The Maritime Skills Academy

A leading cruise, commercial and superyacht maritime crew services provider. Discover how Computools transformed The Maritime Skills Academy's digital presence, delivering a high-performance, mobile-responsive platform.

Industry:

Education Services

Location:

United Kingdom

Business size:

Small Business

Problem and Solution Summary

The main problem addressed in this case was The Maritime Skills Academy's outdated website, which lacked online payment options, resulting in poor performance, inferior user experience and business losses.

We provided a comprehensive solution by redesigning and developing a mobile-responsive online platform with customisable search tools and integrated payment options. The solution addressed the immediate challenges and automated key business processes, significantly enhancing operational efficiency and user satisfaction.

About the Client

The Maritime Skills Academy is a prominent provider of maritime crew services catering to the cruise, commercial, and superyacht industries. Operating as a small business with a world-class training centre, the academy annually welcomes delegates from around the globe. Offering over 500 specialist courses, the academy is committed to meeting the stringent safety standards of Coastguard Agency, MNTB and international regulations.

Outcome

Through the implementation of advanced automation, manual tasks related to bookings, payment administration and schedule management saw a remarkable reduction. The optimisation of course scheduling and calendar management throughout the year facilitated improved operational efficiency. The ability to manage group numbers and evenly distribute participation was enhanced, substantially impacting the client's business.

The outcomes of these developments translated into a remarkable year-on-year increase in class bookings. Additionally, there was a notable reduction in unused class spaces, demonstrating a more efficient allocation of resources. The overall impact was a substantial reduction in the processing of bookings and related administrative tasks, including chasers, reminders and rescheduling efforts. These improvements collectively increased profits and heightened consumer attraction for The Maritime Skills Academy.

Business challenge

weaknesses

  • An outdated, slow website with a cumbersome architecture
  • The minimal feature set and absence of online payment capabilities
  • Poor user experience and interface design for mobile devices

strengths

  • World-class training centre suitable for delegates from around the world
  • Courses for all maritime niches, from the cruise industry to shipping and construction
  • Meeting the requirements of the Coastguard Agency, MNTB and international standards

Business challenge

Project Completion Details and Current Arrangements

The project was completed, delivering a high-performance, streamlined online platform for The Maritime Skills Academy. The completion involved the implementation of customisable search tools, a mobile-responsive design and integrated payment options.

After project completion, ongoing support, maintenance and potential future developments were part of the arrangements.

Business challenge

Why Computools?

Computools was chosen for its expertise in user experience design and mobile-first website development, making us the ideal partner to address The Maritime Skills Academy's challenges. The team's proficiency in WordPress, JavaScript, MySQL and PHP and their commitment to a behaviour-driven development approach ensured a tailored solution aligned with the client's needs.

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Story in depth

When The Maritime Skills Academy sought to upgrade its outdated website, it carefully chose Computools from among various options. The decision was based on Computools' expertise in the required technologies, successful track record, and effective communication. The collaboration resulted in a high-performance website with improved user experience, exceeding the client's expectations.

Project Description

An outdated website was the only aspect lacking in the client’s business model. Poor performance and no online payment options resulted in inferior user experience and business losses. The client leadership turned to Computools for design and development expertise. Our team created the new mobile-responsive online platform with user-oriented features and multiple integrated payment options.

Using a behaviour-driven development approach, the Computools team created a detailed system requirements specification based on the user stories and the business process map.

Search for courses by keyword search (as you start typing the courses start appearing) or filter by category. Categories are as follows:
  • Course Academy
  • STCW 5 Part Basic Safety
  • Sea Survival & Lifeboat
  • Updating/Refresher
  • People and Leadership Management
  • Security
  • Superyacht Essential Training
  • Fire and BA Courses
  • Radio Communications
  • Medical Courses
  • Marlins English Testing
  • Shore side Courses
  • Commercial Fire Fighting
  • HSE Fire Courses
  • HSE Medical Courses

Within each category are the individual course listings.

Digital Platform & Technology

Digital platforms and project technologies are determined by the tasks that need to be performed and the functions that should be in the finished product. Large-scale online platform development projects require an integrated approach and many solutions. We are always ready to satisfy all requirements.

Communication Framework

Using regular Skype calls and email reports, we established efficient two-way communication. Computools task management platform and a well-documented development process enabled the client to track the project's progress.

The established communication framework ensured the client could introduce new requirements and implement them within the project's tight time frame.
Skype
Jira
Slack
Email

Team

Upon screening its in-house talent pool, Computools selected software engineers experienced in WordPress, PHP, and JavaScript. Their expertise enabled rapid development pace and quick results.

Business Analyst

Dennis Dubinsky

Dennis is passionate about cultivating productive partnerships in IT consulting and software solutions. Beyond his professional endeavours, Dennis enjoys exploring diverse hobbies, including hiking and discovering new facets of technology.

