Shipping out

With our Virtual World Plaques working as an enduring method of linking to a digital archive we needed somewhere to host the content. Due to the size and objectives of this campaign this had to be much more than merely an archive of projects. This is why we set to work on building the 'Shaping Your World' website (subtitled VIBE - The Virtual Interactive Built Environment').
The user journey of this was to begin with something more fun and interactive before guiding them through to more in-depth careers related messaging.

To make this site more engaging and socially sharable we created the VIBE avatar builder, a fun and irreverent 2min quiz that results in a built environment avatar. This element proved to be the most complex and contentious of the entire campaign. In setting the tone we would fail before we began if it wasn't immediately easy, fun and quirky.

The meetings to design it were certainly fun - ranging from designing images for the questions, the results text and the elements of the final avatars themselves. These ranged from 'VIBE' caps to road sign necklaces to an Australian hat with traffic cones instead of corks!

Once we had designed all the elements we set to work on defining the logic and animation based on the answers to 8 questions. On completion these avatars could then be shared socially or can join the 'street party'. This element populates the street scene with all of the avatars that are created meaning people can find their friends.

The second section of the site is the interactive built environment itself. A 3D street scene with clickable elements to break down myths around the breadth of areas covered by ourselves and similar companies. Once clicked, these elements open lightboxes giving detail on the each element and, as we begin to pepper in some brand messaging, the contribution of Kier.

Of course, the third section comprises the projects themselves easily navigable via a Google map. We skinned this to ensure it was in the same style as the campaign and even manged to include some animation (e.g. boats and sea creatures bobbing around). These projects will be constantly added to and all contain unique host avatars to curate the content produced in liaison with each individual client.

The final section contains the most meaty content as we weave in our brand messaging. We also used the resources available to us by prominently featuring our people. Our research showed that our target demographic engages more with emotions as opposed to facts and figures. With this in mind we interviewed people from around the business with amazing stories to tell and set to work animating them in the style of the campaign. We then asked for submissions from across the business to showcase the variety of job roles (we have over 2,000) as lightbox mini-interviews. This coupled with a selection of social value stories and images gives a complete picture of why our people enjoy their roles and covers a vast spectrum. The meat behind this section is then the links to our job search and new careers resource.



An enormous amount of work went into making this website a reality. With so many different interactive features it needs close monitoring and maintaining and is designed as toolkit to our forthcoming schools engagement programme. I'll cover analytics and measurement in my final post on this campaign but we are already overwhelmed with how quickly it has taken off.

I was pleased earlier this week to be able to share some of of my key learnings from this project at the annual 'Digital Engagement Conference' where I presented the keynote. Although it meant a 5.15am wake up call to get to Manchester I had a great time meeting other digital professionals and sharing our experiences. As always, new technologies were a key theme and I feel very favoured to be able to constantly try new things in a way that many large corporate companies do not.
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