Frost Art Museum

The Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum was presented with a newly designed responsive website that caters to students, faculty, and to the city of Miami’s art community. It is a Smithsonian affiliated museum.

Project Overview

Established in 1977, the Frost Art Museum is recognized for its Latin American and 20th century American art. For South Florida, it is considered to be one of the best art museum's to visit and plays a critical role in the Miami art community and culture.

Our Digital Communications team had the privilege of working with the museum to redesign their website with the intent to better reflect the current branding of their museum as well as present feature artworks they exhibit year round.

Research & Discovery

To kick off the discovery phase, we needed to get a better understanding of what the museum had to offer, how much of a commitment the museum staff will have in updating their new site, and what the stakeholders expected from the project.

During our brainstorm conversations with the stakeholders, they made it clear that they wanted to emphasize the visuals of the art pieces and highlight the following areas:

  • Exhibitions

  • Events

  • More about the museum

  • Education

  • Museum Location

  • Free Admission
     

The museum’s audience is a bit different than our usual audience, as most of our past clients were colleges or departments. The museum attracts world renowned artists that exhibit their work. The audience for the museum ranges from grade school to university level students, as well as the local Miami art community. The goal of the museum’s digital presence is to entice everyone to learn about the arts.

Also, our team wanted to further evaluate where the Frost Museum lies amid other museums in the Miami area, as well as pinpoint other strengths and weaknesses that may have been overlooked in previous redesigns. I created a SWOT analysis which was invaluable in better understanding the museum’s potential.

Some of the key takeaways from the analysis were:

  • There is always something to see at the museum. The Frost Museum has a huge amount of artworks that they present year round. On average, they exhibit about 20-25 exhibits a year.

  • It has the potential to attract a huge student audience. FIU caters to at least 56,000 students year round.

  • The museum is located in the suburbs of Miami. This can be an advantage for residents that don’t like to drive far for the arts.

  • Miami is becoming more art-centric every day.

  • Many people are inclined to see the arts at the Frost’s location, but it has a lot of competition in the form of other museums that provide more amenities and better locations.

  • The website should provide a better experience on all platforms (mobile, tablet, desktop).

  • The museum admission is free.

Design

We began the conversation with the Frost stakeholders on how the functionality of the site will work. This included being able to agree on the type of content we needed in each area of the site, and what the calls to action needed to be.

Low Fidelity Sketches

Low-fidelity paper sketches were created first so that I can rapidly get a better idea on how the website will shape up to be. Later, I would replicate these paper sketches digitally via Omnigraffle so that we can hand them to the stakeholders.

Low Fidelity Wireframes for Mobile
Low Fidelity Wireframes for Desktop

High Fidelity & Design Changes

The process of creating high fidelity mockups went through few iterations due to change of leadership, and an increased amount of stakeholders wanting to be part of the project's direction.

High Fidelity Mockups - First iteration
High Fidelity Mockups - Further Iterations

Further mockups were created where colors, a decision on the logo, and other visual changes were done. 

New Additions & Enhancements

After a few weeks of turning over the development site for review, some additional enhancements were requested for the website which included:

  • A better filter interface for the exhibition gallery

  • A responsive calendar of events and exhibitions

Updated Filter Interface

A new filter interface was sketched and later created by our developers. The interface would help to navigate through the exhibitions page by current exhibitions, upcoming exhibitions, or by year as our stakeholders had requested.

Filter Interface - How it works

The following videos show how the filter interface works for mobile, and desktop platforms.

Responsive Calendar

A responsive calendar is the other addition that was needed for the website. The calendar is intended for the art community, and power users to view what exhibitions and events are going on. The final design was based on research from looking at other museum calendars and also an inspiring interaction done by Big Cartel.

The following are some rough sketches of ideas for the calendar:

How the calendar works:

Takeaways

The project had a few iteration of design changes including two new interfaces in order to get it ready for launch. Our team pulled off a great looking website that showcases the amazing amount of artwork that the Phillip and & Patricia Frost Art Museum brings.

http://frost.fiu.edu