Team Lead

Daria Holowan

Daria is an experienced team leader with a successful track record in project management and team coordination. Her leadership skills and ability to efficiently organise the team's efforts make her a valuable asset to our team.

UI/UX Designer

Vika Kosar

Vika has been crafting delightful user experiences for several years. Her meticulous attention to detail and aesthetic flair shine through in every project she undertakes. Vika is committed to creating designs that look stunning and offer exceptional usability. Outside work, she's an art enthusiast, enjoys painting and finds inspiration in exploring various forms of visual arts.

COMPUTOOLS ENGINEERS

DevOps Engineer

Mikhail Bobrovsky

Mykhailo Bobrovskyi
Mikhail is proficient in transfer data integrations, Azure-deployed systems and error-handling strategies. He is passionate about training other developers. He enjoys home studio recording, volleyball and theology.
Mykhailo Bobrovskyi

Quality Assurance Engineer

Vadim Bondarenko

Vadim Bondarenko
Vadim, QA Tech Lead at Computools, brings 3+ years of expertise to ensure top-notch software quality. With a background as a Manual QA Coordinator and experience in technical support, Vadim excels in Postman API, JIRA and various testing methodologies.
Vadim Bondarenko

Story of a Team Decision

In forming this dynamic team for The Maritime Skills Academy project, careful consideration was given to individual expertise and collective experience. The team was purposefully composed, bringing together professionals with a proven track record in creating solutions for similar industries. Their familiarity with the intricacies of maritime training and digital transformations laid a solid foundation for success.

Backstage

Behind the scenes, the team maintained a collaborative atmosphere, ensuring everyone was aligned with project goals. Regular whiteboard meetings and brainstorming sessions fuelled creative collaboration, laying the groundwork for the successful development of the online platform.

Sprint Retrospective

After each sprint, the team held retrospective meetings to reflect on what worked well and what could be improved. This iterative approach allowed them to refine their processes continually, ensuring efficiency and adaptability throughout the project.

Planning Session

In planning sessions, the team meticulously outlined project milestones, tasks and responsibilities. With a focus on transparency and accountability, these sessions laid out a roadmap for achieving project objectives within the specified timeframes.

Sprint Demo

Sprint demos served as a crucial checkpoint where the team showcased completed work to the client. These sessions provided a tangible demonstration of progress and allowed for real-time feedback, fostering a collaborative and client-centric development process.

Communication Flow

The team utilised Jira as the primary task assignment and progress-tracking tool to maintain a seamless communication flow. Regular video and audio conferences, especially during planning sessions and sprint demos, facilitated quick issue resolution and alignment on project goals. Skype calls were employed for urgent matters, while email was a reliable channel for detailed reports and task sharing.

Project Management Methodology

Scrum project management methodology with two-week sprints ensured continuous delivery and fast-paced development. Through close cooperation with the client, the Computools team suggested innovative solutions and received new requirements. The team finalised every sprint by testing and demonstrating newly implemented features.

Project timeline

6 months
12 months
ongoing
Consulting & design phase
Engineering phase
Launch
01

CONSULTING

  • In-depth needs assessment
  • Strategic planning
  • Market analysis
  • Industry research
  • Business process optimisation
  • Feasibility studies
02

Product DESIGN

  • Ideation and conceptualisation
  • User research
  • Wireframing and prototyping
  • UI/UX design
  • Iterative design reviews
  • Design validation
03

Product Engineering

  • Software development
  • Coding and programming
  • Database design
  • System architecture
  • Quality assurance and testing
  • Integration of technologies
04

Launch

  • Release planning
  • Deployment strategies
  • Marketing and promotion
  • User training
  • Rollout management
  • Post-launch evaluation

Design

The design tasks included developing an intuitive user interface with convenient course search, optimising mobile design, creating a unified design system for consistency, prototyping user flows and adapting the design to the Maritime Skills Academy brand.

User persona → Site map → Wireframes → User interface

User persona

Crafted detailed profiles representing typical Maritime Skills Academy users

the maritime skills academy site map

Site map

Visual representation outlining the website's hierarchical structure and navigation

Wireframes

Blueprints illustrating the skeletal framework of key interface elements and layout

User interface

Final design showcasing visually appealing, user-friendly interactions and elements

Design

Production Release

The production release involved a carefully orchestrated process of deploying the Maritime Skills Academy's online platform to end-users. This included final testing, configuration, and ensuring seamless integration with existing systems. The results were a successfully launched product, marked by increased class bookings, a 35% reduction in unused spaces, and over a 70% decrease in administrative tasks, leading to enhanced profitability and customer engagement.

Design

ONGOING SUPPORT

Our ongoing support involves regular check-ins, addressing any issues promptly, and facilitating updates or improvements as needed. This ensures sustained product performance, user satisfaction and a lasting partnership with The Maritime Skills Academy.

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