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Upper Nidderdale Landscape Partnership

The Upper Nidderdale Landscape Partnership is a £1.8 million scheme to look after and help people get involved with Upper Nidderdale’s historic landscapes, cultural heritage and wildlife habitats…

Modern, fresh & stylish

Upper Nidderdale wanted the site to have a modern, fresh and stylish feel, but they didn’t want the design to make them look like a ‘lifestyle organisation’ and wanted to move away from the “local authority” feel that the current website already had.

We selected WordPress as an easy to maintain content management system that we could develop, to produce a fantastic looking, simple to use website.

Due to the large amount of information on the site, they needed a user interface that would allow the visitor to find what they needed quickly, and show related information without having to search for it. We solved this with custom programming a new menu system.

Modern and fresh

A break from the ‘normal’ Local Authority look was wanted for the Upper Nidderdale site, something that was accessible, modern and friendly while still getting over a rural feel to the site.

The partnership already had an established brand and guidelines which we carried through into the design of the website. The colours used in the design where taken from the logo, using purple as the main colour for the design. The different subject areas of the website where also differentiated or identifiable by the use of different colours.

To further give an impression of the country side we used some of the supplied photographs to create subtle background illustrations used at the bottom of each section page.

Icons also play an intrinsic part of this design, as it was difficult to find an existing icon set which suited our needs and to add to the bespoke design, our designers drew from scratch the icons used in the site.

What’s in a menu?

The menu system within WordPress was not sufficient to show the amount of pages that the site held. So, we built a new one!

With a standard menu system with hundreds of pages, the site can quickly get very ungainly – displaying many items or sub levels, filling up the page.

Our system copes with this by displaying only two levels on the top menu, and expanding further than this in the side bar; only showing the pages in the current area you’re looking at. Have a look at the site and try it – a very elegant solution.

Lets put it on the map

Due to the nature of the site, we suggested that showing maps would be an excellent way of helping to navigate the site.

We developed a system where you could “tag” a page with longitude and latitude coordinates, and select an icon.

A Google map was placed on the home page which then displayed the icons and their positions within Nidderdale. Clicking the icon shows you more information and a link to the page.

The icons were especially designed for the Upper Nidderdale website, many taking inspiration from the photographs that were supplied to us by the partnership, such as the ruined wall for historic Nidderdale and the curlew for the wildlife and farming section.

Going back in time

We’ve been adding to the site since it’s gone live. One of the new items is an interactive timeline showing how Nidderdale has changed from prehistoric times to the present day.

We took especially  commissioned drawings by the partnership and added them to a custom slideshow that we created from scratch using JavaScript to create a seamless transition between the time periods.

Getting going

We gave the team a full days training on using the site at their offices in Pateley Bridge. This included creating custom manuals (something we do for all our customers), and ongoing support over the telephone. They also use our maintenance services to make sure that their server is kept up to date and secure.

Going forward

The Landscape Partnership were so pleased with the site that they commissioned us to create their touchscreen software for Pateley Bridge Tourist Information Centre, which you can read about here.

The Cybermill did a fantastic job of understanding our requirements and designing a system to suit our needs and budget. They provided great support throughout both design and implementation, including adapting elements of their design to reflect changes we needed as the project developed.

Iain Mann, Harrogate Council