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A new website for the Museum of Photographic Arts

Last week, the Museum of Photographic Arts launched its new website. For years I’ve felt that MOPA’s previous website didn’t capture the essence of the museum: a place that is known for its emphasis on community engagement, interactivity, and—of course— its incredible collection of photography.

My BPOC colleagues have been working on the Drupal-based backend of the site and I know that they and MOPA’s staff were very excited to make the new site available to the public. It has a much stronger emphasis on visitor engagement with features like a museum blog and MY MOPA, a section of the site that allows visitors to keep track of their favorite exhibitions and events and share their own photos with the MOPA community.

MOPA

I asked Kristine Page, MOPA’s marketing & communications manager, to answer a few questions about the process of launching the new site and how it fits into MOPA’s overall vision.

Have you ever been part of a site redesign before? What was the biggest challenge? This was my first site redesign. I really enjoyed the process and learned so much along the way. The biggest challenge from my perspective was making decisions about how to best organize content in a way that makes sense from the visitor's perspective, not just from the museum's perspective.  We even took basic wire frames of the site to our atrium and asked visitors their opinions to ensure that the site was designed for our visitors.

What aspect of the site are you most excited about? I am personally most excited about the museum blog. Not only will it give all departments and MOPA staff a chance to share what's going on around MOPA from their point of view, but it will also give readers a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the museum that was formerly unavailable.

Websites always launch when there's more to do. What's one cool feature that will be developed during the next phase? There are two major features that are scheduled for upcoming launches. One is the MOPA Store page, which will be a huge upgrade for us and make e-commerce much easier and intuitive. The second would be the Permanent Collection page, which will allow visitors to not only look through our collection online, but engage with it.  Visitors will be able to see videos and listen to commentary on select photographs from our collection.  Educators will be able to access curricula, activity pages, and other resources related to a specific art work. It will be a great resource for students, educators, and photo enthusiasts.

What was the process for designing the new MOPA logo? Creating a new look for MOPA was an exciting process, and one that would not have been possible without the help of Don Hollis and his team. The process started by reviewing how MOPA views itself and how we want to be viewed. We brainstormed as a team, reviewed our mission and vision statements and reviewed nearly 15 different logo options and their applications over the course of several months. It was an extensive process, but luckily we had great support and enthusiasm from every member of our board and staff.

How do you think the new website and logo reflect MOPA's greater vision? The new logo and website really captures MOPA's energy and focus on film, photography and engaging our audience. We have embraced a gorgeous new color palette that reflects some of this vibrancy, while the new MOPA.org is a much more visually stimulating experience than our previous site. We are all about photography and the new website truly reveals that. Also, the new logo mark with the square above the "P" reference a camera's shutter and distinguishes us from all the other "Museums of..." Photography is really what sets us apart and our branding is now in line with that mission.

Anything else to add? In closing, I would be remiss without thanking some of the key players who made the rebranding and website possible. Many thanks to the entire BPOC team for taking our design and making it a reality, as well as the team at Hollis Brand Culture who created a new identity for where MOPA is at today. And the numerous staff who contributed the content, photographs, and assisted with the editing process.  In the meantime, check out the new MOPA.org and start sharing your photos by creating a My MOPA account (free!).