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Today we had our second meeting with our designer Mike Godwin. Mike was recommended to us by REACT, and we met with him for the first time a couple of weeks ago to explain our aims, target user groups, desired vision and usability factors. Mike came back to us today with four possible design routes, each with a different and distinctive feel.

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We all looked at it last night and came up with a couple of favourites. The first design, which Mike described as having ‘distressed touches, atmospheric background images, simple structure and navigation and playful footer elements’ was excellent in terms of usability. The second one, which Mike described as having more of an ‘editorial look, flexible grids, simple navigation, typographic small touches, and photography mixing landscape with object detail’ was very elegant, as well as suggesting a fluidity between landscape, object and story. Most of us preferred the second one visually, but missed the ease of usability that characterised the first one.

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The second one, which is reproduced above, also captured the colours of the Moor well, but our feedback had been that users would want a bigger RAMM logo on the front page so that they could always feel that they were carrying out an activity that was associated with the museum. We found the same for Art Maps, and know that it is this knowledge that gives users a sense of belonging that is crucial to prompt motivation and maintain engagement. The RAMM logo in the third design was perfect, so Tom created a collage of all his favourite features for Mike to think about for our next meeting.

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