Net Magazine design exercise

Author: Matt Ridding
Published: 11th August 2016

Clevercherry was invited to do a piece for Net Magazine, a publication dedicated to all things web that has been running for around 20 years. The article in question was a design exercise which is one of Net magazine's regular features. Net Mag asks three designers to design a website concept. The brief is usually one sentence, making it very open to interpretation which makes for varied work.

The brief

Design a website concept for a climbing centre housed in an unusual building.

Our concept

Gavin and I spent a morning flexing our brain muscles and after chewing on some delicious ideas, eventually regurgitated a fantastic concept.

Clevercherry is a Birmingham based design agency and we wanted our climbing centre to be situated in this wonderfully diverse city, but where? Birmingham is home to some colossal railway arches and also an unused viaduct.

Duddeston Viaduct was built during the Victorian times but was never actually used as a functioning rail track and has been casting its iconic shadows over the Digbeth area ever since (read more about the viaduct here). Proposals have been set out in Birmingham's HS2 masterplan to turn the viaduct into a sky park, but for this make-believe brief, the viaduct was our venue for Birmingham's premiere climbing centre.

Say hello to DUCT, a unique climbing centre, social space and adventure park, designed to help people of all ages and abilities take their leisure time to the next level. The climbing centre is built in the arches of the disused viaduct in Digbeth, Birmingham. The roof garden is home to an outdoor adventure park where visitors can relax and socialise.

Branding

We came up with a few names for the centre but settled on DUCT. A catchy, upbeat word that represents the venue but is also unique enough to be associated with a climbing centre. The Duct logo is made of semicircles, which represent the iconic arches, the same shapes are utilised within the design of the website. The colours represent the mix of industrial and redbrick buildings associated with Digbeth, as well as the vibrancy of the area.

I wanted to create an association with climbing whilst navigating the website, so decided that the site should anchor to the bottom of the screen and that the user would scroll up the page rather than down, giving the user a sense of climbing to discover information as the skill level of activities increases.

Click here to see the design.

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