The Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center enjoyed explosive growth through their groundbreaking research, robust artist-in-residence program, and masterful curation. Before long, their static website was no longer enough to keep pace, and the question loomed: how do you organize a body of work that goes out of its way to defy description?
As the lead developer for the reimagined EMPAC website, I was ready for the challenge.
The project began with a full accounting of EMPAC's extensive archive of events and works, along with any supporting content to be made available on the Web. In collaboration with EMPAC's Director of User Experience Design and curatorial team, this content was meticulously ordered and organized in ways that centered on context rather than content, with a preference for letting each work speak for itself.
As any revisions or gaps in content were filled, the new website was architected and built from the ground up to support this method of organizing content, while integrating it fully with the institutional events calendar. Meanwhile, the servers were also completely overhauled to support the new platform, becoming the foundation of an experience that was even faster than the one before.
With the launch of the new EMPAC website, revenue from online ticketing grew by 26%. Thanks to the mobile-friendly redesign of the website, mobile engagement had also grown by a stellar 48%. What's more, through improvements to the process of crafting and maintaining the website, EMPAC was able to save over $1 million in the process, paving the way for even bigger and bolder improvements in the years following.
By focusing on the mobile experience first and being thoughtful about how best to present an unorthodox body of work, EMPAC produced a website harmonizing art and technology, for an organization doing the same.