Go AquaNational Aquarium
Providing immersive, instant access to information and a rich digital experience, the National Aquarium's new website fully captures their mission: to inspire conservation of the world's aquatic treasures. NavigationArts used the web and mobile platforms to engage guests pre-visit, onsite, and post-visit, maximizing the Aquarium's engagement with their visitors.
Winner of the Creativity Media & Interactive Awards' 2012 Gold Award
Winner of the Web Marketing Association's 2012 Outstanding Website
Winner of the International Davey Award's 2012 Silver Award for a Charitable Organization
"An important part of the National Aquarium's mission is to help people extend their connection with the aquatic world beyond their Aquarium visit. With the expertise of NavigationArts, our new website will not only be an engaging, useful, and efficient tool for planning an Aquarium visit, but it will also be the gateway into transforming online users into lifelong Aquarium supporters."
Genevieve Liboiron, Director of Digital Marketing at the National Aquarium
How do you entertain, inspire, connect with, and educate guests during the entire National Aquarium experience lifecycle – pre-visit, onsite, and afterward? Internally, how does the organization efficiently provide relevant and engaging content to guests at various touch points within this lifecycle?
National Aquarium recognized the importance of the web in satisfying these needs and turned to NavigationArts for user experience expertise. More specifically, National Aquarium sought a partner that could help them use the web and mobile platforms to expand the Aquarium’s experiential and educational reach through instant, immersive access to information, conversations, and rich digital experiences.
The essence of the redesign was to marry two fundamental business goals: increase revenues and online conversion rates (for online tickets purchase, membership enrollments, donations, etc.) while also enhancing the overall visual and educational experience of the website. Underlying these goals were extensive business requirements informed by stakeholder interviews.
- Awareness: build awareness of both venues (Baltimore and Washington, D.C.) and inspire excitement to drive revenues
- Simplification: revitalize the information architecture so guests have a quick and easy way to get to relevant information
- Personalization: build the foundation for content personalization opportunities
- Socialization: integrate social media components throughout the site to foster ongoing relationships with customers
- Education: provide informative resources for teachers, students, and aquarium guests to learn more about the conservation mission as well as ways to get involved
- Efficiency: have an easy-to-use Content Management System (CMS) that will allow quick updates to content
- Scalability: implement a CMS capable of growing and changing in tune with the Aquarium’s business evolution and publishing needs
- Interactivity: make the site engaging through dynamic displays of exhibits, animals, and events
The transformation of the National Aquarium website and mobile site was driven by a modern user interface design. The new sites represent a 180 degree turn from a static, one dimensional feel to a dynamic, immersive experience.
Project Results Included:
- Detailed search options to empower users to discover aquatic life based on characteristics like color and habitat location
- Immersive animal pages that reveal in-depth, educational profiles
- Integrated, printable Trip Planner that enables guests to customize their visit by identifying what they would like to see and do before arriving on site
- Inspired visual design that beautifully and creatively showcases the National Aquarium’s offerings
- Redefined content strategy that establishes the National Aquarium as a voice of authority with public credibility beyond the museum’s physical presence and into the international aquatic world
- Implementation of the Sitecore Engagement Platform (CMS + analytics software), a powerful publishing platform that allows for fast and easy content editing as well as web traffic analysis
- Mobile and tablet experiences managed from within the simple CMS interface to display content and functionality most appropriate for the particular device.
The National Aquarium is a nonprofit aquatic education and conservation organization with two locations and one mission: to inspire conservation of the world’s aquatic treasures.