Liam Collins's profile

Portskewett & Sudbrook HC - Branding | UX/UI

Portskewett & Sudbrook Heritage Centre

Branding | UX/UI Design
Portskewett is a small village in Monmouthshire, located along the banks of the River Severn – facing across from Bristol and Avonmouth. Although small, it has a rich a varied history. From the home of the Celts to Roman hillforts, from King Harold to King Charles, there are many locations of historical significance that still exist in the area today. Although lush in history and local landmarks, there are a very small number of people who decide to engage and experience them. The brief here was to investigate the lack of interest in local tourism and the entire User Experience - both digital and physical touchpoints.

Through conducting research, I began to understand the entire experience and how people felt about it. Through on-street interviews, a focus group (in the local pub no less!) and online surveys I learned that the local Heritage Committee has a very limited web presence and have previously provided leaflets for people to use on walks around the area. As always, the human-centred research was invaluable in giving me "the good, the bad and the ugly", and I uncovered several interesting areas of friction for users and potential users. For example, several seniors commented that the walks were "too long and quite daunting", others commented they didn't know where to get the information they wanted. Some other interviewees stated they wanted more interactive content and a more fun experience all round. Another interesting insight came when people said they didn't know who were actually in charge of/responsible for the local history - was it the council? It turns out there was a local historical centre that many people knew little about! I also managed to chat with a local historian who - not only gave me some interesting insights from an "official" capacity during the 'Insights' stage, but also served as a source of information collation as the project progressed.

The research (as always!) opened up some interesting questions;

1. Are the current documents really saying the right thing and getting right message across?
2. Should they be revealing all of the information, or perhaps just enough in order to lure 3. people in and experience the area for themselves?
4. What is the purpose of their web presence – is it to draw more people to the area (tourism) or is it just to exist as a source of online information about the area’s history? 
5. Can we create a more exciting and interactive website to appeal to a wider audience?
6. Bring a coherence brand to the local heritage centre.

Through the rest of my design process (Ideation & Implementation), I looked to solve these various issues and create;

1. A coherent brand presence
2. An interactive, exciting web presence/information portal
Branding
Given that there was such confusion around who actually looked after the operations and logistics of the local tourism, the branding needed to feel "official" and slightly 'governmental'. The branding needed to be quite minimal and adaptive, so it could,d work across the huge range of potential applications - some very colourful and illustrative such as the new website, others such as metal embossed plinths. So it was important to keep the branding simple and responsive.

I went with a mono palette to keep within these boundaries, but used a simple sans-serif typeface to feel slightly more modern. 
Website
From insights gained during my design process, the website needed to;
1. Create an interactive, fun learning experience
2. Act as a single point-of-access for people to get local news and information on local tourist walks and trails
Illustrations
I created a series of illustrated maps for the three local areas. Each map features the spots of historical significance. They formed the background to each section of the website and when the user clicks on specific spots, a figure from history pops up and tells them about the history of that location. From farm hands to kings, I illustrated many different figures to provide variety of voice (both visual and written!).
Sketchbook Excerpts
Here are some pages from my sketchbook, mostly demonstrating some of my ideation process and use of different creative thinking methodologies. Coming up with original, fun and interesting ideas is my favourite thing to do!
Portskewett & Sudbrook HC - Branding | UX/UI
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Portskewett & Sudbrook HC - Branding | UX/UI

Published: