Helping the garden(s) grow.
We designed and developed a new website for the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. Supporting tourism, science and education.
Almost 1 million people visit Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh to see over 13,000 species of plants every year. It is recognised as a world-class scientific institution and a centre for excellence for plant conservation and education.
We were tasked with creating a website that enabled the gardens to engage across three core audiences; tourism, science and education, while driving participation and support.
Working with a doctor of taxonomy ensured the RBGE project team entered the discovery phase with high expectations around how we planned to structure the website. Of course, we took a pragmatic approach – considering stakeholder objectives and user group needs with the aim of building the new website around them.
Multiple internal and external user groups, each with their own needs and interests, presented specific challenges around the overall structure of the website.
It had to be extremely flexible in both the volume of information it contained and how this was then displayed on the front end. Our job was to distil this information into a coherent, easy-to-explore website structure.
We identified and researched primary user personas and then designed a robust, flexible website structure around them.
The structure and resultant interface supported our strategic decision to encourage exploration between the three key user groups.
Testing our solution
Of course, given the scale and significance of the project, it was extremely important that we validated our solution to ensure key decisions were correct. We carried out user testing which, as always, provided extremely valuable insights right down to granular details like date formats for international audiences (it helps if you spell out the month).
Our ‘informed interface design’ presents all of our thinking to the users without them realising it. We maximised content potential, like the vast (almost 3 million images) bank of incredible photography and developed a colour palette which supports the master brand and draws supporting colours from the gardens.
Our solution works hard to support tourists, the global scientific community and, perhaps most importantly, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. Encouraging footfall, donations, purchasing, sharing, contributing, learning, commemoration, watching and growing, all of which are fundamental to the organisation.