If you’ve been paying attention you'll have noticed our sleek new online look courtesy of Dublin design studio Conor & David. We asked David Wall, who is the lead designer on the ID2015 site to tell us a little more about the design process behind irishdesign2015.ie.
Our work on the ID2015 site began in late 2014. The process has seen 5 live versions of the site, as well as several interim iterations that we have built along the way. Having just launched the latest version we thought it might be a good time to look back on the process that has informed our decisions.
Overall, the challenge is to communicate the level of diversity and disparate activity of ID2015 in a way that reflects the organisation’s purpose and direction. The sheer range of content meant that we had to push the flexibility of the system to accommodate this broad spectrum. We knew from the outset that the year of design’s plans and focus would develop over the course of 2015, and that the website build should reflect this. It was important for us to create a modular system that could be adapted and changed, without a total rebuild. The systems that we put in place at those early stages have stood us well through the year, for developments that we predicted, and others that we couldn't have anticipated.
Ahead of launch (in December 2014) our focus was the programme, with a need to show the ambitious plans that were already in place over the 12 months to come. On launch, we needed to extend that to a series of Open Calls (in January and March). The huge response to these calls meant that the focus would shift to the large number of funded projects and initiatives that would fuel the programme’s rapid expansion. Since then, ID2015 projects have been getting underway around the world, with a growing social media audience, so we adapted the News blog’s format, for a better reading experience and more generously sized images.
One unexpected and exciting development was an affiliation between ID2015 and the IBM Design Studio. This led to the creation of an app for iOS and Android which would showcase a selection of great locations around Ireland, chosen by Irish designers. We built the structure on which the app operates, so that the ID2015 team can centrally manage app content from the same place where they manage their website.
The latest iteration of the website is focussed on clarity, simplicity and elegance. We expanded the range of typefaces used to include Elena, which was part of the core ID2015 identity designed by Atelier David Smith. Elena affords us the opportunity to set longer passages of text at a smaller size without sacrificing readability. Having reviewed user behaviour on the site, we overhauled the menu system for a clearer more immediate solution. This allowed us to separate out a new about section from a more pared-back homepage. The new section ties in with work done by the ID2015 content team on articulating their message and mission.
We’re excited about this latest version as it represents the refined visual interpretation of the systems that we've been adapting for months. We’re grateful to the ID2015 management and team who have created a platform for us to take on the work in an iterative and adaptive way — and looking forward to further developments in the second half of this very positive year for Irish design.