Engaging Audiences Through an Online Exhibit
The Museum of Science, Boston is a beloved local institution that engages nearly five million people per year in its physical space at Science Park and in museums around the world, in classrooms, and online. But like many other educational and cultural institutions, it faced challenges connecting with its audiences in physical spaces due to the COVID-19 pandemic. So, to reach audiences near and far, the Museum asked Velir to create an interactive, virtual home for its Project Vaccine exhibit.
Project Vaccine is a timely exhibit that showcases the science and people behind vaccine development. It was conceived as a physical exhibit with a minimal digital footprint. However, given the persistence of COVID-19, attracting visitors to the museum was challenging. Also, the science and information surrounding specific COVID-19 vaccines rapidly changed as new information emerged about the virus. Since the Museum’s existing website lacked the flexibility to make extensive content updates, this made it difficult to keep online content about Project Vaccine up-to-date.
The Museum of Science, Boston’s challenges included:
- Reduced visitation to the Project Vaccine physical exhibit due to COVID-19
- Rapidly changing science and information specific to the exhibit
- Limited flexibility within current Drupal website to make extensive content updates
Velir’s process started with preliminary workshops to understand the hopes, fears, and aspirations of the Museum’s marketing teams. The workshops provided a foundation that informed our final site structure and mobile-first, bilingual approach. The structure we developed grouped content by three key aspects of the Project Vaccine narrative: vaccine science, investigating and exploring, and community concerns. Using our “Science At-Hand” mobile-first approach to designing and building the experience ensured that the digital exhibit experience was optimized across devices. And building an experience that supports bilingual content provided the Museum with the option to offer Project Vaccine content in English and Spanish to reach more diverse audiences.
Our approach included:
- Conducting discovery workshops to understand the hopes, fears, and aspirations of the Museum’s marketing teams
- Crafting a site structure that grouped content by three key aspects of the Project Vaccine narrative: vaccine science, investigating and exploring, and community concerns
- Taking a “Science At-Hand” mobile-first approach, which ensured that the experience is optimized across devices
- Building an experience that supports bilingual content
Through our collaboration with the Museum, we built a microsite within the Museum’s current framework that extends the Project Vaccine exhibit into the digital space and engages online audiences. The site also empowers internal content authors to update content in both English and Spanish and serves as a proof of concept that can be leveraged for future online exhibits.
- A microsite within the Museum’s framework that extends the Project Vaccine experience
- An intuitive content authoring interface that allows the Museum’s team to quickly update content
- A proof of concept that can be leveraged for future online exhibits
- A bilingual digital experience that delivers content in English and Spanish