British Council

The UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. Find out how Computools implemented a digital transformation project to update and optimise a website to facilitate English testing.

Industry:

Education Services

Location:

United Kingdom

Business size:

Enterprise

Problem and Solution Summary

The British Council, a leading organisation in education and cultural relations, faced challenges with its existing English language test promotion website. The platform had tight deadlines and lacked essential features, hindering its effectiveness. The need for a modern, responsive design and improved user experience was evident.

Computools undertook a digital transformation project to revitalise and optimise the website. The solution included user research to understand user needs, service design to enhance the user experience, portal development for content delivery, website hosting set-up, and analytics integration. The result was a responsive, user-friendly platform that not only met the British Council's branding requirements but also significantly increased revenue, user throughput, and process automation.

About the Client

The client is a prominent organisation that aims to promote British culture and values globally. With a reach that extends to over 100 countries, they touch the lives of 650 million people each year. Employing a workforce of more than 7,000 dedicated full-time employees, this organisation is committed to fostering cultural exchange, educational opportunities and intercultural relations.

Outcome

The client faced a significant challenge in consolidating resources for the IELTS English proficiency test. The presence of unofficial test materials was negatively impacting their brand reputation, prompting the need for a strategic approach to resource consolidation.

Additionally, the lack of clear guidance for test preparation, progress tracking, and readiness was a concern. The client recognised the need for a user-friendly, structured solution to streamline the test preparation process.

As a result of this project, the client successfully launched a web portal that simplifies IELTS test preparation. We optimised landing pages, implemented SEO strategies and enhanced resource editing, and now this portal offers essential educational resources. The impact is notable, with a significant 42% increase in the number of tests administered globally in 2022 compared with 2018.

Business challenge

weaknesses

  • Competitive Landscape
  • Technology Infrastructure
  • Scalability
  • User Engagement

strengths

  • Global trust and recognition
  • High demand for educational materials
  • Extensive reach
  • Experienced workforce
  • Commitment to cultural promotion

Business challenge

Project completion details and current arrangements

The project was completed successfully within the specified time frame. The client now has a structured and effective web portal for English language test preparation, enhanced with optimised landing pages, improved SEO, and user-friendly resources. We continue to provide ongoing support to ensure the platform's smooth operation and optimal performance.

Business challenge

Why Computools?

Computools was selected as the ideal partner for this project for several reasons:
  • Our team possesses impressive expertise in web development, design and project management, ensuring the successful execution of the project.
  • We meticulously addressed security concerns and ensured a smooth project launch as agreed, showcasing our commitment to comprehensive solutions.
  • Our ability to meet tight deadlines and adapt to the client's needs demonstrated our agility and dedication to client success.
  • Computools' global experience and reputation in delivering high-quality digital solutions made us the preferred choice to tackle this complex project.

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Story in depth

The client's journey to find the right partner for their project was a careful and detailed process. They considered several options but chose Computools for a few key reasons.
They liked that we knew their industry inside and out. We have a strong track record of delivering high-quality digital solutions and meeting deadlines. Plus, our experience working globally matched their international reach. In the end, they chose us because they believed in our expertise and our ability to get the job done well and on time. Our partnership is built on a shared commitment to getting great results for their business.

Project Description

The project was a comprehensive undertaking focused on creating a user-friendly web portal designed to assist candidates in preparing for the British Council's testing. The primary mission was to provide candidates with a streamlined and structured pathway for test preparation, offering essential resources such as PDF files and webinar videos.

The project encompassed several key aspects. First, a responsive design was developed to ensure an optimal user experience across various devices, accommodating desktop and mobile devices.

To facilitate easy access to educational materials, a user-friendly WordPress platform was established as the host – this choice aimed to simplify navigation and accessibility for candidates. Additionally, the project involved the critical implementation of search engine optimisation (SEO) techniques to enhance the portal's visibility and accessibility, ensuring it reached a wider audience.

Comprehensive user analytics were integrated into the platform, allowing for the generation of in-depth reports. These reports provided valuable insights into user behaviour and preferences, helping to refine the user experience. To enhance communication with users and ensure they received important updates and information promptly, an email notification system was put in place.

The project's overarching goal was to simplify and improve the test preparation process, offering a valuable resource for candidates. It underscored the client's commitment to educational excellence and our dedication to helping them succeed in their mission.

Digital Platform & Technology

The client wanted to create a counterpart of the main site, where users who are interested in taking the test will prepare for it. Based on the needs and goals, they preferred to design it on WordPress.

Communication Framework

To establish good communication, we decided to diversify our channels and use different platforms for each specific goal.
Email
microsoft teams
Skype
Jira

Team

The project involved a dedicated and skilled team of professionals working collaboratively to bring the web portal for English test preparation to fruition. The team consisted of individuals with diverse roles, each contributing their expertise:

Business Analysts

Nikita Abelmasov

Nikita Abelmasov
Nikita started working on commercial IT projects in 2009, focusing on web development, then switched to management and BA in 2015. He has extensive experience in requirements gathering, start-up and ongoing business solutions consulting, development preparation and organising business processes for a wide range of mixed teams. He is passionate about urban exploration, new technologies, photography and sci-fi universes.
Nikita Abelmasov

Project Manager

Alina Skorokhodova

Alina is a results-driven Project Manager with a proven ability to lead and coordinate multifaceted projects from inception to successful completion. With a background in project management, Alina excels in managing project scopes, timelines, and resources to ensure that clients' goals are met.

