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Holistic Digital Strategy

Denver, CO

Blue Dragonfly Labs worked with History Colorado to develop a ground-up business case and digital strategy to focus on their mission, bridge real-world programs with online learning and engagement, tap into compelling stories of their historic preservation grantees, and enhance the value of membership. 


Established in 1879, History Colorado is a 501(c)(3) and an agency of the State of Colorado under the Department of Higher Education. History Colorado is the trusted leader in helping people understand what it means to be a Coloradan—by sharing powerful stories, honoring the state’s treasured memories, and creating vibrant communities. History Colorado is made up of more than ten museums and historic sites, including the flagship museum, History Colorado Center, in Denver’s Golden Triangle Creative District. An award-winning tourist destination and a hub of learning and entertainment, the center houses core exhibits along with traveling exhibitions through its Smithsonian Affiliation. The History Colorado Center is also home to the Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation, State Historical Fund, and Stephen H. Hart Research Center—the portal to their entire collection.


Blue Dragonfly Labs worked with History Colorado during a multi-year contract to develop a holistic organization-wide digital strategy. Acting as an expert member embedded in the History Colorado digital communications team, we developed a ground-up business case and roadmap to focus on History Colorado's mission, bridge real-world programs with online learning and engagement, tap into compelling stories of their historic preservation grantees, and enhance the value of membership.


This process to guide high-quality technology and content development included BDL development of:


  • key success goals and metrics

  • user, stakeholder and landscape insights

  • strategic recommendations

  • business and functional website requirements

  • conceptual mock-ups

  • content CMS templates and metadata

  • vendor RFPs and scoring rubrics


Other select accomplishments included:

  • vendor bidder's conference and demos, proposal scoring, and selection

  • oversight of vendor design and development process

  • oversight of content design and development process


We also did substantial work to gain executive, board, and staff-wide buy-in and participation in the process.


Because the HC Communications team was small and had not gone through a digital redesign before, we leveraged the digital strategy consulting process as an opportunity to mentor and train staff to help substantially build the capacity of the History Colorado team and its resources. This included supporting the HC team in prioritizing its roadmap and a phased roll-out, developing funding strategies, negotiating with and managing vendors, developing a more dynamic site and creating efficient workflows to better balance strained staff resources, and collaborating with and coaching HC team members in their professional growth and project leadership.


The new History Colorado website is not only beautiful, but infused with their dual mission of educating the public about the history of the state of Colorado and also serving as the government agency responsible for historic preservation and archaeology in the state. It has a much improved user experience to plan visits, sign up for classes and tours, schedule a field trip, shop at the online store, access educational content, research their rich database of preservation and archaeology resources, apply for grants, get info about state preservation policies, read highlights of HC's fieldwork, rent their venue for events, and much more.

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