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22 Dec 2014

Helping celebrate 150 years of history, culture and links between Wales and Chubut, Patagonia

2015 will see the 150th anniversary of the establishment of Y Wladfa, the Welsh settlement in Patagonia. Y Wladfa was established in 1865, when 153 people from various parts of Wales sailed on the Mimosa to settle in the Chubut Valley, in Southern Argentina. Organisations in Patagonia and Wales are organising a range of events to mark the anniversary and strengthen the links between the two communities.

Yesterday, working with the lovely Patagonia 150 team from British Council Wales, we helped launch the associated Patagonia 150 website

The website - with the usual gambit of deliverables for us (e.g. built in Drupal, fully-responsive, use of persona and data visualisation workshops to try and make the site as targeted and relevant as possible) - has some really interesting facets and lovely touches.

Firstly, it was a relatively challenging turnaround - 10 weeks from a standing start through to launch. It's also our first trilingual (English, Spanish and Welsh) site with geolocation to define the default language for the site. We really were were starting from scratch on the vast majority of the project, with just a logo in a couple of different colours to work with from a design point of view. 

The logo brought it's own challenges being portrait which poses difficulties in remaining visible, recognisable and legible across various screensizes - especially the smaller mobile devices. With the logo, we turned what could have been a tricky challenge (it's portrait which, very crudely speaking is not very on-trend for mobile) into a nice feature with a nice treatment and effect. The website design uses scroll, scaling and image replacement to celebrate the portrait version in all it's glory when you land on the page; as the user scrolls down the page the logo collapses into a single image from within it which becomes less obtrusive and allowed us to maximise the use of the main content area. 

As part of the trilingual aspect of the site, we incorporated translations on the media text as a new feature. Allowing title text (for tooltips) and alt text to be translated into each of the different languages will contribute to SEO and ensure that the site is more accessible to site visitors.

The most exciting part of the project however, was the standing start - no content, no existing communications channels, no communications strategy. So not only did we support the development of the site (design, functionality, structure, targeted audiences etc) but we also helped support the development of the comms strategy and campaign. Including the selection of social media channels and suggesting ideas as to how to leverage them. Twitter and Instragram will be the main channels and we will be using Tint to bring that content onsite. You can follow the project on social media using the #Patagonia150 hashtag which is in it's very early stages just now but will blossom as the project is launched and grows.

A key consideration on the development of the digital comms strategy was that the site needed to be as easy to manage as possible. In straightened days and with limited resources all of us had to be as efficient as possible, helping with any heavy lifting as much as possible. It was a constant consideration - in the development, repurposing and marketing of content through to the marketing of the events themselves.

We've thoroughly enjoyed working on the #Patagonia150 project and with the team and we really hope the site has met the expectations of the project.

It's also been a delight to have worked on a unique project that brings three cultural corners of Tincan into play via our welsh, english and argentinian teams.

Visit the Patagonia 150 website: http://www.patagonia150.org/

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