The City of Edinburgh is a local government agency that works with the day-to-day of a vibrant, tourism driven city. They provide help to the small local museums, as well as, provide information to tourist around the world. Visit Scotland is a government driven body that specifically works to develop the tourism industry of all of Scotland. They work to create new and exciting developments by sponsoring groups, events, and products. This project was made in response to the available options presented by both The City of Edinburgh and Visit Scotland. The target market for this webapp was second-time visitors and those looking for something beyond the standard tourism options.
The city of Edinburgh is a city of culture, development, and history. That mean this place has a wealth of folklore and stories to be shared. Yet, the city has never created a means to consume, understand, or recognize the majority of these stories. The many events of history and their specific locations can only be found in a small collection of books, many of which are out of print. My challenge was to create an engaging and simplified means to find the locations of and hear these stories. The design needed to include a means to find, a means to gather, and a means to hear the folklore, as well as be considerate of the fact that tourists, not locals would be the target audience. Additionally I wanted the user to enjoy the experience, and find more than just stories, but also a sense of life of the city.
I spent several months looking at site-specific performances and tourism in Edinburgh Scotland. I also started looking at local folklore, including what was available for easy consumption and what had to be researched. Many people come to Edinburgh to learn about the city, and many of the stories which makeup the culture of Edinburgh were missing from the tourism market. In the beginning I was calling the project Edinburgh City Stories. Using a map of the Old Town I planned the route for my storytelling adventure.
The stories in the map were important because of their specific locations. I created an initial design via Processing which used GPS to locate. Although GPS proved to be less than satisfactory in actual use, the original applet did help me to decide not only to use the web-app model, but also added the new effect of a scavenger hunt by incorporating story-tags for users to find.
Initial Stages of the Design
With the application concept finalized and the stories chosen, I next had to create animated and interactive stories for users to find. Moving from story boarding to script writing to shooting and editing, the final multi-media videos and app were uploaded to the site via webpage with complex URL’s. The last thing I wanted anyone to do was find the story via the web before they actually went out to scavenge for it.
To share the stories I used a combination NFC and QR Code tag. Utilizing metal-safe NFC tags and a personalized QR code developer I was able to create story tags which looked specific enough to the project, yet easily understood as a QR code to those just 'passing-by'. Each was linked to one of the coded URLs and then placed ‘within plain sight’ at the story’s location.
Utilizing Wix as the design platform for this prototype I was quickly able to design wireframes, lo-fi’s, and the final product as well as make additional edits quickly. The final prototype web-app was simple, user intuitive, and allowed for additional help during the hunt. This responsive web-app was put out to users for testing and had a positive response.
During user testing, there was a request to create a physical map to help alleviate the struggle of reading on a tiny screen and help to curb the ‘dry-zone’ connection problem in Edinburgh’s Old Town. This tri-folded A3 size paper brochure had the map on the interior side and more information (including helpful hints) on the exterior.
Edinlore, in a digital state, can still be found online by following this link. There are currently no plans to re-launch the project out into the general public.