This year, we transformed the app’s user experience. We wanted more effective and useful visits with less sense of panic.
Users could build up their own profile by answering simple questions such as ‘courses applied for’. This encouraged them to think about their options early on and laid foundations for a more intelligent search once results and course data were released.
Although still the main draw, this year’s app had more to offer than just Clearing courses on A-level results day. Even before course data was available there was a useful set of institution profiles to explore including HESA stats such as student satisfaction, gender balance and cost of living.
These changes had the desired effect. Sessions were longer on average, with more than double the number of screen views, demonstrating the higher level of engagement achieved and the stronger commercial proposition for The Telegraph.
The 24 hours surrounding the release of A-level results are a tense time. Clarity and reliability are key for young people about to end weeks of waiting to find out their future.
Our 2016 release of The Telegraph Clearing app was built on years of experience providing high traffic event support at the critical moment. We designed an app which encouraged pre-planning to reduce stress both for students and for the technology. The data suggests this softened the usual extreme spikes in traffic demand which were previously the norm.
Whilst we had more traffic overall, the calmer behaviour on the app led to a smoother arrival and departure of users than in previous years.
As we couldn’t know with certainty what the shape of demand might be in advance we were prepared for anything. The whole team engaged in game planning and in stress testing the technologies and likely scenarios well in advance of the big day. This allowed us to define the key metrics and produce a reliable scalable hosting solution.
The Telegraph Clearing app is a hugely important product with the power to change lives at the critical moment. Downloaded earlier in the week as expectant students fear the worst. Used on the day to mend shattered dreams before being ceremoniously deleted afterwards as a sign of victory.
The whole team at Human are immensely proud to have delivered The Telegraph Clearing app in its most successful year yet.