In the spring of 2015 we were asked to develop a new branding experience for the Creative Futures Partnership – a dynamic partnership between the Institute of Design Innovation at the Glasgow School of Art, and Highlands and Islands Enterprise. As the partnership was still emerging, and finding its visual language, we were tasked with developing branding that could adapt over time with input from both agencies. The branding also needed to adapt to a variety of different projects that would be based up in the Highlands and Islands, including the new Glasgow School of Art’s Creative Campus project that was in development at the time. 

As part of this project we were asked to design a unique website for the Institute, that would set it apart from other academic portfolios, offering a highly visual showcase of research and teaching outputs from the Institute of Design Innovation. 

The Challenge:
InDI is a large research institute with multiple programmes of research and teaching, many of which have several levels of projects held within them. This portfolio has been built up over a seven year period. The major challenge we faced with this project was finding a way to organise these projects so that they could be easily navigated by the user of the website, and a way to gather the relevant information and visuals required as content for the site from employees working across the institute. This project also had an initial three week deadline.  

Our Approach: 
We created a detailed flowchart to communicate the complexities with the navigation of the site to the project stakeholders, and collaboratively developed this through an iterative process until the site was broken down into a simple four level structure. Following this we rapidly developed 10 visual concepts as a way to identify the stakeholders preferred approach to visuals and functionality. Finally we worked closely with two web developers to build, test and develop the site and provided content management tuition to key members of the institution.  

The Outcome: 
The final website is bold and contemporary, with a unique functionality that breaks away from the ‘parallax scroll’ sites that have dominated the web in recent years. The site is simple in both the front end and back end allowing staff to update content easily, and take control of how their individual project pages are populated with a flexible grid layout. The site is fully responsive, and a delight to use on mobile and tablet. This is the first phase of the InDI web development; following the trail period in late 2016 we are hoping to develop phase two following feedback from the users and the employees of the institute.  

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