BBM Designs

Code and Design. Creative solutions for unique ideas.


Smithsonian Institution: Human Origins Website and Exhibit

« back to project archives 

Role: graphic design, database design, MySQL/PHP programming, HTML/CSS, Javascript. Created custom CMS for managing data, content and user input from exhibits

About the Project:

Collaboration with the Richard Lewis Media Group on website + exhibit design and programming, for the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC.

Three of the exhibits that were developed for the Museum's Hall of Human Origins needed to be easily updated by Human Origins staff. Two programs deliver current science content and the third exhibit collects information from visitors that needs to be moderated before it is displayed at the gallery. BBM Designs designed a web-based CMS that provides Human Origins staff with the tools to manage all three exhibits. The custom CMS allows staff to easily add new text and images, edit exiting content, and moderate visitor input. 

A challenge for the “What’s Hot in Human Origins” program (which displays current Human Origins news) was making sure that staff inputting content could see exactly how it would display on the exhibit monitor without going out on the exhibit floor. BBM Designs created a WYSIWYG updater that allowed them to resize and crop images and control the flow of text on each screen.

The “What Does it Mean to Be Human” website is an extensive companion to the Human origins exhibit, and took over a year to develop, and was a collaboration between the Smithsonian, Richard Lewis Media Group, Civic Actions, and BBM Designs. BBM Designs oversaw and developed the overall design framework of the site and consulted on best practices for integration of interactive content into the site, as well as programmed/coded many of the interactive elements featured on the site. 

Screenshots - click for slideshow / larger view