Ohio History Connection

thunder::tech helped the historical society of Ohio achieve its mission of sparking discovery of Ohio’s rich history

PAST AND PRESENT COME ALIVE ONLINE FOR THE STATE’S KEY HISTORY REPOSITORY AND ADVOCATE 

The Ohio History Connection previously called the Ohio Historical Society, is a statewide organization tasked with preserving, sharing and sparking discovery into Ohio’s rich history. The organization oversees more than 50 historic sites and museums throughout the state, houses the State Archives and operates the Ohio History Center in Columbus.

A critical component of its mission is to connect residents, students, visitors and curious folks everywhere with the vast amount of Ohio history available at various sites and online. The website played a central role to this mission. However, in 2014 it recognized that its current website was outdated, difficult to navigate and visually unexciting.
 
That’s where thunder::tech came in.

After an exhaustive RFP process, The Ohio History Connection chose thunder::tech as its preferred agency to completely overhaul the web presence.
 
The process began with a series of in-depth working sessions in which thunder::tech and Ohio History Connection collaborated to determine the key goals of the project. One critical need identified early on was a content management system (CMS) that provided the flexibility for site editors to structure and organize the vast amount of content on the site. Other launch-critical elements were noted, along with a wish list of lower priority future enhancements.
 
The user experience (UX) of the site was the first obstacle. With more than 400 pages, the site was massive, making clear organization and simple navigation absolutely essential.
 
thunder::tech recommended a content management system (CMS) that fit Ohio History Connection’s requirements and budget. This new system was more robust than its previous platform, allowing for easy blogging, e-newsletter subscriptions, interactive mapping of locations across the state and custom search functionality.

We also worked with Ohio History Connection’s team to develop extensive workflow options to accommodate a sizable publishing environment.
 
Finally, a clean and open visual aesthetic was designed to allow the compelling photography to really tell the story of Ohio and what could be found there. A number of little interactive elements were added to make browsing the site more engaging and fun, including unique button animations, hover states and other small touches.
 
The new OhioHistory.org successfully launched in 2015. Since then, thunder::tech has continued to collaborate with the organization to iterate the design, bringing in calendar enhancements, blog support, event listing improvements and other elements from the website wish list.

Want to learn more? thunder::tech can help you with website design, strategy and more. Contact us today!

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