Frank Key

Being frank about builder merchants


Frank Key is a renowned and market leading builder merchants, established in 1907 and the ‘go to’ merchants across the Midlands and North. Known for exceptional customer service, they needed their online experience to mirror this straightforward customer service.

Frank Key needed a site that looked more contemporary and responsive but also wanted to start targeting more of the homeowner/DIY market rather than mainly the trade which they had previously done.

Our approach

FK already had some brand and marketing but this was predominantly as traditional methods via large catalogues + printed materials. To make more of the consumer focus we sort to introduce more people and add a human element to the site. The introduction of carefully curated images for “friendly” builders, “kitchen advisors” and interior designers helped.
? Allowed for live updates to their inventory whilst allowing for regional/account pricing to be catered for.
Introduced ‘Key’ dynamic graphic styling to take ownership of all presentation of products.
? Introduced Roboto/Google font
Mention Hireshop + SEO inclusion


  • Simple animations to add to the user feel
  • Empathy with the user
  • UI best practices
  • Replicate the paper based system

Brand focussed

  • Follows brand guidelines
  • System of design elements sympathetic to guidelines
  • Font hierarchy & colours

Ease of use - tool

  • Printable PDF generation
  • Offline mode
  • Audit trail of all loaned vehicles
  • Work offline & synchronise data

More than a merchant

We gave a fresh new look which is more consistent with that users expect from similar sites and competitors. Offered a more approachable, friendly and human tone to the site overall. We introduced more space around elements, making customer browsing and journeys less cluttered or confusing and guiding selections. Introduced 4 ‘human helpers’ each tailored for specific areas of interest and likely customers.

Hire Shop

We developed the existing but separate Hire site and migrated this into the overall Frank Key site.


The hire site allows people to view all tools available with prices and then fill in their details to claim a “voucher” for an exclusive web price.

Placeholder for stats - dunno how to do this yet

The outome

The resulting app was used primarily as an introduction to the campuses and the Vodafone way of working. Having originally completed the Christchurch app we were keen to integrate more features and functionality into the Auckland update. Integration of beacons technology with our own mapping and wayfinding code and integration of one of the largest messaging services in the world Yammer have ensured that the app remains useful into the future.


Vehicle out


Handovers made


Happy customers

“Testimonial here”

Name, Company

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