Web design – innovation

The brief

To design a single online tool that brings together all of the Department for Education’s data relating to schools and local areas, and enable users to find and compare schools’ performance.

The background

To support the government’s transparency agenda, Michael Gove expressed intentions to deliver a ‘Go Compare’ tool for schools data.

Education data relating to local areas and schools data was inconsistent and spread across a number of disparate websites making it difficult for users to see a single clear picture of how well a school or area was performing overall.

We were asked to address this by designing an online application to bring together all of the information in one place and deliver the department’s transparency obligations.

What we did

We created a single online tool that was designed around user needs by giving them a way of viewing all departmental data for a single school or area in one location. Each school and area had a mini-site that displayed a range of data for that school such as:

  • location (map)
  • characteristics
  • school’s performance
  • spend per pupil
  • related articles and Ofsted report

By integrating Google maps and OS boundary data, users could navigate from national to school level, viewing all related departmental data at each stage. Users could also search and select schools that interested them to create a dynamic mini-site that mashed their data together, so users can compare performance on one web page.

How our approach was innovative

Our approach was innovative for a number of reasons:

  • we delivered a tool that works around user behaviour rather than department structure
  • we designed an innovative user interface that perfectly marries a very visual interface with a simpler more accessible way of browsing
  • we connected open services such as Google Maps and OS Boundary data and Edubase data with a level of integration not seen before

How this benefited the client

  • the department delivered on its promise to create a ‘Go Compare’ tool for schools
  • the solution delivered 4* transparency with a roadmap to deliver 5* (the highest rating possible)
  • all school and area data and information is connected online enabling users to find what they’re looking for in a single place
  • the Schools Compare tool allows the department to decommission existing websites and services, resulting in cost savings

Referee details are available on request

Got a question?

Call Nick Spence on 01486 608224