A GOLD and SILVER at the 2021 Sydney DrivenXDesign Awards
DrivenXDesign is a global organisation driven to innovate, accelerate and grow demand for design. They are the world’s largest Design Awards Program with awards taking place annually, across global city centres including New York, London, Paris, Shanghai and Berlin. Their awards programs recognise and bring attention to design excellence – Rock Agency was delighted to be recognised in the Sydney 2021 DrivenXDesign Awards in two categories: Digital Food & Drink for Cacao and Digital Education for RMIT Next.
After our success at the Australian Web Awards, we submitted to the 2021 Sydney DriveXDesign Awards and were both surprised and delighted with a two-out-of-two result. For the category of ‘Digital Food and Drink’ we submitted our work for Cacao and came away with GOLD; and for ‘Digital Education’, RMIT Next received SILVER.
GOLD – Cacao eCommerce website overview
Cacao’s handmade chocolates and macarons embody the idea of ‘special’. They engaged Rock Agency to create a website that could do the same – that would give customers a highly-personalised, streamlined and user-friendly shopping experience.
Cacao now takes customisation to the next level. Through the chocolate and macaron selectors, we’ve allowed customers to tailor their chocolate or macaron boxes by individual handmade pieces, and see exactly how their box will be presented. It’s a level of functionality often limited by other online environments.
On the business side, the selector functionality is built as a ‘product-within-a-product’ that’s connected to Cacao’s inventory system – it’s made a significant difference to Cacao as a business, saving them from manual data input, increasing time-efficiency and revenue.
While Cacao’s development was highly-technical and bespoke, the information architecture never conveys complexity – it’s simple and clear. The goal here was to demystify the online shopping experience; to give customers not only total control, but a full visual representation of their purchase including how it’s packaged and presented. This functionality helps to justify the price point, which has been a hurdle for the brand in the past.
Rock’s work on Cacao has been extremely well received by the client and the market – after launching the site the company has more than doubled its sales.
SILVER – RMIT Next platform overview
How can RMIT adapt and thrive amidst technological transformations, while shaping a more inclusive and sustainable world? This question encapsulates the drive behind the RMIT Next Platform. It is, in essence, a huge and constantly-evolving ‘conversation’ – a place for the broad RMIT community to share their thoughts and ideas about what the future of RMIT should look like. Responses are made through ‘conversations’, with online ‘forums’ contributing expert thought and research. Ideas and answers are published, giving everyone within the RMIT community a public opportunity to have their say. And, consequently, the university is able to create a strategic plan for its next five years that recognises what its community believes the organisation should be striving for.
RMIT Next was designed and developed before COVID 19. However, the pandemic saw the platform become even more vital in its contribution to RMIT’s future than first intended, when in-person events and discussions formed part of the RMIT Next plan.
Initially, Rock was employed to create RMIT Next because of a strong reputation for favouring UX design principles, and an integrated approach to working – one where development isn’t an afterthought to design, but embedded into the evolution of the site to, again, make user experience the most important outcome. With the advent of COVID 19, the RMIT Next platform was able to accommodate the move to a completely online program – its information architecture both strong enough and flexible enough to do so without redesigning or developing.
Rock’s integrated approach to design and development has delivered a user-friendly experience not only for users of the site, but for RMIT as a client.
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