HX Applied: Leading Building Supplies Industry To World First

3 minute read

Apolinar’s building supplies industry client had a vision to lead the industry into a digital future, starting with a new mobile app for their trade customers. The challenge was to identify priority features for the initial release that provided the most value to customers.

Traditionally, orders had been placed manually over the phone, leading to mistakes by either the customer or the supplier, and requiring a further telephone confirmation of the order. This could lead to friction in the customer relationship.

The app’s UX had to encourage builders into its new way of ordering. Additionally, because of its co-operative business model and previous underinvestment in digital, it was critical to reassure store owners the app would be world-class and would help drive user acquisition.


The Process

Apolinar used HX to approach the engagement in three stages: Research, a 5-Day Co-Design Sprint, and DesignOps.

The 5-Day Co-Design Sprint resulted in a high fidelity interactive prototype, produced in just seven hours, and designed with real data. User testing was conducted with actual customers, and the prototype was further refined into a more comprehensive version.

Apolinar provided the client’s developers with the Design System and Style Guide within two weeks of completing the 5-Day Co-Design Sprint, a huge win for the client as they had already engaged developers to begin building the app, saving them many thousands in development investment per day. 


The Result

The app launched during COVID-19 Alert Level 3 in April 2020, and provides for contactless pick-up and delivery. Customers can create, track, and update orders in one place, while project managers can grant subcontractors in-app purchasing permissions with spending limits.

The app gained full support from store owners, and overwhelmingly positive feedback from trade customers, with some heralding it as “The best thing they’d seen in ten years.”

Within 54 days, the app had acquired over 10,000 downloads, processed more than 2,000 orders, and generated over $1,000,000 in revenue. This work has been recognised with multiple awards, both locally and internationally.


The HX Difference

Applying HX to the project means builders can now quickly and confidently navigate through the app to place orders, encouraging a shift in customer behaviour.

This has greatly enhanced the end-to-end human experience for everyone involved, from the customer, to the store owner, to the staff working with the stores.

Head Office has gained a new database of customers they recognise as actual people instead of just businesses they send invoices to, and scored a big win with the stores, who felt listened to and acknowledged.

One of the overall effects has been the creation of much higher brand loyalty. HX helped bridge multiple teams within the organisation to find the best result for everyone. 




Apolinar has successfully applied HX to a wide range of industry sectors, organisations, and use-cases across New Zealand, Australia, Japan, and the UK. 

HX has been designed to achieve digital transformation, and as a methodology it works regardless of the size or scope of the problem, the territory or geography, the stakeholders, end-users, or customers involved. HX offers a critical, beneficial difference for organisations looking to effect digital transformation and drive competitive advantage. 


Authored by Jon Beattie

30 November 2021


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