The Art Student League

The oldest art institution in the US gets a new look

We redesigned The Art Students League's website on Webflow to be more user friendly.

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December 2022
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Greater is an invaluable partner to our internal marketing team. We’re a unique institution, and it’s important that we work with partners who understand us. Greater has provided the strategic insights we need to succeed in an evolved digital landscape. Their streamlined approach to creative has helped us refine and implement new brand standards seamlessly, and their understanding of organizational structure and strategy has been invaluable in crafting our consumer-facing digital experiences. When we face tight deadlines or big sprints internally, the Greater team is right there with us. It’s relief to know we can count on them to be as timely, focused, and efficient as we need them to be.

This was one of those partnerships that really allowed us to exercise every design muscle. The client team was energetic and eager to dive in with us on this colossal project to rewire the way the organization approached, organized, and used their core marketing site. Excited for all the updates still in the pipeline.

Supporting the Arts
Design System
Digital Strategy
User Experience
Web Design

The History

Founded in 1875, The Art Students League of New York is one of the oldest art institutions in the US. Born from the simple notion, that fine art education should be accessible to all. Although many artists study at The League full time, there are no degree programs or grades. The League has historically been recognized for its broad appeal to both amateurs and professional artists. Its legacy follows with the countless historically important artists that make up its alumni and instructors.

The Prompt

The Art Students League approached Greater with a sole desire – to make sense of their clunky and massive website.  Quickly into our discovery phase with them, we realized that this site was not designed with longevity in mind. Instead new pages were clearly added over the years with disregard to older ones, causing countless broken links and disorienting navigation; as well as page layouts that felt more like verbose word documents than an informative website.

The main form of navigation on the site was the search functionality, which told us everything about the user experience.  Our first step was to reorganize the information architecture of the site with an in-depth site map and feature list.

The Solution

As we dissected the site, it was revealed that the most important and most trafficked areas of the site were not necessarily the easiest to access. We proposed a plan of tackling the most important pages with a first phase iteration and then continuously roll out the secondary pages shortly after.

After the new site map was established, we quickly dove into the wireframing stage. This proved to be a critical moment in the process for the team at The Art Students League, as we introduced creative ideas to organize large catalogs of information and guide the user through the pages.  One key example of this, was the combination of events, exhibitions, and fundraisers on the site into one large calendar feature.  This calendar allows users to be able to see all the many events The League hosts in one place, in chronological order, making visiting The League much more approachable.

After the wireframing stage, we moved into creating the UI library.  For an institution like The League that values access and diversity with the highest regard, we felt it was important to ensure that the site followed the accessibility standards for colors and type.  Doing a dive into the color palettes provided by The League, we adjusted the palette accordingly to recognized color accessibility guidelines.

Once the guidelines were in place, we began the UI phase of the site design and ultimately translated those into the development of the site.

The Results

The final site created is one that can grow and evolve with The League for its next era. The launch of this site has re-energized the department heads around the potential of their digital experiences. We continue to work with the team at The Art Students League, helping to conceptualize new ways to expand the site to suit their ever growing needs.

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