How can you track and record your career development?

  • Client: Inkpath
  • Services:

    Apps for iOS & Android

    Brand Identity

    Video explainers

    UX & UI design

    Strategy Consultancy

  • Funded by:

    The Initiative Incubator

    Oxford University IT Innovation Seed Fund

    OU Social Sciences Teaching Project Award

    OUI University Challenge Seed Fund

    Private Equity Investment

  • Awards:

    OU Social Sciences Teaching project award

Inkpath is the first comprehensive software platform to help university graduate students and staff track their career development in a mobile format. It was created to meet a specific need for graduates and staff (and eventually many other audiences) to take much greater ownership of their skills and career development.


It empowers users to develop their career learning by setting intelligent goals, tracking progress dynamically and generating custom reports on-the-fly using a smart, easy to use and mobile format.



2 rounds Series A funding from Parkwalk and OSI

OU IT Innovation Seed Fund

OU Teaching Project Award

Inkpath case study

The challenge

Although a requirement of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) funding criteria for universities, nearly all institutions currently use paper forms and subjective criteria creating, at best, a written narrative of academics' path through research.
  • No way of documenting your journey from one institution to the next
  • No way of tracking personal development
  • Not sure which activities / lectures to go to


A problem like this lends itself particularly well to a distributed app; control and visibility are exposed to both the end users and to the university administrators. Updates can roll out without affecting downtime or performance.
  • Document achievements from school, university, employment and beyond
  • Track your progress to achieve your goals
  • Recommended and relevant training programmes

Our approach

As we say a lot, we're launch specialists. We get particularly excited when a team approaches us with a set of needs but are open to how to resolve them. This project was even better; the client was willing to engage our Initiative Incubator so we could work on an even more flexible arrangement. What was particularly important to be aware of was the need to really understand the ongoing and changing needs of its users and stakeholders. Inkpath was about to disrupt an established and sometimes archaic process. It needed to be done absolutely right, first time.
Our approach

John and his team came to us with an idea

Armed with a demo app he had built with the Oxford University Apps Team, based off some initial assumptions, John Miles approached us to name, brand, and build software into a launch product. As Training Officer with the Humanities Department at the University, his experience was perfect to understand the needs of his users.

Understanding the journey

Our first objective was not only to build on John's insight, but to test that against actual graduate students, so we organised a focus-group of around 25 students in the University to test some assumptions.
Creating a platform to help students better formulate their career path
Our process

From research to market

The business model made the challenge more interesting: Universities would pay for the user accounts, so they, in fact, were the customer. Features had to be designed for client value but user engagement.
From research to market

Give the product a personality

Inspired by the terms of 'growth' and 'journey', we cultured a name, brand identity and visual language around several ideas. Inkpath was unanimous amongst our team and the client.
Give the product a personality

User centered design

We took the client through a few cycles of iterative wireframe modelling, bringing students and university admins back in to each process for feedback.
User centered design
Key features: student

1Student guidance on how to work towards their dream career

Context-sensitive signposting that responds to the developing skills and experiences entered by the user.
Student doesn't know how to reach their dream career

2Inkpath illuminates your academic route

Reflecting on the Graduate Skills Frameworks of various universities and the student's own unique requirements within this, the tool exposes the most efficient skills pathways.
Inkpath illuminates your academic route

3Tailored goals and activities are recommended

The app makes helpful suggestions to guide and encourage the user on their journey.
Tailored goals and activities are recommended
Key features: admin

1Visibility is crucial in keeping track of students' academic progress

The admin system allows a university's own version of the skills framework to be integrated and used to track the performance of its students.
Admin work is crucial in keeping track of students academic progress

2Reduction in heavy paper work, saving precious time

The admin system contains a powerful set of report and analysis tools to drastically reduce the huge administrative burden in keeping track of each researcher.
Reduction in heavy paper work, saving precious time

3Set goals for students and see them progress

The university can get involved on a very granular level with student pathway support.
Set goals for students and see them progress


From day 1 Global Initiative have been fantastic. We’ve been really happy with the work they have done for us and we’re looking forward to everything the future holds! Thanks, guys - you’ve been awesome.

John Miles, Founder
Dash line

You may also be interested in…

Brand Camouflage: Be 'friendly' and 'professional'


Have apps changed the way we live?


It's a date