Invitation to Tender for A Hackney Autobiography app and website

We are accepting tenders for the app and website and just the app.

The Material:
A Hackney Autobiography project is gathering an archive of poetry, memoir, fiction, oral history, illustration and photographs associated with the groundbreaking community publisher and co-operative Centerprise. The project also reimagines Centerprise’s work for the 21st century with a series of creative mini projects, such as the singing strikers protest songs or poetry workshops inspired by Traveller history. On the Record, in collaboration with community groups and project participants, will curate this material into 30-40 digital stories linked to discrete GPS locations later this year. These stories will feature a combination of audio, still images and text. Nota Bene: some stories just feature audio and a picture, while others will feature text and a picture. The stories will be connected into a number of trails, giving suggested routes (some stories may feature in more than one trail).

Vivian Usherwood (aged 12) was supported to write a poetry book by Centerprise which sold in excess of 18,000 copies

The basic app concept: The stories will be embedded on a map of Hackney, with GPS functionality, so people can see where they are in relation to the stories.

 Essential Functions:

  • Device responsive: must work on a phone or computer. We want people to enjoy the app indoors, away from Hackney and in situ.
  • Find my location” option (to be switched on and off). People must be able to locate their GPS co-ordinates if they are within the map area.
  • Fine to use Googlemaps as a base, but the app must not look like the Googlemaps interface. The map should be tailored to the aesthetic of the app. If a large part of Hackney is covered, it could be simplified so that only the relevant streets show.
  • Ensure that the trails are visible and distinguishable, by using colour codes for the different trails and/or layers on the map and/or some other solution.


Desirable Functions: We would like to have notification features (which could be switched on or off). For instance:

  • Users are notified that they are near a story location
  • The app suggests other stories that are thematically and geographically linked to the one presently being viewed.

Possible Functions: A manual and an auto setting. The auto setting tracks users’ location and stories appear/play when they walk into a story location. This is a feature of Soho stories and Kings Cross Voices. When it is in manual, users select manually which story they want to hear/see. There are advantages and disadvantages to an auto setting.

 Platform:  At a minimum we need a web app that works brilliantly on any phone. In an ideal world we would have a web app plus Android and iPhone native apps.

 Similar apps:

1.Soho stories.
2. Street museum (Museum of London)
Why do we like them? Because it is easy to chose and navigate between the stories and the user interface is clean and simple. Street Museum is a bit scanty on content. We want audio with image or text with image, rather than just images.
3. In my footsteps by Manifesta
Why do we like it? Because it keeps a strong connection to the project participants and the user sees places through their eyes. You can scroll through related material after each story, which creates suggested trails.  For our app, we want to make sure that each story/place is clearly linked back to the map.

Timescale:  Digital stories will be ready to embed in winter 2015/spring 2016 (we are in the early phases of the project).
Trial period: May-June 2016
Absolute Deadline July 2016

Future proofing: We have no budget for engineers to update the app in the future. Please explain how you would future proof the app and how much (if any) aftercare you would be willing to provide.

Surrounding website: The web app must be capable of being integrated seamlessly into a larger website documenting the whole A Hackney Autobiography project. This site must be mobile responsive. It will have an about page, an oral history page with a subpage for everyone interviewed, and pages featuring Centerprise publications and other archive materials that have been digitised by our project.

Budget: tenders accepted in the region of £5000 and in the region of £7,000 if you are tendering on the surrounding website. Please also specify if your company has an account with iTunes already, which we could host the iPhone app through.

 What do we want from you?Tenders should contain a clear statement of the following on no more than 4 sides of A4:

  • A portfolio of comparable apps and Websites you have previously designed and developed
  • A detailed explanation of how you would meet the essential and (if applicable) desirable and possible features of this brief
  • Your ability to work collaboratively and creatively
  • Your ability to meet deadlines
  • Your ability to set out a clear plan of how the work will be undertaken within the above mentioned time frame and technical support post website launch (if applicable)
  • A clear total costing inclusive of all incidental expenses including VAT (if applicable)
  • References for previous work undertaken for similar projects.

We have included desirable and possible features but these are not prescriptive. We expect that the successful tenderer may offer creative solutions and will be able to steer on functionality.

Submit to Laura Mitchison by 6pm on 15th May 2015. I am very happy to have a telephone discussion:  07583656338/07787243656