The Principal Challenge

Images showing Kent Downs AONB engagement website interfaces

The Principal Challenge

With such a rich and varied offer of experiences, days out and itineraries, the principle challenge of the project was how to present them in an intuitive manner and make them simple for audiences to explore!

In collaboration with the Kent Downs team we devised a approach to categorise the diverse offer between activities, places to visit, experiences and events.

We took great care to craft a filter facility that’s both powerful and easy to use. The filter features a friendly conversational approach to ask the user ’where to?’ and the filter automatically suggests destinations in Kent as soon as the user starts typing.

Location Aware

Photo of bench overlooking Kent Downs AONB

Location Aware

Location can be defined using either the ‘near me’ feature or by searching for a specific location. One selected, further refinement is made possible via choices made available to the user. For example, if the user is interested in places to visit, they can filter between the amenities available, including parking, toilet availability and suitability for dogs.

As part of the AONB’s inclusivity and accessibility focus a ’Wheelchair accessible’ option is promoted in the filter to allow immediate access to those who require it.

An image-rich tapestry of results is then displayed in a modern grid listing for the user to explore, each with clear location markers. Alternatively, the user can view an optimised, intuitive interactive map.

Cinematic Presentation

Image showing selection of Kent Downs engagement website interfaces on a mobile device

Cinematic Presentation

A key requirement of the project was to showcase the variety of experiences on offer within the AONB. These range from the promotion of parks and open spaces to half day paid for experiences (such as guided walks) to multiple day itineraries.

Image of Kent Downs engagement website shown on a laptop device

Everything to see and do is presented individually with an engaging cinematic presentation highlighting key decision-making content first to aid users in evaluation of experience and itineraries.

Photo of Etching HillPhoto of Etching HillPhoto of Etching Hill

Supporting Conservation

The engagement website is also a valuable asset to support conservation, landscape management and educational projects in the Kent Downs region and we developed flexible templates to enable these to be effectively promoted.

An example of the important work going on in the Kent Downs is the Green Pilgrimage Project which highlights how the economic benefits of Pilgrimage tourism can protect natural and cultural heritage through investment, partnership working and policy prioritisation.

There are also dedicated spaces on the new website for the Kent Downs team to promote educational walks, volunteering opportunities and local distinctiveness and storytelling.

Space to Breathe

Image of Kent Downs engagement website interfaces shown on a variety of devices

Space to Breathe

The final design has a clean look and feel with ’space to breathe’ that makes best use of the photography resources available. The design was perfectly aligned with the Kent Downs’ distinctive brand and features bespoke iconography and clear informative tagging to maximise ease of use.

The engaging UI (user interface) was validated with users using the platform.

An eye-catching homepage header area enables the Kent Down team to showcase inviting photography and video media and we integrated a donate feature in the website’s primary navigation that users can access to make donations to the Kent Downs Trust.

Image of custom iconography undertaken for Explore Kent and Kent Downs AONB
Image of custom iconography undertaken for Explore Kent and Kent Downs AONB

The Results

We really enjoyed working with the Kent Downs team on the project and it opened our eyes to the incredible range of attractions the Kent Downs has to offer.

The new engagement website is an ideal resource for people to explore places to visit and things to do, whether they are local to the area, or planning a visit from further afield.