MOHAI

Digital

Overview

Outcomes

Details

Summary

The Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI), is the largest private heritage organization in the State of Washington and an important cultural institution for the Puget Sound region. We designed and developed MOHAI’s new website to mimic the experience of physically engaging with the museum.

Background

Established in 1952, The Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI), maintains a collection of nearly 4 million artifacts, photographs, and archival materials that primarily focus on Seattle and the greater Puget Sound region.

Organization Type

Museum, Non–Profit

Assignment

Design and develop a new website that tells the history and captures the experience of being at the museum, and makes it easy for visitors to learn about what’s happening when they visit.

Client

MOHAI

Years

2016 — Present

Location

Seattle, WA, USA

Approach

MOHAI is housed in the massive, historic Naval Reserve Armory and sits right on Lake Union. The experience of walking into MOHAI is historic in and of itself. We wanted the homepage of the site to match the excitement of physically entering MOHAI. On the homepage you are met with aerial, drone footage of the building and views of the surrounding area. Beyond their rotating exhibitions, the museum has an incredible number of events and public programming happening, so we made the museum’s calendar a prominent feature of the site. You can enter the date of your visit and see what is happening that day.

Research

Aerial Footage, Drones, Museum Visitor Trends

Reach

  • MOHAI has around 4 million objects in their collection

Quote

“We can now beautifully and dynamically showcase MOHAI’s collections, exhibitions, and programming to a global audience… Our hundreds of thousands of virtual visitors can easily navigate information and engage with the museum in many different ways. We are very grateful to our stellar MOHAI team and Seattle’s Civilization that made this new site a reality.”
— Leonard Garfield, Executive Director

Components

Digital Collateral System, Information Architecture, Wireframing, User Experience Design, User Interface Development, CMS Development

Technical Specs

HTML, CSS, WordPress, Javascript, AJAX, Responsive Design

The goal was to match the digital experience with the excitement and grandeur of physically entering the historic museum.
I

For tourists unfamiliar with Seattle and MOHAI, drone footage captures the historic armory as well as the beautiful South Lake Union plaza and pier on which MOHAI sits.

II

Quick access to major components of the site such as the events calendar, search and a menu that also acts as a site map were made top priority based on user testing feedback.

III

MOHAI is not only a museum with numerous ongoing events and exhibitions, but also a resource center and education center. To help illustrate all that MOHAI does we designed an exposed navigation.

IV

Full-bleed images give users the feeling that they’re in the museum.

V

Exhibition content fields are easily adapted by the MOHAI team to showcase background information, slideshows, menus, articles, videos or other media.

VI

Before the launch of the new site the front desk of the museum was inundated with calls asking, “What’s happening today?” In answer we designed a prominent calendar for the homepage that pulls any events tagged with the dates into a “What’s happening today?” field.

( ( SHAKEN ) )