College English

'CfBT goes soft'

Design Brief

Cfbt hired an offshore production company to design and develop their proprietary English language training software. After a year without a design solution, CfBT contacted Katz-i to advise.

The target market for the Flash-based application was cross-cultural, early teens to early 30s, with a desire to learn English. The project required animation to be kept to a minimum and ensure intuitive navigation for those with limited computer experience. The interface design needed a high level of design consistency throughout, along with a design that would easily reproduce across several screens.

Design Solution

Katz-i created a variety of interface solutions for presentation to CfBT (four of the later samples shown at the right). Delighted with each, the client opted to go with more conservative graphics while keeping the suggested colour scheme (samples shown at bottom right).

Extensive photo shoots were arranged for reference to draw the many characters. Created first by Katz-i as thumbnails, the backgrounds (sets) were developed for each scene.

Story boards by Katz-i International Web & Graphic Design

With art direction from the Katz-i team, finished art was generate by the offshore group.

Visual ergonomics would be an issue as students would be spending several hours watching a monitor. Changing screens would aid in keeping interest. A softer colour palette was used to ease eyestrain. Greys, with dashes of colour, was the solution.

Barnaby Priest, project manager

Client's comment: We had been working with our software providers for several months on the development of English language software for pre-tertiary non-native English language speakers. The methodology required a treatment with a wide range graphics showing students in a variety of settings - classrooms, cafes, corridors, lecture halls etc. The software house had a high turnover of graphics design staff and were unable to come up with a design that guaranteed a consistent high quality output.

Things had come to a stalemate and the clock was ticking (along with the $$$). We contacted Katz-i International Web & Graphic Design who brought a breath of fresh air into the proceedings. Lots of quirky ideas which looked great - the final however, approach was quite a traditional one more fitting to a fairly traditional classroom setting that would be familiar to many of the target students. Katz-i's layouts and storyboards were really good and created a sense of movement through the materials even though they were static images.

Although the problem of staff turnover remained, the final quality of the images was vastly improved and helped to unify the diverse elements of the product. At all times throughout the design process Katz-i was receptive to our inputs, worked closely with our staff and produced deliverables on time and to quality.

Barnaby Priest, Project Manager, CfBT

Client: CfBT (Centre for British Teachers)

Publicity: Software package

College English sample by Katz-i International Web & Graphic Design College English sample by Katz-i International Web & Graphic Design College English sample by Katz-i International Web & Graphic Design College English sample by Katz-i International Web & Graphic Design College English backgrounds College English characters