A new website with a custom interface to the museum’s digital collection and a library of educational resources for educators drives a whole new level of engagement for visitors , whether they’re online or in person.
Often referred to as the crown jewel of the Queen City of Cincinnati, the Cincinnati Art Museum (CAM) plays a crucial role in encouraging economic growth, educational excellence, and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans.
With an unparalleled collection of more than 65,000 works spanning 6,000 years, the museum generates exciting, thought-provoking, and memorable encounters with art, promoting the idea that art isn’t something distant or foreign, but something that touches our lives every day – something with the power to change how we view the world and ourselves.
While visiting CAM in person creates these encounters and sparks genuine engagement and connection, the museum’s website fell far short of creating similar engagement. The site wasn’t mobile-friendly, making it difficult for many users to navigate effectively – a significant issue given that the majority of Internet access now occurs through mobile devices. The CAM team also needed to drive attendance (both online and in-person) and provide online access to its collection for an engaging experience for users regardless of how they visit.
The Sanger & Eby team worked in partnership with the CAM team, utilizing input from community partners and the public to re-imagine the experience, creating an elegant and streamlined experience that not only beautifully showcases CAM’s collections, but also draws visitors into the site to explore programs and offerings and drive attendance.
A custom console utility retrieves data updates from CAM’s digital media warehouse solution, Piction, so CAM’s collection can be displayed in a continually updated digital art gallery on the site – providing a whole new way to interact and engage with the museum for online visitors.
Sanger & Eby implemented the Umbraco open-source content management system (CMS) to enable the CAM team to easily update site copy and images without the need for an in-house website development team, helping CAM keep its site current while managing ongoing costs effectively – a critical need for any non-profit.
Improved navigation, intuitive design, a flexible and extensible events calendar, and accessibility help connect more people with art – with a special focus on teachers and students. Elegant new tools provide resources for educators – including more than 300 cross-curricular classroom resources housed in a searchable database.
The website launched in March 2016 to widespread acclaim and international news coverage.
Museum Louis and Louise Dieterle Nippert Director Cameron Kitchin says “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.”
Listen to Sanger & Eby's Jeff Webster and Cincinnati Art Museum's Nicole Kroger discuss this innovative project on the Responsive Web Design Podcast with Karen McGrane and Ethan Marcotte!