Exeter Science Park

Impactful and powerful design, for an international audience

Exeter Science Park (ESP) already had a website that had been live for two years but now required redesigning. They went out to tender for the redesign and we won the bid. The ESP team were looking for a site that had ‘real personality’ and would set them apart from other science park sites in the UK. The redesign also had to be compatible with a range of mobile devices; have the ability to host a calendar function; integrate with social media channels, and allow a greater level of flexibility than the current site.

Design and Build Structure

This development had a larger than normal number of stakeholders involved across both the public and private sectors, from property developers and selling agents to local authorities.

We kicked off with a design workshop where all stakeholders were invited along to contribute their requirements for the project. A good design workshop is rather like a crucible and at the end we had a clear idea of the audience we were designing for, and the key requirements for the build. We then produced a work schedule so all parties knew what was expected of them and within what timeframe.

  1. Review of current site structure – what are its strengths and weaknesses?
  2. User experience (UX) – who is your audience?
  3. Design features – branding, logo, styling and imagery
  4. Likes/dislikes
  5. Copywriting – including tone and style
  6. Search Engine Optimisation requirements
  7. Technical requirements
  8. Timescales
  9. Ownership & responsibilities

Development

The key to the development of a successful site design would be in making the site as visually appealing as possible. ESP had already invested in a beautiful logo and branding and we complimented this with bespoke photography and graphics. Using photographs of ESP, the construction company’s digital drawings of prospective buildings, broader images of Exeter, photos of links to science/research within The University of Exeter and local transport links, we started to build up an attractive view of a thoroughly modern science park.

The key focus of the new site was to ensure it communicated more dynamically in visual terms; and more effectively with regards to engagement and content, for key audiences. This is most notable for organisations that were considering moving onto the Park – from small start-up companies to large high growth businesses.

The new site was also designed to be completely responsive with an appropriate layout being produced for any mobile device, from mobile phone to tablet and laptop.

Building Pages

We split the variety of buildings available on the science park into ‘flexible’, ‘ready made’ and ‘bespoke’ categories. The visual below shows the ‘ready made’ page with all 3 buildings within this category being shown on the one page through a series of tabs. This keeps the user ‘on page’ with the minimum of click through.

Hot Spotted Map

We recommended to our client that they consider using a ‘hot-spotted map’ of the science park to drive editorial engagement. A hot-spotted map allows content, images, video, website links, audio sound bites, or social media links within a map, and creates a rich storytelling landscape that captures the attention of users. We felt this would be the key to engagement.

Result

A visually beautiful website that is responsive, can easily be updated via a content management system by the ESP staff and doesn’t look like any other science park website. It is modern and dynamic, yet communicates all the vital information that a prospective company hoping to move to the science park might want to know – transport links for staff and supply chain; broadband and digital communications; site plans and floor space; parking; mocked up digital CAD drawings of buildings; hot-spotted interactive site map; cultural connections to Exeter and Devon; links to the University of Exeter for research and collaboration.

“The Daneswood team took the time to understand the project and our key objectives and provided seamless support throughout the development of the site. Their inspiring design work has brought our branding alive and helped to transform and strengthen the company image.  We would not hesitate to work with the team on future projects.“

Gerry Shattock, General Manager, Exeter Science Park