Bristol Opening Doors
A few months ago we were asked by the lovely people from The Architecture Centre to create a new brand and website for Bristol Opening Doors. This scheme allows you to go behind-the-scenes of some of the city’s best buildings. One feature of the website is a buildings trail of the city that shows you which buildings are involved. Download the app and printed trail, as well as teaching and learning resources to take along on a great activity for a nice sunny day in Brizzol. Check out the site and find out more info:
Fantastic results for Lessons from Africa
Four months on from the launch of the Lessons from Africa website we created for Send a Cow, we’re seeing fantastic results in terms of traffic, resource downloads and positive feedback from teachers using the site, indicating it’s on the way to achieving its goal of becoming the main online destination for African primary school teaching resources.
The early year-on-year results show that site visits are up by 100%, bounce rates are down from 65% to 54% and downloads are up by 78% (from 2,800 to 5,000 per month).
The site is perfect for busy teachers who need to find the resources they need quickly. Some helpful features include an overlaid guide to the site, clearly marked file information so users can preview what they are downloading, voting systems to allow them to rate the resources they find useful and the ability to email themselves their chosen resources from their mobile.
A simple interface, which can be accessed on a range of devices, and a host of detailed search and filter functions, make it quick to navigate and find relevant resources. Teachers can filter results by age, theme, country or topic – making inspiration for lesson plans easy to find.
In the period since launch, 13% of all signups to the main Send a Cow newsletter have originated from the LFA site, proving that as well as a useful tool for teachers, Lessons from Africa is also proving to be a useful channel to raise brand awareness and recruit new supporters for Send a Cow.
Getting the detail right
I've been moving away from the visual side of things recently and working closely with two of our clients on getting the detail right – with their content and their strategy for producing content.
Firstly I ran a workshop with the Alumni department at Oxford University's Saïd Business School on 'Writing for the web' where we discussed how to make their online tone accessible and engaging without diluting their prestigious brand. I then conducted a seminar with the Executive Education department talking about how to get the best from the social media strategy we created for the School last year, and the practicalities around maintaining (and resourcing) an active and effective social media presence across so many departments.
I have also been working closely with esteemed International language school OISE on an internal writing guide. This is aimed at streamlining the range of writing styles and types of communication that their schools produce, whilst promoting the personalities of the individual schools and the enthusiasm of the staff involved.
It has been really interesting for me to work with these clients on their content strategies and tone. It is challenging for organisations to find their brand voice online, let alone maintain it once multiple contributors are assigned responsibility for different marketing channels. Sometimes an objective view is needed to help internal teams crystallise their tone of voice and decide which channels will be most effective for them.
If you would like to know more about what we have been working on for Saïd Business School or OISE, or want to speak to me about a similar project, don't hesitate to give me a call.
More graphics for the Beeb
We've made some more infographics for BBC Food. Check out our illustration that supports the article: Battle of the bubbly.
A glittering evening for Positive!
A few of the team went up to London on Thursday for the prestigious DBA 2013 Design Effectiveness Awards... and what a fantastic night it was!
We knew we had won two awards when the results were announced last October but we didn't expect to be awarded a GOLD and a SILVER in the digital category, especially as this was the first year we had decided to enter!
The Design Business Association is the UK's most vocal champion of the role of effective design in the creation of business growth and their annual awards are both prestigious and authoritative, the only award scheme that uses commercial data as a key judging criteria.
We take the effectiveness of our work extremely seriously, so we are honoured to have now earned a place in the coveted Design Effectiveness League Tables and delighted that the work we do (which we are incredibly proud of) has earned recognition for making a difference to our clients and their businesses.
Alconbury Weald website goes live
We are really pleased to see our latest project go live! The website for Alconbury Weald – a huge 580 hectare development in Cambridgeshire for Urban&Civic.
On the site of a former airfield, the ambitions for the development are quite amazing – a 20-year project in the making. This first phase of the website has been developed to facilitate the planning process – being involved at such an early stage has been really exciting, though a difficult design task with few pictures, plans or reference on how the finished development will look!
Taking the brand developed by Northbank Design, we created a huge carousel on the homepage to suggest exploration and create the feeling of space and interaction – two key touchstones. We wanted this page to have a familiar and friendly tone, and encourage users to ask questions and interact with the website in a simple and playful way. The search option is presented in a black overlay to increase the users’ focus and prevent them from distractions. Throughout the website we wanted people to be inspired about the idea of Alconbury Weald and get involved to help make it happen – to create an experience that excited the user enough to believe in the development and drive the plans forward.
The content of the website explains the heritage of the airfield, features an interactive timeline of activity to date and also a map with the option to measure distances so people can not only appreciate the scale of the development, but also see how closely they will benefit from all the facilities it will offer. The library is home to all the plans, applications and designs to date so people can see the extent of the work that is taking place. With a community section that will expand over time, plus latest news and events, the website will become a real information hub for people to keep track of what’s happening.
We can’t wait to see how Alconbury develops and the next phase for the website too – have to look at www.alconbury-weald.co.uk to see for yourself how this inspiration development unfolds.
Become a Family Friend with Send a Cow
A new year and already projects are going live! This time it's the online re-launch of Send a Cow's regular giving option ‘Family Friend'.
Family Friend is a sponsorship scheme like no other - every month supporters make a gift to enable families in Africa to help themselves out of poverty. In return, via the Family Friend microsite, supporters will gain a fascinating insight into life in Africa, witnessing just where their money goes and how it is helping. Aswell as the high points, like when families receive new livestock, Send a Cow will share the challenges too - when the rains don’t come or if livestock becomes ill.
With a Facebook style timeline, interactive maps and fun activities for children, Family Friend offers the chance to follow one of three families for as little as £10 a month. The regular support helps Send a Cow provide long-term training so that communities can work together and make best use of the resources they have. A really great opportunity to help people move beyond crippling poverty and begin to afford food, shelter and education for their families. By engaging with Family Friend online, supporters can really see the difference their regular donation can make.
Have a look at the Family Friend website – with families from Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda, by signing up you get a real insight into life in Africa and the fantastic work Send a Cow do.
Infographics for BBC Food
We've just completed our first set of infographics for the BBC and great to see them online already!
Working with the BBC Food team we created engaging and fun illustrations to sit within their online articles, showing facts and figures about festive food. Makes me hungry just thinking about it!