Forgot your username or password?
Modernista! teamed up with FL2 to design and develop a micro
site for the National Park Foundation that coincided with
Modernista!'s broadcast campaign supporting the Ken Burns PBS
documentary The National Parks:
America's Best Idea. The site provides a destination for
users to explore the National Parks, make a personal contribution,
and most importantly share it with others—reinforcing the sense of
collective ownership, pride and responsibility of our National
With the unprecedented visibility offered by Ken Burns'
documentary, the National Park Foundation needed a digital
experience that could drive action and involvement—primarily in the
form of email submissions and donations. The Foundation had never
engaged an agency to design a major campaign like this. We had an
opportunity to explain that the National Parks system is deeper and
more expansive than the average citizen may know. Ultimately, we
wanted users to be able to quickly and intuitively navigate through
this vast catalog of information and actively contribute to the
site and make it personal, as well as universal—like the parks
themselves. And we had what most marketers crave—a quality product
that is timeless, true and visually compelling.
Modernista! sent a creative and production team to FL2's Denver
offices for a condensed two-day assault on the project. We
collectively identified the key objectives of the campaign, which
were to enable the user to:
We then began organizing information and shaping the user
experience around these three philosophies. At the end of the work
session, we had a solid information architecture that organized
official information in a grid-based layout and allowed
user-generated content to grow and be displayed more organically.
From there, we had just under three weeks to design and build a
Users are asked to comment on their own personal National Park
experiences, and tag those locations on the site. We created a grid
catalog of information that allows the user to sort through the
database visually. All changes happen in real time, using
same “page.” A breadcrumb is also prominent in the design to allow
users to back up to their previous content area at anytime. This
approach, when focused around stunning Flickr-sourced imagery and
the emotional context of the documentary series, was well received,
as a steady flow of user generated content began to stream into the
site immediately. Additionally, we have seen “average time on site”
figures continuing to float in the 4:00 range, clearly suggesting
that users are easily accessing a variety of engaging site
We decided to leverage existing Flickr photography content in
relation to the National Parks themselves. While this reinforced
the notion that we all contribute to the parks, it quickly became
apparent that finding multiple images for more than 400 parks in
only a few weeks' time was no small feat. Our developers wrote a
script that allowed us to scrape Flickr for public images that were
the appropriate size, matched the park we were searching for and
provided the contributor's information to be displayed on the
As mentioned we had a very tight time line that conveniently
pushed bureaucracy, ego and singular ownership out—we had to trust
the expertise and first-reaction contributions of each of our team
members. All stakeholders stayed out of their own way. And in order
to reach this deadline, we had to build a highly collaborative
environment. We cast two passionate teams together on equal ground.
The typical client/vendor relationship dynamic simply wasn't there.
Finally, this small team of collective owners represented the full
breadth of skills that encompasses any digital project of worth:
copywriting, design, user experience, technology, digital strategy
Our entire team was thrilled with the results of this
project—not only over how quickly the site was put together, but
also how comprehensive it is in addressing the client's goals and
how different it is from anything it had done before. To our
knowledge and research, the NPF has in the past provided a way for
people to browse all of the parks, but nothing with such a
progressive framework or ways for user-generated content to be
created and displayed on an official site.
We feel that the site's design truly reflects the spirit of the
parks themselves: pride of ownership, involvement and community.
The ease of use and immediate gratification are additional benefits
of this particular design, and have kept users logged on and coming
back, which obviously makes us—and our client—very happy.
The most encouraging conclusion that we reached was one that
didn't surprise us: web experiences finish most gracefully when
crafted in tight spaces. The construction need not be complex.
The result was a lightweight, though content-rich, exploration
of our National Parks. With more time and resources, we could have
built a vibrant engagement platform for the National Park
Foundation. But Americans don't need another user name and password
to misplace—they just need more graceful web experiences.
Editor's note: The case study above was co-written by
representatives of agency Modernista! and interactive studio FL2.
While it was written at AIGA's request, please contact the
editor if you would also like to provide a case
is AIGA’s initiative to encourage members and chapters to become involved with
local schools and school districts to improve understanding of design practices
among young people, and to encourage the use of these practices as problem-solving
Section: About AIGA -
AIGA Insight, K-12, mentoring, education
Read more at howdesign.com
AIGA's recently launched centennial project "100 Years of Design"
(CelebrateDesign.org) has been recognized among HOW's top picks for
March 2014. Explore the interviews and featured works from the past
century, and contribute your own favorite examples of impactful design!
Section: Inspiration -
Has this venerable protest symbol lost its significance? Patton examines how the rebellious clenched fist evolved from a charged radical image to Howard Stern’s new logo.
Section: Inspiration -
print design, critique, Voice
Is all design "conceptual?" And if so, can an idea be a finished design? Currie theorizes that blending the past with the conceptual leads to the unexpected: the design of situations.
Section: Inspiration -
Voice, social responsibility
The Silk Road
American Museum of Natural History
We are too! MT @2storypdx: Thrilled that 100 Years of Design received @awwwards Site of the Day honors! http://t.co/YWhnH4JpHW
13 hours ago
Kyle Webster has some GREAT photoshop brush packs available. Perfect for illustrators or designers working with elements rendered by hand!
Shared in Tools & Resources by
The New York Times
Cascades 2008 Report on Sustainable Development
NowThatsRich (Andy Rich)
Great to see the whole creative team from @BrandExtract out at the @aigahouston @ONEFASTBUFFALO event last night. #aigaconnect
4 days ago