The Field Museum

Helping the world’s fourth largest natural history museum find its next evolution.

Project Brief

The Field Museum is a Chicago cultural institution and the fourth largest natural history museum in the world. On the eve of their 125th anniversary, they partnered with PRPL to redesign their website and bring their digital presence inline with their new brand and mission to “fuel a journey of discovery across time to enable solutions for a brighter future rich in nature and culture.”

Work

Research, Ecosystem Planning, Brand Strategy, UX Design, Visual Design, Content Strategy, Web Development, CMS & Platform Build

  • Architecture
  • Accessibility
  • Flexibility
  • Brand
  • Exploration

Easier Exploration

PRPL rehauled the information architecture and navigation of the site, making it easier for guests to plan their visits. We determined and later validated our findings with motivation-driven personas, card sorting and user testing.

Simplifying Access to Resources

We completely re-thought user journeys for membership and, as illustrated here, learning resources. Our work centered on emphasizing topics that mattered to educators and using intelligent components to make resources findable and engaging.

Science for All

The Field Museum required WCAG 2.0 compliance from the start, giving us opportunites to innovate and serve users through design and development.

Contrast

Accessible design patterns and minimum contrast compliance.

Markup

Semantic HTML that can be understood effectively through a screen reader.

Developer Brandon Chang walks us through a screen reader demo on the finished site.

Systems that Scale

We designed a flexible component system that can scale at the pace of content growth, and ensured that the foundation of data used to create the site will accomodate other applications in the future.

Bringing the Field to Life

Through clean, compelling visual design and thoughtful components, we brought the Field Museum’s new brand into the digital space for thousands to enjoy.

Translating the Brand

Working closely with Leo Burnett, PRPL faithfully translated the new brand into an engaging digital experience. During the course of design, we helped iterate on brand elements that fit the specific needs of the web.

Show, Don't Tell

We designed stunning image components including full-viewport galleries that immerse users in the unique stories behind the Field Museum’s exhibits and scientific missions.

Typography, Color & Layout

The UI emphasizes the content of the museum while employing the brand’s type and color options to create a beautiful, scholarly aesthetic, establish hierarchy and add flashes of bold drama into the design.

Used sparingly for high-impact, branded messaging

The workhorse - used as a primary headline and in a variety of components.

The primary typeface for paragraphs and longform content.

Fueling Discovery

Interactive discovery components, taxonomy systems and a redefinied architecture help users truly explore over 2,00 pages worth of science content. Explore a selection of components we designed below:

Science Shuffle

The Science Shuffle component appears throughout the site. It allows users to see related content, browse by the topics they are interested in - or roll the dice and discover something completetly new.

Social Shuffle

Users can also explore through their own lens. Using an integration with CrowdRiff, we built a component that uses Instagram galleries of real Field Museum guests to generate calls to action that highlight points of interest on the site.

Launch and Beyond

After over a year of hard work, The Field Museum website launched in May of 2018. Comparing pre-launch in April 2018, to post-launch in June of 2019, we observed the statistics to the right.

PRPL is helping the Field Museum rethink the donation and membership experience, create easier ways for educators to access materials, and build features to help scientists share their work with researchers around the world. We’re also expanding the experience for Field Museum guests with a chatbot project that will debut in 2019.

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increase in clicks out to ticketing platform from Visit-related pages on desktop

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increase in clicks out to ticketing platform from Visit-related pages on mobile

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decreased reliance on search to navigate from the homepage on desktop

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increase in average time on page

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