Connecting the community to art

Cincinnati Art Museum’s responsive website and interactive gallery drive a new level of engagement for visitors, whether they’re online or in person.

Challenge

With an unparalleled collection of more than 65,000 works spanning 6,000 years, visiting the Cincinnati Art Museum (CAM) in-person generates exciting, thought-provoking, and memorable encounters with art. However, CAM’s website fell far short of creating similar engagement and did not aid in driving traffic into the physical space. The website wasn’t mobile-friendly, making it difficult for nearly half of their site visitors to navigate effectively.

CAM was not able to easily maintain their site internally, which is critical for a nonprofit museum with frequently changing collections, shows and event to manage costs. CAM also needed the new website to seamlessly integrate Piction, their digital image management system that housed all works of art along with related data such as copyright information, on a regular and timely basis.

And with the role the Cincinnati Art Museum plays in educating and enriching the community, it was crucial that the website be an intuitive resource for teachers and students.

Services:

Content Inventory Information architecture development User experience planning Responsive website design & development CMS implementation Google site search implementation Integration services Custom application development

Cincinnati Art Museum’s responsive website and interactive gallery drive a new level of engagement for visitors, whether they’re online or in person.

Services:

Content Inventory Information architecture development User experience planning Responsive website design & development CMS implementation Google site search implementation Integration services Custom application development

Challenge

With an unparalleled collection of more than 65,000 works spanning 6,000 years, visiting the Cincinnati Art Museum (CAM) in-person generates exciting, thought-provoking, and memorable encounters with art. However, CAM’s website fell far short of creating similar engagement and did not aid in driving traffic into the physical space. The website wasn’t mobile-friendly, making it difficult for nearly half of their site visitors to navigate effectively.

CAM was not able to easily maintain their site internally, which is critical for a nonprofit museum with frequently changing collections, shows and event to manage costs. CAM also needed the new website to seamlessly integrate Piction, their digital image management system that housed all works of art along with related data such as copyright information, on a regular and timely basis.

And with the role the Cincinnati Art Museum plays in educating and enriching the community, it was crucial that the website be an intuitive resource for teachers and students.

Various screens of Cincinnati Art Museum's responsive website
Exterior view of the Museum
Close up of gallery search tool and results
Exterior view of the Museum and Statue
WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY

“Through our digital strategy, we now bring art and scholarship into everyone’s mobile device, home, and workplace. The museum’s new website provides a user-oriented experience and new research capabilities so we can better share the story of art – past, present, and future.”

– Cameron Kitchin, Louis and Louise Dieterle Nippert Director of the Cincinnati Art Museum

Strategy 

The Sanger & Eby team worked in partnership with the CAM team, utilizing input from community partners and the public, to re-imagine CAM’s website experience. This input was harnessed into a responsive website with intuitively reorganized content and a streamlined navigation.

Using smart design thinking, we elevated the digital space to beautifully showcase CAM’s collections and encourage visitors to explore programs and offerings and drive attendance.

We implemented Umbraco, an open-source content management system (CMS) to enable the CAM team to maintain the site internally.

We developed a custom console utility to retrieve data updates from Piction so CAM’s collection can be displayed in a continually updated digital art gallery on the site. This solution provided a whole new way to interact and engage with the museum for online visitors. Copyright management functionality ensured that copyrighted works are protected and that zooming and downloading functions are disabled, while works in the public domain are available for image download.

The new site had a special focus on teachers and students, providing more than 300 cross-curricular classroom resources housed in a searchable database.

CAM's new feature to search online collections

Tech stack

The following languages and platforms were used to bring this project to life:

Languages

HTML5
CSS

Frameworks/tools

ASP.NET
.NET MVC
MS SQL Server
Bootstrap
jQuery
jQuery UI

CMS

Umbraco CMS

APIs/integrations

Google Analytics
Piction Digital Image System integration

Results

The website launched to widespread acclaim and international news coverage, and has helped drive a new level of success for the Cincinnati Art Museum. Attendance is up more than 30%, and the Museum continues to build attendance and expand community support.

The new site helps connect more people with art while the educational focus allows teachers to bring art into the classroom and help new generations connect with art.

Umbraco and the Piction integration have reduced the amount of time the website team spends maintaining the site while greatly reducing maintenance costs.

 

Do you have difficulty maintaining your website? We can create a custom solution that is simple for you to maintain. Let’s talk!