UX Design, UX Lead
Dan Ashley, Gabriel Contassot, Kelly Bignell-Asedo, Jae Yoon, Jon Hills, Leah Kim
A major attraction on the Boston waterfront, the New England Aquarium (NEAQ) faced large crowds and found itself ill-equipped for the massive lines packing in visitors like sardines.
Tourists and residents alike were trying to access information about NEAQ through their mobile devices, but due to an outdated site, were met with frustration. NEAQ wanted to create an efficient, cohesive, and simple responsive website for local tourists and visitors, and so they looked to us to build a site that would help users plan a visit and guide them while on site at the aquarium.
Diving into 97 pages of content...
To start, we conducted an audit of all of the content of the site. Then we dove into the architecture, looking for ways to help people plan for their visit as well as to inspire visitors to take action to protect the blue planet.
Our next step was to dive into wireframes and prototypes, testing to ensure an optimal user experience. For our mobile breakpoint, we also added in a onsite experience for users who were accessing the website while on site.
We also created personas and gave users a way into the content of the site that was bespoke to their experience. This content is accessible via the dropdown on the homepge.
As they have a Pacific or 'royal' blue tang fish, I also saw a great opportunity for fun a 404 page. It gave us the chance to provide a little surprise and delight to the user who may have arrived here in error, and then quickly get them back on the right path.
Designing the sister site - Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life
The Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life is a leader in applied science and conservation for the protection of marine animal populations and ecosystems. A sister brand, the Center utilizes scientific data to inform its advocacy for vital and vibrant oceans. We also needed to ensure that guests understood the link between NEAQ and the Center and could jump quickly between both sites.
We interwove both site structures to tell this story and created a visual system that showed that both brands were related, yet had their own distinct voices.