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RS Components DesignShare.

RS Components is one of the biggest names in the international electronics industry, offering over 500,000 products globally from 2,500 leading suppliers to customers in 32 countries. But they provide their audience of electronics engineers, students and hobbyists so much more - including access to a community of like-minded people through their DesignSpark site. 

To extend and enhance this community space, they approached us to develop DesignShare, a new project collaboration portal. Providing electronics engineers with the tools to create, browse and share open source projects, the portal has proven to be hugely popular since launch with submissions continuing to grow - in conjunction with the site’s reach, and RS Components’ reputation as an industry authority.

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A space for innovation

The DesignShare portal needed to provide an interactive, collaborative environment where engineers could contribute to projects, discuss new ideas and come to get inspired. Any barriers to interaction would hinder this, so our User Experience (UX) consultants embarked on a prototyping phase to ensure that key user journeys were as clear and streamlined as possible. Knowing that good design can make all the difference, a ‘tube-stop’ visual approach was taken to encourage further exploration through the projects, by illustrating the various stages that needed to be worked on and highlighting the user’s progress through them.  

The great work started in the UX & Design phase was carried through to development, where functionality was implemented that allows users to attach status updates, schematics and software assets to projects - providing an instant and up-to-date overview. Users can even find links to kits of relevant parts so they can get started on their own builds, thanks to integration with the main RS Components site.  

A smarter way of working

Throughout all of this, speed was of the essence, as RS Components had a global PR campaign planned to celebrate the portal’s launch. An Agile approach provided the perfect solution - facilitating rapid feedback and iteration loops to ensure the project remained on track to meet stakeholder and user requirements without wasting time on unnecessarily detailed documentation, and providing a prioritised feature list for development to guarantee that the essential elements of the portal would be present and correct when it came time to launch. 

A lively online community

The DesignShare portal was launched in English, German, Simplified Chinese and Japanese - giving electronics engineers the opportunity to share design ideas, collaborate and learn from one another on a truly international stage. 

RS Components’ mission was to become “The distributor of choice” and with project submissions flowing in from partners, enthusiasts and educational establishments, DesignShare has certainly seen them move closer to achieving this status. 

If you’ve got a vision for the future of your company, make it a reality. Talk to us today. 

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