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"Help our users get the most out of us"

A complete overhaul was needed, tearing to shreds the site we'd created five years earlier - this, was a beast

Hosting and support
Information architecture
Product Design
Project management
User guide / Training
User research
UX build
UX prototyping
Web Development
Wordpress Content Management System (CMS)
February 1, 2022

CORE Economics Education's (CEE) vision is that a radically transformed economics education can contribute to a more just, sustainable, and democratic world in which future citizens are empowered by a new economics to understand and debate how best to address pressing societal problems.

Originally devised and currently directed by Wendy Carlin, Professor of Economics at University College London (UCL), CEE is now a charity that operates outside of UCL. Luka Crnjakovic, COO/CFO at CEE, has been Bravand's client contact since 2015, which means he knows our Team, the work we do and how we do it, really well.

The previous version of their site was created five years ago, essentially as an online home for the one existing ebook, The Economy, and a marketing website that aimed to convince doubting educators that this brave new world of economics education would be accepted and adopted by the mainstream.

Five years later, there are several language translations of The Economy, several further ebook titles available, an unbelievably rich set of almost 500 teaching and learning resources and 386 institutions across the world are using CORE in the instruction of 115,000 students, each year.

We needed to completely overhaul the platform to perform against user top tasks and journeys. The overhaul project saw Bravand helping CEE with user research, empathy mapping, user experience and creative design and a complete rebuild of the site and Content Management System (CMS) - with a focus on accessibility and SEO.

New global search functionality was added - which was challenging given the difference in content available to the three main user groups - all logged-out users, logged-in educators and logged-in students - and a resource search and filter function (which was much less tricky).

The key here was spending time and effort upfront in discovery and research. Mapping user top tasks and journeys to ensure the scope of works captured the features and functions that would really help users surface and engage with the right content.

You can see the latest version of the CORE website, here.

One for Fuckup Nights

(...alright, not quite that dramatic)

This was not an easy project. In fact, at times it was downright painful. We (erm… I) really underscoped it. There was so much more work than we had planned for.

Trying to implement a global search function that would “work” for the three different front-end user journeys - showing enough to coax Instructors along the registration journey, whilst ensuring that Instructor-only resources are not ultimately accessible to Students (and everyone else) that registered for access to CORE, and so many content types, sometimes with entries across multiple tables to make things hang together


It felt like we were back at school. Pushed out of our comfort zone. Learning. We learned a lot of knowledge (to borrow a memorable quote from Frankie off of The Saturdays from an episode of Never Mind the Buzzcocks, Series 22).

We had to re-prioritise the features that were present on the previous site, so that users had access to (admittedly far more fabulous versions of) everything they already had access to, with us working on global search, a Teaching Community and most of the Web Admin top task improvements for a good while post-launch.

I’m forever grateful to our clients:

  • Wendy Carlin, Professor of Economics at University College London (UCL)
  • Luka Crnjakovic, Head of Strategy and Operations at UCL
  • Giacomo Piccoli, at UCL

For their support, belief and patience.

I'm forever grateful to the fantastic team that actually did this work for Team Bravand (see above right). Bravand, like any organisation, is nothing without the talented employees and non-employees that just make shit happen.

That said… you'll find some kind words from our client, below.

Various CORE website creative / UI page designsVarious CORE website UX / prototype page designsCORE website homepage creative / UI design

What we’re seeing, and the feedback we’re getting at this end, from the Editorial Board, the Trustees, Instructors and Learners is that the content is so much more visible, discoverable and accessible, now. It’s so obvious that there are so many additional resources for Instructors and Learners. And that’s exactly what we set out to achieve. Kudos to you and the team - this really highlights why it was so important to spend so much time in that early phase on user research, UX and testing.

Luka Crnjakovic
Head of Strategy and Operations
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