Canterbury Museum aims to provide the people of Canterbury and their visitors with a world-class museum; telling the stories of Christchurch and Canterbury, showing locals where they have come from and encouraging respect and understanding in our diverse society. We collaborated closely with Canterbury Museum to develop a modern and engaging website on par with that mission statement.
Our key goals for the website were to showcase exhibits, events and collections online, bring forward Canterbury Museum as a world-leading research institute, create a platform for online donations and increase visitor and returning visitor numbers.
The primary key audiences considered in the design and development were international visitors and local Cantabrians. We also kept in mind our secondary audiences of those seeking education (from both schools to families and everything in between) and researchers looking to access artefacts and research not on display (via the online collections tool).
Our key design challenge was to create a user experience that balanced important visitor information while still showcasing key exhibitions and other important information. To achieve this we spent time reviewing the information architecture and navigation structure of the website to ensure we hit on a structure that was well balanced and showed the right information at the right level, while creating unique and interesting discovery visuals that show the user key information, but also things they may not be necessarily be looking for.
One of the unique opportunities we presented to Canterbury Museum with was the concept of ‘Discovery’. With a focus on their emerging digital strategy, we recommended introducing a sense of discovery and wonder to the website, which manifested in the homepage design and key sub-pages of the website. The outcome is an experience that gives users a taste of everything the museum has to offer across exhibitions, collections, education pieces and curated content.
This website has been developed with the future in mind. By developing modular pages that provide a lot of flexibility, Canterbury Museum can easily manage a wide variety of types of content without having to continuously make improvements to the site.