South Essex College


About South Essex College

South Essex College (SEC) is a further and higher education college based in Southend, Essex; it services both the local area and offers courses for students across the UK and internationally.

The Problem

South Essex College put out a tender looking for a complete redesign of their website, from front-end website design through to the content and administration management systems. We were proud to be selected by the college after several stages of tender and proposal reviews. 

The College was looking to have its website redesigned to bring new life into it and help them to reposition themselves and the courses they offer. 

The key issues for South Essex College were: 

  • The website wasn’t performing as required and needed a refresh.
  • The UI needed an overhaul to make the frontend site more intuitive to access to college services.
  • Creating clearly defined areas for accessing information based on the level of study required.
  • Staff needed a more easier way to update content on the site.
  • Simplify the integrations of 3rd Party resources making the process of managing data easier.
  • Improve the visibility and presentation of the college’s offerings to increase traffic and sign-ups.

Our Solution

When taking on the project we undertook extensive research looking at similar colleges and universities around the UK where our designers highlighted common trends that could be translated into SEC’s new site. The college also conducted several rounds of interviews with students, at our request, to discover what students believed the issues with the current website were and where improvements could be made. 

Based on the results of our first- and third-party research, we created a series of wireframes and design documents that illustrated the direction that we believe that the college should take and how the new site would function for each individual division of the college. These were agreed upon by the college.

What We Did:

  • Developed a bootstrapped front-end based on our designs which ensure that the college could highlight key information to students. A key element was to ensure that potential students could have easy access to find courses or search for topics that they were interested in. To achieve this we build a bespoke search engine within the site which could align search requests directly with potentially relevant courses and simplified the navigation system to make it simple and easy to access courses.
  • We developed a back-end management and administration system that was built bespoke using Ruby-on-Rails to deliver the access that the college staff needed while also being upgradable for future requirements
  • We developed dedicated landing pages for the college which were tuned and focused on their key demographics (school leavers and adults looking for further education) to increase their conversion potential.
  • Integrated with the HEI apply system (for student course submission) into the back- and front-end of the website to provide a seamless experience to students when submitting their interest in courses.
  • Integrated the colleges existing events management ticketing system into the site using Eventbrite and connected it into a cohesive singular system.

The Result

When the website was completed, we delivered a fresh new experience for the college. The website provided a professional and easy to use experience for students and staff alike, utilising the latest technologies for a powerful and reactive website that was built for all devices. Since then the college has continued to use our website management services and have continued to develop and improve their site with our support.

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