When Williams Language Solutions was developing 'Destination Italy' an online course designed to teach North East businesses how to successfully trade in Italy, it joined forces with a company who understood good communication - in any language.
Indigo Multimedia, specialists in web design and digital communication packages, was appointed to create the digital tools that would deliver the innovative web-based course aimed at improving trade relations between the region and Italy.
Dr Stefania Williams of Williams Language Solutions explains, "This is not simply a language course where we teach a few key phrases - it's a language of mind and culture. She continued, "The website is crucial to the success of the course. An authentic Italian look was key, and it had to be multifunctional providing visitors with a guide to the programme and an introduction to its value and content.  We wanted a facility where visitors could register online and then have the course delivered directly to them from the same site - making it as easy as possible for businesses to use".
The Destination Italy online course guides businesses through cultural and linguistic barriers to make trading in Italy easier and more successful. From understanding body language and the Italian way of 'talking with hands', to learning dining etiquette; the cultural nuances are as important as learning the language so getting this across on a computer screen was Indigo's biggest challenge.
The team at Newcastle based Indigo Multimedia created an authentic Italian look and feel to the site, found at, as Project Manager Ryan Foster explains, "Visual authenticity was as important as functionality. We used original photography to create illustrations of typical Italian street scenes." 
And Dr Stefania Williams herself was also a major influence on the look of the site says Ryan, "Meeting Stefania was fascinating.  She is a typical, passionate, enthusiastic Italian. And so who better to present the site?  We created an illustrated Stefania, who welcomes visitors and takes them through the course.
"When speaking to her you realise how important gesturing is in Italian communication.  In fact, verbal language comes second to body language in initial business meetings in Italy.  So we felt that demonstrating the cultural gestures effectively was vital.  We created images of Stefania making particular hand gestures, and included those illustrations in the course."
The site has also been developed to track the progress of students and let them know how they are doing as they complete the modules.  Stefania and her team can log in at any time to view progress.
'We're delighted with the completed result" said Stefania. "The team at Indigo worked proactively and patiently to fully understand our requirements about how we wanted the site to look and function, ultimately achieving the site we wanted."
As Ryan explains, the key to success was forming a relationship where both parties listened and recognised the values and expertise of the other. "We had to fully understand Stefania's requirements and marry what she wanted with our experience. Ultimately delivering a site with an authentic Italian feel, which was easy to use, delivered the course effectively and tracked progress - all within a two week timeframe! It was tough but exciting - that's Italians for you!" 


TAGS : E-Learning, E-Learning Newcastle, Multilingual Website, News, Web Design Newcastle, Williams Language Solutions


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