Udrafter, short for the University Draft, is a young Aberdeen start-up which provides a platform for micro-internships. In the last 12 months the team have expanded into Scotland's central belt due to a successful Seedrs investment campaign, it was so successful that the investment ended 30 days early after raising £300,000 – £65,000 more than its initial target.
Following this, the Udrafter team have now opened an Edinburgh office to serve clients in the Central Belt and have hired three new staff. Founded by brothers Daryll and Luke Morrow. Daryll initially setup the company when he was finishing his master’s degree at Robert Gordon University in international business. While Darryll was starting to seek employment following the end of his studies, he was constantly told that he did not have enough work experience, this made him devise the business plan for Udrafter and talk more about the business proposition to his brother. They both recognised that students who went for first-time jobs did not have the experience needed that employers were looking for and therefore asked - why aren’t people getting real-world experience throughout University?
There was certainly a need for a platform that could support students finding work and for employers to fill small scopes of work – for example, social media management, website updates, data entry and some students have even worked on CAD drawings for employers.
In a nutshell, Udrafter offers firms the chance to engage students in paid work experience on a range of projects from as little as two hours in length to month-long roles. Darryll and Luke, therefore, created an online platform where students and recent graduates could find flexible, paid and degree-relevant projects with innovative businesses, starting in Aberdeen. Equally, the team wanted to provide businesses with rapid and direct access to student talent at a fraction of the traditional cost. It would be a destination for students to seek micro-internships and for employers to employ a new generation of talent that would suit modern business practices.
There are equal benefits to both the students and employers. Employers can hire quickly and administrative burdens like payroll and background checks are lessened through the features that Udrafter provide.
Following the planning and research of the start-up, the brothers were introduced to Intellicore's CEO Barry Booth following signing up for the Elevator Accelerator programme in 2017.
Barry along with other businessmen and women from in and around Aberdeen were able to offer support to start-ups within the Elevator Accelerator with mentoring, help with business model creation, pitch practice, funding access and networking.
Along with his business support, Barry liked what he was seeing and hearing from the brothers on their plans and goals he wanted to help with developing the app software for the Udrafter app that would prove to be an essential piece of the Udrafter student proposition.
Udrafter required an application for mobiles and tablets that worked seamlessly and provided an enjoyable and straightforward user experience having identified an opportunity in the market.
Currently, 49% of students open an app 11+ times each day. 57% of all digital media usage comes from mobile apps and the average smart phone owner uses 30 apps each month. In 2019 there were approximately 204bn worldwide downloads of apps, so the 'app movement' is not going anywhere in the foreseeable future.
The two teams at Udrafter and Intellicore identified that there was a demand within the student community for a user-friendly app that would accompany the website udrafter.com. Apps bring a huge amount of benefits and are becoming increasingly popular among businesses and service providers. From commerce stores and payment banks to food delivery and healthcare, there is almost no industry where mobile applications haven’t proved their marketing value or established itself fundamental for effective communication with target customers.
The teams saw a huge amount of benefits for having an app aimed at the demanding student market in Aberdeen initially and for it to evolve throughout the United Kingdom.
The Udrafter team were looking for an app that would cover the following goals:
- Students can easily create an account and populate their biography, qualifications, work experience, and feature a unique avatar
- Students can easily search for one-off jobs or projects using a seamless and intuitive interface
- Job seekers can apply to one-off job or project, depending on their needs and wants
- Link the job application(s) to employers and ensure that they can review all the information that is needed
- Once the work has been carried out Udrafter then securely process the payments from the hiring business to the personal account of the student worker – It was a definite one-stop shop.
What we did
The Intellicore team are very experienced in developing apps, and the team always strive to innovate and look at new processes to integrate. Using this information, we iterated on sketches and wireframes to showcase the ideal user workflow. As we are looking at two types of user here, the employer (the hiring manager) and the Student (job seeker) we needed to ensure that both parties were getting the most from the app and the Intellicore team was continually aware of the two kinds of users.
The employer benefited from the seamless app-driven HR business process that was developed by the Intellicore team and they could have the essential functionalities that would allow them to:
- Easily post a job vacancy to the student market
- View numerous student applicant profiles
- Seamlessly accept an offer
- Have the capabilities to message a job seeker privately to exchange further details about the job
- The employer will be assured in the knowledge that the student is paid on completion of the work through Udrafters secure payment system
- The job poster/recruiter can then leave feedback as a review
“We wanted to keep the core features as simple as possible for the users yet create a well-built mobile environment for Udrafter. The goal was clear, deliver an immediate in-depth, and customisable user experience with all the content and functionality that today’s student jobs seekers and employers require. We needed to create a smooth journey for them.”
Shaun Henderson, Lead Project Engineer, Intellicore.
It was important to Udrafter to offer an app that worked across multiple devices and platforms. Intellicore created two variations of the app based on UX design best practices for both Apple and Android products, giving users the best possible experience on their devices while still offering a brand experience unique to Udrafter.
The benefits following project completion
The Udrafter app has been widely received in Aberdeen and now it is being rolled out in all the other major cities – Dundee, Glasgow and Edinburgh. Udrafter is expected to continue to grow and with that more changes to the business that will have an impact on the app. The students have fully engaged with the new Udrafter solution developed by the Intellicore team due to its user-friendly design interface, and employers have embraced the app as it allows a straight forward hiring process for them to manage easily.
The app has received a five-star rating on the Apple App Store and is continuing to roll out updates like job templates and tracking of student’s time on projects that will benefit the employers recruiting through Udrafter.
“Through collaboration, we identified key priorities and designed a mobile experience that delivers on both user expectations and business goals for a young start-up like Udrafter.”
Explains Barry Booth CEO,Intellicore,
“We all had a clear goal to create a fast and student-friendly app that would have the potential to grow and evolve with Udrafter – It needed to be an app that students and hiring managers could adapt to using easily.”