Novotel / Life Genius
Helping a pioneering hotel chain shape its digital future

Intro & problem

Novotel came across Seb Azzo through our e-learning work for Ibis Hotels. The brand is known for disruption within the hospitality industry. Their reimagined training platform was to combine tried and tested classroom sessions with a new, cross-platform digital experience — it was to launch globally on all platforms and we called it Novotel Life Genius.


As part of its commitment to customer service excellence, Novotel sought our help to reinvent their staff learning experience across all their addresses around the globe. We’ve done that before, and so have Novotel, of course. But developing a hybrid training platform meant bridging two sides of the spectrum closely enough to learn from Novotel’s experienced trainers while still delivering a gamified platform that does not inhibit the learning experience.


The process

As with every project, we began with research. Who are the end users, what do they need to learn and how? This tool was meant to greet new employees and train them in important company values and procedures. The Novotel Life Genius app is the first touch point the employees have with the company — so we decided to focus ideation around the classroom session, and create an app experience which would also stretch into the person’s daily routine at Novotel. This addressed both the short term and long term goals of the product.


The user experience designers focussed on merging the session instructor’s role and the devices' by differentiating between content that was meant to be viewed individually in preparation for the session, and content which was provided by the instructor to the entire classroom. The experience also includes a test at the end of each module which is unlocked by the instructor at specific sections of the lesson.


A healthy, competitive environment

An important requirement around Novotel Life Genius was to engage team members in healthy competition. After testing a few ideas, we found the best way to achieve this is to give each user an insight into their colleague’s performance and ranking on the leaderboard. By doing so, we noticed that more and more users began to access their accounts even after the initial classroom session was completed, eager to redo quizzes and gain more points by answering more questions correctly.


The classroom approach

Novotel Life Genius differs from other learning products, in that much of the experience happens in the classroom. The pace is controlled by an instructor, which also delivers a lesson directly supported by the app. As soon as instructors complete a module, the students will use the app to complete the test associated to that lesson. Points and ranking are all automatically calculated by the system in real time, meaning management has access to performance metrics during and after the course.


Create courses and tests in minutes

Every aspect of the Novotel Life Genius app can be managed from a content management system (CMS), meaning trainers can create and manage courses made of video, text, audio and images. They can also create quizzes and tests that are associated to the different courses. We made it very easy for Novotel’s training team to maintain the experience and to keep it as fresh and relevant as possible. A core parameter in the long term strategy of the product.


A centralised training experience for a global workforce

The ultimate outcome of Novotel Life Genius is a consistent and effective learning experience for the global workforce. A way by which Novotel can make sure that the thousands of people employed around the world receive the same training and have the same objectives in mind when dealing with hotel guests — the content is centralised and delivered in several different languages. Every employee receives the same experience and is assessed in the same way.



1. Life Genius trains all Novotel staff members worldwide

2. Supports 24000 users completing 4000 monthly sessions

3. It’s the first global centralised training approach