GS1 US
Startup Lab Pitch Competition
Snacks Studio

Overview

The Startup Lab showcased emerging technologies that could have a significant impact on commerce and the supply chains that power it. Eight startups with products that were launched between June 2018 and May 2020 were selected to present their technology capabilities to a panel of judges composed of GS1 US executives and technology experts from leading companies via a remote platform. Finalists were evaluated on their solution’s innovation, usability and potential societal impact, how GS1 Standards were incorporated and their overall presentation of the product.

Scope

Art direction, design system enhancements, web design, web development

GS1 US®, a member of GS1 global, is a not-for-profit information standards organization that facilitates industry collaboration to help improve supply chain visibility and efficiency through the use of GS1 Standards, the most widely used supply chain standards system in the world.

Nearly 300,000 businesses in 25 industries rely on GS1 US for trading partner collaboration that optimizes their supply chains, drives cost performance and revenue growth while also enabling regulatory compliance. They achieve these benefits through solutions based on GS1 global unique numbering and identification systems, barcodes, Electronic Product Code (EPC®)-based RFID, data synchronization and electronic information exchange. GS1 US also manages the United Nations Standard Products and Services Code® (UNSPSC®).

Designing and developing this solution for GS1 began with becoming very familiar with the company’s online style guide found here that defines its visual appearance and interactivity of all user interface (UI) elements needed to create different GS1 web pages. Both the public-facing, request for proposal pages that outlined the competition and promoted companies to submit their information for consideration, and the private, panelist-only review pages needed to meet the company’s brand standards and WCAG 2.1 AA accessibility standards.

While the GS1 design system offers details on most formatting elements, the section labeled 'Grids' is sparse. This offered the opportunity to expand from its limited reference to a 'Bootstrap' grid layout. With minimal CSS additions, Snacks was able to augment their provided stylesheet with CSS Flexbox and reduced the need for an extraneuos dependency like Twitter's Bootstrap or something similar.

"These startups each offer unique and disruptive technologies that could help industry accelerate their digital transformation plans." - Melanie Nuce, senior vice president, corporate development, GS1 US

In addition to utilizing the company’s provided style guide, we implemented a custom, flexbox-based addition to enhance and simplify the architecture.

The platform was built with two, connected interfaces. The informative request for proposal pages promoted users to complete the submission form. Whereas, the secondary, “judges” interface outlined all of the form data from the first interface in a bespoke, branded manner that honored the GS1 brand’s clarity.

The winner of the competition, rapitag, demonstrated its innovative, smart, self-opening security tags. This technology allows retailers to gather customer data in store, similarly to how it is gathered online, and protects products from theft.

More work