Bard Mythologies

How do we make myth more accessible for a modern audience?

The Challenge

Bard Mythologies emerged out of a recovered practice of telling the traditional stories of Irish Myth & Legend. Having conducted events over the past 20 years that explore myth's contemporary meaning and relevance, the Bard team have become passionate advocates of the cultural value held within mythology. Although the Bard's focus is on the Irish stories, the mindset is one that looks beyond this specific culture and to a way of seeing the world that the "Mythic Method" provides. Eager to share their insights, the challenge presented was how to bring their experience to a wider audience using contemporary digital methods. 

 

The Approach

My initial involvement with the project was to help organize a body of material generated through the workshop events over the years. Working with the fantastic character artwork of Bill Felton, and the stories elegantly retold by Beulah Croker, Sorcha Hegarty and Declan Brennan, I have helped define an information architecture and build a website that gathers the stories, characters and an overview of Irish Mythology.

I later had the opportunity to pitch this project as an Industry Partner project at the Digital Skills Academy, Dublin. There I was able to successfully recruit a team of 6 to help advance the project with a number of digital assets. Our scope included a mobile app for Android, a Digital Marketing & Business Strategy, a brand identity update, a personality test web app, and a responsive landing page to promote the app. The following documents some of the stages and artifacts produced during our 3 months working on the project as well as work I've completed independently. 

USER RESEARCH & PERSONAS

After establishing our scope and product definition we conducted a series of interviews and surveys. Our aim was to get a general feel for people's awareness of Irish Mythology and to gauge a response to the work we were proposing. Some found the typical treatment of Irish myth to be off-putting, while others were very keen to reconnect with their heritage. The main insight was that most people were unfamiliar with the stories but interested in rediscovering them if presented in a modern format. 

BRAND CONCEPTS & IDENTITY

Eager to avoid cultural clich├ęs and a sense of Irishness that has been overused, we looked to some of the deeper themes embedded within the stories themselves for inspiration and a direction to inform the visual design and identity.

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WIREFRAMES

Starting with the app we created and iterated through several sets of wireframes. These helped us to clearly visualise the content, organise it into logical sections and establish the user interface controls.

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INTERACTIVE PROTOTYPE

We then created an interactive prototype using InVision. This helped us to iron out any kinks in the app flow and provided something to user-test with. The changes were then incorporated back into the wireframes before moving on to create hi-fidelty mockups.

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VISUAL DESIGN

The visual design evolved through a number of rounds of hi-fidelity mockups with updates and refinements being made based on user feedback, usability testing and an evolving appreciation for the conceptual underpinnings of the work.

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ONBOARDING SCREENS

A series of welcome screens introduce the main sections of the app 

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THE STORIES OF IRISH MYTH & LEGEND 

Professionally recorded audio accompanies a selection of the stories  

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IRISH MYTHIC CHARACTER PROFILES

The Stories are filled with heroic archetypes and characters that embody the collective wisdom of the people. The app offers an overview of the great names and some of the lesser known ones too.

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IRISH MYTHIC CHARACTER PERSONALITY TEST

The personality test offers a series of simple questions based on the Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator which have been correlated with a selection of Irish Mythic characters. On completing the test the particiapnt is offered the option of downloading a pdf version of their profile. This has proved very successful for lead generation and has helped to build community engagement. 

Take the test now 

Internal Team

Sandy Dunlop - Managing Director

Deirdre Simpson - Office Manager

Bill Felton - Artistic Director

Declan Brennan - Storyteller

Sorcha Hegarty - Storyteller

 

 

 

 

Digital Skills Academy Team

Peter O'Neill (Project Management - Agile Scrum Master & Business Strategy)

Sarah Taiwo (Marketer - Digital Marketing Plan)

Lewis Murphy (Designer - Information Architecture, UI/UX, Brand Identity)

Martin Knight (Designer - Visual / UI, User Research)

Andrew Kelly (Developer - Angular.js Application for Android) 

Ray Graham (Developer - Javascript Web App, User Research)