The Centaur Memorial Fund for Nurses (CMFN) was established in 1948 to honour those who died on the 14th of May 1943 when the Australian Hospital Ship (AHS) Centaur, with 332 medical personnel and merchant seamen on board, was torpedoed and sunk off Southeast Queensland by a Japanese submarine. The sinking of AHS Centaur was a war crime as the hospital ship was registered with the Red Cross and the Japanese government had been notified of her status. Of the 64 survivors, the only nurse to survive, Sister Ellen (Nell) Savage, was awarded the George Medal for her courage and heroism. The CMFN is a living memorial to that tragedy and today provides scholarships and awards to Queensland nurses in order to advance their professional development through education and research. This exegesis discusses a web-enhancement project that set out to modernise the CMFN website by augmenting the site’s content and redesigning the site’s aesthetic, User Interface (UI), User Experience (UX) and Information Architecture (IA) based on targeted usability testing. In addition the site aims to inform and engage current nurses (and those considering nursing as a career) about both the history of the Centaur and the opportunities provided by the fund. The redesign included the recording and presentation of brief oral histories in the form of video testimonials of important persons influential within the fund. Oral histories are a communication paradigm that link people to their culture, cultural change and history. Web-based oral histories and, by association, video testimonies, cross the boundaries of linear and nonlinear communication that are difficult to traverse with any other media form. However, in terms of the instantaneous nature of the Internet, many formal, web-based oral histories are slow-paced and often only of interest to historians and researchers. By investigating how to most effectively redesign a website aesthetic, UI, UX, IA and record and present video testimonies that are targeted to online general site visitors, this project seeks to answer the question: what creative strategies are best suited to the development of an organisation’s website and online corporate identity, when that organisation exists as a living memorial to an historical tragedy?
Submitted in the fulfilment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Creative Arts, University of the Sunshine Coast, 2016.