The Canadian Museum of Civilization is an inspiring and educational landmark in the Nation’s capital region. We were honoured to help Canada’s most visited museum to update their digital presence.
Build a bilingual Content Management System (CMS) enabling museum staff to update content from multiple departments, sell tickets, and manage a large calendar of events with a purpose-built event entry system on the back end.
Before this project the museum website was costly to maintain, required specialized knowledge to edit, and relied on a busy vendor for updates. Given that the web presence of the Museum was an estimated 80,000 pages of content, an interdepartmental team wondered how to deal with this massive legacy.
So, how do you design a website for the most popular museum in Canada?
We began by meeting with various groups within the organization, researching the museum mandate and history, identifying business needs, and asking a lot of questions. After 8 months an integrated digital system was launched, that is intuitive to use for potential visitors and museum staff alike.
Event Management System
The heart of the museum website is built on managing events. The resulting system presents a daily, weekly, and monthly calendar view to visitors, with a purpose-built event entry system on the back end for staff to create, edit, and remove events.
Modular elements that work together
Designing a website for a national museum is more complicated than for an average small business: the process of content creation and publishing needed to be considered from multiple perspectives and business units. That’s why all of the features in this website were carefully crafted to work separately, or when combined with any other element.
Custom WordPress Theme
The vision of the museum was to move to an open-source platform that has $0 licensing, is built on a common programming language (PHP), and could be easily updated. Thus, we helped to design and code the front-end of a custom WordPress theme.
The new digital system enabled staff to publish a new article in a third of the time it took with the previous system. More accurate and detailed measurement of traffic to the website was also implemented.
Upon successful launch of the new website, we continued maintaining and expanding digital content and strategy for the following year and a half.