Screenshot of BalboaPark.org homepage

BalboaPark.org

Providing San Diego locals and tourists alike with the information they need to enjoy San Diego's Crown Jewel.
Visit Site
  • Client:
    Visitors to Balboa Park
  • Services:
    Design, Development, Information Architecture, Management
  • Funder:
    Legler Benbough Foundation

BalboaPark.org is the main source of information for all things Balboa Park. With detailed content about the Park itself, its 27+ museums and cultural institutions, and its many events, the site helps tourists and locals alike plan their visits. In 2016-17, BPOC led an effort to redesign and modernize the website, helping it live up to its reputation as the online destination for one of the world's largest urban cultural parks.

BPOC is proud to manage BalboaPark.org, the online destination for all things Balboa Park. In 2016, the site was over six years old, not optimized for mobile, and in need of an upgrade. With funding from the Legler Benbough Foundation, the BPOC team embarked on an extensive redesign process.

Dedicated to the principles of User Experience/User Interface design, BPOC began by seeking input from the website’s many stakeholders, including Park visitors and experts, inviting them to participate in a card-sorting exercise, a type of formative evaluation, where participants categorize information in ways that make the most sense to them. The card-sorting results helped the BPOC team develop an information infrastructure that properly addressed user behaviors and expectations.

Card sorting exercise

BPOC designers used the information from card-sorting along with knowledge of industry best-practices, and a new more unified Balboa Park brand, to create a fresh and modern design for the site. The site's use of hero images takes advantage of the Park's inherent beauty. While the design is all 21st-century, it also hints the Park’s rich history with fonts and flourishes that recall the Park’s rise to prominence during the 1915 Panama-California Exposition. The site incorporates a redesigned Balboa Park map, also included on Balboa Park Information Kiosks, in a way that promotes unity and minimizes confusion over way-finding. The site was built in Drupal 8 and includes a custom integrated calendar built with Javascript. The site is responsive and can flex to fit all screen sizes and device types.

Balboa Park Map

For the most part, the site contains the same information as before, but is now easier to navigate and explore. An improved calendar experience makes planning a weekend easier. A new feature, Itineraries, gives visit recommendations around different themes and represent the precursor to BPOC’s Lost in Balboa Park project. The redesign of BalboaPark.org better meets users’ needs, improves visitors’ Park experiences, and creates a more cohesive vision of Balboa Park.