I've been lucky enough to have worked on a couple of gallery and museum sites in my career. They're fun, they're big, and they're nice and visual. Many of these institutions take forever to update their sites. It's a big job no doubt, but when your functionality and graphic style starts to get very dated it's frustrating for us visual designers and ux people to see. I like to quickly reimigine sites like these and on browsing through the Met site I saw a challenge in a very old site with all the markings and UX desicions that were valid many years ago and maybe don't have so much relevance today. So I tweaked it a little.

The current state of affairs


This is what it is. A site that was probably the pinnacle of tech excellence, UX flair, visual prowess and an IA's wet dream...when it was built. Fact is that with all the rapid developments that have occured in a short space of time, the way these sites can be presented, can work, and can be managed and maintained is worlds away from where we were in the 90's which, by the looks of it, is when this site was done.

"Look, all navigation needs to be accessible above the fold!" they said in a past life. This has all the halmoarks of being in this era. Many options and elements jammed in at the top with many many revealed in large dropdowns. I'd love to go in and figure that stuff out but honestly there are so many factors behind it that would take dissecting it's not worth it right now so I'll leave it as is. Really someone needs to take a look at where the traffic goes and how people approach the site in order to find what they want and rebuild that whole architecture.

They do give you a nice header space to play with and promote things but it is done in a very crammed way. Probably needed to fit above the fold of a 640x480px browser, right? Well they don't really exist anymore so there. Give it room, as much as it can have, and have the page adapt around it.

The content is a patchwork of copy block with some visuals thrown in to add a little space but the result is it all melds together. Nothing really stands alone and important information you know people will be looking has to be tracked down in amongst less important and surely less trafficked areas.

So I loosely took the branding and applied some thinking


Visual punch, flexibility, and organization that I don't think would take rocket science to implement


The Caveat

This is just a concept. I don't know the nuances of the Met and how the structure of the organization would influence a project like this, it's just one I'd love to get mixed up in for a while and bring some design thinking to. Without concerning myself with the business goals, sifting through the data of site traffic, or discecting the brand, it's relatively easy to throw together a nice looking visual. This was just knocked up in under a day purely as something to keep the visual design wheels turning with something real to apply that thinking to. Now if anyone knows anyone at the Met who might be interested in a site design THEN we could do some real magic.