Yandex has completely updated its Academy — Yandex on vc.ru

How the company rebranded Academy and consolidated its free training projects for IT beginners.

Yandex changed the name of its academy. Not only the design has changed – it’s a complete restructuring of the brand. Yandex has combined its non-commercial educational projects for IT specialists on the Yandex platform. The Academy’s goal is not only to educate students, but to create an IT community based on the idea of ​​lifelong learning.

Redesign goals and new values

Yandex Academy is a free educational project for schoolchildren, students and beginners in IT. It focuses on four areas: development, data analysis, management and design.

In 2022, Yandex decided to collect all its non-commercial educational projects for novice IT specialists on one platform: Lyceum, seasonal schools, partnership programs with universities, School of Data Analysis (SAD), courses and intensive courses. The goal is to create a community of people who are genuinely passionate about information technology – learning here takes place not only in traditional formats, but also during communication and exchange of ideas.

Each educational project “under the umbrella of academia” has its own history, target group and communication methods. The team was faced with the task of unifying them at the brand level, while maintaining their individuality. In addition, it was necessary to gather completely different target groups on one page, who differed from each other in age and level of knowledge. To help define the visual language, Yandex turned to Shchuka design agency, one of the most famous branding agencies. At the same time, the Yandex Academy design team was responsible for formulating a common vision for educational projects, as well as overseeing the rebranding of the company’s tone.

The fact that each project is independent was not the main problem. The task was to line them up in a single row

Stanislav Galkina, project manager of Yandex Academy

According to her, at the Academy, they give the student the opportunity to form their own development chain, within which they can move from one project to another: “Students understand that after the Lyceum or any other project, they will be able to build their future path in a large educational system Academy” .

We chose “Pike” because the agency has a very strong creative team that offers bold and unusual solutions. Working on projects together with different design studios is always interesting: such dialogue gives a fresh look, unexpected tricks and trends and also helps to avoid self-copying.

Ekaterina Lekhavicius, Head of Design and Creative Production Group

One of the main concepts of modern education is lifelong learning, or lifelong learning. The redesign of the Academy aims to make this idea a reality for every user – in the universe of the project, a person can learn for a significant part of his life. In that sense, a single brand concept plays an important role – it helps to make the student experience holistic.

“Conversation in a language” – the purpose and nature of the brand

The rebranding team and the Schuka agency formulated four factors that would differentiate the Academy from other education systems: brand mission, values, character and creative metaphors.

The aim of the academy is to give talented school pupils, students and beginners the opportunity to master relevant IT professions

The purpose is expressed as follows:

  • Responsibility and competence. As one of the leaders in the new digital world, Yandex is responsible for how technology changes people’s lives. Therefore, the company believes that affordable and high-quality education is the key to enabling people to adapt to changing realities and find their place in the modern world. At the Academy, students get direct access to leading IT professionals, here they can count on mentor support.
  • Passion for IT. Yandex Academy is sure that the possibilities of the human mind are unlimited. Here, people love their job – they not only strive for results, but are also passionate about finding a solution.
  • Culture and community. At the Academy, students can find like-minded people, get support, exchange ideas and experiences. They immerse themselves in an atmosphere of healthy, motivating competition, acquire teamwork and meet people who may become their colleagues or even friends in the future.
  • Openness and perspective. The Academy is open to the diversity of cultures and ways of self-expression and values ​​everyone’s right to preserve their individuality. Here, constructive ideas that encourage critical thinking are supported. The academy provides the opportunity to apply theoretical knowledge in practice – students can work on real projects and in the future get a ticket to leading IT companies.
  • Trust. In the learning process, a person becomes more confident in his own abilities – a feeling of being in demand and development gives the student an extra impulse to reach new heights.

Before settling on two options for creative metaphors, we held a Brand Aura workshop with Pike. We brought together different members of our teams (from marketing to product), but we doubted that anything could be formed from this, because everyone had their own understanding of the audience and the project work

Elena Toropina, Head of Marketing, Yandex Academy

In the process, it became clear that it does not matter at all what class a person is in, what course he is in, where he is an intern or works, she says: “The bottom line is that if he is really passionate about IT, then he can do a lot well become a student at Yandex Academy. With all our age groups, we can speak the same language.”

“Thought, analysis, competence” – structure and visual design

After these discussions, “The Pike” suggested several options for the concept, which helped to formulate character new academy. The brand is based on the expert strategy: users of the Academy are people who strive for continuous self-development and seek a path to knowledge. Doubt, search, thoughts about the world and one’s place in it, the desire to be a person and build one’s own path – all this is typical of the educational universe of Yandex Academy.

Structurally, the academy is divided into three large blocks:

1. Programs for adults.

2. Program for school children.

The most important archetype, common to all three directions, was the image of the sage. It is supplemented by other archetypes inherent in each block.

We have decided that we are wise, thinking, analyzing, competent. This is a basic archetype, along with which additional ones appear in academia: a passionate and inspiring magician, whose characteristics correlate with the School of Data Analysis, joint programs with leading universities and other projects for students and new professionals

Elena Toropina, Head of Marketing, Yandex Academy

Then there is the seeker who longs for new experiences, whose characteristics resonate with participants in school programs; a brave and competitive hero, reflecting the character of the Olympiads. Based on these archetypes, Pike offered several options. creative metaphors.

The first idea was called “IT beyond Earth”. It would fit into outer space academia with its inherent elements: planets, spaceships and astronauts. Initially, this concept resonated with the Yandex team – students, like space travelers, are not only interested in achieving the final result, but also passionate about the process. Later, however, it became clear that the concept did not fully meet the Academy’s goal of creating a cool community where people could communicate with each other – the space in this regard is cold and distant.

As a result, the choice was made in favor of another, warmer and more earthly metaphor: “Life is like a hackathon”. The teams decided to create a space that would essentially resemble a party where developers collaborate to solve various IT tasks for a while.

We thought about what unites all our students and applicants and realized that they are obsessed with solving complex IT puzzles and are ready to do it all day long

Stanislav Galkina, Marketing Group Manager, Yandex Academy

“Where can you do this if not at hackathons?” she asks. Galkina is sure that not only the result is important for the guys – they enjoy the process: “After all, no one will participate in hackathons just for the sake of prizes, because there are much easier ways to get a reward.”

Yet space is also symbolically present in the new brand. Yandex offers its students not only education, but a lifestyle and dreams of who they can become in the future.

In the 20th century, the space for a dream was, in a sense, unattainable, the cosmos – it required incredible concentration, tension, will and strength. The 21st century has made space more real, and it has been replaced by information technology. If earlier children wanted to be astronauts, now they aspire to learn programming.

Dreams are common – humanity thinks of a more technological future – and individual, inherent in each individual person; in this sense, education is always a dream place of what a person can become in the future.

Our IT education is such a dream. The Academy is a free and socially oriented product, and that is no accident.

Svetlana Bochaver, product manager at Yandex Academy

The academy’s goal is to nurture hundreds of thousands of IT people who are passionate about their work and inspired by the beautiful image of the technological future, which will make it a reality for all of us, she concludes.

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