magneticNorth

Strategy, Ideas, Design and Development

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This is… a social campaign we created for NOMA

As NOMA’s digital strategy partner, we were tasked to come up with a creative way to engage local people with all the activity going on in and around Manchester’s new neighbourhood; something that would get the community involved and encourage the public to shape the project.

To help achieve NOMA’s ambitions we asked the public to suggest a name for their new public square by creating a multi-channel campaign and using social media to generate lots of noise around the project.

walking tours app

This is… a new walking app

We collaborated with Manchester City Council and NOMA to create the ‘Manchester Walking Tours’ iOS app - a unique audio visual experience that allows you to explore the city and discover its defining moments in a totally new way. 

The app, which is layered with content from the city’s archives, gives you a 'heads-up' experience: plug in your headphones, pop your mobile device in your pocket and simply follow our audio directions without ever having to look down at a screen. All the content is location triggered using the GPS functionality of your iPhone, which means you can explore an area at your own pace.

The app was selected as a finalist in the 'Guardian Cities World Challenge Day' which highlighted the best ideas coming out of global cities

Plot - Case Study Video from mN on Vimeo.

This is... the world's first 'on-demand' garden

In the summer of 2014 we launched a pilot project called ‘Plot’. The venture explored the idea of creating private garden spaces that can be booked by the hour within city centres.

Running over a fortnight as part of urban gardening festival Dig the City, Plot was created by us in response to the move towards people’s preference to stream rather than buy and the shift in consumer appetite towards access to goods and services instead of owning them.

 

The Plot site was accessed from over 70 countries and featured on sites including Fast Company, Design Week and Springwise

This is... the future of wayfinding

Continuing its charge to become one of the world's foremost digital cities by 2020, Manchester City Council wanted to introduce a digital wayfinding system to its city centre. We collaborated with them to create 'MiGuide' - a network of interactive touchscreens that offers residents and visitors an abundance of information about both getting around the city and making the most of all it has to offer.

The screens, which are powered by Cord, a digital screen management system created by mN, provide location-specific information about everything from events, attractions and nightlife to shopping, food and drink, accommodation and transport. For example, someone looking for a place to eat in the city’s St Ann’s Square can use the screen there to search through a range of options nearby, with directions, distance and transport details if necessary.

After their first month of being installed, Manchester City Council estimated that the MiGuide screens had been used by more than 250,000 people.

NOMA: Create your story where the modern world began from mN on Vimeo.

This is… Manchester’s new neighbourhood

In 2012, mN was appointed as the strategic digital partner for the pioneering city centre redevelopment project, NOMA. NOMA is being delivered by a joint venture partnership between The Co-operative Group and Hermes Real Estate. This partnership will ensure that digital sits at the heart of their ambitious vision for the future.

Our work for NOMA has begun with the creation of a digital strategy which will be rolled out over the next few years. Execution of this strategy has already begun with a series of pilots which explore how digital technology can enhance people’s experience of a place. More pilots are set to continue into 2014 and beyond.

 

The £800 million NOMA scheme spans 20 acres and when completed will feature 4 million square feet of office space, residential, retail and leisure facilities. 

This is… a new kind of University experience

We teamed up with the University of Manchester to provide useful and timely information for students using large format screens embedded into their new Alan Gilbert Learning Commons building. We joined the project at construction stage (we love a hard hat!) and created a collection of applications allowing students to locate free PCs, check meeting space availability and locate services within the building. Feedback from students has been overwhelmingly positive and future plans include a way for students to interact with the external screen and control the content displayed. The building won a 2014 Guardian University Award. Described as the UK’s first truly digital library, it won the Facilities Project category, which is awarded to a project that has positively enhanced the experiences of students and staff on campus.

The University of Manchester has the largest student community in the UK with over 40,000 students (including 9,000 International students).

This is… award winning destination marketing

Our very first brief from Marketing Manchester was for the redesign of visitmanchester.com. As part of our solution, mN developed the concept of an open API for Manchester, known more fondly as ‘FABRIC’. Over the past few years this has become the centre piece of Manchester’s digital experience, delivering value in the form of content for both the website as well as surface table screens installed in the city’s Visitor Centre and also has powered interfaces for a host of other sites that Marketing Manchester have commissioned. FABRIC has recently been extended to operate as the backbone of the ‘MiGuide’ interactive wayfinding screens that have been commissioned by Manchester City Council.

The Surface Table experience helped the Manchester Visitor Information Centre to secure the accolade of 'Visitor Information Provider of the Year' at the 2012 VisitEngland Awards for Excellence.