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17 Dec 2008

Wickedweb goes back to school with Bedales

by Anna Dixon

Following a competitive 8-way pitch, Wickedweb has recently been appointed as the preferred digital marketing agency to Bedales Schools, the independent school based in Hampshire.  The digital agency has already started to develop an innovative and engaging digital solution that will position the Schools in a league of their own, undertaking user research focus groups and conducting telephone interviews to capture the target audience requirements and preferences. 

There are three Bedales Schools - Dunannie, Dunhurst and Bedales - catering for ages 3 to 18. Founded in 1893 as a liberal alternative to the rigid and authoritarian regimes prevalent in independent schools, Bedales has just introduced a new Prospectus which captures the schools' unique selling points - the dynamic and creative culture, the caring personality and the broad and imaginative approach to learning.  It also conveys the breadth and quality of the schools' offering, including the unique mix of 21st century teaching methods and traditional hand-craftsmanship skills including bread baking and outdoor work, with enthusiasm.

The key objective of the web design brief is to capture this same sense of energy, diversity, spirit and quality online, as well as introducing an improved user journey and enhancing functionality for the target audiences, which is why Wickedweb's user centred web design process offered the perfect fit.  Following the focus group research and persona creation, which has involved students, parents, governors, staff, and alumni, Wickedweb is working on the user experience strategy, information architecture and web design. 

Bedales Schools will be running on the Wickedweb content management system, which provides the web editors and contributors at the school freedom to update and manage their own website and both internal and external communications.  Following the initial launch, which will see the introduction of a dynamic events calendar, a 'My Bedales' login area for the parents to view their child’s timetable and progress reports online,  the 12-month development plan includes webcams, multimedia content, a staff directory and a virtual school tour, creating a fully interactive solution.

With plenty of time spent in the classroom, soaking up the informal and innovative atmosphere at Bedales, the Wickedweb team are enjoying being back at school... we're off to the canteen!

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