what we do

interpretation & education

Digital Key crafts bespoke digital projects that inform, educate, engage and inspire.
We combine research and creative story-telling skills with technical expertise and audience insight to produce high-quality, engaging visitor and user experiences.

• websites & apps

design & code mobile apps, responsive websites

• content creation

research, writing, audio, video, animation

• interpretation

• research

• consultancy & training

• user-testing

our approach

Telling a story captures the audience’s attention.
We want to share the joy of learning with others by making information as accessible and engaging as possible. People are naturally curious, we want to ignite that curiosity with an engaging narrative. Drawing the user in to explore the information in more detail.

Technology determined by organisational objectives and audience needs
We think that technology should be invisible, facilitating rather than dominating the user-exeprience. Digital Key uses our audience insight gained from 15 years of producing resources, user-testing and industry research to determine the most appropriate technology for each project. We then use organisation learning objectives to adapt the narrative for the chosen platform.

Content produced to high editorial standards
We find that gaining the audience’s trust is key to delivering educational content. Working in the BBC has instilled us with high editorial, journalistic standards. We populate our narrative with trustworthy content, liasing with experts and researching multiple respected sources to ensure our content is accurate and balanced.

Measure twice cut once
We believe that robust planning and management is essential to the delivery of every project. We favour an Agile model – revising and versioning our plans and specifications throughout the project. Digital Key uses site maps, wireframes, flow-charts and story boards to communicate information with stakeholders. We develop task-based mile stones and Gantt charts to ensure projects are delivered on time and in budget.

the team

Photograph of Ellen Bell, Creative director Digital Key

Ellen Bell, Creative Director

Ellen is a multi-media professional with fifteen years’ experience of developing, designing and producing digital content, websites and apps within an educational environment.
After working in the BBC for 12 years, Ellen set up Digital Key Limited, to develop and deliver cross-platform educational and interpretive resources.
She combines sound management skills with editorial, technical and design know-how to produce award winning websites that deliver tailored learning outcomes to specific audiences.

Ellen’s a creative-thinker and an advocate of new technologies; using her problem-solving skills to develop project ideas for a range of platforms and diverse learning objectives.

Specialties: Website and app production, Digital Project Management, Team management, Creative vision, User Experience, Research, Writing, Design

Russell Matbouli Technical Director Digital Key

Russell Matbouli, Technical Director

Formerly a Client-Side Developer at BBC and Senior Software Engineer at F5 Networks, Russell brings experience of the technical aspects of the process. Taking a user centred approach to project development means that creating usable and intuitive software is a priority. Fluency in many programming languages, frameworks and technologies means he can choose the right tools for each project. Russell’s passion for music takes the form of a recording studio in which he records local musicians, actors and presenters.

Specialties: website and app production, Software Development, C++, Java, Networking, TCP/IP, HTTP, Oracle, Webdev, Perl, HTML, CSS, XML, Sysadmin, Linux, Debian, Solaris, SMTP, HTTPD, Databases, DB2, DNS, Apache, MySQL, system analysis, system design, content management, playing guitar, playing bass, vocals, home studio production, audio editing, multitrack recording

Some of the people we like to work with

Photographs of Digital Key project contributors: Cherrie McIlwaine, Emma McAllister, Eamon Phoenix, Anke LuddeckePhotographs of Digital Key project contributors: Irish Arms, Jaine Blayney, Antaine O'Donnaille

our projects

Close up of sculpture from Cathedral Quarter Tour AppIllustration from Decade of Centenaries Timeline websiteImage of Cú Chullain from Cú Chullain's Challenge appImage of Cormac Ó hAdhmaill from Discover Navan Fort AppImage of Viking from Ghosts of Nendrum appPhotograph of Earl of Ulster from Siege! of Carrickfergus Castle app

“Digital Key … demonstrated an understanding of our needs and aims for the app … with a passion for communicating the subject matter in an accessible manner to our target audience.”

Leah O’Neill, Heritage Projects Officer, UAHS