Case study: LCI web redesign with e-commerce

London City Institute logo

Chartec Financial Limited "provides high quality English language and Computing courses at very affordable prices" through its London City Institute. The School began in early 2002 with one employee in one room, but by January 2003 it had two branches, twenty classrooms, employed thirty five staff and had become one of the largest schools of its type in London.

However, Irfan Najam Khan, the company's founder and Managing Director, decided that their website was "disappointing". It was failing in its key function, which was to attract foreign students in their home countries and convince them to enrol at the London City Institute.

A "professional looking yet affordable website" was required, one that is both "impressive" and "easy to use". Moreover, since the website takes credit card details (using WorldPay) it needed to appear trustworthy and secure.

Surfability completed the six-week redesign project in March 2003. The resulting website can be found at

Surfability solution

There were five phases to the project:

  1. Research customers (via a questionnaire), competitors, search engines, statistics, web content and architecture
  2. Design the look-and-feel through specific features, colour schemes, graphics, and logo(s)
  3. Develop and test web functionality and page templates for multiple (spoken) languages and web browsers
  4. Implement and prototype new design with new content and enhanced searchability
  5. Roll out new website after debugging and fine-tuning, train its webmaster, and increase its global profile

Every step in our solution for London City Institute was documented on the Surfability extranet website to enable our customer to monitor our progress on a daily basis.

Problems solved

There were a number of obstacles that had to be overcome during the course of the project:

"On first meeting Mark and Paul, the directors of Surfability, I was very impressed by their in-depth knowledge, intelligence and professionalism. They listened to everything I had to say and then sent me an extremely thorough document describing exactly how they would go about redesigning and marketing our website. I was able to follow their progress on a day-to-day basis by logging in to the Surfability extranet and reading the project reports on-line.

Now that it has gone 'live' they continue to update and maintain the site, and I have found them to be extremely responsive, quick to fix problems and act upon requests. As our company grows our website grows with us so it's good to know that it's in very safe hands!"

Irfan Najam Khan, Managing Director, Chartec Financial Limited.

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