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Seamus Heaney HomePlace

Overview

The new Seamus Heaney Home website is a fitting online hub for the brand new Seamus Heaney building, which opens later this year. Its user friendliness portrays the exact impression that we needed! The Seamus Heaney Home project fell under the remit of Mid Ulster Council, which is an i3 Digital client. The website celebrates the life and literature of one of Ireland’s most inspirational writers and poets! The new visitor building opens in September, and the website is a massive promotional tool for the overall organisation. The goals of this project were to deliver an online platform that would provide complete and relevant information and be an educative hub. The Seamus Heaney Home project needed a digital showcase to promote not only the pending centre opening, but also as a celebration of Seamus Heaney’s life and many works. The design of the site was absolutely critical to the project’s overall success, and it was important that the legendary poet was sensitively managed for all that loved his work through the design, layout and call to actions on the site. To coincide with the opening of the Seamus Heaney Home centre (the official Seamus Heaney facility) in September 2016, the requirement was for the engaging design and development of the new website to act as the key promotional tool in celebrating the life and works of the Nobel laureate. Additionally, the site was to accommodate e-commerce functionality for merchandise, as well as the integration of a third-party ticket provider.

The Challenge

As mentioned above, Seamus Heaney is a legendary poet. His works are globally renowned, and therefore there is no one definitive or set interpretation. The website’s main challenge was to facilitate an online hub which celebrated the life and work of Seamus Heaney in its entirety, without isolating one or just some elements of his art. We had to create a website that absolutely everyone could learn from and enjoy, but one that did not steer anyone down any particular view or opinion.

The Solution

The website will grow exponentially once the Visitor Centre opens and the pending Seamus Heaney walking trails are introduced into the family of products (including the opening of the new shop and release of the merchandise collection). In addition to a carefully created design, the website needed to be built on a robust and scalable platform that was also easy to use and rich in features/functionality. For these reasons, Kentico was an ideal choice! Dedicated hosting services are also provided as part of the scope of the project. The requirement was for a design that reflected the essence of Seamus Heaney, the environment he grew up in and the effect this had on his work. Kentico’s style features allowed i3 Digital to create a look and feel that was understated, noble, earthy, and classic. This enables a thought-provoking and elegant website design, which truly reflects his work.

The Result

Feedback from the stakeholders has been tremendously positive. They have reported that the new website design has matched their aspirations, particularly in terms of the design. Whilst the centre does not open officially until September, the site has been live since May 2016. The site acts as a promotional portal for the pending centre opening. Additional functionality for the website such as an ecommerce shop will be added in time for the launch to enable visitors to purchase gifts and merchandise related to the great man’s work. As this is a brand new site for a totally new initiative, there is no comparable data. Kentico was chosen for its scalability and out of the box features that allowed us to create a perfectly designed, feature-rich and tailored website for Seamus Heaney Home. The administrators also wanted an easily editable CMS back-end, which was another reason why Kentico was the perfect fit!

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