Client National Cathedral

Project Branding, Web Design

The Washington National Cathedral is among the top ten most visited sites in the nation’s capital, the sixth-largest cathedral in the world, and the second-largest in the United States. Yet its website did not reflect its stellar status. The National Cathedral wanted to revamp the website to welcome visitors of all beliefs while driving traffic to the cathedral consistently. For those who could not often visit, the site would offer a digital experience of the cathedral.

Diving into
the user
persona

To better understand the user goals and drop offs, my team and I conducted baseline testing on the old site. We interviewed ten participants from key user groups listed below, observing how users completed real tasks, tracking stumbling points and user experience issues.

tourist,
out of town

“The Cathedral is a beautiful building important to see on a visit to DC.”

Congregant,
Local

“The Cathedral is my home of worship and a welcoming place for all.”

Worshipper,
out of town

“Washington National Cathedral is a pilgrimage point for my faith.”

Ideating,
Sketching
& Testing

We learned that users needed guidance to plan their visit to the Cathedral: events, visiting hours, and admission costs needed to be up front and centered. Users also had trouble engaging with the history and wonders of the National Cathedral, which in turn didn’t motivate them to visit. Based on what we heard from users, we sketched ideas to create an informative and engaging digital experience for the National Cathedral website.

The Outcome

We created a homepage that welcomes everyone to experience the National Cathedral. It features events of the day — including tours — and an easy way to search for upcoming events to better plan a visit. In the rest of the website, we created a showcase of the architecture and artifacts mapped on a blueprint of the cathedral. When users explore the exterior and interior of these maps, they get taken to a virtual tour and opportunities to reserve tickets to see the site in person.

"Wow I am definitely visiting The National Cathedral now! So much to discover!" ~ DC Tourist