We're proud to share the news that we have helped the London Transport Museum to launch a brand-new website. The experience platform is designed to enhance the popular collections feature and extend engagement of London’s rich transportation history to the rest of the world.
Located in the heart of Covent Garden, London Transport Museum is the world’s leading museum of urban transport. Their charitable mission is to use the story of transport to encourage, enrich, and to ignite curiosity for all Londoners and those who love the city.
The Museum’s investment in transforming its online presence was a long-term strategic decision made in 2019. Driven by the desire to simplify the customer journey, the Museum also wanted to increase opportunities for people to discover fascinating content about London’s transport past and present.
With the second national lockdown now forcing the Museum to close its doors temporarily to visitors once more, the new online platform will come into its own as the Museum seeks to keep its audience engaged from the comfort of their homes.
Making technical tracks
For the past decade, London Transport Museum has been using a principally unchanged website to bring schools, families and transport enthusiasts the latest updates on installations, exhibitions, and events.
The Museum looked to appoint an agency capable of “helping to future proof the museum from a digital perspective” in addition to ensuring the website becomes “a leader in the museum and cultural sector”. A key aspect of the change would be removing a series of bespoke frameworks that required steep maintenance and heavy customisation.
As seasoned experts in digital strategy and development, having worked previously with The Mayor of London and Merlin Entertainments, we conducted a series of discovery and strategic workshops to uncover and refine the museum’s digital vision. Paired with innovative approaches to user-experience design, we delivered a digitally inclusive Drupal platform, created to empower site managers and make content delivery simple.
“Having a new and improved website is a complete game-changer for the Museum as it has allowed us to bring our collection and its fascinating stories to a global audience, with an improved user experience and focus on rich, searchable, shareable content. Previously, we had a number of disparate websites with little integration in place between them and no cohesive digital roadmap.
Now, with the help of the CTI Digital team, we have taken a huge step-forward with our digital ambitions. Amongst the many great features, we are particularly proud of our new Stories section, revealing the often unheard history of people, places and transport. Everyone at London Transport Museum, including myself, are excited to begin on our phase 2 projects with CTI and to keep enhancing our digital output.”
Harriet Burke, Head of Digital Marketing at London Transport Museum
Now, more than a quarter of a million artefacts in the Museum’s collection are accessible through an enhanced elastic search, enabled by manual tagging and intention interpretive data networks. A new sliding date range search feature is also ideal for researchers of particular eras or schools focusing on precise decades.
The ‘Collections’ element of the site has been built to host multimedia content capable of showcasing detailed drawings, maps, video and audio content for rich storytelling. Drawing upon an ecommerce-like interface, specifications and key details are displayed clearly in accordions and boxes, fully accessible by keyboard and screen readers.
A new section dedicated to short-form and long-form reads gives visitors to the website the opportunity to explore different themes and topics of interest, from the history of engineering to the role of women in transport and the design heritage of London’s iconic Tube map, advertising posters and moquette seating.
Collections online in action
As a popular tourist attraction and favourite of London aficionados, London Transport Museum’s Hidden London tours allow visitors to explore ‘forgotten’ parts of the Tube network and discover London from an entirely different perspective.
The Museum’s previous website framework limited its ability to customise content for its tours. But the new digital platform now showcases Hidden London front and centre with an immersive look and feel. This aims to increase interest and bookings for all sites displayed by location, including a new series of virtual tours, which can be enjoyed from the comfort of your sofa, as well as the award-winning Hidden London exhibition and retail range.
Entry and Ticketing
When the Museum reopens, live ticket updates and offers are now made available in a secondary ‘utility’ navigation, enabling people to safely pre-book online designated entry slots. When the Museum reopened after the first lockdown in September, this feature become ever more important, designed to manage the flow of visitors to the museum and give each patron enough space and time to fully enjoy the exhibits.
“London Transport Museum was an enjoyable project to transform a website that had become a little too busy and attention dividing. We refocused it to lead their web and museum visitors far more effectively to their desired goal and establish the Museum as a digital leader in the culture sector.
As a transport anorak myself, I particularly liked making their collections more delightful to explore, which provided the team with some technical challenges but was well worth it. On the tech side, our new Drupal platform gives the Museum’s team far more control over their digital presence. They can now stop trying to stretch their old CMS to try and do what they needed to do and focus on telling stories to make London’s transport history come to life.”
Gez O’Brien, Creative and Strategy Director at CTI Digital
London Transport Museum has signed a four-year SLA support contract with CTI Digital to continue to maintain and enhance their standing as a leader in culture through digital paths.
The Museum now looks forward to the impact the new site will bring during the second lockdown and beyond when it can welcome visitors back once more.
“The new website is a fantastic new resource for the Museum, allowing us to showcase the fascinating items and stories in our Collection in a way like never before. New interactive features such as the Collections timeline slider is quickly becoming a fan-favourite and the advanced search filters uncover items even I didn't know we had in our collection! In our new Stories section, we can also share the stories behind our collection, from London's first Black bus driver to how stations helped Londoners shelter during the war.
Technically, the choice of Drupal along with CTI's expertise has meant we have been able to build and integrate complex systems for the first time, such as our new Events calendar, integrated Donate, Blog and News functionality and our Collections database. This, as well as the flexible templates mean that we've been able to deliver a website that meets the complex needs from the Museum and allows users to seamlessly navigate all aspects of what we offer. CTI have been an essential part in delivering this new integrated approach and we're excited to continue working with them to enhance our digital presence further and continue to bring London's transport history to life.”
Laura Say, Digital Marketing Manager at London Transport Museum.
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