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WEBSITE DESIGN

The San Diego Air
& Space Museum Website Update

An affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, the San Diego Air & Space Museum houses a collection of historic aircraft and spacecraft from all over the world, including the actual Apollo 9 Command Module, a flight-worthy replica of Charles Lindbergh’s “Spirit of St. Louis,” and the only real GPS satellite on display in the world. View artifacts from the Wright Brothers, Amelia Earhart, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and other aviation and space pioneers.

The San Diego Air & Space Museum is requesting a modernized website update.

My roles:

  • Creative Direction, strategy & branding

  • UX / UI

Timeframe:

  • 3 weeks of UX and visual design including stakeholder feedback

  • Currently in development.

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PART 1

Service Name

The Challenge

The original website will benefit from a ux refresh, most importantly adding clear call to action buttons for donations, ticket sales and memberships in the main navigation. Additionally organizing the sitemap and adding hierarchy to its content would make a positive impact on keeping user attention on the page, serving them most important information about the museum first. The old website also relies heavily on vector art, instead of embracing the exciting, juicy NASA photography, historical images, or interior shots of the museum enticing guests to visit.

 

Why is this a problem?

 

When users lack a clear path to purchase it hurts donations, ticket, and membership sales. With a lack of information hierarchy, users will also bounce off the website and go elsewhere for their information, or discover another museum or attraction. 

PART 2

The Solution

Studying best-in-class websites such as the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum in DC, The Met, The NAT, and The San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance, I created a site with completely refreshed ux and information heirarchy, starting with clear call to action buttons for donations, memberships and ticket sales, a reimagined navigation with an organized and condensed sitemap, followed by upcoming events. I heavily utilized exciting photography which sets the mood for guests looking for an air and space experience when visiting the museum, allowing guests feel closer to touching NASA, space, and historical figures and feeding their excitement enticing them to visit. I also utilized professional interior photography and guest photos to highlight what's inside the museum, as well as professional event photography.

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PART 3

The User Experience

Service Name

Guests of the San Diego Air & Space Museum include families with kids, history aficionados, those who have worked in air and space or the military, and those with aspirational interest and curiosity in NASA and space. Guests can include tourists visiting San Diego (who should be targeted for single ticket sales), local residents (who should be targeted to visit membership sales), or benefactors with a passion for air and space (who should be targeted for donations).

In addition to knowing what information users need immediately (such as hours, admission, and directions) it's important that all web users can quickly and seamlessly find information based on individual interests. It's also important to ignite their passion for air and space online in order to attract them into the museum and increase ticket sales.

User testing:

  1. Identify personas

  2. Identify critical tasks

  3. Use optimal workshop for user testing

  4. Analyze results

PART 4

The Visual Design

In tandem with designing a new website, I am designing a new branding guide for the San Diego Air & Space Museum. The new website utilizes a new, consistent color palette that will also be used across all marketing materials and the entire organization. The new site is also brought to life with stunning hero images and photography of historical events, museum exhibits and events in order to really show off what the museum offers to its guests: a fun and unforgettable experience. The new website also uses new and consistent typography from the new branding guide which is easier to read with enough contrast for accessibility. Above all, the visual design layout focuses on the hierarchy of information—easy to scan and find the most important information needed, with the option to dig in deeper if desired.

 

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PART 5

Final Thoughts

Service Name

With a clearer user experience using call to action buttons and scannable information hierarchy, visitors will enjoy a seamless site experience leading to increased donations, sales, and guest attendance.

The addition of professional and historical photography will also ignite guests' excitement to visit.

The new website design will roll out with the museum's new branding guide, exterior signage, and scavenger hunt app, strengthening the museum's presence to be top of mind for visiting and local guests to visit. 

Business Outcome

 

The new website is currently being built internally and will launch in 2023.

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