Welcome to our new site! We’ve built it to grow with the museum and are continuing to work on functionality and design, creating an inclusive user experience, for the benefit of all.
With the new site, we’re streamlining navigation and making it easy to find what matters to you by offering personalized searches, including in-depth access to publications and media. We’re offering innovative tool sets using AI to drive engagement with the collection. We’re also making membership fun, offering convenient dashboard views for past purchases and flexible monthly payment plans.
Rather than innovate for the sake of innovation, we’ve created a contemporary website designed and built for the future, so it can grow alongside the museum. The site is constructed to reflect the excellence of the museum and elevate the user experience for all our virtual visitors. The site has also been built with a component-based structure that allows us to be nimble and flexible, combining data sources that the museum has developed internally, such as the Collection API with third-party platforms like Tessitura and the Open Source Content Management System Drupal. These data sources and products are knit together in a flexible way so they can continue to evolve with the museum without requiring a technical redesign. This extends beyond the design to ensure that every page and feature is fully perceivable and operable for multiple modalities, while maintaining robust functionality. With a focus on simplicity and ease of navigation, we’ve corralled a wealth of information and resources into three key pathways, “Art,” “Visit,” and “What’s On,” that will guide users through the museum’s offerings in a truly meaningful, useful, and easily navigable way.
We prioritized usability, accessibility, and inclusive design from the project’s inception. We partnered with accessibility firm Prime Access Consulting to ensure we incorporated accessibility best practices as we built the site. This includes requiring alt text for all images added to the site’s back end; graphic, typographic, and contrast affordances throughout the design; appropriate labeling; and developing suitable functionality for use both with and without screen readers. Regardless of ability or mode of exploring the site, our design also focuses on simplifying your experience and making it easy to find what you are looking for.
Already known for its exceptional functionality and depth of information, Collection Online now offers even more information from our collection databases. This is the entry point to the entire collection, for scholars and art enthusiasts alike. We are now introducing a comprehensive collection API (Application Programming Interface) integration that automatically updates information from the collection and image databases, exhibition-related content, and conservation images and content. Displaying all our objects and sharing up to 36 fields of metadata, as well as offering conservation images, is the next logical step to our mission and exemplifies what a free museum should be offering online.
Additionally, each art detail page in Collection Online now has a section of AI-provided “Visually Similar Artworks,” which shows a grouping of artworks that share visual similarities between the work in question, demonstrating how formal qualities such as line, color, form and shape, value, and texture can unite artworks that otherwise might seem disparate from each other.
There are more opportunities to become a member woven throughout the site. We’ve made it easier to join than ever before, including offering monthly payment plans. Now members can join and begin receiving benefits immediately but choose whether they want to pay all at once or over the course of the year in 12 monthly installments. Members can also set their membership to renew automatically.
The new site has been designed to showcase the wide breadth and quality of all our on-site offerings at the CMA, ensuring that each special event, tour, lecture, exhibition, and class is prominently featured for all to discover and access. Our press releases, publications and media, historical exhibitions, deaccessioned art, events, and exhibitions are contained in searchable, filterable locations. Additionally, the site’s general search feature offers more robust filtering and search capabilities.
CMA’s award-winning digital team, and the supporting cross-departmental team, partnered with the following vendors: