Essential Site Skills website and systems

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ESS deliver hundreds of training courses up and down the country, primarily to the construction industry.

Their existing website was quite dated. It was hard to find information and there was no way for users to book courses directly through the site.

The admin behind booking courses, reminders for sending out information, dealing with venues and engaging trainers was all based around excel spreadsheets and manual processes.

The challenge

  • To create a web platform that showcases all ESS can do in a fresh and modern way whilst making it simple for users to find the courses they need and book them with ease.
  • To streamline the processes internally so that courses booked through the website trigger actions behind the scenes, cutting out as much of the manual work as possible.

Key components

Online bookings

Online payments

Bespoke course management features

Intelligent search

E-Learning portal

Online shop

The solution

Using our unique approach to web design we carried out extensive research then ran a number of discovery workshops to really get to the bottom of how the company operates. 

We interviewed a cross section of the staff from Directors down to administrators along with customer representatives to build an incredibly detailed map of their existing processes. From a customer purchasing a course to the delivery team organising the myriad logistics behind ensuring these could go ahead, right through to years after a course when customers are reminded they need to come back for a refresher.

From these sessions, we created a number of user stories for the front and the back end of the site. This gave us insight into how customers and ESS staff would ideally interact with the site and what they would need to see at various parts of the process.

From a customer perspective, we really wanted to set ESS apart from the competition right from the homepage. Not one competitor we profiled had an intuitive way of searching and finding courses, instead settling for complicated menu and category structures. We created an intelligent search function considered from a user perspective first. Through iterative design and testing, we honed this to make sure it worked seamlessly. Along with location and date filters, this quick and easy way for users to book their courses in the fewest steps possible cuts down on barriers to sale. We also added in an account area so customers can keep track of their bookings all in one place, all housed in a beautifully simple design.

We seamlessly integrated this front end functionality with the back end admin area. The site provides reporting functions, automatic correspondence to various stakeholders, reminders at different stages and much, much more. 

The site has streamlined not only the customer experience, but the day to day running of the business as well. Our successful work on this project has led us to working with ESS on many other projects too. We continue to build new and exciting features into the site today, having already added on an E-Commerce area and an E-Learning platform. We have just launched a bespoke CRM for their sales team that will eventually integrate completely with the existing site as well. 

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