Waving the flag
In 2009 a company previously acting as a distributor for other people’s products made a bold decision to design and develop their own. In 2014, the same company along with LA Design were awarded a highly sought after Gold DBA Design Effectiveness Award due to the important positive impact design had made on their business.
A Design was selected to handle the physical design along with the user experience aspects and Briton EMS to develop the wireless electronics. Timing wasn’t great and in the words of Jeff Pettit, ‘The UK entered a major recession when the project started and money was tight. However, the new flag system has changed our business philosophy and provided a platform for an exciting future’.
A+H International supplied professional and semi-professional equipment for referees in the UK and within their product portfolio was an electronic system that allowed linesmen to communicate wirelessly through their flags to the referee. The MD Jeff Pettit, himself an ex-professional referee, was convinced that it was possible to design and manufacture a much better system but with no experience in this field understood that the project represented a high-risk change in business strategy.philosophy and provided a platform for an exciting future’.
The design programme started with input from professional referees, specifying what was needed to produce the best system in the world. Simulations, prototyping and consumer role playing were important features of the development to ensure that new features met previously unmet needs.
The final solution contains many user focused innovations and compared with the previous products being sold gross profit has increased by 224%. In addition, a company who previously only sold in the UK market now exports to eight other countries with more in the pipeline. Annual sales have increased by 290% and the product brand ‘Touchline’ launched a company in its own right. The system is now used in the English premier league, the FA cup final and the Championship play-off final.
The final solution contains many user focused innovations and compared with the previous products being sold gross profit has increased by 224%
Good design means good business! The DBA is the trade association for design in the UK; building the bridge between designers and businesses, and championing effective design. The DBA Design Effectiveness Awards are both prestigious and authoritative; the only award scheme that uses commercial data as a key judging
criteria. They recognise the integral role effective design plays in the creation of business growth and give clients the proof of quantifiable results they need. This makes them one of the most sought after design prizes in the world.