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'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' .

Nick 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'.

Of 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:
space-scape 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.

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