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Visit England - Backend Business System

Visit England, the national tourism brand, also offers accreditation schemes for attractions and services. Think of it like the hotel star rating system, but for everything from motorway service stations to race courses.


These schemes s teams of Visit England assessors to review attractions involved. There reviews are carefully designed, managed and collated via a private web service. The usability, data analysis and reporting of this system is critical.

Unfortunately the existing system was 'chew-your-own-arm-off' frustrating, and hard to change.

How Semantic won the work

We were initially invited in present some best practice guidelines to the assessment teams. The principles discussed naturally led on to a more general discussion about usability in software, and thus the project.

What we did

Firstly we had a lot of conversations. We talked with the lead assessors, the management team at Visit England, and the 'end clients'. Naturally each had different needs and priorities. We delivered on these needs, including:

  • simple user account system
  • intuitive editing of question sets for Lead Assessors
  • easier data entry for assessment teams
  • private reports for Visit England
  • public reports for attractions (by site & group)

The Semantic extra

Sometimes it's the details that matter. Our system generated PDF reports that were attractive and readable. The team felt good (as opposed to embarrassed) handing them over to the end clients. Small things matter.

What happened?

2013 will be the second year for the system, so we are optimising the system based on usage and feedback from year one.

The Project Team

This project was delivered by:

  • Janet Uttley - (Visit England)
  • Chris Moses - System Architecture and code (Semantic)
  • With thanks to the assessors at Visit England

Tools & Technologies

This project was delivered with:

  • HTML 5, CSS, Javascript and
  • SQL Databases
  • Genuine (non-trendy) thoughtfulness

Want to talk backend systems?

We're friendly and happy to listen and share ideas. Call Nick on 02380 111542, or send a note to

You are also welcome to pop in and enjoy a cup of coffee on our comfy red sofas. We're just 2 minutes from the M3.

Semantic Limited
2 Venture Road
Southampton Science Park
SO16 7NP

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