CASE STUDY

Surrey Museums Partnership – WordPress Website

Project Background

Surrey Museum Partnership came to us because they were unhappy with their previous website. It was uninspiring and had very sparse information about the local museums, galleries, events and locations that it was supposed to be representing. The partnership wanted to be the single point of contact for everything to do with Surrey museums and galleries,so it was crucial that the website helped to raise their profile and status.

They wanted to launch something new and exciting which clearly displayed the messages about local arts and culture, while also catering for a wide audience who needed something which was easy to use and intuitive to navigate.

Project Objectives

The key objectives of the project were to increase engagement (among local residents and tourists) with Surrey’s museums and galleries – in the form of an outlet for existing website visitors but also attracting new people to the website. The individual galleries and museums also wanted the website to help them to raise their individual profile – acting as a vehicle to drive traffic to their own dedicated websites and to their physical locations.

For the partnership as a whole, it was hoped that a more dominant web presence would also help to generate further partnership working across the region, while also providing an advocacy tool for their service.

Design

The website needed to be clean and uncluttered, so it was decided that the look and feel would maximise use of white space to allow key visual aesthetics such as imagery, iconography and other design elements to stand out from the page.

Working within Surrey Museum Partnership’s existing brand guidelines, key elements of the brand were used throughout the design. For example their vibrant brand colours were used to provide flashes of colour throughout the website, without interrupting the clean white background. This worked very well for accessibility by ensuring each page was clear and easy to read throughout.

Increase in new users

81%

Development

Much of the development work on the website was centred around building unique and interesting ways to display key information to visitors. This includes aspects such as maps with interactive pop up addresses and location information and carousels and accordions to break down large blocks of text.

One of the main pieces of functionality on the website was the directory style tool which allows visitors to filter down through the different museums and galleries based on their interests and needs. From the listing page, users can use the filters to discover individual pages for each museum – these pages pull in key information about each venue such as maps and information about the facilities.

Finally, the website also integrates directly with Culture 24 – a popular piece of software among arts and culture organisations. This integration allows the website to pull through and display relevant local events within the immediate Surrey area.

Accessibility

As with much of the work we do in the arts and not-for-profit space, this website needed to meet a specified level of accessibility. In this instance, it was the ‘AA’ level from the WCAG 2.1.

Accessibility is ideally deep rooted within the design, page layout and functionality from the outset of the project to achieve the best results. In this instance, some key things we incorporated were accessible colour contrasts throughout the website – in terms of styling and page designs. We ensured the website could easily be navigated thoroughly using just a keyboard (no mouse). Finally, we also removed any automatic movement. The website has to be controlled solely by the user.

Website bounce rate decreased

20%

SEO Optimisation

Before go live, we supported the team with getting all of the content for the core pages and the individual museum and gallery pages onto the website. We then completed the necessary SEO optimisations to ensure that the website could easily be found, read and indexed correctly by Google.

As the site underwent some significant structural changes, 301 redirects were implemented to ensure that the changeover from old site to new went as smoothly as possible.

Using Google Tag Manager we set up a variety of tracking to help Surrey Museum partnership benchmark future performance of the website.

Testimonial

Atelier has been outstanding to work with. We mattered as a customer from the very first conversation. Nothing has ever been too much trouble. We met the staff who would be working on our site, so that all were involved in the critical conversations before any development got underway. They listened carefully to what we do as an organisation and what we needed from our website. Jess Sharp, our project manager, has a particular talent for interpreting client aims and guiding decisions in a manner that is supportive and well-informed. Atelier's pricing is very reasonable and they have always been careful to work within our budget. If something is unrealistic, or out of scope, or does not serve our best interests, they will say. Every step of the process is explained clearly and communication is regular, meaning no nasty surprises. We feel that Atelier have real integrity in their practice and deliver a quality service and product. Nothing is ever too much trouble. We are very much looking forward to our lovely new site going live shortly!

Haidee Thomas, Museum Engagement Officer

Arts & Culture Specialists

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