Skip to main content

Speedy museum website is a design delight

London’s Wellcome Collection (opens in new tab) is one of the top picks in our Designers' Guide to London (opens in new tab). A museum of medical artefacts and artworks, it calls itself 'the free destination for the incurably curious' – and its new, responsive website has the same attitude.

Developed by the Collection's in-house team, the site promotes installations, events and publications, along with some exclusive digital content, including games. Feeling inspired? Grab yourself a website builder and make your own.

The site is built on Drupal, which led to some challenges. Developer Gareth Estchild says, "Drupal is a bit notorious for getting it to spit out what you want. The backend developers replicated the code from our HTML templates, which means we’ve been able to achieve good semantic markup."

Quick to load

The layout relies heavily on JavaScript: jQuery, jQuery UI and the AmplifyJS components library are in place to generate the common page elements, while Masonry is used to lay out the flexible grid.

Performance and findability were obviously foremost considerations in building the site: it's very quick to load even on low-bandwidth mobile data connections, and key information such as the address and gallery visiting times are present on every page.

UX designer Eleanor Ratliff adds, "Simple little things, like flagging clearly on the listing pages when an event is fully booked, address some big user frustrations."

Words: Peter Gasston (opens in new tab)

Peter Gasston is a veteran web developer who now works as a technologist and frontend lead at rehabstudio. He’s the author of The Book of CSS3 and The Modern Web.

Like this? Read these!

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

The Creative Bloq team is made up of a group of design fans, and has changed and evolved since Creative Bloq began back in 2012. The current website team consists of six full-time members of staff: Editor Kerrie Hughes, Deputy Editor Rosie Hilder, Deals Editor Beren Neale, Senior News Editor Daniel Piper, Digital Arts and Design Editor Ian Dean, and Staff Writer Amelia Bamsey, as well as a roster of freelancers from around the world. The 3D World and ImagineFX magazine teams also pitch in, ensuring that content from 3D World and ImagineFX is represented on Creative Bloq.