BoW Title: The Franklin Institute
Institution: The Franklin Institute
Designer: Bluecadet
URL: https://www.fi.edu/
Category: Museum Professional

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Founded in honor of America’s first scientist, Benjamin Franklin, The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia is one of the oldest and most renowned centers of science education in the country. Inspired by The Franklin Institute’s history of dazzling and delighting visitors of all ages—and a museum experience that combines learning with hands-on fun—Bluecadet completely redesigned The Franklin Institute website with a focus on interactivity, excitement, and engagement.

The responsive Drupal design integrates the museum’s numerous attractions and daily programs for a dynamic, user-friendly web and mobile interface. The new website launch in May 2014 was timed to support the opening of the 53,000-square-foot Nicholas and Athena Karabots Pavilion, the largest expansion in the museum’s history.

To help visitors navigate the museum and its many offerings (including 12 permanent exhibit galleries, a Planetarium, IMAX and 3D movie theaters, among other experiences), we designed an interactive map that allows users to explore exhibitions, find amenities, and plan their route both onsite and in advance. We also created a “Things to Do and See” itinerary planner, tailored to specific audiences (Family, Adult, Teacher) and length of time at the museum (3 hours, 5 hours, all day). These digital tools make it easy to navigate The Franklin Institute both onsite and online.

We also retooled the website’s overall aesthetic and information architecture—emphasizing streamlined copy, impactful graphics, and large, compelling photographs that capture a spirit of playful discovery. We added a new Meet Our Scientists section to spotlight The Franklin Institute’s world-class scientific talent, including celebrated Chief Astronomer Derrick Pitts.

Bluecadet worked closely and collaboratively with The Franklin Institute’s team throughout the redesign process, with the goal of meeting the diverse needs of various museum departments. We are honored to work with this iconic institution and proud that the website was delivered on time and on budget.