IXD302 Hill Street Proposal Research

Overview of Brief

The job in question is the design of a website and brand to represent Hill Street in Belfast. Considerations This is an entirely new website so there is no existing design in place. However, there will be similar websites for other areas of Belfast, including the Cathedral Quarter and Titanic Quarter. Consider history and heritage, businesses, tourism, culture and community when determining appropriate features and priorities for the website. This will have to include a timeline and pricing for the job (which will be discussed in class).

 

When assessing this brief I first want to consider why this area might hypothetically want a brand identity and website at this time. I have therefore decided to consider COVID-19 as a contributing factor for the requirement of this project. As such this will help me to direct the project in relation to bringing life back to the area, encouraging a sense of community. I imagine encouraging businesses to hold onto their leases may be a difficult task with so many encouraging staff to work from home the need for an expensive building lease may seem unnecessary. Therefore business, community and culture will be the primary focus of this project. This will be followed by history and heritage and tourism.

 

Research

Image of Cathedral Quarter Belfast's website

I first wanted to take a look at similar brands and web pages relating to Belfast. As Hill Street is located in Cathedral Quarter I thought this would be a good place to start.

The focus on business appears to be high up on the priority list for Cathedral Quarter as the “for business” link features second in the top nav. The first nav link is “What’s on” and this takes the user to an events page primarily aimed at businesses with training events and workshops topping the list. This confirms that the business-focused approach I would like to take in relation to Hill Street is an important focus in the current climate and will tie in nicely with the Cathedral Quarters website.

The about section features information on the Cathedral Quarter Trust, historical information about the area and plans for the future. I think the inclusion of plans for the future is brilliant as it displays the fact that time is being taken to ensure this area continues to thrive into the future.

There is also information on travel and how the area can be explored. This is important for anyone coming to the area that hasn’t visited before. For businesses, it is helpful to know nearby parking locations ensuring staff, clients and customers can easily park vehicles in a secure parking area nearby.

The news section of the website is vivid and nicely laid out. A left nav menu displays a variety of areas to find articles on including Arts, Business, Comunity, Food & Drink, Meet Your, Nightlife, Shopping, Tourism. Each section is filled with relevant short articles. I really like this portion of the website as it demonstrates the vibrancy of the area.

Finally, there is a form that can be filled in to contact the Cathedral Quater Trust and a phone number, address and website.

 

Image of the Titanic Quarter's website

As there are lots of living options in this area, therefore “live” appears first on the top nav followed by work, visit and stay. I personally find the use of the word visit- relating to activities and events, a little abstract as it overlaps in my mind with the idea of staying for a short period of time. However when clicking on “visit” a dropdown menu appears with local arena’s and museum names and the meaning becomes clear.

I love the design of this website it’s really striking with its white, black and yellow colour palette. It also gives the impression of lots happening in the area in the way it is structured.

The first section on the home page provides some information on the history and recent developments of the area. This is followed by a gird section with images linking to pages on Grade and Offices, Residential, Retail, Media Campus, Hotels and Destinations, tourism, Leisure and Industrial Distribution.  Addition sections include information on new building developments, businesses in the area such as Amazon, Citi Bank and Titanic Belfast and a section on news, what’s on and media room.

There are lots to cover with this area as the history of the titanic quarter is known globally. There is also a lot of new development taking place here not only aimed at business but also residential housing and tourism. A big selling part for me with this website is the photographs used. This is definitely something to consider in my design proposal as well as the importance of information architecture as I think the information is displayed beautifully on this site.

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