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Long White Digital Ltd

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Case study: low-cost responsive website in 2 days

By Tim Reader, 18 January 2013
In: New projects

Bumblebee Learning approached Long White Digital on Wednesday last week to ask if we could turn around a website for them in 2 days on a budget of under £1,000.

Bumblebee Learning homepage

I should say first of all, we don’t generally go for these; it is actually so unrealistic that we would be sensible to run a mile. But a combination of a free window, an empathy with their work and mission, and an immediate rapport with the client made us take a risk.

Bumblebee Learning provide hands-on iPad workshops in schools, with particular focus on struggling schools and disadvantaged kids. They go into schools with a stack of iPads, pre-loaded with various apps, work with the kids who spend a day putting together a project that they present to class at the end of the day. The inspiring thing is seeing the transformation in a child who previously showed minimal engagement with anything in the classroom.

With our own background in using digital technologies and innovation to improve the learning landscape — Tim worked for the educational R&D organisation, Futurelab, for three years — this kind of thing is right up our street.

Armed with a new website, Bumblebee are now able to apply for Apple Distinguished Educators program for further funding, training and recognition for their venture.

How they helped us to nail it

The key to getting it done so fast on such a small budget came down to some incredible input from the client, that made our job easy.

Prep

They knew what they wanted and came to us with content ready to go. I briefed them on how to wireframe (sketch a mock-up) so they could show us what content they wanted where on the pages.

Writing

Founder Bella Saer is a journalist as well as a composer and educator so the copy we were working with was great quality and helped inform the design. Designing around real content always pays off (as opposed to designing around placeholder text and then shoehorning it in later) and was exemplified here.

Some technical knowledge

A small understanding of the web and WordPress on the half of the client goes a long way. If all parties accept the limitations and constraints of the web — and embrace its opportunities — then conversations happen a lot faster, miscommunication is reduced and we’re all a lot more productive and happy.

Flexibility

Flexibility, or rather willingness to let things go, is a huge plus with any project, but most especially these ones. Some things just aren’t worth the candle and when you’re on a shoestring budget/schedule it’s as well to recognise that. 20% of stuff is probably worth obsessing about; the other 80% matters way less than any of us ever realise.