One of our most ambitious projects to date, Eco Eli's Online World is an example of what can happen when creative design and expert coding come together.
Eco Eli the environmentally friendly elephant has been a mainstay of Carmarthenshire County Council's educational program for children for years, and she has become well known in the county through the distribution of activity books, music CD's and visits to schools in mascot form. However like us all Eli had aged over the years, and needed some TLC to bring her back to to life, and a new medium in which to connect with a fresh group of children.
Starting with basic pencil and paper sketches, Eli was redrawn from the ground up thanks to our talented in-house illustrator and design Megan. Once we and those involved in the council were happy with this direction these sketches were digitised and coloured. We focused on creating a more 'cute and happy' version of Eli, and replaced her human-like hands and feet with digitigrades (as we learnt, that's what elephants' feet are called!)
Our brief was to show Eli in a new online area for children, which included games and activities; so Eco Eli's Online World was born. This bi-lingual environment included 16 interactive games which could be opened when a user explored the interactive map of Eli's home town. Each game featured animated intros with narration focused not only on explaining the game, but highlighting the importance of each game's message which included such topics as recycling, energy-saving, waste-reduction, healthy eating, dog mess, active living and water saving. Users won medals at the end of each game and environmentally friendly tips and trivia were displayed to help educate them.
To ensure the best accessibility, printable PDF activity versions of all the games were produced for those unable to play due to disability or computer setup reasons to provide a fantastic educational resource for English or Welsh speaking children of a variety of ages and backgrounds.