Wildlife Photographer of the Year is preeminent annual international wildlife photography competition owned by the Natural History Museum and BBC Wildlife which last year attracted almost 43,000 entries by professional and amateur photographers from 96 countries. There are 18 categories with three targeting the under 17s and 15 geared towards the adult entrant. Single images, portfolios, and photo stories are all catered for within specific categories. Started in 1964 the competition needed a new site to support the 50th anniversary of the award and to ensure that the images could be viewed in the best possible way.
We won the project after a very competitive pitch process and worked closely with the team at NHM to design and develop a beautiful, responsive site that works across multiple devices. The brief was to ensure that WPY remains the preeminent global showcase for wildlife and nature imagery by creating a visually captivating website that is relevant, participatory, experiential, and responsive, and that communicates the brand’s unique position in the world of photography.
Redeveloping the information architecture (IA) was important with particular reference to supporting user experience and individual audience needs. We were asked to produce a future proof website that is both scalable and flexible and that fully exploited new technologies and social media platforms to extend reach, enhance participation, build communities and encourage repeat visits.
What we did
Our creative team, lead by Creative Director Bill Galloway were responsible for the IA, UX, graphical design and interface development, working closely with the NHM team on the technical implementation of the site in a true collaboration between the teams. Using a ‘Jobs to be done’ approach we mapped out the jobs that each visitor needed to complete with emphasis on encouraging users to explore, visit, enter, inspire and share. The content and functionality that we developed supported each of these and jobs in a beautiful and responsive site that put the fantastic images at the centre of the experience.
The project was run using our Agile based methodology where the client was fully involved in each sprint and we had regular two week sprint reviews to assess progress and prioritise tasks for the following sprint.
The site has been a huge success for the brand and was launched on time and one budget due to the very collaborative way that both the teams from Other Media and NHM worked. The site is build to be extensible and new sections and functionality to support the public vote and to access the vast archive of images have been added recently. Visitor numbers, site engagement and entries for the 50th Anniversary of the competition will all be monitored to assess the impact of the new site on the popularity of this iconic competition.