Natural treasures and beauty with cohesion

With six national parks, fifty-eight marine parks and a botanic garden under its jurisdiction, Parks Australia needed an effective way to communicate each park’s distinct identity and establish a common visual language across all its web entities.

I worked directly with their team to design page templates and modules to be used across all park websites. I also created an interface guide for structure and consistency.

Cover image: Eugenie Lai via Unsplash.

Welcome to the wild

Kakadu, Uluru-Kata Tjuta and Booderee are some of Australia’s most famous national parks and living treasures, with good reason. The Great Australian Adventure includes crossing off these iconic sites from an itinerant to-do list.

However, conditions change often and without notice in these rural environments. While signposts on the ground are great for when you’re there, there’s quite a lot of preliminary information to prep, such as knowing when sites and certain roads are accessible and the kinds of amenities to expect.

With the websites there was an opportunity to educate and prep travellers so as to prevent nasty surprises at a later stage.

↑ Above: Wireframes branched off from a wayfinding point of view. The focus was on clear communication and taking the potential visitors on a journey.
↑ Above: An interface guide was critical to this project; we designed upwards from UI details to ensure modularity. Seven locations with one point of signage, paired with satellite imagery and rich visuals to complete the story.

Let the stars our website guide you

Using the largest park, Kakadu, as the starting point, we mapped out information architecture that would later extend to the rest.

Gaining experiences and clear wayfinding were our North Star on the project — we absolutely wanted visitors to get lost in a good way.

Satellite maps were complemented with tourism photography to first give a good sense of the place, while interactive features drew on wayfinding tropes to familiarise visitors with their upcoming adventure.

↑ Above: The homepage funnels visitors into location-specific pages, where trip planners, site information and nearby facilities are displayed.

With the templates designed and built, it was time to roll out. My challenge here was retaining enough of the same while conveying their differences. Sort of like a tasting menu where one course builds on or complements another, and a theme can be discovered.

It was also a big responsibility to ensure the templates worked for their designated purposes, and were able to suit needs across different sites.

I feel super proud having worked on this project in my adopted home, and it is my hope that the parks can flourish and be seen by as many people as possible.

↑ Above: Style guides convey design flavour across the different sites and identities.