What was the scope of their involvement?
They built a site in Drupal 7. We wanted to make the more than 10,000 objects in our collection available to as wide and diverse a public as possible on our online platform. We present a variety of museum stories from our curatorial staff, as well as overviews of permanent exhibits, events, and public programming. We run a timed pass service for individuals, and a collection search feature to help visitors get the most out of their experience. We also wanted to provide a unique experience for our online audience. People who may not be able to visit our museum can still benefit from the rich history and educational materials available online.
Our stakeholders and groups within the museum worked closely with our education, curatorial, and public affairs teams to develop high-level strategic goals and content areas. We then had a design phase where Forum One presented several versions of the website that we reviewed. They worked with our staff in the development phase to build the site within our overarching infrastructure.
The approach from the beginning was to design a website that could responsively function across a range of devices. Forum One supplied a lot of design work to ensure that the information would be as organized and well-presented in the mobile versions of the site.
They looked at the overall site design and information architecture to make sure our content was presented throughout the entire site with strong SEO in mind. We rank high in searches, and they’ve engineered our mobile results to include important information about passes, FAQ, visiting us, etc. They also helped implement our analytics to make sure the whole website was tagged appropriately to give us rich data about our online visitors.
What is the team composition?
The size of the team goes up and down, depending on the need. We had a core team of project manager, backend lead, frontend lead, and a user experience designer. There were other members assisting, but that was our core group.
How did you come to work with Forum One?
We did a lot of market research, and put out an RFP. We wanted a local company who we could collaborate with on a high level. We needed someone with a broad range of experience in web design and information architecture. This was more than a museum website, but a platform for our content, and we wanted a team that could bring that to different audiences. We had to go through federal procurement, and the staff and stakeholders agreed that Forum One presented the best value for the work.
What is the status of this engagement?
They started on the project late in 2015, and the website launched in July 2016. They now act as a contractor to operate and maintain the site, as well as develop additional features to support new programming, activities, and initiatives for online audiences.