Representing Dutch Art in the US
Innovative Website Design of Museum Collections
Time: 2022 Fall
Team: Xiaofan Ye
Role: UX Researcher/Designer
Tool: Figma, UX Research Methods
1 Lack of Overview of Dutch Art Collections in US
Dutch Art collections exist at many museums, large and small, in private collections and at other sites in the US. However, it is currently impossible to obtain a comprehensive overview of, let alone digital access to all holdings of Dutch art in the US.
2 Seeking for An Example of an Innovative Online Collection
Compared with museum spaces which offer users more interactive experiences, current museum collection pages fail to attract users by creating such an interaction. By using this project of Dutch art in the US as an example, we aim for creating an innovative online collection platform by learning from physical museum spaces while developing a unique virtual experience.
How might we create an innovative online collection of Dutch art in the US ?
Customized Design Unique to Dutch Collections across US
Enabling Easy Update for More Collections
Serving as the Online Platform to Connect to Original Museum Websites and Physical Museum Spaces
Creating Easy Navigation and Customizing Personalized Collections
Scholars of Dutch Art
Interested General Public
Research and Design Process
Harvard Art Museum
allows users to create their collections of artworks and browse images of similar color palettes
homepage gallery view, which is different for each user based on the user’s search habits and preferences
Harvard Art Museum
a clear visual hierarchy, minimum use of colors and emphasize content
General Audience: 4 groups of visitors at Harvard Art Museum
Artists/ Scholars: Art Student Yuan Lin, Talitha Schepers Stanley H. (Durwood Foundation Curatorial Fellow), Clemens Ottenhausen (Renke B. and Pamela M. Thye Curatorial Fellow in the Busch-Reisinger Museum)
Museum Technology Team: David Nuñez (Director of Technology & Digital Strategy of MIT Museum)
Client/MFA: Christopher D.M. Atkins (Director of MFA’s Center for Netherlandish Art)
(What People Do)
(How much/How many)
(What People Say)
USER AFFINITY MAPPING
Reason to use website
Difficulties and challenges
For the design process, we first explored interface ideas on sketches. We did iterations about different ways of displaying collections and tested in Figma to make low-fidelity wireframe prototypes. Finally, we created high-fidelity prototypes in Figma to display both interface design and user interaction flows.
Our idea is to utilize text analysis to visualize data for the mind map view. First, we extracted data from different museum websites and collected them into one datasheet. The categories include artwork name, author, location, original museum, classification, medium or technique, date, etc. After preparing the dataset, we tested several online tools for data visualization. Finally, we landed on InfraNodus.
Two Featured Interfaces
The homepage has three main featured views: gallery, map, and mind map.
Gallery view enables users to explore Dutch artworks more freely. By integrating a timeline into the map view, users can explore Dutch artworks by filtering dates and visually see the distribution of works in the United States on a map. Besides, a mind map view with keywords and themes about artworks can help users to understand the relationship among those artworks.
Single Work Display Page
Regarding single work display, the interface design integrates the split screen idea.
On the left side of the interface, users would see a picture of the artwork with basic information. In contrast, on the right side, several tabs allow users to click on, for instance, introduction, exhibition view, story, related works, publication, and other information. Compared to the traditional interface of making users continuously scroll down to check available information, in this way, users can always see the still image on the left side and explore more information on the right side.
* Journey Map
gallery, map, and mindmap views
Individual Work Page
introduction, exhibition view, story, related works, publication, other information
gallery and map views