The Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) at MIT has played a key role in the computer revolution. Designing a website for the trailblazers at the largest research laboratory on MIT's campus was a great joy. Getting to hang out with robots—well, that was a bonus. The core challenge of this project was to establish a web experience that provides easy access to content about the lab's approximately 1,000 members; more than 100 principal investigators; and 50 research groups—each with their own spectacular projects, news, and publications.
Everything about CSAIL has a "wow" factor and their website design required as much. The homepage displays a 360-degree panorama of CSAIL's working and meeting spaces, overlaid with research topics that serve as entry points for the site visitor. We lovingly attended to each detail over numerous iterations, closely collaborating with the client to establish a design that reflects the inventive, ground-breaking, and profound work that they undertake each day.
researchers, including professors,research scientists, postdocs, PhDs, master's students and undergrads
CSAIL's disaggregated website landscape presented a particular challenge: to devise a construct where labs could retain their own sites, while centralizing key information on the CSAIL site. The new information architecture connects CSAIL's research, people, projects, and news via a more intuitive UX design that encourages deeper browsing and more page clicks. A smart search solution and deep filters support site visitors who have more specific goals.