At the press of a button the general public can access images from the Linen Hall’s extensive postcard collection and send them anywhere in the world from just £2.50. The web-based app can be accessed by any mobile device or computer thanks to a robust responsive design. With extensive integration with Third-Party APIs the app allows users to find exclusive content while giving the Linen Hall Library a potential revenue stream.

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Background

​The Linenhall Library Postcard Collection contains more than 6,000 images which capture Ireland in bygone days and gives a sense of what life was like in remote villages and towns over one hundred years ago. Topographical cards dominate the collection and almost every city, town and village in Ireland is featured. Social development in urban Ireland is also clearly captured in postcards depicting street scenes which illustrate the growth of cities such as Belfast, Dublin and Cork. From these historic images the viewer can trace changes in architecture, fashion and transport.

BT48 were a pleasure to work with. During the bidding process, they provided us with a great, jargon-free, sensibly priced quote and fulfilled all their obligations. They created and designed a superb app with the material provided, kept in communication throughout the process, were open to our suggestions and always had solutions when any problems arose. After the project was completed they managed and maintained the resource to an excellent standard.

Gavin Carville, Linenhall Library

The Solution

The Linen Hall Postcard App didn't need access to the native functionality of the phone or tablet so developing a web app was the best course of action. We built a robust backend to deliver content to the web app via an API. This structure allows the addition of native apps in the future if necessary.

However, with the limited budget and timescale for this project we focused on the web app to allow the Linenhall Library to ensure that the key user experience elements of the project were addressed and allow as wide a range of users as possible to access the web app.​

We developed an app with:

  1. An interface that is intuitive and engaging
  2. An interface that is easily accessible to all users
  3. A way to easily showcase the broad range of content
  4. Multiple pathways to allow content to be found via a number of different approaches
  5. Seamless integration with a third-party ‘print and ship’ partner.

Integration

We integrated the web app with Rackspace Files to handle the​ large number of files and with Sincerely to handle the print and shipping. However, shortly after launch Sincerely closed their public API. Our robust architecture allowed us to easily slot in an alternative service with only two weeks notice - allowing an uninterrupted service when we switched to use Lob instead of Sincerely.

Results

The app has proved to be a solid revenue generator for the Linenhall Library with users from around the world requesting and sending postcards from the collection.​

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