Over 400,000 visitors a year journey to Southern Tasmania to learn about Australia’s convict heritage and the history that has helped shaped the nation.

Port Arthur Historic Site is Australia’s largest, and best preserved convict site. It’s a historical experience exposing the brutal truth of Australia’s convict past through storytelling and exploration.

What brought them to us

Following the redevelopment of their on-site visitor centre, the Port Arthur Historic Sites Management Authority (PAHSMA) was looking to further its renown by  improving its online customer experience across all three of its websites: Port Arthur, Cascades Female Factory and the Coal Mines Historic Sites.

A cluttered design and unclear navigation made exploring the history and location detail difficult. Information was disorganised, with no clear priority or purpose. Internally, staff were struggling to control and organise content. Over time the result was an untidy jumble of pages that were difficult to manage and lacking a focus.

So this is what we did

Our aim was to architect a human-centric solution by simplifying the site structure and maintaining a design consistency across all three unique sites.

We sought to balance the interaction and design to influence user decision making towards ticket sales and visitation. Interactive playing cards telling real convict stories, historic site maps to explore the structures, and aerial drone footage all helped to create an immersive feel.

The high-toned visuals meet historic aesthetics. Images of original documents and architectural drawings, textures from excavated artefacts, and historic photos combine with a colour palette that conjures up images of the past.

The result is a compelling, intuitive design experience flowing across all three websites, creating a close-knit family of products that retain their unique identities while offering distinct value.

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