The problem

The Holocaust Educational Trust has delivered the ground breaking Lessons from Auschwitz Project – since 1991, over 40,000 young people from across the country have learnt about the Holocaust, including hearing directly from a Holocaust survivor, and visiting Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum.

In 2020, the Trust embarked on a digital transformation project, devising and developing a new educational programme and learning platform that would ensure this flagship project could continue to be widely available for a digital and remote age.

The goal

Lessons from Auschwitz Online was the first of HET’s educational and commemorative initiatives to go digital - it was important to ensure the HET team felt empowered in making decisions throughout.

The learning platform had to be educational, accessible;  and above all offer memorable learning experiences. This development was treated as an opportunity to explore new and emerging technologies, with a focus on looking towards a future in which this digital platform, and these digital learning experiences, can complement HET’s in-person projects when they return.


Virtual site-visit

Embracing new mediums of learning

New technology

Through facilitated sessions, participants were also invited to use new technology to look around Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum, bringing an audio-visual learning experience directly to the student.

Live Seminars

Students are given autonomy to direct their own learning; live seminars allowed participants to interact with one another, with a Holocaust survivor, and with their educators, live and in real time.

Structure and navigation

The journey

From pre-war Jewish life, all the way to the Holocaust’s contemporary relevance, this digitised LFA Online project had to take every student on a journey. Each module is easy to find and unlocks in chronological order via the central dashboard, which tracks students' course progress. We incorporated natural 'pit stops' between the modules, along with regular reminders for students to take breaks.

The process

Left hand navigation was added for shortcuts to support and useful links. And we built a separate registration website to manage course sign-ups, transforming complicated offline processes, like parent signatures and HET’s verification checks, into seamless user journeys.




The Holocaust was the murder of 6 million Jewish people. LFA Online participants take part in an educational and commemorative journey – learning about the past, and considering the individuals whose lives were destroyed.


A new course syllabus

Emphasis was placed on developing a learning environment that suited young learners in 2020-21. Using a new course syllabus and learning management dashboard, the platform balanced live, facilitated and interactive seminars (which included opportunities to hear from a Holocaust survivor), with self-guided learning (where participants were empowered to drive their own educational journey) - different learner types, such as visual, auditory, or kinaesthetic, are catered for throughout.

Features include self-guided learning modules (inclusive of video content and historic images), end-of-module recaps and learning reflections/assessments. Through a balance of functionalities, the course managed to be both accessible and comprehensive.



Given the age of participants (16-18 year olds, who access online context across devices), the LFA Online platform had to be fully accessible via desktop, tablets, and mobile devices. We were mindful of maintaining light page loads during the build, because HET wanted to ensure data usage did not become a barrier, and because the team foresaw students accessing the platform remotely (roaming, not WiFi) once trips resume.

Integrated registration

The registration site, though accessed separately, was integrated into the learning platform via an application programme interface (API). For the registration process, HET required us to build a bespoke workflow to authenticate school in-takes and verify students' parent signatures.

Easier process

An otherwise time-consuming process, we also uplifted the administration view to make it easier for the charity process registrants and onboard them.

Visual design


Design and functionality

With our audience being 16-18-year-olds, a contemporary feel to the platform and logo was a must. It came down to a balance between design and functionality, because we still wanted every student, no matter their background, to find the platform usable. Soft colours were used to contrast the heavy subject matter.


A minimalist, uncluttered design template threads throughout so as not to distract from the carefully curated content.

Unfinished stories

Full-width banner images of authentic sites, or historic images, sit at the top of pages to reflect the reality of events learned. And the paintbrush effect, similar to a ripped page, seen on the logo conveys the unfinished stories of those whose lives were destroyed during the Holocaust.


Overall experience

Through a collaborative approach, engaging content, bespoke technology and eye-catching design the online experience has proven impactful with its users. The charity has over 900 students enrolled on the platform, one participant said "I've never seen the Holocaust’s events humanised to such a degree." The balance of creating educationally robust and historically rich content, while also pushing the boundaries of an online learning experience, ensures the core messages are lifted beyond the confines of a laptop screen. One of the greatest successes is the way in which the platform has reduced barriers to access HET’s learning material and effectively extended the reach and influence of this charity and their important message.