'A successful new perspective on recent history'
or 'BETTer late than never?'
Some eighteen months ago Nick
Harewood of space-scape
web design Ltd was contracted to work as part of a team
with the great people at Nelson
Thornes, a leading UK educational publisher of books,
CD-ROM and electronic teaching and learning resources. One
of the projects undertaken during that period was a 20th Century
History CD-ROM resource using extensive video footage from
the ITN Archive, and named 'History Live' .
was responsible for initial design and prototyping of the
interface, which was then carried forward to the finished
product. Working in a close-knit environment between the author
and developers, he provided the style of design and typography,
as well as the concept of the two interfaces. Firstly, to
review available subject matter the student is presented with
flickering video screens suggestive of a TV production gallery.
Then they're presented with a large PDA-type screen, where
the student may view video clips, review background information,
edit clips for their own presentations, and search the historical
archive. Links to these functions are shown as buttons.
Much thought went into creating a style and concept of presentation
that would interest the student without distracting, and appeal
to a 14-16 year old without patronising. This year, 'History
Live' was one of 5 products short-listed for a BETT
Award for Secondary Software. Since its release, the product
has been extremely popular - purchased by the London Grid
for Learning and the North West Learning Grid, it is currently
being used in over 800 schools across the UK. David Mason,
Content Manager, London Grid for Learning declared 'History
Live is the best application of ICT in History that I have
seen in 15 years of advisory work in ICT'.
course, Nick's work on the interface was just one ingredient
in the process that made the author Ben Walsh's concept into
the successful product it now is. 'History Live' did
not win the BETT
Award, but its place on the shortlist is certainly worthy
praise of the hard work invested in the project by Nelson
Thornes and space-scape.
Other relevant bits:
web design Ltd in Birmingham, UK was founded in 2002 by
web designer Nick
Harewood, aiming to provide a range of bespoke solutions
to small and medium sized businesses as well as offering design
and programming support to a number of corporate clients and
Internet consultancies around the UK.