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The User-Factor project has enabled the Innovation team at Scottish Enterprise to explore the impact of our ‘By Design’ grant support mechanism to drive Scottish SME design projects.

The grant was used for a wide range of design activities related to developing new products or services, market research, packaging, concept development, prototyping, and planning work.

PDR undertook an in-depth customer evaluation on our behalf between December 2018 and April 2019 through use of surveys and interviews. This research targeted 400 SME’s who had received support during 2017-2019.

The feedback has been collated and has been used to help design and develop a new approach to delivering business support in line with Scottish Enterprise’s new strategic framework. A snapshot of the evaluation findings is outlined below.


impact on business practice

Rockifi was co-founded in 2016 by Ruaridh Currie who had worked in digital design agencies in the UK and Spain for 17 years.

He identified a gap in the market for fans of rock music. Most ticket companies are concerned about selling tickets, without caring about where these tickets go. As a result, the experience of fans before during and after the gig is mainly neglected.

Ruaridh set out to develop a new disruptive app to help build a community for rock and heavy metal music fans. Providing them with the ability to network, share content, compare and buy tickets and enjoy other unique features.

Rockifi utilised the By Design grant to develop early front-end template prototypes for mobile    and desktop applications to trial and test in the marketplace:

“The financial injection was crucial and helped us to develop a high-fidelity aesthetic prototype that enabled us to engage with customers in the market.

We found a massive untapped potential of smaller bands unsigned in the UK and abroad. These findings broadened our market and shifted our thinking and vision for the business, to the importance of grassroots and community building. It enabled us to get a brand ambassador – Ritchie Ramone from the Ramones.”

Rockifi aim to internationalise after finding potential markets in many countries.

“Back-stage development is a constant iterative process. We can only develop and optimise flow and user experience one step at a time.”

In 2015, Amanda from Shock Innovations discovered a small but affordable thermal imaging camera and the potential that it could have in the Equine industry. The camera was new to the UK market, and she got the licence to sell them.

Over time, interest was generated in other industries, including construction and trades, which saw many potential applications for the product.

Originally, Thermography was costly to do but has become more accessible with the evolution of technology. However, while people could access and capture images. They needed help in interpreting the images and communicating the insights to other people.

Amanda set out to develop software that compliments the camera and offers the ability to visualise and analyse images. The software; ThermaFy, has shifted image analysis from being subjective to objective enabled by machine learning. The software also provides a cloud-based management system.

By Design enabled Amanda to build prototypes and proof of concept. They looked at both concept development of the website and service development in how it links with the product and service system.

By taking it into the market, Shock Innovations opened up new markets, and it changed their whole business model. They went from selling cameras as our core offering in the Equine industry to software as being their core product offering in multiple industries.

Following their project, Shock Innovations have employed a head of creative and utilise service design regularly.


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