Somerset House

With a unique part of the London cultural scene and a contemporary and diverse following, Somerset House is an historic place where surprising and original work comes to life. The site currently attracts around 2.5 million visitors every year.

The Challenge

In 2016, Somerset House moved into a transformational programme to update the design and technology of their online presence. Their aim was to mirror their cultural offering in their digital channels by representing themselves as contemporary, innovators, makers and thinkers.

The Solution

After carrying out user research to understand the needs and motivations of current and potential audiences, we began creating a design that would showcase Somerset House as a destination alongside its cultural breadth, distinctive heritage, and creative enterprise.
 
The end result focused on visual engagement to encourage participation, and dynamic, moving imagery to reflect the energy of the unique physical space.

We built an open-source Drupal CMS that managed the content and used an API to integrate with Somerset House’s CRM solution. The site had multiple searches (site-wide search, event search, residents search) driven by Apache SolR. Slick editorial tools provided automation and dynamic content surfacing that reduced overheads of manual maintenance.
 
Training sessions were provided for multiple Somerset House teams (IT, digital, marketing, press teams) and the site was launched in November 2016, exceeding expectations of the client.
 
The Somerset House team commented:
 
“It's a huge change from where we were and is getting a fantastic response from staff, residents, trustees and visitors. We feel that you have really captured the essence and energy of Somerset House.“

 

Project name: 
Somerset House
Development
SEO
Technical Support
Hosting Support