Texas Time Travel
Seeing the Past in the Present
It was just a lot of fun. We had a great working relationship with them. Heather McBride, Marketing & Communications Director
We've been honored to work with the Texas Historical Commission for several years—having designed their primary website and region-specific microsites. With each project, our understanding of THC deepens and the results grow more sophisticated.
This project—Texas Time Travel—was the natural extension of our partnership.
The mission of the Texas Historical Commission (THC) is as straightforward as it is huge:
To protect and preserve the state’s historic and prehistoric resources for the use, education, enjoyment, and economic benefit of present and future generations.
As part of their effort to engage more tourists with Texas history, THC launched a new marketing initiative titled (appropriately) Texas Time Travel. The goal was to make exploring Texas' historical sites more fun, modern, family-friendly, and easy to plan.
The Texas Time Travel (TTT) website would be the initiative's primary communication channel. And it presented several design challenges:
- How do people want to discover information on a website?
- How do we make the information they're searching for easy to find?
- How do people/families want to explore Texas history?
- How can a content-rich website like TTT be easily managed by multiple users from around the state?
Fortunately, our existing relationship with THC made the collaboration around these questions easy.
The concept of "regions" is the foundation on which most of the TTT website is structured.
When users land on the site, they're encouraged to "Explore By Region," allowing them to select one of 10 areas they're interested in—and then diving deep into it. Each region microsite contains unique content, including:
- Region search
- Filter tool that allows users to view each region's themes, attractions, and cities
- Highlighted regional content
- Events calendar
- Interactive map with all major attractions and historic destinations marked
Each regional microsite is managed uniquely. So we built each one on the same CMS platform, allowing users from around the state to publish their region's content on their own, without interrupting the main site or other regions. And we made sure the visual design across the microsites were consistent, while giving each region its own color scheme and icons. The effect is a seamless user experience that still gives each section of the state its own look and feel.
This project—our third for the Texas Historical Commission—was a resounding success. Texas Time Travel feels immediate. The navigation feels intuitive. And the tools feel relevant and helpful.