The Scale of Our War

Gallipoli: The Scale of Our War Digital Experience

Te Papa is constantly looking at ways to enhance its visitor experience - from the physical through to the digital. The recent landmark Gallipoli exhibition created exciting new standards in museum exhibitions. Te Papa required an experiential website to do the same thing. Designworks was tasked with achieving three key objectives for the site; to creatively promote the exhibition, extend the reach of the exhibition, while show-casing Te Papa’s intention to become a museum of the future.

Our ambition was to design an immersive user-experience that eschewed any preconceived notions of a traditional museum digital experience, so often a repository of detailed information and imagery. We wanted to create a strong sense of discovery and involvement, leading the users to visit the physical exhibition or extend their experience if they had already seen it.

My role — Design Director
Creative Director: Dan Mercer
Design Team: Ryan Ferguson, Gareth White, Karl Madsen, David Bastian, Damian Alexander
Sir Richard Taylor, Nick Hughes, Victoria Linton, Sally Fisher, Craig Gainsborough, Guy Vasey, Michael Allerby

Work completed — Apr 2015

Best Awards Gold Pin Winner 2015
Judges' comments: A polished, immersive and highly art-directed marketing tool that charms through the use of unique, full-screen transitions. Its multiple navigation paths were never confusing, and the experience was perfectly weighted to entice viewers to see the associated exhibition.


Our approach was to co-create and collaborate strongly with museum curators, content creators and Weta, who was responsible for the physical exhibits. We developed an IA, design treatment and navigation that enabled immersive cross platform usage, meeting a desire for bite-sized-information and clarity on a significant piece of New Zealand’s history.

A major challenge at launch was to avoid ‘giving the game away’ about the exhibit’s main attraction, the giant Weta sculptures. We adopted a design principle of ‘the magic is in the detail’ to tease and intrigue.

A further challenge was to create a way for users to navigate through the rich content in a way that was new, meaningful and intuitive. With a broad audience range, two navigational options were created to cater for the more adventurous, app-savvy younger audience, with a more linear approach for others. Content has been designed to roll out over the length of the nine month Gallipoli campaign as it occurred, creating opportunities for regular re-engagement along the way.