Published in 2018
Cimple aspires to change public procurement, which lacks clarity, proper user experience, and above all, transparency across a varied number of platforms out there. Starting in the UK then expanding to Europe.
Cimple was born as a very ambitious project. We still remember our first meeting with Wyndham (Founder and CEO) when he told us about becoming bigger than some of the biggest companies out there.
We love ambitious people!
First things first: it all starts with a Brand. But let's dissociate the Brand from the product for a moment and focus on other things:
It didn't end there, some more keywords were given to us.
When you recall those words, especially given all the emphasis on Simple, the initial name didn't quite resonate the concept:
Too big to resemble a Cutting Edge, Intelligent, Simple product. Such a long wording wouldn't work out for a strong, simple logo.
Therefore, our first challenge was to actually come up with a name that was, in fact, intelligent and simple.
The logo would follow. We didn't want to complicate or go over-the-top with it. In fact, given the target audience, sobriety would be fundamental. Some of the core users are very institutional, formal, governmental people, using Cimple on very specific occasions at very specific times of the year. Clearly not the time nor the space for thunderbolt and lightning.
🎵 Very very frightening me. Galileo! Galileo! Galileo Figaro. Magnifico-o-o-o-o! 🎵
Tiempos, the chosen font, began as an offshoot of Galaxie Copernicus but it sprung out of its mother's wings to start its own family! But we still got some tweaks done!
Some colours to diversify things a little bit! We got blacks, we got whites, we got yellows, we got reds. We got one for everybody's tastes.
And it works great on all backgrounds too.
In the beginning, ideas were still somehow blurred and there wasn't a very clear vision of what the product could become. Instead a whole bunch of great tangle of functionalities that could work. We felt like flying to London, get ourselves in a meeting room for a few days to settle things. We dove in the ideas, we noted them all down, we dissected them, and we brainstormed. At last, we defined some of the core flows. With this, it started to shape up.
Now, aiming to make public procurement simple with a multiple-sided marketplace for services and products, Cimple is revolutionising the way public sector deals with procurement and opportunities. Composed of a Marketplace, a Signpost – a Google-like search engine for public sector goods and services –, a Framework Finder, and an Admin Back-office to control everything user-facing.
“The team challenged our solution to make sure we are building the best product for our users.”
CEO of Cimple
One of the earliest decisions we made was to Wireframe the entire product, even though we knew the goal was to come up with an MVP – Minimum Viable Product.
Given all the functionalities, the wireframes were massive!
From the functionality list and the freshly baked wireframes, we estimated every single feature from a Design and Development standpoint. We needed an overview of how long and how costly the whole set of features would become and then trim an MVP out of that. As we knew, the budget was limited and the window of opportunity was closing-in, thus settling on a 3-month MVP.
We knew in order to accomplish such ambitious deadlines, accurate planning and meticulous Design would be absolutely essential. But above all, be consistent!
Efficiency was the keyword, not only because of the MVP in question but also because we knew everything beyond this initial phase would have to fit in at a later stage. Scalability was in the back of our minds from the beginning.
After defining the Look & Feel and assisted by the Wireframes, we laid down every single component: a Design System. We tried as much as possible to keep components as consistent as possible and reuse them throughout the entire interface.
Together with the Design System, we knew the grid had to be flexible enough to encompass everything Cimple has to lay down, both now and in the future. A 16 column grid, instead of 12, was born. Not-so-usual, but turned out quite effective.
“The Significa team are immensely passionate about our project making the remote nature of our working arrangement reassuring. The quality of the design and development work has been brilliant.”
CEO of Cimple
The Signpost is a search engine that fetches data from a multitude of sources in order to compare the best prices in the market across all those sources.
Same as any search engine, once you search something, you're presented with a result. In Cimple's case, it matches all the fetched products available out there into a group of similar products.
It literally shows users the best possible deal. But even more honest, it provides a direct link to such sources. Fair!
The Cimple Marketplace may be one of the listed sources in the Signpost. Even though the MVP may seem like a pretty straightforward marketplace, the complex bit will arrive at a later stage. For now, it only accepts products.
It is a pretty good experience on Mobile too.
Everything – well, not everything, because this is an MVP – is tracked and handled at the Back-Office: Catalog, Buyers, Suppliers, Order History...
Some other key things are dealt with at the Back-Office as well. At this stage, while the algorithm is being improved, some of the product matchings must be done in a manual fashion.
The algorithm is learning. At one point it will be self-sufficient. Capable of performing excellent matching, automatically without any human input.
It was a very rudimental website. Its only purpose was to denote Cimple's presence on the web. It is a very simplified version, with merely core, straightforward information.
🎵... Bare necessities, the simple bare necessities, forget about your worries and your strife. 🎵
Mobile ready is a bare necessity!
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