Business Development Manager

Oleksandr Palieshko

Olexandr's expertise extends to market analysis, client relationship management, and the ability to navigate complex financial landscapes. He's known for his strong negotiation skills and his capacity to build strong, lasting relationships with clients and partners.

Designer

Tetiana Mikhalova

Tetiana is a talented and creative Designer passionate about crafting engaging and visually appealing user experiences. Tetiana has a knack for transforming complex concepts into elegant and intuitive interfaces.

SOFTWARE ENGINEER

Alexandra Sidlyarenko

Alexandra is a skilled Software Engineer with a talent for solving complex technical challenges and a commitment to creating user-friendly software solutions. Alexandra's expertise extends across a range of programming languages and frameworks, allowing her to navigate the ever-evolving landscape of technology with ease.

Quality Assurance Engineer

Glib Kovalenko

Glib has over three years of experience as a manual QA. Glib has demonstrated proficiency in testing websites and mobile and desktop applications. He deeply understands client-server applications and excels at writing and maintaining relevant documentation. His dedication to ensuring product quality and standards sets him apart.

Story of a Team Decision

Ultimately, the choice of the Computools team was based on a combination of their expertise, reliability and a proven track record of successfully completing complex projects on time.

Backstage

The team frequently engaged in face-to-face brainstorming sessions, developer meetings and whiteboard meetings. These gatherings provided a crucial space for brainstorming, meticulous project oversight, and ensuring alignment with the client's vision. They served as the foundation for effective decision-making and strategy development.

Sprint Retrospective

During sprint retrospectives, the team came together to assess the progress made and identify areas for improvement. These reflections were instrumental in refining their approach and making data-driven decisions for the subsequent sprints.

Planning Session

The planning sessions were pivotal in defining the scope, deadlines and risk assessment for the project. The team collaboratively outlined development guidelines and addressed potential challenges, establishing a clear plan to guide their efforts.

Sprint Demo

Sprint demos provided the team with the opportunity to showcase their accomplishments to the client and gather valuable feedback. This interactive exchange of information allowed for quick adjustments and informed decision-making to meet the client's requirements effectively.

Communication Flow

The team utilised various communication platforms, including Jira for tracking project progress, Skype and email for casual discussions and notifications, and Microsoft Teams for collaborative communication. This diversified communication approach ensured that information flowed efficiently and allowed for prompt decision-making and issue resolution.

Project Management Methodology

Scrum is a management framework where one or more cross-functional, self-organised teams create a product in stages.

First, we worked on the preparation of website design, initial DevOps and business analysis, and then gradually moved into WordPress development and quality assurance stages.

Project timeline

4 months
6 months
ongoing
Consulting & Design Phase
Engineering Phase
Launch
01

CONSULTING

  • Understanding the client's ideas and goals
  • Proposing solutions
  • Defining the scope of work
  • Analysis and exploration
  • Identifying possible risks
  • Addressing security issues
  • Establishing development guidelines
02

Product DESIGN

  • Creating prototypes
  • Collaborating with the client for design alignment
  • Developing cross-platform design
  • Designing a preloader
  • Establishing the overall architecture
  • Defining the customer journey
03

Product Engineering

  • Assigning engineers to their respective roles
  • Developing the front end and backend
  • Creating the website architecture
  • Monitoring performance
  • Conducting performance tests
  • Integrating client-required features
04

Launch

  • Final testing and checks
  • Exploring different design options
  • Migrating the project to the client's servers
  • Additional security and performance tests
  • Ongoing project operational and maintenance phase

Design

These design challenges were important components of the project and contributed to the successful development and implementation of the English test preparation web portal.

User persona → Site map → Wireframes → user interface

User persona

Creating profiles of typical users for design reference.

Site map

Structuring pages and content for logical navigation.

Wireframes

Drafting blueprints for interface layout and interaction.

user interface

Designing the visual elements for user interaction.

Design

Production Release

The production release phase marked the final stage of the project, where the web portal was prepared for deployment to end users. This phase included comprehensive testing to ensure a smooth user experience and address any potential issues.

The client played an active role in the testing process, providing valuable feedback to align the project with their vision. Additionally, the team conducted thorough security checks to protect user data and performance checks to ensure the platform's speed and efficiency.

Once all checks were complete, the project was migrated to the client's servers, ready to be accessed by end users. Ongoing maintenance was initiated to address any future issues, keep the platform updated and ensure a consistently positive user experience.

The production release resulted in a fully operational web portal for English test preparation, providing end users with valuable educational resources to enhance their test preparation.

Design

Ongoing Support

We remain available to address any post-launch enquiries, issues or further enhancements. Regular maintenance and updates are conducted to keep the product running smoothly, correct any potential issues, and introduce new features as needed.

Data analytics are continuously applied to gain insights into user behaviour, pinpoint areas for improvement and tailor the product to user preferences.

Security measures remain a focus with ongoing monitoring and updates to safeguard user data and maintain the product's integrity.

What our
client said

“Computools was selected through an RFP process. They were shortlisted and selected from between 5 other suppliers. Computools has worked thoroughly and timely to solve all security issues and launch as agreed. Their expertise is impressive.”

Mona Madbouly

Global Web Officer at British Council

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