National Archives

Moving the National Archives into a new digital era and displaying our Danish heritage in a compelling and engaging, content driven, user experience.

Brand Identity, UX, Web Design

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A Simpler, More Engaging User Experience

The concept


As a new fundamental concept, we developed a flat hierarchy making content easily accessible. User behaviour was mapped out and we went for a squared layout grid, where the user was presented with a large selection of relevant content from the huge archive.

Navigating Complexity

Founded in our research, we defined five user groups with very different needs. This was used in the UX work to define five different ways to enter the site from the left side menu, and this became the pivotal navigational element to navigate the more then 2000+ pages in a hierarchy that wouldn’t become to deep. The approach was based on heightening the user experience and inspire them to dig deep without having to decide on a handful of menus.

Search Made Smarter

For the more targeted user, we introduced an intelligent search function that displayed results on the go, as the user would type in, but based on an algorithm that would display search results across different categories in a meaningful way.

Modular And Fully Responsive

For the State Archive to have full flexibility in their editorial work, we developed building blocks that could be used in a number of ways within only one single site template. As an added bonus this worked really well in terms of responsiveness – by using the standardized building blocks, the themes worked equally well on desktop and on mobile, without all the hassle that usually follows when web editors design custom sites and tries to make it work across devices.

The result: A richer more varied site, yet still easy to maintain and use – and fully responsive.

It seemed like a simple solution, but to actually build it, turned out to be more complex than we first imagined.

Søren Bo Bastian

Senior Art Director & Designer

Creating a new digital identity

The Identity


For the new website the State Archive was asking for a modern and contemporary design and we developed a new digital identity, introducing a new set of colours, a more digitally minded set of typefaces and new icons.

Crafting Their New Digital Presence

Their original palette of classic saturated colors left an impression of history and a sense of being in a historical museum – Not the feeling they were after. That’s why we introduced a new set of colors. The dark blue as a base and strong colors to help navigate and breathe some life into the site. The typography was updated as well – Still classic, but with character and modernity.

Coherent and Simple Iconography

For the iconography we went with a line-style illustrative style, that helped underline a wish for a subtle navigation that wouldn’t take away too much attention from the content. The icons also complemented the rich photo library well, as they we’re discreet and accommodating in the context of other media.

A Modern & Contemporary Website

Webdesign


With an updated identity, a content strategy and principles for a clearer navigational setup we were all set to do the website. The complete design kept a minimalistic look but the new colors and typography gave the more modern and contemporary look they were after.

The Grid

A squared overview was the primary entry to content on both the frontpage and the category pages.Abstract background photos helped lighten the otherwise massive impression and the holes in the grid was created randomly by the code, to create variations in the layout.

Rigsarkivet - Grid
Rigsarkivet - colours

One Section, One Color

We introduced a set of new colors, that came in really handy here, as they helped as navigational element. Every one of the five primary content categories got their own signal color, making a subtle but very effective navigational help for the user. All this was of course done programmatically, based on the web editors categorization of the content.

It's All About Content

Since the site is first and foremost content driven, a lot of work was put into creating a readable and pleasant presentation of the content, that would work equally well across the many many different articles. We devised a range of building blocks and a modular right side column that could hold other relevant info.

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Web Exhibitions

Taking the concept further


The Web Exhibitions was an additional assignment, where they would be able to create more elaborate website sections on a particularly interesting subject. Like a featured exhibition with a given theme. Additionally they would love to use these microsites at the kiosk in their physical exhibitions.

Web exhibition

Web Exhibition Concept


We continued our modular design approach and developed it further, so the web editors could build more elaborate and engaging sections around each web exhibition.

Web exhibition

Timelines. We All Need Timelines.

We quickly realized that almost any Web Exhibition we could think of, would need a timeline. So we made one, and designed building blocks for most types of media – from text to video and imagery.

Sound Is An Amplifier

We realized we could amplify the sum of the experiences with soundbites from the archive, so we also made it possible to include this in the web exhibitions.

igsarkivet - web exhibition
Rigsarkivet - web exhibition

A World of Maps and Imagery

With thousands and thousands of old maps, photos and other imagery we wanted to create a section of it’s own aimed only at enhancing the users interaction with the very rich content available.

Christian Mogensen

Managing Director & Partner

With a project like this, long term commitment and a close collaboration is key. An that’s the very nature of how we wish to work with clients at Stupid – It’s a great ongoing collaboration.

Send mail +45 3020 8686