We created a website and sophisticated booking system for Active Superstars, allowing parents and carers to book their children on to courses during and outside of the school term.
Active Superstars’ original website was outdated, and didn’t attract its target audience to convert by booking online. Therefore, we needed to create a new website from scratch, with a new branded look to engage new customers and showcase the evolving services that Active Superstars are offering.
A key part of the build was a custom booking system that included all of the features that Active Superstars would need for users to confidently book online.
Who are Active Superstars?
Active Superstars provide sports education services for local schools and communities in Birmingham. They run academy courses, including soccer and dance, throughout the year to inspire both children and their families to lead a healthy, active lifestyle. As well as this, Active Superstars assist schools by enhancing the national curriculum through specialist sports training for students.
Active Superstars approached Ballyhoo with a functioning website which held a primitive booking facility that was not working effectively for them. Their branding also appeared to be quite outdated, therefore they needed:
- A brand that encompasses everything that the company offers and values;
- A modern website that focuses on user experience; and
- A booking system that allows users to book onto courses with ease.
With these goals in mind, we created a proposal that involved:
- Branding design with bright colours and simple typography to be synonymous with working in the education sector;
- Creating a modern website that allows Active Superstars to reach their target audience; and
- Building a custom booking system to allow users to easily book their children onto courses, choosing dates and venues, with the ability to register for an account.
“We approached Ballyhoo after having a bad experience with a few web designers. The quality of service since approaching Ballyhoo has been exceptional and we are extremely pleased with our website.”
With a strong customer base already, Active Superstars were keen to keep changes to their brand minimal as it was already well recognised in the community. However, colours used in the logo did not complement one another or work well on printed media. The logo was also very intricate and busy which did not work well on the embroidered clothing the Active Superstars team wore.
With this in mind, the first stage was to improve and modernise their logo whilst switching to a similar yet safer colour palette that would suit both digital and printed media. Part of this process included changing the font within the logo to something that would work well for all aspects of clothing and media in order to maintain consistency.
Brand guidelines contain detailed examples on how the logo should be displayed and positioned in various situations as well as having information on colour codes, straplines and typography. The client can refer to this guide or present it to graphic designers to ensure their brand is consistent across all media.
We documented all of the elements involved in the Active Superstars and produced a set of brand guidelines for staff and designers to use to ensure logos, colours and fonts match each other, wherever implemented. Active Superstars produce a wide range of flyers, brochures and even merchandise with their logo on so it is vital that this looks professional at all times.
Information Architecture & Booking System UI
Once branding was complete, we needed to take time to really understand how the business operates in terms of what courses are on offer in order to produce an effective and engaging website and booking system UI.
Active Superstars provide a wide range of courses, each of which offers a huge degree of flexibility for parents. Some parents, for example, may want to book multiple children onto one course and select the days which best suit them. Along with this, parents also need the ability to pick extra “add-on” services such as the ability to drop children off early or collect them late, a necessity for working parents or those who have other commitments. This meant we needed to incorporate a complete, tailored booking system into the website with a strong focus on usability.
The website needed to cater for two distinct target audiences; parents looking for information and to book courses for their children and head teachers or senior management within schools looking for help on enhancing their curriculum and spending their school sports premium effectively, particularly by educating students in sports as part of their physical education.
Considering how important our children are to us, it was essential the website clearly communicated that Active Superstars is a company to trust. They wanted to show off testimonials from parents and head teachers alike and clearly demonstrate the key information regarding the processes in place to ensure the protection and safety of children under their care.
Active Superstars have a large team of sports coaches and leaders so it is important parents and teachers know exactly who they will be entrusting their children with. With this in mind, we included a gallery of staff photographs which includes a short biography for each member of the team that also allows them to show off their skills and relevant qualifications.
Look & Feel
The website design concept needed to encompass both the booking system and standard website content, including key information about safeguarding. The website look and feel is consistent with the brand produced, aiming to engage both parents and educators alike and support a feeling of confidence in Active Superstars. We went with a bright, sleek design based on a white background, allowing users’ eyes to be drawn to the bright pops of colour throughout the website to encourage calls to action. We also used rounded edges on coloured boxes and sections to soften the look of the website – synonymous with not having hard edges around children.
Imagery is a key part of the design of this site, with professional photography of children enjoying the courses in action communicating much more than words ever can.
We were fully aware that parents were likely to want to book quickly, with as little effort as possible, from any location on a mobile device (smartphone or tablet). Therefore, the entire website, and booking system in particular, needed to be fully responsive and work efficiently on each and every mobile device. Extensive testing on devices and operating systems both physical and virtual was carried out to ensure that the site performed as expected cross-device.
As Active Superstars have some courses that run for a full academic year, it was essential that we created a system which allowed parents to quickly find courses they’re interested in and select the exact days they’d wish to send their children. This was not an easy task and took specialist knowledge and skills to create a sophisticated booking system that reflected the clients needs.
We also wanted to maximise the number of return customers and, therefore, made the booking process even easier for existing customers, without drawing out the process for new customers or those who do not wish to create an account. New customers simply begin booking and are given the opportunity to create and save a password of their choice in order to retrieve their details the next time they wish to make a booking.
Once they have created an account, parents can simply enter their email address and chosen password and the booking form will automatically populate their contact details. They can even choose which of their children they’d like to add to the booking as the system will have each child’s details stored in the account.
When logged in, parents can also update their details, add or remove children and check their order history from a dedicated account area.
As we’ve given users the ability to make payment at the time of booking, it is of utmost importance that we ensure users have confidence that transactions are safe and their details are secure. We achieved this by implementing an SSL certificate to enhance the safety of the website and show we have gone the extra mile. When selling online it’s strongly recommended to provide more than one payment option, so we have also given parents two payment options when it comes to booking onto a course, PayPal and Stripe.
PayPal is a household name that millions of people trust, it allows users to pay without having their card details at the ready which ideal for families on the go. However, the checkout process can be slightly protracted as there are several steps required in order to complete a payment and it can be awkward if you do not already have an account.
Stripe gives users the ability to quickly and efficiently pay by debit or credit card directly on the Active Superstars website. Stripe is a globally recognised payment provider who offer secure payment, advanced fraud protection and a seamless payment integration.
In order to encourage parents to book more sessions and multiple children, we built a facility that offers a wide range of discount options. Some of which include:
- A general percentage discount such as 10%, 15% or 20%, applicable before a certain date as an “early bird” discount to encourage users to book quickly.
- Discounts for additional children added to a booking.
- Discounts for parents who book their children on a course for five consecutive days (a full school week).
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