The Institute for Marine & Antarctic Studies (IMAS), based in Hobart, is globally recognised for its marine and Antarctic research and education. IMAS attracts many international graduates and researchers.
The website needed to reflect IMAS' international status, attract prospective students and researchers, and care for current students, researchers and staff.
This was an interesting project due to the incredible work that IMAS researchers do – the both the Antarctic and the oceans could be said to be the last "frontiers" of our planet, and are extreme and captivating environments.
There were also some challenges due to their previous website redesign project being unsuccessful. After a year or more of work with another agency, the project had stalled. We were brought on board to provide a fresh start, however we were also expected to work from an existing sitemap and wireframes.
My role as designer was to set us on a new, fresh path while respecting the work that had already been done and incorporating new changes from the client.
I read their strategic plan and brand documents, researched similar and non-similar institutes, and presented the client a suggested brand personality that I could use as a foundation for their visual direction.
I also noted the different audience types and their needs for the home page as a first-time landing, and considered the hierarchy of landing and content pages and how users could navigate with confidence between the different levels of the site.
Finally, I made use of their stunning imagery to set the scene and communicate their unique value proposition to researchers and students.
Looking at the site architecture now, I can see where a stronger hand in adpating the (provided) content strategy might have improved outcomes. The client was very happy with the smooth design process, however, which was wonderful given the project's status when we first came on board. The client felt confident that their audience needs and business goals were clearly addressed, and the new design set a strong foundation.