More Art for More People

Mid-America Arts Alliance (M-AAA) is an arts-related nonprofit operating in partnership with local organizations in Arkansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas.

The M-AAA was looking to update their separate websites to better integrate with their operations, and needed a family of websites that were far easier to manage than their previous incarnations. The previous sites were difficult to update, prone to security issues, and didn’t effectively position M-AAA as the great organization that they truly are.

Challenges

  • Multiple logins for websites (one for each)
  • Uninteresting, mostly text-driven pages
  • Difficulty updating pages, buggy CMS
  • No integration with organizational workflow
  • Sites existed independently of one another – no easy way of jumping between sites, either for admins or for the users

Solutions

  • Single backend for all sites (WordPress Multisite)
  • Bring art and people front and center through use of large, colorful photos
  • Modular page design and backend to allow for easy arrangement of text content and images
  • New availability forms designed to notify staff when someone is interested in booking an exhibition
  • New calendar to show upcoming events and dates for traveling exhibitions
  • “Explore the M-AAA Network” feature for users to jump back and forth between family of websites

Familiar design across all sites

M-AAA, ExhibitsUSA and NEH on the Road are all based on a similar, responsive template template, with subtle changes to color and layout to differentiate each.

Improved User Interface and Experience

M-AAA’s new site features improved UI/UX and better use of photography.

Custom Icons

To fit with the M-AAA’s logo and visual identity, we developed a thorough set of UI icons with subtle rounded edges. Common icons such as map pins, directional arrows, hamburger menu and search were designed, in addition to custom social media and exhibition-specific icons.

Extraordinary Results

The redesign of the M-AAA website marked a dramatic positive change in traffic. When comparing pre- and post-launch Google Analytics data, we see that our redesign performed astoundingly well: overall sessions increased by a shocking 1901.5%, pageviews were up 2890.28% and the average time on site increased 14.81%. We also saw bounce rate fall a respectable 14.28%.

ExhibitsUSA

ExhibitsUSA is one of two traveling exhibition programs managed by M-AAA. ExhibitsUSA exhibitions create access to an array of arts and humanities experiences, nurture the understanding of diverse cultures and art forms, and encourage the expanding depth and breadth of cultural life in local communities. Founded in 1988, ExhibitsUSA annually offers more than 25 diverse art and humanities exhibitions to museums and other exhibiting institutions nationwide. Exhibitions run in five-week, seven-week, and ten-week increments, available at reduced rental fees.

The new website features a “film strip” style gallery for each exhibition, shows up-to-date availabilities and the ability to request booking dates via Gravity Forms.

NEH on the Road

Mid-America Arts Alliance developed NEH on the Road in 2003 in response to the demand by smaller museums and communities for high quality humanities programming that fit their spaces and budgets. Since its creation in 1965 through the National Foundation on the Arts and Humanities Act, the National Endowment for the Humanities has supported excellence in museum exhibitions and is the largest funder of humanities programs in the United States. In a cooperative agreement with the NEH, M-AAA manages all aspects of the exhibitions for touring, including design and rescripting of the exhibition, development of all educational programming materials, fabrication, booking, publicity, shipping, insurance, and objects maintenance.

Since 2005, NEH on the Road exhibits have traveled to venues across the United States. Each exhibition includes a compelling mix of artifacts, text, graphics, photographs, interactives, educational, and other community programming information.

Similar to ExhibitsUSA, the site features the same film-strip style image galleries and the ability to request booking availabilities through Gravity Forms.

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