Te Papa's new website goes live


On Monday 14 March, Te Papa launched their stunning new website.

We at Catalyst were delighted to be involved in the Drupal, Front End development and cloud hosting portions of this ambitious project.

Starting in May 2015, we set to work alongside Te Papa staff and other external vendors to create an experience for website users that is smooth, intuitive and a delight to use.

We implemented a sophisticated site search using ElasticSearch which pulls from six different sources of information - TePapa.govt.nz, Arts.tepapa.govt.nz, Blog.tepapa.govt.nz, Channel.tepapa.govt.nz, Collections.tepapa.govt.nz, and TePapaStore.co.nz – to produce a seamless search experience.

We also created the Staging, Content, UAT, and Production environments using Amazon Web Services (AWS). The site is designed to easily handle spikes in load during exhibition launches and other key events, so users won't experience delayed service, even when the site is very busy.

The new site replaces the original site that Te Papa has been building on since they opened their doors in 1998. They note that while the original site “wasn't too bad” there was room for improvement and it was time to do a complete review.

Te Papa took an incredibly thorough approach to getting things just right for their users – over 1700 people provided feedback and suggestions through surveys, user testing, and interviews, and staff went through every page of the existing site to weed out content that was no longer relevant or wasn't being used.

We think you'll agree that the combined efforts of all the people involved have paid off.

You can take a look at Te Papa's new site here: www.tepapa.govt.nz. While you're on the site, be sure to read the blog, which talks about the review and refresh process in more detail.

We've greatly enjoyed working with Te Papa and look forward to more satisfying work with them in the future to get things just right for their users.