Museum of Childhood

Started : Q1 2011

Project Duration : 2 months

User research, digital strategy and design for Bethnal Green’s Museum of Childhood.

The Challenge

The Museum of Childhood is one of East London’s most beloved attractions. Located in Bethnal Green, they allow children and adults alike to experience the joy of childhood through the ages.

Though the museum did have an existing website, it was very cluttered and text-heavy. This made it really hard for visitors to find key information.

The site was also ineffective at showcasing the variety of free family activities that were on offer.

The Solution

Thanks to the success of previous consultancy for The V&A, Other Media were asked to define a new digital strategy for The Museum of Childhood.

I led this piece of work from a UX and IA perspective.

I was tasked not only with designing a new site, but also a wider plan for their digital presence. The museum needed insight to decide exactly what online initiatives they should be prioritising.

What I did

I ran workshops & user interviews, and created personas

The museum has an extremely loyal following of parents, teachers and toy aficionados. I spent time in the Museum talking to visitors and interviewing regulars, to find out why the museum was special to them, and what made them keep visiting.

This was a unique opportunity, as the range of museum visitors are extremely diverse. Separate workshops were conducted with adults, children and also the museum staff. Getting the site to cater for all of these different audiences was a tricky task.

I used the insights to build a number of user personas. These informed decisions going forward.

Personas created from the user research findings.

I worked with the museum curators and designers

The museum had plenty of stakeholders who needed to be involved. I kept all of these people engaged throughout the process, and ensured that their objectives were taken on board.

Rather than designing a traditional ‘flat’ website, I instead opted for a very intelligent tag-driven structure. This was ideally suited to the museum with its huge collection of content, and diverse user needs.

Initial information architecture and navigation logic.

I produced UX for the new Museum of Childhood website

I put together wireframes that mapped out a new online experience. This work took into account both the user and the business needs.

I made heavy use of re-usable components in the interaction design. This meant I could easily split the page into key content and functionality areas, and ensure pages behaved consistently.

Early wireframes for the new website experience.

I fed into a digital strategy roadmap for the museum

I presented this user experience roadmap to the whole museum team. This outlined the experience for the new website, as well as guidelines for their digital communications channels including email, mobile and social.

Redesigned homepage for the Museum of Childhood website.

The Results

The new Museum Of Childhood website has been live for a while now, and is a drastic improvement over the previous version.

The organisation is continuing to embrace digital, using many of the guidelines set out in that original roadmap.

See the results : Visit the website

Want to learn more?

Contact Chris