In 2017, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) Australia tapped Pollen to completely redesign their website.
Their website, home to their collection of more than 400 digitised works from over 300 artists, was outdated and they wanted a new platform that engaged new and existing audiences with contemporary art, artists, stories and ideas.
After our initial project context session, we dove into a series of interviews and co-design workshops with the MCA’s stakeholders, audience, members, digital team, content team and Artist Advisory Group. Here, we developed a deep understanding the role the new website needed to play, and the jobs it needed to perform for its business and users.
At this stage, I was also responsible for conducting a current-state site review, analytics review and competitor review, generating key insights that would inform the strategic directions of the new site.
Taking our learnings from discovery, we defined a key set of principles that reflected the goals and desires of the MCA. The new website needed to:
With the MCA happy with this direction, we then worked closely with the team to create an extensive product roadmap that detailed the requirements and goals for the new platform.
I was then tasked with taking the product roadmap and translating it into a system of flexible modules and page templates that could be used consistently across the site for a wide range of content purposes.
With such a varied audience, the MCA website needed to house a diverse range of programs, projects and content - everything from ‘ARTBAR’ to ‘Art & Dementia’.
To ensure we met all these needs, we allocated key jobs-to-be-done against each individual page template and module we delivered.
This project also saw the development of the “wireframework”, a Sketch-based solution for creating low to medium fidelity component-based wireframe systems using a single symbol block. Using the wireframework, I was able to create and combine blocks into symbols that could be used to quickly build out entire pages.
At Pollen, Ross, Evan Bohringer and Brett Walsh were responsible for the concept and overall design of the new website. Evan worked closely with the MCA’s design team throughout the project to establish a visual language fit for the web, and create a unique experience in the spirit of the museum’s forward thinking brand and reputation.
Throughout the project, I worked closely with design, development and content teams to help meet the goals of the project. I also helped solve a number of UX challenges that presented throughout the process:
The entire experience was designed to empower users to discover the breadth and depth of content that the MCA has to offer. We designed a range of ‘discovery modules’ that would house thoughtfully-curated content to encourage deeper exploration of the MCA website.
The site search also furthers discovery and exploration, helping users find their way across the site while deepening their engagement with the subject of their search.
The MCA had a number of different ways to represent exhibitions, events, recurring events and event series. I designed how events should be handled and displayed, enabling users to browse multiple dates of the same event and book from a single event page.
The MCA were keen to push “best practices” and implement bold interactions. The site’s mega menu, for instance, took cues from the museum’s cutting-edge facade. Although innovative, the unique design meant we couldn’t rely on more standard sub-navigation patterns. I devised new secondary and sub-navigation patterns that were used across the website.