Website consolidation, development and brand guardianship

QA Group

Project overview

QA are one of the UK’s leading IT learning providers, working with over 80% of the FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 to deliver learning and apprenticeships across areas such as cyber security, project management, IT systems and networking, business and management. The company’s growth and client base pay testament to the quality of their offer and having worked with two of the company’s business areas for some years, we were delighted to be appointed to deliver the new project.


To coincide with a company-wide rebrand, QA needed to update their web presence, bringing together 5 previously disparate business unit websites into a single coherent website.

Creative process

To meet this very specific timetable, the website project had to be completed within an extremely compressed time frame – initial research indicated a normal development period of 6-7 months, but the available time to meet brand launch deadlines was just 2 months. We quickly formulated a dedicated project team to work extremely closely with the QA Project Manager and the wider teams across the QA business. The team got to work, familiarising themselves with the new brand and getting under the skin of the needs of each area of the business.

One of the greatest concerns was ensuring continuity of service on the new website across five business areas for all of QA’s diverse client audiences. The existing websites (built on Sitecore, WordPress and Umbraco) integrated with online purchasing systems, three in-house data systems that manage course content and availability, and three applicant tracking systems for vacancies and apprenticeships. Every integration was business critical.

At the same time, wherever practical in the available time, we were keen to streamline and improve the user experience, not only for QA’s clients but also for the QA administration team. Detailed wireframes for each area of the site were developed to ensure that the content and functional requirements of the business were met and laid out in a logical and consistent manner, so as to positively impact user journeys. 

These wireframes were then used by our design and development teams to create both the front-end responsive designs and the underlying system functionality. 

We used agile project management techniques and tools to manage the project from start to finish, with complete transparency across the client team. We ran 5-day sprints throughout the 9-week project period with daily stand-ups, with QA and Thinkology working as one cohesive team. This close co-operation kept each component of the development synchronised to minimise delays and to optimise implementation and testing. In our opinion, the project would not have been possible without the commitment and pragmatism across the QA team and their commitment to robust project management. Whilst they teach these processes day in and day out to learners across the UK, it was great to see them demonstrate their knowledge and understanding in a truly practical manner. 

The website launched on schedule on Monday 8 July 2019 and is seen as the first step in a constantly evolving platform to support QA learners and the growth of QA.

We are looking forward to helping power that potential!

 

An absolutely fantastic job. I am so proud of the end result. Such a short timeframe. Such a big project. A great job done by all.

Mary Sansom
Corporate Brand and Communications Director
QA

A MASSIVE THANK YOU for everything you have done over the last 2.5 months. To think that we first met at the end of April, and here we are in early July with a brand new site is pretty amazing. I know you have worked tirelessly on this, worked goodness knows how many weekends, late nights, and put up with all of my random questions and queries. I very much doubt whether we would have got to this point without you guys as the agency.

Cathy Porritt
Consultant Project Manager
QA

I was very excited to access the new website this morning from my phone and show if off to the family. It feels like the business has had a huge dose of rejuvenation injected. The site looks great, works well on every device I tried it on, and shows QA off in a wholly different and better way. Congratulations and thanks to you all for getting it done so effectively (and on time too). I know there has been a huge amount of time and effort put in by everyone, and that this version is just the beginning, but still a very exciting step forward.

William Macpherson
Chief Executive
QA

Deliverables

  • Research and analysis of website usage and integrations prior to development.
  • Detailed user journeys, process flows and wireframes.
  • One central CMS, using our customised version of Umbraco. The environment includes development, testing, content staging and live platforms with deployment integration and version control.
  • 5 days of key photography
  • Customised page building components to provide a broad range of flexibility in page structures whilst maintaining a consistent brand and user experience.
  • Fully responsive design using key components of the new brand.
  • Multiple API integrations for course content and availability, recruitment management and applicant tracking
  • Secure hosting, security and maintenance
  • 24/7 helpdesk and support