Company: Showtime Networks Inc (in partnership with Smithsonian Network)
Role: Creative Direction
Award: BDA (Broadcast Design Association) Bronze
The Smithsonian Channel needed a better, robust website that not only displayed the gorgeous photography and rich content but also allowed for several different types of programming to be easily discoverable online.
Inspired by the crisp, clean look of Moma’s informational displays coupled with our amazing photography assets, we focused the homepage on 4 key areas that our users cared the most: a cinematic carousel panel, the TV schedule and social media, marketing promotions and exploring other categories. We wanted to go for a very modern, fresh image and the result is a very curated, clean and sophisticated site that evokes the excitement of visiting great institutions like the Smithsonian.
The channel at the time was still in its infancy, so there was no resources or budget available or allocated to this project with the exception of myself and a freelance project manager. Together we started the project by staggering the timing of the resources we hired, which consisted of an IA, an AD/Designer and a site builder.
The biggest challenge in building this site was how to organize the content. Unlike many other museum institutions which content is usually a fewer set of categories that goes deep in depth, the Smithsonian Channel had an enormous range of topics that were not as deep in nature, but required a lot of cross referencing and pollination across the site. To add, the Channel programming had three or more different program models (events, stunts, regular programming, one-offs) that needed to visually identified and distinguished. As the network was still growing in terms of programming and social media strategies, we also needed to allow room for future growth while still maintaining the core architecture of the site.
A site of this scope and nature would usually require a year or more to complete but our team relaunched the site in approximately 5 months (originally scoped for 3).