B2B Ecommerce Research & UX Design

The Consortium

Tasked with revamping an ecommerce site to bring it up to date for the mobile world, we put users firmly at the centre of the design process for The Consortium, kick-starting an increase in Sales and satisfaction.

We delivered a full 15-template refresh of The Consortium’s e-commerce website on time and on budget. From a revamped homepage to a streamlined checkout, with a series of complex product pages in-between, all developed through user validation.

The results after launch were clear-cut and as icing on the cake, our The Consortium website was nominated for an eCommerce Award for Excellence in the B2B category.

A screenshot from the Consortium Education Supplies website

Key outcomes

  • +25% increase in sales

  • +700% increase in mobile revenue

  • 98% of users would recommend the new site to a colleague

Project context

This project happened when Adam was Managing Director and Principal UX Consultant at Natural Interaction, a UX agency in Bristol.

Adam led a team of UX Consultants, Researchers and Designers as well as directly conducting user research, UX design and running workshops in a hands on capacity.

Understanding a multi-user purchase journey

The Consortium operates several websites aimed at different market sectors, so whatever solution we came up with needed to have a common design language that could be rolled out across all their sites, delivering a unified brand identity.

They wanted a complete refresh for their existing desktop sites, and most importantly, a new site designed for mobile users. But first we had to know what their customers needed from an online platform. What would make their life easier, and what would they use?

The platform would need to cater to two main customer segments – teachers and education professionals who needed to browse and save products in lists, and procurement staff who would usually make the final transaction.

We needed a solution that linked these two parts of the process seamlessly, and we would have to build user experience research into our design process.


We understood early on in this project that a successful redesign was going to be all about understanding some very specific customer needs. So we proposed a different approach to anything The Consortium had done previously, one that relied on an agile design process with prototyping, user testing and close collaboration built in from the start and throughout.

We teamed up with creative branding agency Phoenix Wharf and Magento ecommerce specialists The Pixel to deliver a complete solution. We worked collaboratively, first in a two-week discovery phase to engage senior stakeholders to get a company-wide perspective on the existing website, and then in a series of five two-week sprints, feeding back ongoing user testing into the design process throughout.

"Having now completed the design phase of the project, we are incredibly pleased with the end result.

The team worked in a hugely collaborative fashion, using Slack as a communication channel to continuously discuss and iterate our design and holding regular face to face catch ups.

The right balance was struck between innovating aspects of our customer journey and retaining consistency where we didn’t need change for the sake of it."

Simon Hollingsworth, Marketing & Ecommerce Director