Historical societies are more important than ever as they work to reunite and engage communities, restore local historic buildings, and stimulate interest in the multi-cultural heritage of an area. The Brown County Historical Society, based in Green Bay, is no exception. Their century-long dedication to Brown County, and the people and infrastructure within it, continues to encourage curiosity in younger generations and prevents the loss of remnants of the past.
Websites with historical context often come with a large archive of documents, images, and videos in their archives, which to some, can lack excitement and energy. Between a large collection of cluttered content and a difficult to navigate site structure, Brown County Historical Society needed a change, and fast. Their current platform was set to expire on December 1st.
Organizing content in well-defined pages that remain uncluttered helps to optimize the viewer’s experience with the site. This can stimulate excitement and piques the viewer’s interest even more, especially when trying to appeal to a younger audience. For BCHS, we needed to create a website that inspired and educated through engaging features and an accessible layout.
Our team got to work immediately on a website that had everything Brown County Historical Society was looking for. Between the layout, overall organization, and interactive features we hoped to include, we had our work cut out for us.
One of the first steps in the process was finding a home for each piece of invaluable content. We started by revamping the site map to make the documents, images, and other information more readily available to the public. One of the features we believed needed a page exclusively for itself is the Event Calendar. Now, viewers have an easy-to-access page providing the latest in events and activities scheduled in their community.
Since the home page is the first thing viewers come across when clicking into a website, we made sure BCHS’ homepage grabbed the viewer's attention right away and held it. Above the fold is a carousel of images showing BCHS members active within the community, with buttons providing a link to join The Society or learn more about it.
Below the fold, our team back laid the website with black and white portraits that showcase the historical nature of the site. To make the viewer feel as if they are on a journey through time, panels connected with lines, like that on a map, promote the different pages available on the website as you continue to scroll downward.
To further capture viewer’s imaginations, our team created a timeline under the History of the Society page with high-quality photographs and documents so they can visualize the changes in the community as time progressed. And, a video gallery of BCHS-led virtual tours was added to showcase the historic sites unique to this area that, unfortunately, aren’t able to be toured due to COVID-19.
Between the blog designed to showcase BCHS’s weekly features, the “Did You Know?” pop-ups featuring fun facts, and the many other additions to their website, Brown County now has a site that serves as an engaging tool to inspire new generations to take pride in their history and play an active role in its restoration.
Cheers to Brown County Historical Society as they use their new website to continue their mission of education and restoration within the community!
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