Check Out Our New Website for Some Fresh Air and Space
Monday, we launched the new National Air and Space Museum website. We’ve given the site an extreme makeover and are very excited to launch this revitalized online presence. This digital “renovation” was completed in-house by our Web & New Media Department with tremendous support from many contributors and stakeholders across the Museum.
New National Air and Space Museum website home page.
The former National Air and Space Museum website home page.
What‘s new about this website? We’ve updated the design, refreshed the navigation, and revised and reorganized the content. Mobile and social media are much more prominent as well. Most importantly, some new user-experience and content strategies have been implemented to enhance our ability to produce interesting and engaging content for you, our online visitors.
We hope you will particularly enjoy:
- One-Stop Searching: Previously, you had to search our object collections and archival records separately. Now you can search across over 23,000 of our collection items with ease, and filter those results based on type, date, topic, and more. We have also created a new “staff picks” area for curators (our content experts) to present narratives around selected groups of items from the collection, providing greater context and interpretation.
- Explore and Learn: This new section of the website presents content based on popular topics of interest to teachers, students, and anyone passionate about aviation and space. We’ve started with selected topics ranging from astronomy to the space shuttle, and we will continue to add more. We invite suggestions and would love to hear which topics are of most interest to you.
- More to See: We worked to make the website more visually appealing with larger images and lots of carousels. There are more photos available for objects in the collection (check out these images of the Boeing B-29 Superfortress Enola Gay) and we will continue to make more of our high quality photography, as well as video, available in the multimedia gallery. Archived recordings of our lectures are now easier to find and enjoy, and you can find even more video on our YouTube channel, but watch for even more video in the near future.
- Research Projects: Wondering what our scientists are studying on Mars? Or which NASA planetary missions our staff are involved in? You can find out in the research projects section of the new website. Soon, historical research projects underway in our Aeronautics and Space History departments will also be represented.
- For Educators and Families: If you’re an educator planning a school group visitor or looking for materials to use in your classroom, or if you’re curious what kids and families can enjoy while visiting the Museum in person or online, we have created pages specially for you to make this information easier to find.
- Connect with Us!: Social media is an important part of our educational engagement strategy. We added “Connect” to the main navigation of the website because we want to hear what you think, strike up a conversation, and connect you with our experts. We’ve also added social sharing options across the site for images, video, and special features.
- Mobile: We know you’re always connected, even on the go. We are too. The new website was built to be responsive so it is easy to access on mobile devices from smartphones to tablets.
- One Museum, Two Locations: If you’re planning a visit to one of our Museum locations, the information, resources, and visitor tips you’ll need are on the website. Browse the “Things To Do” section for a quick look at the activities, objects, exhibitions, demonstrations and more that you won’t want to miss.
This new website is a big step forward and gives us a fresh place to expand the digital side of our mission to educate and inspire. New content, programs, and initiatives are in the works and we will be rolling out more enhancements to the website over the next phase of development. This includes updating and adding online exhibitions, providing more information about our restoration and conservation activities, and creating more mobile and social experiences for you to enjoy whether you are onsite, online, or on the go.
Draft design for our soon to be updated “Looking at Earth” online exhibition.
We hope you enjoy our new website and welcome your feedback and suggestions, so please let us know what you think!
Vicki Portway is head of the Web & New Media Department at the National Air and Space Museum