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POPcomms - The Journey to Digitization of the National Library of Scotland

Stuart Janicki
Stuart Janicki
Senior Content Designer

“While most of the software on the market requires the use of templates or grid-based frameworks, which ultimately restricts the user experience, Intuiface puts you in complete control of your design.”


Sharing Knowledge

The National Library of Scotland (NLS) is a reference library with world-class collections. It is also Scotland's largest library and one of the major research libraries in Europe. Going digital isn’t something new to the library; much of its content is already available online. Nevertheless, the library wanted to go a step further and bring digital interactive experiences within its new center at Kelvin Hall. The purpose of this project was to provide visual material as well as a communal experience so people could share, sit next to each other, and talk about the collections. With the new centre at Kelvin Hall, all of these stories, knowledge and history would be accessible for future generations and, most importantly, would not be lost.

POPcomms’ ability to meticulously understand the client's needs, combined with their talent in designing breathtaking experiences, made them the National Library’s first choice.


Interactive History

Not only did the National Library require a design that would appeal to young and old alike and be intuitive to use, they wanted the ability to update content at any given time without being dependent on agency assistance.

POPcomms chose to use Intuiface. Why? Back in 2014, POPcomms was building multi-touch experiences using a complex and costly approach: HTML development. “The whole process was time consuming, involving a lot of project management and complex development issues” says Stuart Janicki - Senior Content Designer at POPcomms. Despite all you read, HTML isn’t the most flexible and adaptative tool when it comes to design customization, especially if you want to create a touchscreen experience.

The need to build more and more complex interactive experiences strained the traditional bespoke approach, leading POPcomms to research and test different software options. Intuiface soon became a key component of their creative toolkit..

“As an interactive studio our ultimate goal is the fantastic user experiences, the brand is extremely important to us, we had to have a tool that gives us flexibility and enables us to customize any design,” Stuart Janicki continued.


National Library of Scotland Touchscreen

Despite the scope of this large-scale project, POPcomms managed to overcome multiple challenges:

Project management:

“We had a clear project management process with the Library. They would get weekly updates and be kept up to date every step of the way. We storyboarded then wireframed the whole experience first getting client feedback at each stage, then we started building the final experience using Intuiface” says Damjan Haylor, Creative Director at POPcomms


Stuart Janicki: “While most of the software on the market requires the use of templates or grid-based frameworks, which ultimately restricts the user experience, Intuiface puts you in complete control of your design.”

Dynamic content:

Intuiface can use Microsoft Excel as a content management option, enabling any running experience to write to and read from spreadsheets. This content can be mapped to design elements, enabling the experience to update whenever the spreadsheet was updated.

With this feature the NLS could easily update its content in-house.


Interactive Touchscreen and Videos

Within 6 weeks, POPcomms deployed 8 touch screens running an eye-catching and intuitive experience containing images, videos, and contextual and biographical information, a perfect gateway to the Library’s collection. This new approach to delivering content attracted a broader more diverse audience of all ages. Young children, who are used to technology could now sit with their grandparents to watch any number of films relating to Scotland’s history. The experience emphasized the importance of intergenerational experiences and brought people together.   

POPcomms’ ability to listen to their customer’s needs and deliver a project exceeding expectations is at the heart of their success. Their motivation? To deliver the greatest in creativity for each and every project. And with Intuiface, they found the freedom to create without restriction, a recipe for success.

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POPcomms is a well known interactive studio based in Bristol (UK), specialized in presentations, touchscreen experiences, animation and visual storytelling. They are renowned for bringing their clients’ ideas, messages and brands to life by creating engaging and persuasive experiences.

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