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icould

icould is an organisation developed by CRAC, the Career Development Organisation, based out of Cambridge in the UK. Their primary brand asset is a comprehensive website, host to over a 1000 video life stories.

The primary icould brand application features an online resource which contains a library of 3000 career stories from the UK workforce, filmed with high production values and broadcast to the icould web audience.

Think of icould as a new take on career advice, using community based web 2.0 broadcast video. Firedog was tasked with the creation of a fresh, dynamic brand that appealed not only to a youth audience, but also to anyone seeking alternative career advice. As the icould brand proposition is “Real Stories, Real People”; it was important for us to create an accessible and honest look and feel that is not patronising in any form. The brand needed to address two primary audiences namely; the people telling their career stories and secondly the people absorbing the stories and making connections with their own circumstances.

We created a vibrant look and feel comprising of both inspirational imagery and a bespoke illustrative style. The imagery features the young target audience looking confident and directly at the lens. Surrounding the image is a silhouette of a persons head containing careers related forms and shapes. The shapes break away to one side, reinforcing the idea of positive movement and change. The result is a stylish juxtaposition of real life and poignant themes. The brand has met with very positive feedback from both the sector and also the target audience.

Since brand launched in November 2009, the icould brand has grown from strength to strength with thousands of visits a day on the website and the engagement of around 120,000 young people at regional skills and careers events across the UK.

Website

Following the successful branding of icould, Firedog was tasked with creating the streaming video portal which represents the majority of the organisations activity. The site hosts and delivers over 3000 individual career stories, streamed via flash media technologies to the end user. The video content is also coupled with a bespoke content and tag authoring platform.

Design thinking : We created a number of digital brand interfaces. Here is an early version that got pipped at the post.
Front end design : The final homepage represents a perfect balance of of youthful approach and competent user centered design.

Firedog created the architecture and wireframes for the design and functionality of the site. We then built a box model prototype which outlined overall page functionality and layout before putting the design brief through the studio.

30 individual page designs covered all the required look and feel of the front end and enabled the development team to accurately represent the desired design language. We built a bespoke tag authoring tool which is designed to empower the client with control over their streaming media. The tool allowed for multiple and simultaneous uploads of video content, coupled with the ability to tag the video files. The tag ontology, as it is known, varied greatly and consisted of multiple layers of information – Covering everything from Job Sector to Life Themes such as “childhood aspirations”. This “deep tagging” allowed for great customisation and control, making content highly relevant to the end user.

User focussed : We analyse and understand the trends of the sites audience and gear an online journey through their eyes.
Deep planning : We like to put our digital projects through rigorous planning - So that we can stress test our thinking and communicated our end vision with the client.

The entire site is Content Manageable and is built on the WordPress publishing platform, which enables extensive use of plugins to ensure scalability. Users are able to register on the site, create a profile, save favourite videos and also preselect tags that are relevant to them – This pushes video stories that are carefully and intelligently selected for their personality and career type.

Within six months of re-launch of the portal, web analytics indicates that the number of unique visitors to the new site has already increased by 500%, a result that has far exceeded client expectations and re-inforces that the site is acknowledged to be light years ahead of comparative institutional websites.

WORDS: firedog