The Biosocial Birth Cohort Research Network (BBCR) is a Wellcome Trust funded group of around fifty academics based all over the world at leading universities including UCL, Imperial, McGill, Oxford and King’s College London. They were looking for a new brand and website to share their collaborative work.
Birth cohort research follows individuals born at the same time, checking in at regular intervals throughout their lives. The type of longitudinal data these studies produce is increasingly important to understand how biological, social, and environmental processes interact over time to affect human health.
The BBCR Network brings together findings that contribute to an emerging field of ‘biosocial’ research, allowing remarkably detailed new patterns emerge.
We wanted to create a digital home to share the members’ profiles with their research papers and video presentations, and to enable them to respond to each other’s work by submitting audio tracks.
This ‘conversational’ aspect was something the network felt was a key strength, enabling them to drive research forwards in new directions, with shared learning a key outcome.
We met regularly and worked on the wireframing and visual identity in tandem.
The identity was developed with human stories in mind which were unique and often took unexpected turns.
Layering these shapes so they’d interact reflected several aspects of the work; the participants’ lives and the variable data they were producing; the researchers’ interactions with them on a personal level; and the bigger pictures that emerged from overlaying the data.
The shapes were held together with a central area of clarity representing the network’s focus on improving quality of life by driving policy change. By the time the identity and wireframing were signed off I was able to create webpages that wove in this organic and gentle appearance.
Learning + Outcome
The password-protected member section of the website was a new one for me. The client wanted a space to share sensitive material that wouldn’t be appropriate for a public audience, accessible to just the network members.
Once complete, I provided training and handover so the client could manage these user profiles and permissions, add new content to the site, and manage hosting of videos external to the site.
The website has been really well received by the network and continues to evolve. It will soon feature a new series of talks by early career researchers to encourage new members to join.