Refreshing one of Australia's strongest brands

How I lead UX efforts for the Officeworks brand refresh

Project type
Digital branding
Primary skill
Relevant link

At a glance


journeys targeted


design audits conducted


design library created


digital brand guidelines created



Officeworks has a strong brand and is synonymous with office, education and art supplies. The brand team had partnered with agenices like Principals and AKQA to reimagine our brand and turn one of Australia's leading retailers from liked to loved.


As part of any major brand or identity refresh, hundreds of touchpoints across physical and digital environments need to be considered (and soon we'll be thinking about the metaverse too!). Further, this massive undertaking needs to be done thoughtfully and take into account active and incoming programs if work, as well as assets, ways of working, distributed teams, and roadmaps just to name a few things.

My role

Taking a more lead role, I was asked to be the point person for our entire Customer Experience team. I needed to work with the agencies and internal teams to plan work, answer design and (some) technical questions, rebuild our assets library, keep people on the same page inside and outside the project, and ensure that the new brand will be taken up by in-flight projects.


The plan

The internal brand team had already developed new Tone of Voice, Master Brand and Photography Guidelines. The goal of our project was to bring these into the digital space (as well as some other touchpoints), and ensure the website, app and emails were on the new brand from launch date.

Like all good plans...

Unfortunately, it quickly became apparent that there was a level of underestimation of the complexity of our applications. Further, there was a misalignment of what the agency outcomes would be.

For instance, what started as somewhat of a UI redesign should have been contained as a change of colour or icon for existing elements.

Other complexities on our platform included:

  • Multiple technology types used for different customers
  • Limited ability to change UI in some platforms
  • Limited standardised developer library of components
  • Limited standardised design library of components
  • Hundreds of pages and elements not using the developer library
  • Multiple teams and reporting structures looking after customer facing digital assets

Key decisions, actions and outcomes

I was a key influencer in bringing about the best amount of change I could with the resources and constraints we had.

  • I recommended we use a programatic override to replace iconogrpahy, colours and other assets that couldn't be done manually, which was enacted.
  • I highlighted our key touchpoints that we should be focussed on due to their level of interaction.
  • I identified and resolved a shortfall between physical brand implementation and digital (i.e. created a digital brand requirements).
  • I implemented a new brand asset library for designers to use.
  • I met with and kept up-to-date multiple teams and key stakeholders to ensure brand was being applied appropriately across different digital products.
  • I oversaw the update and development of a new design library of components.
  • I made timely, often on-the-spot, decisions on digital issues that came up through the use of overrides, including changes to colours and interactions as needed.
  • I estimated timelines for component changes and implementations and made recommendations on what agencies and teams should do out of that.
  • Compiled, completed and shared several design audits of our current digital site to aid in the brand change plans.


This project was delivered on-time, and met most customer-facing outcomes, however some clear gaps were apparent during delivery.

Key learnings

Whilst I wasn't the primary lead for this project, I would work hard to enact the following before going through another similar project:

  • Extremely clear project outcome requirements
  • Be clearer relaying technical and visual constraints, potentially prototyped for clarity
  • Work harder to get a design system or similar governane model in place to support the changes
  • Look at updating brand guidelines to better assimilate digital changes, reducing the effort needed upfront
Thanks everyone for your collaboration and discussion on the brand refresh project, especially big thanks to Joshua Holmes for his amazing contribution, you rock! 👏
Design Lead

More about this project

I've written up a full case study for this project over on my blog.