GCN, the national LGBTQ+ publication of Ireland, reached out to me with an ambitious project: they wanted to convert the first ten years of their print magazine into a fully searchable digital archive. The task at hand was complex, involving the transformation of over 3300 digitised pages and several thousand unique tags into a comprehensive, easily navigable online archive. They wanted to ensure that the wealth of LGBTQ+ history captured within the pages of GCN's first decade was not only preserved, but made accessible to a wider audience. With a proven track record for creating beautiful, engaging and responsive websites, I was enlisted to provide web development expertise, working alongside GCN's team and their in-house Art Director Dave Darcy to bring this vision to life.
The first stage involved thorough strategy and information architecture discussions, diving into GCN's unique context, audience, and objectives. I examined the metadata and categories, considering the most effective way to organise, ingest, and present this information for intuitive user navigation. I used my expertise in Webflow to research and implement the best solution to host such a large amount of content while still enabling a robust live search functionality. Alongside this, I lended the project my expertise in web design, building on Dave's initial page designs and visual identity to add several key pages to the website, including Archive, Search, Spotlight, and Reflections pages, ensuring the website was not only functional, but also visually appealing and coherent with the GCN Archive brand identity.
The outcome was a beautifully designed, user-friendly digital archive that not only preserved ten years of GCN's print history but made it widely accessible and easily searchable. The project was an important contribution to preserving and sharing Ireland's rich LGBTQ+ history, helping GCN to reach a wider audience while providing a valuable resource for research and exploration. The GCN Archive project's success demonstrates the transformative power of careful planning, expert web development, and clear vision. It stands as a testament to how collaboration and technical expertise can translate a complex task into an elegant solution, enhancing user engagement and accessibility.