Digital product Studio
Case studies


Online event registrations for training with a difference

The challenge?

Create an online platform for users to register and admins to manage events, attendees and hosts


Digital branding, UX design, UI design, Ruby on Rails, API integrations

So what?

A rapid first release design and build to accommodate the needs of a very specific audience

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Digital branding

As is often the case, brand guideline documents very rarely articulate exactly how to translate a brand into the digital space. However, with the basics of typography and colour, we set about conveying the brand through the content for the application. The biggest puzzle to solve was the use of imagery, given that we were pre-launch and none existed. We had to carve a path finding and working with stock imagery that felt relevant and meeting and building on the tone of the brand identity.

Eventually, we limited the palette provided and arrived at using frames and irregular shapes to support the content and purpose of the course drawing attention to the complexity of our ‘differences’, which are not inherently a nice neatly boxed and tidy thing!

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Prototyping key user flows

Frontstage and backstage flows

On face value the user flows are quite simple for registering for an event, but there were some very specific requirements around the backstage processes that would dictate how the users journey through not just the website, but the overall service. Understanding these journeys was fundamental to the decision to use Ruby on Rails for the tech stack.

The event registration sign-up process integrated into a MailChimp audience to manage the email journeys based on the event they had registered for and whether or not the event had happened and if they had actually attended or not.

Behind the scenes the team needed a way to see attendees and mark their attendance on site at the in person event. Attendees of the initial training were then ‘approved’ and systematically moved on to be able to register as a host and run the course themselves.

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Rails for the win (again)

It’s projects like this that makes us fall in love with Rails all over again. Like with any first release we looked at leveraging any services that already exist in order to get a product in front of users and not re-invent the wheel.

After exploring the obvious bootstrap options such as eventbrite for event booking, we quickly established their limitations for the specific jobs to be done. It just didn’t tick enough boxes for what we needed to achieve for managing attendees and the subsequent flow to transition them to hosts post training. As hosts they would need access to assets and resources to run the course themselves.

With data protection and GDPR requirements, a bespoke Rails app became the obvious choice giving the Difference team a solid platform that can scale as they grow.