RockHall.com

We had a unique opportunity to bring to life an incredible collection of artifacts and memorabilia that represent legendary icons who shaped and molded culture.

- MediaMonks Team

Can you briefly describe your project and the concept behind it?

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, whose mission is to engage, teach, and inspire through the power of rock & roll, teamed up with MediaMonks, S4Capital's content practice, to recreate the Hall of Fame online. The overhauled RockHall.com provides rock fans from across the world a unique look inside the museum’s legendary collection. MediaMonks redesigned RockHall.com to be a worthy home for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s iconic Inductees, and an inviting online gateway to the museum. The redesign welcomes fans to plan a visit or simply explore the museum exhibits digitally, with a user experience that highlights the Rock Hall’s unparalleled vault of instruments, photography, video collection, and other music memorabilia.

Talk about your initial prototypes. How did those ideas change throughout design and execution?

Before this project began, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame had already gone through a large rebranding process, and this served as the visual foundation of the new website’s design. In a phased approach, we collected consumer research by speaking to rock & roll fans, and prototyped our process by first building the microsite where users voted on the 2019 Hall of Fame inductees. This experience validated our plan and offered learnings that we took to designing and building the main website.

What influenced your chosen technical approach, and how did it go beyond past methods?

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame website relaunch was unique in that we were charged with digitizing an experience that is inherently offline. We had a unique opportunity to bring to life an incredible collection of artifacts and memorabilia that represent legendary icons who shaped and molded culture. The need to create an experience that would reflect this rich history informed and influenced our personalized, user-driven technical approach.

What breakthrough or “a-ha” moment did you experience when concepting or executing this project?

As the team embarked on this dramatic digital transformation, it was exciting to consider all the possibilities that come with modernizing such a historical archive. But we also know that history is what sets our unique collection apart. I think it all started to click once the team set a vision that would balance the museum's history with its present-day energy and excitement. Through enhanced Inductee biographies, exhibits and events pages, we tapped into the Rock Hall’s resources to spotlight their unique accomplishments while giving fans a window into the full experience at the museum in Cleveland.

What web technologies, tools, or resources did you use to develop this?

Drupal, which the website is built on, and CSS activate the content through engaging user pathways and best-in-class design. Because an important component of the website is that it lets users plan out a trip to the museum, we integrated the back-end with an existing ticketing system, Tessitura, that allows visitors to easily book their tickets. In addition, we connected to several third-party APIs to enable a seamless yet dynamic user experience.

How did you balance your creative and technical capabilities with the client’s brand?

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s mission is “to engage, teach and inspire through the power of rock & roll.” The new website delivers on this promise through a content-heavy theme that brings artifacts from the museum’s collection to life through scans and images. Of course, a key goal for the website is to drive ticket sales--but whether users plan to visit the museum in-person or not, we adopted a customer-obsessed and user-driven approach to preview and explore the museum’s artifacts. Creatively, we wanted users to get lost in the experience as they move from one artist to another based on their interests.

How did the final product defy your expectations?

On the newly reimagined website, users find the content strung across more than 300 Hall of Fame Inductee biography pages, which lend each artifact context and meaning. The biographies are also linked contextually; for example, each page invites you to explore other artists inducted in the same year or that are particularly relevant or influential. On one hand, this encourages users to explore and browse through the Hall of Fame’s website much like they would wander around the museum itself—balancing a sense of aimless browsing with meaningful curation. It’s a website where you can spend an hour, rather than just five minutes.

Why is this an exciting time to create new digital experiences? How does your team fit into this?

Digital transformation isn’t a new concept, but has accelerated since the start of the year. Rockhall.com stands as an example of how even culture’s greatest legacies–museums–can rethink how they engage with consumers digitally in exciting new ways. At MediaMonks, we continually push the boundaries of rapid digital transformation. With each project, we assess the unique opportunity to meet and engage consumers in the context where they consume the content.

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