Client: Carmichael Watson Project

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"Border Crossing Media helped us make an academic website more welcoming and accessible to the general public, and thus unlock the material in it for potential users."

The challenge

The Carmichael Watson Project team, part of the University of Edinburgh Centre for Research Collections, wanted to improve their website. They knew the website worked well for academic researchers but wanted to explore ways in which they could reach a wider audience online. We were engaged to help the team critique their website, prioritise changes and define what needed to be done differently going-forwards.

Our approach


Prior to kicking-off a series of workshops we conducted an expert review of the existing website. This helped us to identify a number of usability, editorial and technical issues that needed to be resolved.


We then ran a series of workshops that allowed us to define the:

  • core problem and the root cause of the issues we would have to tackle
  • teams' personal aspirations
  • time-constraints facing the project team

This helped us to realise that the primary risk we faced was making changes that impeded their primary audience, academic researchers. We also realised the key bottleneck to implementing the changes required was the availability of time to generate the necessary content.


Through close collaboration we developed a series of interactive mock-ups that showcased how the new website could work. These helped the in-house team, and their development partners EDINA, visualise and critique the information architecture and interface design changes proposed. These were also translated into a detailed technical spec so that the software engineers at EDINA could maximise the time they had on implementing the proposed changes.

The results

As part of the present phase of our academic website, we set ourselves the task of reviewing and revising the scope and effectiveness of the project website. We chose Border Crossing Media as they appeared to be most in tune with our needs.

The team helped us make what had been a purely academic website more welcoming and accessible to the general public, and thus unlock the material in it for ... Read more

Services provided

User experience design

  • Content audit
  • Design research
  • Expert review
  • Information architecture
  • Interaction design
  • Persona development
  • Planning, briefs & documentation
  • Stakeholder research
  • Wireframing & prototyping

User research

  • Competitor research
  • Qualitative research
  • Quantitative research
  • Stakeholder research

Web development

  • Planning & documentation