The Content Company

pirobase logo


eda.c helped pirobase design and market one of the leading platforms for Enterprise Content Management. Starting with the product itself, we focused on the authoring experience and developed a custom visual identity around it. This in turn became the basis for renewed brand and communications, and was the seed for developing a design competency embedded in management and software development, and a broader cultural shift towards design as innovation driver.


pirobase is a brand of Imperia AG based in Cologne (Germany), focusing on enterprise tools for online marketing, information and knowledge management. With more than 700 installations, the company has been among the leading Enterprise CMS manufacturers in German-speaking countries for many years. Imperia was established in 1995, and now employs about 100 people to support clients from various sectors in the optimisation of their content processes. Working with a cross-functional team, we collaborated with stakeholders from product management, service, marketing and executive leadership.


Our work helped pirobase to win the heart of the enterprise authors working in complex environments with a great product, leading to new clients and increased market visibility. Our achievements with pirobase are the result of a long-term partnership, using our Enterprise Design approach to continuously growing the scope and maximise the impact of design. With pirobase, Imperia has been awarded the 2014/2015 Design Management Europe award for the strategic use of design.

“Embedding design into our business clarified our focus and who we are, leading to a coherent customer experience." – Daniel Redanz, CEO


The pirobase CMS product is the core of the client's offering, so we initially focused on designing a great product for enterprise authors. Through rapid cycles of user research, interaction design and prototype validation, we worked into the ongoing software development process. This permitted the quick release of an improved product, and shifted the focus from IT requirements to author-centric thinking.

To better support the complexity of our user's work environment, we designed a visual system of typical enterprise content, used consistently throughout the product. The symbols and colour codes enable authors to quickly grasp and work with complex structures of dynamic content. Through multiple releases, we simplified the CMS structures and underlying concepts, optimising interactions and tools around user priorities and tasks.

The new product design was the starting point for a broader rebranding, introducing a consistent language, visual identity and signature interactions across all touchpoints. The resulting system includes pirobase products, online and print communications, office spaces and events. Content elements are based on a few key messages related to the pirobase core idea of tools for the enterprise author. A single domain model drives the information architecture of the pirobase.com, marketing communications and the CMS product interface.

In a Renewal program beyond project-level work, we are supporting the pirobase team to integrate design thinking and practice into all ongoing projects and areas of business. This includes high-level conceptual work and strategic design, but also integrating user experience design into agile software development processes. Part of this is a transfer of design competency, and support with the development of inhouse capabilities.

Using our Enterprise Design Framework as a guide, pirobase is coordinating design work across different domains and on different levels. This approach helps them to apply design to strategic challenges such as brand perception and user experience. Tangible outcomes are rooted in conceptual models, and can be traced back to business imperatives in order to evaluate their impact. The conceptual basis leading to a unique pirobase identity and experience is shared among all team members.

eda.c helped pirobase develop and manage shared knowledge across different workstreams, including principles and personas, structural and behavioural models, assets and patterns. Brand elements are driven by the product design, but applied across the entire range of touchpoints.

The underlying cultural shift is changing the fabric of the company itself, and has led to new ways of business beyond a product or brand level. The author-centric approach is the driver behind new engagement models with customers, using co-innovation to deliver products and services and in parallel inform the product vision. This new thinking has replaced the traditional product delivery process behind closed doors, and has developed into a competitive advantage.

eda.c helped us to make the leap from a pure technology vendor to a strategic partner for managing content in complex enterprise environments. By centring on the author in everything we do, we leverage design as a driver of change towards a well-defined vision." Simon Michaelis, Product Manager pirobase


client Imperia
people Benjamin Falke, Florence Gailledreau, Milan Guenther, Dennis Middeke, Katharina Weber
duration 2011-2014