Norwich University of the Arts PROFILE website


After successfully rebranding the Norwich University of the Arts ‘employability skills matrix initiative’ as PROFILE, NUA commissioned us to create a suite of materials to deliver it. Using the insight gained by our research phase, we initially delivered PROFILE as a card game. By using gamification in this way, students used the card game sessions with NUA Careers staff to document their progress learning and applying PROFILE’s key ten soft skills for the creative sector workplace. They also logged their work experience in order to begin to build a CV.

Realising that logging this on paper was an inefficient and inflexible way to chart the students progress, we designed and developed the PROFILE web app, retaining the playing card format to keep the same user experience online. Our web-app enabled students to mark their progress by dragging the relevant virtual skill cards from left to right, which activated a counter that logged their score to the database. This way, students could update their skills on the fly, either on a desktop or on their mobiles, anywhere and anytime. Students could also upload evidence for any particular skill, thereby augmenting their unique digital PROFILE as they progressed throughout their course.

From now on, a snap shot for each student’s progress is captured every year and the complete set of student data for any NUA course can be analysed using a visual graph in the admin section. This already has proven to be a valuable resource for NUA staff to help them identify patterns of behaviour and adjust the student’s careers training accordingly.

Recently, we’ve added a Creative Job board section to the web app, encouraging students to use it for more than just their own personal development. All students have been invited to the platform and given a unique login. Now NUA can tailor job hunting specifically to specific courses, as well as allowing students to see every job advertised.

As we knew the PROFILE web app would continuously develop and grow, we built the platform using Ruby on Rails, to give us the necessary flexibility to take it into the future.

A Fine Studio worked with us from the very early stages of our unique gamified approach to employability skills, NUA Profile. The magic that Fine brought to it was in creating the Profile brand and delivering it as complete web app, from design to development.

Sarah Steed, Business Director at Norwich University of the Arts
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