The Challenge

Expanding the vision of BellXcel, from traditional to digital.

For over 25 years, the national non-profit, BellXcel, had been providing educators in under-resourced communities with evidence-based summer and after-school programs designed to help students keep pace in school and look forward to a brighter future. After working with Primacy on a strategic rebrand and new website build, BellXcel presented a new challenge: to transform their traditional offerings into a scalable and simple-to-use digital platform that would reach even more students and make a greater impact. Challenge accepted.

The Insight

We couldn't lose what worked in their proven programs, but there was an opportunity to do more.

Understanding how educators interacted with BellXcel’s programs would be key in designing a web-based platform that complemented their teachings and didn’t create friction in their daily routines. The traditional program consisted of papers, binders and manual organization, so it was opportunity to both save the users time and add value through new functionality.

Bellxcell platform on different devices

The Research

Using a lean approach in our research and design process helped us learn and build a scalable digital platform quickly.

We built this digital technology platform from the ground up, so we looked at best-of-breed tools we use every day for inspiration (even wedding planning applications!). We began rapid prototyping and engaging users at key strategic milestones to gain insights on functionality, identify potential usability concerns and simplify the flow.

Bellxcel working session
Blue prints

The Ideation

Continuously iterate and improve throughout the development cycle.

We adopted an agile development process to define requirements, write code, test and shift priorities for this massive web-based application. This process shaped the web based platform into a turnkey, efficient and time-saving platform that supports BellXcel's mission of bringing quality educational resources to the most students possible.

Bellxcel platform experience
Bellxcel platform screen
Bellxcel platform screen 2

Smarter Experience

A turnkey digital resource for educators.

Regardless of class-size, composition or area of focus, the new platform gives educators everything they need, and nothing they don’t. From interviewing staff to setting up classrooms, preparing materials for lessons and evaluating the program’s success, everything an educator needs is now available via a web-based platform and available to any school or community that has students in need.


We used serverless technology to complement the experience.

Learning from users and being lean led to a clean and powerful user experience that exceeded BellXcel’s expectations. This custom-built web-based solution was created using .NET Core and VUEjs and uses serverless technology, which makes it more efficient to host, scale and maintain. As a single-page web app, the browser experience is fast, smooth and user-friendly, empowering educators to implement a BellXcel's educational program in their communities.

bellxcel platform shown on a laptop

The Outcome

Launching BellXcel into the future.

With a pilot program launching in the summer of 2019 and plans to expand further in 2020, BellXcel is well on its way in transitioning from a one-program provider to being an education solutions company with the scale and reach afforded by their new web-based platform. And the powerful mission that led to BellXcel’s success over the past 25 years will now carry them into the future.

Dropping Some Data
Year One Numbers


Kids have been enrolled to BellXcel programs


Years of evidence-based experience packed into 1 scalable platform


Serverless, single-page web app MVP, 1 Drupal 8 marketing site; 1 brand refresh


User research sessions


Stakeholder co-design workshops


User stories organized under 12 epics