5th Gear Motoring Featured

5th Gear Motoring are a learner and defensive driving school located in Canberra. They also offer skid-pan and racing car driving experiences.

Their previous system for managing their student and instructor bookings had become quite old and they were looking for a new solution that could act as a more cloud-based management system.

I created a new Drupal website for them, taking their existing branding and photography and creating a highly branded and appealing website... on the surface.

Behind the login is a sophisticated lesson booking system. Instructors or office staff can log in and:

  • Regsiter new students and edit existing ones
  • Create lessons for students, assigning the appropriate instructor based on
    • location
    • manual or automatic transmission
    • availability of both student and instructor
  • Complete or cancel lessons
  • Get a heads-up display of what their upcoming lessons are in various displays
    • daily, weekly or monthly calendar display
    • accordion view for expanding individual lesson information when needed, utilising the provided browser space
  • Get notifications of lessons with outstanding tasks, for example, a past lesson that hasn't been marked as a pass or fail

It was extremely important to create a responsive website, as the instructors needed to access their information on tablets and mobiles in the car. The booking system also needeed to be as streamlined as possible, so instructors could book lessons on the fly, with students in the car with them. I achieved this by automating quite a few of the booking form fields, based on information already in the system.

Other aspects of this project include:

  • Social sharing and social login
  • Automated SMS and email notifications that go to students and instructors about lessons they have upcoming or lessons that have been cancelled
  • Responsive, mobile-first design
  • PayPal integration for purchasing vouchers for lessons
  • Multiple user types, each with different information collected for them and different levels of access
    • Students: Age, transmission they'd like to use, emergency contact details, licence type
    • Instructor: Which car they are driving, pay rates, availability
    • Office staff: Ability to see all lessons, edit all user types and edit public facing website content

One of the big challenges with this project was combining a CRM-like solution with a responsive, public facing website. The client has thousands of students and lessons, and the diary solution for booking is using FullCalendar, a jQuery powered calendar solution that loads and displays many lessons in a calendar layout.

The other big challenge was creating multiple levels of users with different info attached to them. Drupal, as with other CMS options, handles users, roles and access very well. But there are many difficulties to attaching different information to those roles. An instructor doesn't need emergency contact details attached to their account like a student does, nor does a student need to submit if they're registered for GST like an instructor does. I utilised Profile2 to get around this issue and provide different fields for collecting different information for each user role on the website.

I'm extremely proud of this solution. It's a very complex solution that continues to evolve as 5th Gear's business evolves. I look forward to building upon this already very functional website solution.

Check out their website at fifthgear.com.au

Last modified onThursday, 19 May 2016 00:43
Simon Olsen

I'm a web design, graphic designer, video and motion graphics editor, social media strategist and terrible golfer.

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