Air Quality Hub
The Air Quality Hub is a web portal where local authorities across the UK can easily share information and knowledge about air quality related issues. The project was initiated by City of York Council and the Low Emission Partnership, a collection of local authorities working to reduce air pollution.
Supported by DEFRA, this was to be a major project which all city councils in the UK would be invited to use. The Air Quality Hub site was highly specified, with many functional elements that needed to be carefully implemented and presented in the most user-friendly way. Other crucial aspects of the initial brief included security, ongoing support, and full branding and design.
With a portfolio of bespoke web applications and academic networking sites, Castlegate was chosen to bring all of these pieces together and build the Air Quality Hub website. We worked closely with York City Council members to produce a functional specification that met the varied technical requirements of the site.
The Air Quality Hub is a heavily bespoke web application that uses WordPress as a foundation. As well as providing guidance to local authorities, the portal offers several ways for its users to interact and share information with each other. Users can easily add content to their account, and a simple feedback and quality-score system means that the most helpful information on a topic can easily be found. Tiered membership levels give additional control within councils, and a forum provides a simple platform to share and discuss air quality strategy ideas.
For a complex site like this, usability is paramount. So, from a design perspective, it was important to ensure that everything was presented as clearly as possible. Prominent signposting and consistency throughout the site create a seamless user journey and ensure that it’s easy to learn how to use the site’s features. Alongside these functional elements, we provided a full identity design service including a new logo. The logo, based on three rotating blades of a fan, was designed to depict the cyclical step-by-step process of improving air quality.
The Air Quality Hub is a feature-rich portal which provides all the tools necessary for air quality professionals and council members to effortlessly share information with each other. The uncluttered and welcoming design ensures that the site is easy to use, and presents the project as a helpful and high-quality resource.