Dec 14 2020
Rebuilding a website to clarify the business offering and meet user needs
For many organisations, their first point of engagement with potential customers comes from their website. It is therefore vital for websites to provide an excellent user journey: they should be clear, functional and visually attractive – particularly in a time where physical interactions with customers are limited due to covid-19.
Organisations with a broad or complicated offering, such as those in the visitor attractions sector, must take extra care to ensure their website is easily navigable and clearly communicates their offering. This requires an understanding of user needs, good brand messaging, and a flexible technology platform.
Royal Museums Greenwich (RMG) is a top-10 UK visitor attraction, home to the Royal Observatory Greenwich, the Cutty Sark, the Queen's House Art Gallery, and the National Maritime Museum.
RMG approached Deeson to migrate their website away from Drupal 7, and integrate the main website with their separate collection, archive and library websites - creating a single platform with improved UX and greater flexibility for the organisation.
During discovery we demonstrated to RMG that we could also create more value as part of this work. With new digital branding, and by creating links between exhibitions, visitor stories and the museum collection, we aimed to make the visiting experience more memorable. We also saw an opportunity to boost conversion, both in terms of museum visits, product sales, and image reproductions, as well as online engagement with RMG as a whole.
We conducted user research on the RMG website, which indicated that the site needed to feel more inspiring, whilst offering greater clarity around the four different attractions that make up Royal Museums Greenwich.
We also used pre-existing user research to determine that the Collections website, archive and library also needed updating, in order to cater to new audiences such as amateur researchers. With such a broad range of people using these resources, the site could not be too technical. We therefore consolidated the entire RMG offering (across visitor attractions and Collections) into one website with a single search function, in order to make it accessible to all.
Using agile methodology, we conducted a series of two week sprints to design and build different components of the new RMG website. We also supported RMG in migrating their old site, working with the content team to transfer existing content, and integrating the new site with RMG's existing ticketing and online shop solutions.
Thanks to this agile approach, and our close collaboration with RMG stakeholders, we were able to prioritise our work – quickly delivering a development version of the new website for the RMG team to add content to, experiment with and demonstrate their progress to the wider organisation.
The new site gave RMG far greater flexibility. Previously, significant development work was required if a website feature needed to be adapted or used in a different place. The use of flexible components is key to our design approach at Deeson, and by building the new website on Drupal 8 we also provided RMG with a better editing interface, and integration with other digital sources for a seamless user experience.
The result of this project was the creation of a visually stunning website that clearly communicates RMG's offering, and provides a single source of access for its visitor attractions, online shop, Collections, library and archive. This enhanced digital strategy maps on to RMG's business goals, vastly improving the user experience and helping to drive revenue for the organisation.