Founded in 1857, the Science Museum is an internationally renowned and much loved institution, enjoyed by millions of visitors each year. See how our responsive redesigns of the Science Museum’s homepage and ‘Visit us’ sections helped increase visitors’ engagement and set the benchmark for an ongoing site-wide redesign.
We needed to deliver our initial homepage redesign in a tight turnaround ahead of the 2012 London Olympics, and early wireframes supplied by the museum provided some food for thought. But while we agreed with the vision, we knew the execution had to be reworked – and quickly. That’s why we quite literally went back to the drawing board, sketching out and developing fresh ideas for a new gateway to the site. This had to consider the entire customer journey – from initially piquing the user’s interest, to providing tools for planning your day. We did all of this from a mobile-first perspective – ensuring all interactions and features would work brilliantly on any device, anywhere. It’s a concept that remained intact through a competitive pitch process and two rounds of user testing.
The homepage picked up some major plaudits – named as an Honouree in the ‘Best homepage’ category alongside Disney.com at the Webby awards, and earmarked by Apple for use in an iPad ad. It also set a tone for the ongoing, iterative redesign of the site as a whole, and fed into our next project, redesigning the site’s most popular section, ‘Visit us’. By laying the groundwork with the homepage, we were able to integrate our thinking with this reimagined area of the site – expanding upon our interactive events carousel concept, and creating a modular section that makes it easy for the museum’s editors to curate information and create seamless user journeys.
We knew that the journey from the homepage to mapping out your visit in the new section had to deliver a strong synergy between the site and experiencing the museum in person. That’s why we developed the ‘Plan your visit’ tool, which allows different audiences to filter exhibitions and events based on their interests and the date of their visit. The user simply adds items to their itinerary for the day, which updates accordingly with guidelines on the duration of their visit and where they’ll need to go within the museum’s famous walls. It’s an approach that, across the two projects, has resulted in an upturn of more than 50% in the time people spend on the site. This increased engagement hasn’t just happened online – people are also spending more time enjoying the museum on the day of their visit as a result.
The iterative nature of our work for the Science Museum meant that we were able to set a new standard and visual tone for the ongoing redesign of the site, which has now been rolled out across further sections. Our joined-up, future-proofed planning, designs and development have underpinned the museum’s drive to achieve intuitive, engaging user journeys for its many different audiences – not least its burgeoning number of visitors on mobile devices.
The number of pages per visit on mobiles in the 'visit us' section has risen impressively since go-live
Listed as an honouree at the prestigious global Webby Awards 2013 for 'best home/welcome page'
The number of visits the Science Museum's website receives each year
Time spent on each page has increased by 58.37%