Interactive Location Guide and Media App

An app focused on encouraging people of all ages to explore the places and local people of Strangford Lough & Lecale.

Gravity won a competitive tender to collaborate and conceptualise a vision for a mobile application for Strangford Lough and Lecale. An area that is noted for its outstanding natural beauty and in particular for its coastline and Drumlin topography. It is also famed internationally for its marine life and overwintering birds so as you can imagine we were excited to bring this elements of the area into the digital world.

We set about creating a strategy and purpose for the mobile application by having a creative session with members from the Partnership. Out of this session we gathered the ideas and desired features for the app to help establish the overall vision. The outcome was to give users of the app "local insights" about the area through video, audio media, striking imagery and engaging stories all told by locals.

After extensive wireframing and sketches to help determine a great user experience, it was then down to graphical treatment. The offline branding and design efforts for Strangford Lough and Lecale Partnership are very tactile, natural and earthy so we wished to translate that to our digital efforts within mobile.

A range of colour palettes were explored along with different typefaces to ensure legibility. Earthy colours were chosen to compliment the surrounding areas of Strangford. We hoped that the app would become part of the furniture at Strangford Lough & Lecale. Due to the volume of content we choose DIN as the primary typeface for its legibility and narrow measure. We set about illustrating a suite of icons that represented each feature on the app. We felt the iconography was particularly important and each have been drawn specifically for this project. They have a soft and hand crafted quality to them, again to help with a users engagement with the brand on a digital platform

Working with the content and fabulous photography available allowed us to showcase each of the twelve locations at Strangford Lough and Lecale. Each of the locations are available via a geo-located map which shows the users own location. This ensures the user has the minimum of fuss finding where to go and to enjoy the insights as told by the locals of that location whilst using the app. Just some of the features available to users at a location is the ability to listen to audio or view video content, read stories or a poem, favourite or check-in at a location or social share with their friends on Twitter or Facebook.

In order to encourage user engagement we created the ability for the user to send a digital postcard to anyone from the app. With the postcard functionality, you can choose from a selection of postcards or you can take your own photograph along with the ability to write a message, then simply enter an email address and send! The Users geo co-ordinates are captured in the Photo Share section along with the photo. Once approved it features on a pinned map for other users to view and enjoy.

Many other features exist within the app and to ensure it is available to as many people whom have smartphones, the app was developed for iOS and Android platforms. Also as the Partnership wanted to keep the app fresh and engaging along with adding more locations in the future, a custom mobile content management system was developed to allow content within the app to be easily manageable.

Launched by the Minister of the Environment, Mark H Durkan, as part of the Strangford Lough and Lecale Heritage Management Strategy, the app has helped to. engage people with the built and natural heritage.