wonderful to work with. I am a complete tech novice, and they’ve explained information in layman’s terms. In their communication with us, they have supported our ability to make good decisions.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Their discovery phase was reflective and user-focused. I haven’t worked with other developers, so I don’t know what other people do, but it was a collaborative process.

Despark’s designers are incredible. I look at competitor apps regularly and haven’t seen anything that came close to ours, which has an elegance to it.

Are there any areas they could improve?

We had a bumpy patch, where communication was lacking on both sides. This improved and we adopted the system of regular conversations a year ago, when I came onboard. Despark were always willing to improve and were reflective of their practice. They're the kind of company which will work with the client to fix something that isn’t working

4.5
Overall Score If you want to develop a great product and get the best out of your vision, they will help it come alive.
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They are creative, responsive, imaginative, and open.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Web Dev for Internet Job Site

"Despark did a good job, and I’m happy with the results."

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
3.5
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
June 2016 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Despark created a new website from scratch by combining 2 career platforms into a diversity-focused bespoke solution. After designing UX personalization and branding elements, they now manage enhancements. 

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Twickenham, England
CEO, Vercida
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The freshly launched platform has boosted organic traffic and prompted users to spend 2 minutes longer browsing the site, on average. Despark’s humanitarian emphasis, fair pricing, and ability to handle a hefty scope continue to add value.  

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the CEO of Vercida.com. 

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Despark?

We were trying to combine 2 websites into 1—a careers website and a WordPress site, both of which had different functionalities. We needed to merge those sites into a bespoke solution that met our needs.

The first site was DiversityJobs.co.uk, which is a job board, while TheBigIdea.co.uk is an employer value proposition and showcase site. They both had different functionalities; the showcase site was able to present companies as employers of choice, based on their diversity and equality information. In order to give users a much better experience and not make them traverse from 1 URL to another, we wanted to combine those 2 sites into a bespoke product.

The challenge was that nobody had done this before in our industry, so the coding needed to be done from scratch, as we couldn’t go out and buy a white-label product. 

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

The website was coded using several products and programming languages, without a ready-made CMS like WordPress. We wanted the website to present engaging content to users based on their reading habits. If, for example, a mother or father was returning to work after parental leave, once that person started reading articles based on interest around employers, the site would start presenting more relevant content to that individual. The site configures itself, personalizing each user’s experience.

Another important feature was merging the diversity and equality needs of the employer into their resourcing or recruiting needs. In order to do this, we placed the diversity information at the center of job descriptions, so that users would consume that content when reading the descriptions. The content became personalized to that individual and changed their perception. Despark did this beautifully.

We had already done research using our previous site, so we were clear in our brief. The UX was designed by Despark, who also worked on our branding and font. We knew what name we wanted and had some presentation ideas. They nailed it by giving us many different examples of how the site could look and letting us choose a design.

We thought that Despark had bitten off more than they could chew with this project, but they’ve actually come up with the goods, even though the process took a bit longer than expected.

What is the team dynamic?

At its peak, 8–9 people were assigned to our team.

How did you come to work with Despark?

They were sharing an office in the U.K. with a company that we’d used to develop our previous site. That company explained that this project was too big for them, so they steered us towards Despark.

How much have you invested with them?

The final figures will be between $90,000 to $110,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with Despark in June 2016. The site is a perpetual work in progress. 

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

Although the site’s live, we’re trying to integrate with a few external providers, so we’re not going to start traffic-driving until next week, when DiversityJobs.co.uk will be switched off. In terms of the organic traffic finding its way to our site, users are spending 2 minutes longer on the new site than on the previous site. There is a lot more stickiness to this new product.

How did Despark perform from a project management standpoint?

The relationship was great to begin with, a bit muddled in the middle, and fantastic at the end. Despark visited our office, and we went to them a few times. We initially met in their Covent Garden office in London for the sales process. We have used everything from Skype to Basecamp and Google Hangouts to coordinate.

What did you find most impressive about them?

We noticed that the previous sites Despark had worked on were humanitarian-based, including an app for a company that helps women and babies. They had the right feel in terms of ethics, and we didn’t see Despark as a money-grabbing agency purely out for personal gain. They cared about what was going to be delivered to the world, which matched our own operation and goals.

Are there any areas they could improve?

This is a difficult question because we don’t have a means of comparison. Despark handled the work well, and their CEO is a fair negotiator. The time of build could have been estimated better at the beginning, but this ultimately cost them, not us. We worked on a fixed fee, and Despark delivered for that fee. Despark did a good job, and I’m happy with the results. 

4.5
Overall Score
  • 3.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    We needed a website that was highly accessible and met the legislative requirements for interaction with people with disabilities. If Despark had a better understanding of this focus, the work would’ve gone faster.
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    We paid a fair price for what we got.
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    Despark delivered what we asked for and more.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer