Responses by Daniel Irizarry, design director and Grace Paik, digital strategist, Carbone Smolan Agency
Background: The site was developed to improve prospective visitors’ experiences to the Mystic Seaport Museum, and boost attendance and ticket sales. We understood that there were several different visitor types, all with different levels of experience with maritime museums and the Seaport itself. We prioritized information that would help users understand what the Mystic Seaport offers, plan their trips and seamlessly purchase tickets.
Highlights: The site is very user-oriented. The Homepage, Visit page and Explore page all communicate what the museum offers, what users can expect when they visit, how they can engage the town of Mystic, Connecticut during their visits and the breadth and richness of the collections. The Visit page provides information about programs, dining and shopping options, as well as a calendar to view all of the museum’s future programming.
Time constraints: The website was part of an overall effort to reposition the museum and launch the new brand in time for the summer season. In order to create the most impact on the site in the allotted time frame, we focused the overall design effort on the pages that had the most traffic and importance to our users. After conducting an audit of the museum’s existing site and reviewing analytics, we were able to prioritize key pages and elements.
Navigational structure: In order to fit the website relaunch in the allotted time frame, we opted to keep the existing site navigation structure. We refreshed the visual design of the navigation and streamlined the experience for mobile users.
Technological features: The site is built on Wordpress to allow for easy editing by the Mystic Seaport Museum marketing team. All page content had to be designed in a modular fashion, allowing for regular updates as new exhibitions and programming are rolled out at the museum. This also had a role in the visual design of the site, ensuring that any modules could be easily updated from a design and content perspective.