Show Me

ENGAGING YOUNG HEARTS AND MINDS

Show Me is a learning and teaching resource for children, educators and parents, showcasing collections from British museums and galleries.

It is managed by Culture24, the independent non-profit company that helps the cultural sector reach and connect with new audiences. We were called upon to modernise the Show Me website to better meet the needs of its users and provide the UK cultural sector with a valuable tool with which to publish their collections digitally.

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THE CHALLENGE

Show Me needed to meet the needs of a new generation.

Originally launched in 2002, the site was at one time Bafta-nominated. But by 2013 the design and functionality were no longer in line with the expectations of an audience that has grown up using the internet. It was therefore time for a new beginning to ensure the site would remain relevant, useful and usable for today's young minds.

A primary target audience of 7-14 year-olds meant Show Me had to appeal to a broad range of interests and browsing behaviours as well as communicate in a way that didn't put off children at either end of the age range. In addition, it had to be a site that museums and galleries wanted to be part of and which teachers and parents could use to inspire and educate.

UX & DESIGN

We modernised Show Me, combining a fun and inviting look-and-feel with an intuitive user experience.

Creating a site that appealed to children between 7 and 14 was a challenge that required a simplistic approach. It would've been easy to aim for the lower-end of the spectrum as many kids sites do, but we worked closely with the Culture24 team to strike the right balance. 

We implemented bold colours coordinated to different sections, chunky buttons and tiled content that lends itself well to mobile and tablet devices. We ensured the language used was neither too basic nor too complex. We presented users with 'Everything' when they first arrive, but have given them easy-to-use tools for customising their experience and bringing the content that matters to them to the surface.

Hayden Evans

“We didn't want to overwhelm users with too many options. Instead, they can easily change what they see using dynamic content toggles and filters. This intuitive approach to displaying content makes discovery easy, fun and relevant for children, teachers and parents alike.”

Hayden Evans Creative Director
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Our design and UX approach was carried through to the detail pages.

Rather than having a cumbersome structure that risks users getting lost, we ensured they never navigate away from 'Topic' they're in. Instead, detail pages about a specific collection, game, video or article overlay the topic and can be closed by clicking the cross. This allows users to easily dip in-and-out of the content they like to encourage further exploration.

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DEVELOPMENT

With all of Show Me's collections stored in an external content repository, there was no need for a content managed solution. 

That would have led to hours of content migration and problems with data redundancy. Our recommendation was to pull through content from the organisation's existing API. It means the Culture24 team can continue to store and manage its content in the existing location, saving them valuable resource.

Without an off-the-shelf solution that fulfilled our needs, we built a bespoke website using the Symfony framework. This gave us the flexibility to meet all of Culture24's technical requirements with a simple, cost-effective solution.

Mark Wilson

“The bespoke platform we created has been beneficial for the Culture24 administration team. Not only was there no manual content migration during the build, which would've been required with a CMS solution, they are also able to comfortably continue managing their content within their existing content repository.”

Mark Wilson Technical Team Lead

OUTCOMES

"The design of our new website has transformed the user experience and proven popular with audiences of all ages, from our youngest users to teachers and parents. Following the launch, usage of the site has been very good and feedback extremely positive, leading to discussions with more museums and galleries about adding their collections to Show Me."
Sejul Malde, Research Manager Culture24
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