Reimagining Electronic Services for a Youth Audience

The Brief
The team at the Duke of Edinburgh Award wanted to provide more convenient access to the suite of support services available to participants during the completion of their program. To avoid lengthy document control and time-consuming participant appraisals, the organisation needed to increase engagement with their online EDofE system.

The existing website platform was a slow, desktop only web portal built on .Net that did not provide a fluid user experience to a young generation of smartphone-using participants. Overthrow Digital were tasked with building a solution that would appeal to the target users, boost usage of the system and increase participant engagement.
Boost participant interaction with electronic DofE services
Reduce helpdesk support enquiries
Maintain high security for young audiences
The Solution
Overthrow Digital built a new eDofE App and website which makes it simple for participants to record their DofE goals and achievement as they work through the DofE programme. There was considerable focus to avoid any change to the workflow or programme rules in developing the app, so a cultural change from large waterfall-based projects to an Agile based approach was adopted with this project.

Amongst the challenges encountered was the need to re-engineer a live platform with approximately 2.5 million user accounts into a modern app-based technology, whilst maintaining security, integrity and availability of all data.

The challenge of maintaining the desktop eDofE website and the new app, whilst making simultaneous changes was overcome by adoption of a new technology stack for app development.

The app spread the load from concurrent users and reduced the amount of server scaling the organisation were having to carry out and absorb the costs of. As well as this the App is now available on devices that match the target users’ preferred device type, and the front end more closely reflects the client brand, ensuring a consistent experience across all digital touch-points.
Create a framework which can be scoped to include further users
Include existing functionality and improve user experience with app technology
User responsive design to function on multiple device types
Location services to provide local contacts and relevant offers
Notifications to encourage progression
Reduce service desk calls using ‘Stay logged in’ and fingerprint recognition for security
IOS & Android
The Result
By making the Award more accessible through mobile-first technology, we extended the reach to participants beyond the traditional school computer room. Uptake has increased year on year, with a baseline average of 100,000 downloads per year.

The app is in the top 100 Lifestyle apps on the iOS app store, but more importantly engagement with the EDofE system has massively increased, on a system that can scale more effectively and at a significantly lower running cost.
UK Top 100 Lifestyle App
In the UK 27% of all young people (ages 14-24) have started an award on this system