The Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) website is a living platform, designed to grow and evolve over time. The website serves many purposes including, but not limited to, an information directory, an events calendar, a programme listing, an online gallery collection including the National contemporary art collection, an archive, a learning resource, an editorial journal and a shop, all with the main purpose of connecting audiences and art. By bringing all of these distinct and varied strands together IMMA now has the opportunity to create a powerful interrelation of content and an immersive user experience.
Working closely with staff in IMMA we took a user-centred approach to the project. Over the course of a year we analysed submissions from over 350 users, members of the IMMA community and professionals. Followed by individual 1 on 1 prototype testing with over 40 users of varying backgrounds and abilities. This informed an iterative design process, culminating in the design of a scalable online platform.
The platform now stores over 20 years of legacy content and events. It incorporates the previously separate IMMA blog and is now fully integrated with the IMMA collection inventory system. The platform is designed to accommodate further integration of ticketing and commerce systems to come in phase 2 of the project.
The visual design puts the artwork first. A key concept in any layout displaying artwork is that the objects should never be constrained to any set proportion, always reproducing the source artwork as faithfully as possible. The non-artwork pages of the site are illustrated by photography shot by Matthew Thompson over the course of several onsite shoots. The photographs are composed to mimic the strong centreline prevalent in many of the layouts of the site. The site is also complemented by a suite of bespoke icons.
All of these strands combined are designed to put IMMA's digital presence on confident, adaptable footing ready to take on the challenges of the next 10 years.