The Story
Hollyoaks, the UK’s most watched continuing drama aimed at 16-24 year olds, wanted to tackle bullying head-on through a hard-hitting storyline. Sixth former, Esther was about to become a victim of her peer group. Within six months, viewers would see her change from a confident teenager with a bright future to an alcohol and pills fuelled suicide attempt.

With an active online audience, Lime Pictures and Channel 4 education wanted a companion site to bring the story to life digitally. Their objectives:

  1. Educate, entertain and engage – develop a compelling online concept to add value to the storyline.
  2. Build awareness of the storyline with the existing and wider audience.

We created a fictional social network that offered rich content to viewers and gave greater depth to the TV plot. Doc You was woven into the storyline. Naively created by fellow sixth form character Dylan, Doc You was the kind of social network that every parent fears – no safety checks, no options to report abuse and no accountability. The perfect environment for unchecked bullying.

The site allowed for real time, two-screen viewing. Incorporating a design and build that would be accessible via smartphones and tablets (the two most likely viewing devices) in addition to desktop.

It shared much of the functionality that the audience would recognise from Facebook and tumblr. The site encouraged viewers to consider how liking or disliking, commenting on and creating content might contribute to cyber bullying and make users confront their own tacit complicity as voyeuristic participants – a role often taken on by those who ‘turn a blind eye’.

Doc you Social Network

Logo Design, Concept, UX, Web Design,

Lead Creative