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Mapping the future of digital innovation in the UK

Driving digital change in the automotive industry

Driving digital change in the automotive industry IDE (Institute of Digital Engineering) promotes the acceleration of UK engineering and advanced digital technologies for the automotive industry.

The following 20 years will see unprecedented change, thanks to digitalisation, new technologies and advancements for the automotive industry. However, the possibilities within the field are challenging to understand and plan for, thanks to the complexity of opportunities. IDE champions the pathways the automotive sector needs to embrace to stay on the front foot in a competitive global marketplace.

IDE approached ifour to help transform an extensive collection of research, interviews and engagements, mapping the best path for the industry to follow to achieve digitalisation, accessible through online and downloadable roadmaps, a report and mini-site.


– Branding

– Strategy

– Website Design

– Interactive Design

– Print Design

The challenge

Getting immersed in complex, detailed information

Digitalisation is complex and will impact every area of the automotive industry. Therefore, the road map needed to provide a clear path for the many different audiences, clarifying routes with timeframes, dependencies, and milestones mapped out in a digestible, digital format that reflected the high tech future IDE promotes.

Four key headings organise the multitude of action points. Actions for each heading run across three time horizons, with relevant dependencies and cross-links for seven core audiences. Each audience needs crucial steps explained and highlighted to understand and engage in the digitalisation process. We needed to fully immerse ourselves in the subject to best see how we could add value.

The approach

Taking a plain English but aspirational approach

The subject matter was dense but important. We knew we needed to find a way to make the information visually interesting, and immediately identifiable as IDE, to draw readers in.

Sense checking the copy and a ‘plain English’ edit was crucial to make it as easy to engage with as possble. The content had to be lively for audiences and explain all industry terms, so the tone of voice needed to balance the high level information and varying levels of interest and knowledge. Similarly, the visuals had to hit home with both the automotive sector and a wider cross section of industries facing the same struggles with digitalisation, giving the design team free reign to create a ultramodern visual shorthand that would stand out.

The solution

Innovative and futuristic visual language creates interest and sets expectations

Looking at the myriad of user journeys, the roadmap solution was created to be digitally native and interactive but also downloadable to exist both on and offline.

The digital-first interactive roadmap and surrounding landing page offers an intuitive exploration of the subject matter, and refined copy makes the content much more digestible. For those looking for quick wins, the hook into the roadmap, in the form of illustrated ‘Digital Power Up Combos’, gives audiences a clear route into the subject and highlights where they should focus their attention for maximum impact.  Expanding the IDE brand palette and visual language opened up a world of possibilities to meet the futuristic expectations of the subject matter.

We are delighted with how well our Digitalisation Roadmap has been received, both in the automotive industry and beyond. A large part of this success is due to the excellent creative and intuitive design the team at ifour created for us. Beyond this it was also a pleasure to collaborate with them on the project.

Bradley Yorke-Biggs, CEO & Professor of Practice