A small environmental group based in Dungannon needed a website to raise the profile of their work on the Ballysaggart (Black) Lough. They had no identity whatsoever and a very small budget.
I started off with eggs, heads, beaks, nests but eventually settled on the eye itself.
A few meetings quickly established what the group needed in terms of identity and website. They had quite a substantial amount of research, fairly intensive, academic and not that user friendly. The job was to get the information out of the folders, present it in a way that highlighted the threats to the Lough and hopefully inspire people to get involved.
The research revealed that, quite remarkably, 10% of all Goldeneye Ducks in Ireland, nested on Ballysaggart Lough. This seemed to be the most obvious starting point, in terms of identity. Sketches of eggs, heads, beaks and nests followed before eventually settling on the eye itself. It's straightforward and strong.
Using this simple graphic and Frutiger, produced an uncluttered identity that was easily applied to other media. Keeping it simple left the the site fairly straightforward. The biggest challenge was sub editing and writing the content, accessible enough for schools who wished to visit on field trips yet also technical enough for an acedemic to delve deeper into the threats that this small lake faces.
We placed all the technical stuff on the sidebars leaving the remaining content on the main section. I also tried out the newly released Blueprint framework and saw whether or not it sped up the process.
We set up a Black Lough pool on Flickr and persuaded local photographers to contribute. That left us with a small photo feed of about 300 images, more than enough. I had a go using Microformats in the form of a vcard.
All in all it was fairly strightforward, made easier because the client just let me get on with it. A rarity. The Blueprint Framework certainly had it's advantages. It is very good on typography, all that type locked on the basline is very nice. It slightly over eggs it when handling grids, but some modules of it were very useful.