The National College for High Speed Rail
case study

The challenge: the National College for High Speed Rail was the first of its kind. How did we establish its online presence while effectively engaging with all of its key stakeholders?

Website home page


The National College for High Speed Rail opened in September 2017, with a commitment to building a workforce equipped with the industry-focused higher technical skills required to deliver large infrastructure projects like HS2.

With two state-of-the-art campuses in Birmingham and Doncaster, the college needed a website that would inspire the next generation of rail industry workers, showcase the cutting-edge technology used to teach, enable online applications and provide information for investors.

Departing from the norm

Starting with a blank canvas, a logo, fonts and a colour palette, we began by designing and developing graphical elements to reveal the college’s story.

Working with the bold colour palette, we created graphics that employed cut-outs of futuristic technology along with polygons and sharp lines to reflect the rapid development of the sector.

We used infographics to communicate hard facts to the college’s different audiences: those looking at employing apprentices or investing directly with the college in training and resources, of course – but perhaps most importantly, those considering taking the leap into a career in a relatively new industry.

Abstract train image
Website images

How the journey developed

We worked closely with the college from the start, through the development of wireframes and the design and build of the site, making sure that all stakeholders and users were involved and fully represented.

The design and look of the website was important to create an impact and buzz around the college. But it was equally vital that the functionality of the website catered for all users, and that course information was clearly displayed and optimised for viewing on all devices to encourage applications.

The online application form fields were built to import directly to the college’s CRM system. The recruitment team was able to actively post and manage online job applications, allowing staff to be in place for the opening of the college and ensuring that investors could contact the college and be aware of the local and national events the college is involved in.

Reflecting the college’s commitment to inclusivity, we launched the site with accessibility so that users were able to change colours, font sizes and stop movement.


Website arrived on platform 2017

The site was successfully launched in February 2017. Happy Giraffe continues to work with the college to ensure its website evolves to meet the changing needs of the college and its many user groups. Future plans include a multilingual site to cater for international audiences.

More Happy Giraffe case studies