Australian War Memorial Website Rebuild
Australian War Memorial
Role: Lead Designer
The Australian War Memorial is one of Australia’s most popular and most treasured landmarks.
Located in Canberra, ACT, it is a haven for not only respect and reverence for Australian war veterans, but it also house millions of historical records to help preserve Australian war history.
Redesigning a website of this size and scale not only requires highly functional and usable UI and UX, it was a great opportunity to help shape Australian War Memorial’s place in Australian culture and society.
Understanding our users
As much the War Memorial is a cultural institution, it is fundamentally in service of the Australian Government. Consequently, a site of this size needs to be accessible to a wide range of demographics and users.
To understand our users, we consolidated research conducted by the Australian War Memorial, and research conducted by our team to refine our personas and understand the primary uses of this website. With personas ranging from students and teachers, to older parents and veterans, we were able to hone into the purpose of the new site and therefore reach a wider, more engaged audience.
By setting these personas, it provided a strong foundation to all our design and development decisions. The research was so successful that this research is now the foundation for any projects now involved with the War Memorial.
The Australian War Memorial’s collection of historical records is ultimately the foundation of the website rebuild. While we needed to provide easy access to visiting the memorial, its the access to the Collection where we can replicate the experience of the War Memorial digitally.
With the site rebuild, we reevaluated the Collection’s structure and organisation and experimented with new, innovative ways our users could explore this collection. We leveraged the power of Algolia and displayed different ways a user could explore the myriad of collection item types.
Ensuring reverent yet functional visual design
With the visual design, we ensured that the look and feel was reverent and respectful whilst being functional. Because the site was so fundamental to the War Memorial’s identity, we took the opportunity to redefine the current guidelines so they would work better online. We leveraged combined fonts and refocused their primary colours to help reposition the brand to be reverent yet modern.
To compliment the functionality, we placed a large focus on imagery and animation. Imagery allowed us to speak more intimately with our users, while animation of UI elements and key elements allowed us to materialise the brand’s reverence in new interesting ways.
Testing and Reiterating
We want to ensure that one of Australia’s most beloved landmarks is rightly designed as a means of respect. We are always so conscious about how things work and how we make continuously improve it.
I also have overseen our testing internally and externally to ensure our product works well and is rightly representative of the Australian War Memorial. I have conducted user testing, implemented and analysed testing platforms and have planned user testing processes for external companies to undertake.
This project will be launched in April/May 2017