IMEC (International Maritimes Employers’ Council) are one of Skylark’s longstanding clients. When they approached us with a new project at the end of 2021, we were really excited to start working with them again.


Website Design, UX, SEO, WordPress, headless, React, NextJS, iOS, Android, mobile app, web app


Digital Design, WordPress, Website Development, Digital Transformation

The Challenge

IMEC is constantly evolving, aspiring to deliver more for their members and their cadets globally. They wanted to deliver a best-in-class digital experience for their members through their website. This meant developing an entirely new digital platform to submit  crew numbers for the ships they operate, calculate fees, digitise the application process for grant applications, and keep up to date with organisational engagements.

The Process

We carried out an in-depth Discovery process and identified that IMEC needed not only a web application for their members, but a mobile application to access information and notifications remotely. Their users operate both onshore and offshore, so this flexibility was essential for users. To accompany the new applications, the team at IMEC were undergoing a complete rebrand, modernising their identity with more engaging imagery and language.

This build was extensive, requiring complicated algorithmic processes that we worked  through carefully with the team. Manual processes were effectively automated making the business more efficient, freeing up the time of the team to deliver more for their members. We developed the member app, a new website, two mobile apps and a back-office app to support business operations. We integrated features including dashboards for the senior team, tools to manage crew member submissions and grant applications, and a publishing platform to communicate updates and materials to their members.

The Results

This digital transformation was an opportunity to fine-tune IMEC’s operational architecture. Their previous applications were built in multiple frameworks and languages, making them difficult to manage and update, ultimately rendering them redundant. We proposed to unify the entire stack into one code base, focussing on a headless approach for the website to unify it with the applications. We adopted a new method by using one singular NextJS app, outputting the website, web app and a hybrid mobile app that could be deployed on both Android and iOS, all from one single codebase. Due to performance issues with WordPress as a headless CMS, we opted to leverage a graph, then provide a secondary back office content manager through KeystoneJS to support the apps, with WordPress only providing content to the public-facing website. This combination enabled the marketing team to continue publishing with WordPress, while having a suite of applications built in JavaScript, using the React library, that feel modern and responsive on all devices.

We are incredibly proud of the application set we developed for the team at IMEC. We are continuing to work with them to support the applications, and further integrating their cadet database into the membership and organisational apps.

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