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DCC Connecting people though culture and conversation

Dublin City Council Culture Company wanted to create a map of our fair city’s cultural assets. Public buildings, museums, sports clubs, schools, local stories and even customs, they wanted a central hub where all of this information would not only live but, come alive.

The Challenge

We had to create a resource that would be useful for the diverse residents of and visitors to Dublin. Our user experience and visual design had to work double-time to make the content accessible and engaging for every possible user.

Designed well, this site would form a genuine living map of Dublin’s neighbourhoods, made by the people who live here.

Our Approach

To create a digital experience that would work for everyone, we had to understand the cultural assets of Dublin on a granular level. Our knowledgeable clients had spent years building a database that did just that, lucky us. We designed workshops that would help them to share this knowledge, so that we could distill it into a great user experience.

Over a series of workshops we completed exercises like “How? Now? Wow!” which helps us to identify what we can do and how, whether it’s possible to do it now, and how we can make it incredible. We also hosted what we have dubbed the “UX Crazy 8s”, giving everyone an A3 sheet folded into eight and asking them to sketch what they thought their website should be.

We left this phase of the project with a crystal clear picture of what we needed to do.

That picture was so clear, that our first wireframes were signed off and became the final design you see today.

The Execution

UX Design

We created a design that put the needs of our varied user base front and centre. The “I want to…” filter can help you to find a Salsa group led by a Cuban woman in Marino, a choral group for gay men in the city centre, a gaelscoil in Ballymun or a craft butcher in Harold’s Cross. Alternatively, if you wanted to go on a cultural adventure you could select “I want to explore my options”.

Once you found what you were looking for “Dublin by Dubliners” content would help to bring the experience to life, giving real human context to our cultural assets through video, photography and the written word.

Visual Design

We devised a vibrant colour palette that reflects the energy of Dublin’s cultural environment. Ranging from recognisable Dublin blues to bright oranges, rich greens and vivid pinks, each colour corresponded to one of the “I want to…” options.

We put Dublin front and centre in everything we made. From the homepage to the navigation, a simple map clearly shows the cultural wealth that is spread across the city. The homepage is also home to a series of character illustrations by Paper Panther that reflect the diversity of cultural activity in the city; from reading and beekeeping, to visiting museums and chatting in your local park.


We did the front end development for the finished Culture Near You site. Everything you see and interact with was created by a team of designers, UX designers, front end developers and project managers right here, just a bit outside the heart of Dublin.

It was a pleasure for us to bring the cultural assets of our home to life digitally. We hope you enjoy using the site as much as we enjoyed creating it. And once you’ve found what you’re looking for, don’t forget to get out there and experience it. After all, you are what really brings the culture of our fair city to life.