How a Global Software Development Company put the Great Exhibition of The North on the App

Shout Digital, a North East software development company, has created the official Great Exhibition of the North ‘wayfinder’ app; fitting the country’s biggest event of the year right in your pocket.

With thousands of families set to explore NewcastleGateshead this summer, Shout has designed and built the innovative app, combining iBeacon technology, A.I, gamification and more to help families have a personalised and immersive experience as they explore the exhibition.

Michelle Hewison, head of client services at Shout said: “We know that no two families are the same and that meant we had to create an app that would encompass each nuance and need to allow everyone to build a completely unique experience.

“The Great Exhibition of the North will be packed with amazing exhibits, live performances, displays of innovation and new artworks and we are proud to have designed a platform that allows families to build their own unique experience, play games and interact with the installations in new ways, ultimately having the most valuable experience of the Great Exhibition of the North as possible. As well as the traditional city maps and exhibition information, the app gets to know your family, combining details on the size of your group, age of any children and interests, with real-time data from the Great Exhibition of the North team to create a bespoke trail just for you.

“Your trail will include how much time you are likely to spend in each location, timings of activities and what you can enjoy while onsite. This means that families can navigate and enjoy the huge exhibition space confidently and concentrate on having fun.”

Children and families are at the heart of The Great Exhibition of the North and advanced gamification has been used to introduce and engage younger visitors with the array of experiences available. Young people, and the young at heart, are encouraged to collect crystals by interacting with the exhibits; from taking a selfie with the Stephenson’s Rocket to chatting with a curator – helped along the way by cheeky characters Bud the robot, satellite Pod and the mothership M.O.M.

From the start, the Shout team wanted to ensure that people, especially children, were at the heart of everything that was being designed. Local school children have been consulted on the choice of characters and usability of the app while focus groups involving the local community were brought on board in the initial planning stages in order to create something that has real North East people embedded throughout it.

Gary Boon, chief executive of Shout Digital said: “This project has been such a unique thing for us to develop and a fantastic way for us to showcase our expertise and the scope of what we can do. This wasn’t just another project to us, most of the team have been involved in the project in some way and we are proud to have designed an engaging, informative platform to allow families from across the UK to experience the Great Exhibition of the North in a completely bespoke way.

“This is an exciting time to be involved in the North East tech scene. You can’t just see what is happening, you can feel it. As a region we often talk about the industrial heritage of the North East, but our story isn’t over and we need to be better at celebrating our future. We have always been a community of innovators, storytellers and creators and the North East is starting to stand out and be recognised as a global centre for tech and software development. By engaging young people with the Great Exhibition of the North we are developing our future designers, inventors and leaders which is incredibly exciting.

“Shout is internationally recognised for our innovation expertise but our heart and soul is right here in the North East; we can’t wait to be part of the Great Exhibition of the North and showcase the region as a hub of creativity, innovation and design.”

Shout Digital is a global software development company based in the heart of Newcastle upon Tyne. To find out more visit www.shoutdigital.com and join in the conversation using #GETNorth2018

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