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Foolproof works with firms to bring digital technology into the physical world

10:48 10 February 2016

Foolproof co-founder Pete Ballard and creative technology director Nick Thompson.
PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

Foolproof co-founder Pete Ballard and creative technology director Nick Thompson. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

ARCHANT NORFOLK

Anyone who has booked a seat with EasyJet, ordered a pizza online with Dominos or used online banking at TSB or Santander will have already seen Foolproof’s work.

Foolproof co-founder Pete Ballard with a new electronic mosaic screen program they have created.
PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAYFoolproof co-founder Pete Ballard with a new electronic mosaic screen program they have created. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

But the Norwich-based experience design agency is branching out, in a bid to bring digital technologies into everyday activities, such as shopping.

Interactive shop windows, pill bottles that send re-order instructions and a music system run via Twitter are among theinnovative ideas launched by the agency.

Creative technology director Nick Thompson, who joined the firm last January when it merged with his agency – Knit – said the latesttechnology was catching on with clients.

He said: “As time has progressed clients are realising there is a budget for this kind of thing. They are realising the importance of it.”

It has helped Foolproof increase staff numbers to more than 100 across three offices – in Queen Street in Norwich, London and Singapore –and grow turnover 10pc to more than £10m.

Its core business comes from market research and helping firms understand how customers make decisions online, and design strategy for websites.

Foolproof, co-founded by Peter Ballard, was behind the redesign of the pizza tracker at Dominos Pizza, which allows customers to follow their order through the baking process through to delivery.

An internship programme has seen new talent join the firm from Norwich University of the Arts and the University of East Anglia.

Foolproof’s – and Knit’s – clients include Huit Denim, which has installed a system (pictured) where customers can choose the music played in the Wales factory by sending a message on social media.

Foolproof designed and built the software, which increased the brand’s social media presence while giving customers greater interaction with Huit.

Other projects include a pill bottle which can be monitored on a smartphone – for example to ensure elderly relatives remember to take their medication – and an interactive screen showing the history of Norwich-based Aviva.

Car dealerships, bank branches and vodka brand Absolut are among other clients.

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