Australian Air Force Cadets (AAFC)

Overview

The AAFC is 1 of 3 voluntary organisations that include the Army, Navy and Air Force. The Cadet Program aims to equip young people with the skills for community life by fostering initiative, leadership, discipline and loyalty predominantly through a training program with a focus on one part of the Australian Defence Force.

The AAFC provides Cadets with:

  • a foundation of Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) knowledge and discipline
  • an opportunity to develop qualities of leadership, self-reliance and initiative
  • help to develop character and good citizenship in the widest sense
  • mentoring to develop an interest in the RAAF and aviation generally
  • knowledge of aviation history, and
  • encouragement to continue an active interest in aviation into their adult life.

Out of the 3 Cadet programs, the AAFC is the one with the strongest STEM framework and increasingly is providing a good basis for furthering career opportunities in aviation & aerospace.

The challenge

The Australian Air Force Cadets (AAFC) sought to re-imagine their site designs to excite, inspire and convert new recruits. The aim of the new website is to support the AAFC's marketing efforts, enticing students, parents and trainers with the range of activities and training opportunities on offer. 

The AAFC required assistance to investigate the key user personas and journeys, and resolve complex content challenges. The new site had to appeal to a young person exploring the opportunity of joining the cadets, a parent looking for information for their child, a volunteer wanting to contribute their knowledge & time as well as other stakeholders within the Department of Defence and Corporate partners. The site needed to be re-architected, re-designed on GovCMS9 and the content migrated.

The solution

Morpht ran a series of workshops with key AAFC staff. In these workshops we covered key issues and requirements that were documented to articulate a clear understanding of what we needed to deliver, and provided clear guidelines for our development team to aid them through the build process.

The website had to be engaging; it had to appeal to a younger ‘TikTok’ / Instagram focused cohort as well as provide important information for parents and volunteers.

Working with our designer, the AAFC and Morpht developed a website that utilises video, parallax imagery, icons and click-through-actions (CTA’s) to guide a site visitor through the core narrative of who, why and how.

AAFC screenshot of the cadets page

The completed website is hosted on GovCMS SaaS and includes a REACT App that delivers the  ‘Find your nearest squadron’ feature.

User journeys

One of the key processes we worked on with the AAFC was the identification of the key audience and their personas. For this website we identified 3 core audience members - a prospective cadet, their parents, and a volunteer.

We then developed a journey map for each of these groups:

Cadet's journey chart

The Journey map helped the AAFC to understand the motivation behind each audience member, and provided a guide on what visual assets we would need to engage, and how to structure the content on each page to ensure that the communication was targeted and on message.

Squadron finder

One of the biggest challenges for this website was the navigation for the site visitor to find their nearest squadron and register their interest to join. There were several scenarios that needed to be considered.

  1. Registration only occurs from October to March each year, outside of these times the registration form is closed.
    Morpht’s solution for this was to provide the power for the AAFC to switch off the ‘enrol now’ button and replace it with a downloadable calendar notification, so that interested site visitors could easily set a reminder for themselves to return and register when applications re-open.
  2. There were 3 sign-up journeys required for different audience members.
    1. Cadets needed to find a local squadron and register their interest.
    2. Volunteers needed to fill in an online form.
    3. Pilots who wanted to offer their services as Instructors needed to follow a different process and sign up to a squadron that has a focus on Flight operations.

Morpht resolved this complexity by using Accordions to separate the different user journeys, deliver the important eligibility requirements for each group and guide them through to the appropriate sign-up location.

Eligibility requirements screenshot

The squadron finder combines the power of Google Map API and REACT to deliver a fast loading location guide. By typing in your suburb, the APP quickly delivers the squadrons nearest to your location. By selecting your preferred location you can find out the information on that squadron and click the ‘Join Squadron’ button to sign up. The sign-up are occurs on another platform, but the APP we developed is smart enough to pass on the squadron you are interested in - making it a seamless sign up process for the prospective new cadet.

Squadron finder screenshot

Better Content Management

During the Discovery phase of this project it was identified that integration with another system would be ideal to copy across and update the Squadron records. By achieving this feed, Morpht was able to provide a business efficiency for the AAFC and ensure that the data being shown on the squadron finder APP was always current and up-to-date.

AAFC desktop

External integration

Ensuring we connected each squadron unit to the internal management systems for the AAFC ensured that Cadets could seamlessly register for the squadron of their choice.

AAFC mobile

AAFC testimonial

Morpht were on time and conformed to our requirements to a high quality. Our new website (airforcecadets.gov.au) has been a great moral booster and has exceeded our expectations with a 50% increase of interest in the Australian Air Force Cadets. The quality of work they have done is excellent and the overall project management was smooth and on time.

Julia and the team were flexible, they catered well to ever changing requirements in a condensed timeline and have delivered an outstanding product.

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