Case Study

Spotlight Design Progress

“From the outset they took such care to find out how we work; what would be best for us in terms of workflow, how we liked to interact and most importantly for us adhere to our simultaneous print deadlines. Their team is a delight to work with; responsive, flexible (very often out of hours), always seeking to understand our business needs. Our publishing mantra of ‘simple and gorgeous’ was always front of mind and fully taken on board.”

Kate Poynton, Head of Publishing

The Project

Since 1927 Spotlight has published hard copy catalogues listing actors and actresses seeking work. Currently there are over 60,000 listings in a series of publications covering Actors, Actresses, Graduates and Young People. Faced with rising print and distribution costs, the company wished to move away from print editions supplement its online presence with an iOS app

How we were Involved

We were engaged to deliver a turnkey solution in which the existing print listings - created as PDFs containing multiple records per page - were parsed into a database and output as individual entries which could be stored in the app and accessed offline. We were asked to develop discovery mechanisms more suitable for a digital format.

The Challenges

We needed to retain the spirit of the original publication rather than the more open and free-wheeling approach they had adopted on their website. The large amount of data - including full screen portraits - needed to be taken into account. Our solution needed to filter it quickly and painlessly without impacting negatively a user’s context of use. Given that the data in the app has a significant value, the client was extremely concerned that it was stored in a format that could not easily be hacked

What we did

Working with the client we designed a visual experience that was rooted in the original publications through it’s use of fonts and colour schemes. But we also added new visual cues and enhancements more suitable to the online experience. We created a grid style interface that allowed users to swipe through contact sheets, then click on a picture to access biographical and contact details. We added comprehensive filter that allowed users to quickly sort results and find groups of actors matching very specific criteria. We also built the ability for users to create casting lists for specific projects and easily save suitable candidates to them.

We used 256-bit AES encryption to overcome the customer’s concerns. Unencrypted data is only ever presented in memory - never written to storage.


How we made a difference

“We worked closely and well to produce and which is fast gaining traction among our casting professionals.  Connected Digital were especially patient with us and nothing was too much trouble. Our combined efforts have enabled us to increase exposure for our members to those who can offer them work.”

Kate Poynton, Head of Publishing

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