PlaceMakers Trade App

by Apolinar

PlaceMakers’ vision was to lead the construction industry into a digital future, starting with a new mobile app for their trade customers.
Our challenge was identifying priority features for the initial release, providing the most value to customers.
Traditionally, builders weren’t perceived as being tech savvy and preferred to pop in-store to place orders, so the app’s UX had to change this behavioural perception.
Additionally, because of their co-operative business model and previous underinvestment in digital, we needed to reassure franchise owners the app would be world-class; as they were key to driving user acquisition.
We approached this in three stages:
Research, Co-Design Sprint and User Testing.
We gathered customer insights, conducted competitor research and reviewed data analytics.
Key issues highlighted:
Placing orders was a very manual process - builders had to drive to a store (reducing time on-site), or place phone orders through their PlaceMakers sales rep.
Inability to track when orders arrive and be available for use, creating inefficiencies to plan projects accurately.
Managing budgets - while essential for changing subcontractors to purchase building materials, it was difficult for project managers to track budget and set spend limits.
Our approach:
We held a collaborative five-day co-design sprint with a cross-functional team (sales, finance, marketing, IT and GM’s) to ensure customer needs were met.
Day 1 - Understand
We established a shared understanding of problems/key opportunities to improve the end-to-end experience for PlaceMakers trade customers.
Day 2 - Sketch
We facilitated design-thinking exercises for everyone to share their ideas, resulting in different possible solutions for problems identified.
Day 3 - Decide
We agreed as a group which solutions to focus on, and key questions we want answered from user testing. Anonymous voting created a heatmap of the best ideas in the room, allowing everyone an equal say.


Silver in Apps 2021

Silver in UX, Interface & Navigation 2021

Bronze in Digital Tools and Utilities 2021

Bronze in Mobile App 2021

Created by:

Lead Designer

Jon Beattie

Design Company


Profile Website

click here

Project Website

click here


Fletcher Distribution

Design Team

Anna Dao, Jay Shin

Video (direct link)

click here


Entrant Companies

Apolinar, NZ

Individual Credits

Wayne Armstrong
Ritesh Patel
Jasmine Wilkinson