I really hope you’re enjoying the sneak peak at the redesign of the Education section of The National Archives’ website. We’ve hopefully made these pages more visual and accessible, as well as showcasing the many images and historical documents available to students and teachers.
We’re in the process of moving the Education site into WordPress and away from our previous content management system. It’s been a perfect opportunity to evaluate the way that we present the content, and improve the structure of the site. For example, we’ve had a chance to make our games, which have been tucked away in various parts of the site, more visible, by integrating them into the main structure of the site.
One of the challenges us designers faced when redesigning the Education section was how best to present the hundreds of resources in a way that would be both fun and functional. The free resources are grouped by time period, key stage and type, such as lessons, games and workshops. To add to the complexity resources often appear in more than one time period or key stage. We needed an intuitive way to present and filter this content.
For example take Crime and punishment. This popular microsite allows you to explore crime, prevention and punishment through the ages, from the medieval period through to the 20th century. That’s eight time periods and four key stages in total! Luckily the process of migrating content from the existing site to our new WordPress platform gave us the opportunity to group each individual resource through the magic of metadata. More specifically, tags.