You may have noticed that AGO.net, the website of the Art Gallery of Ontario, got a facelift today.
Following the launch of the previous look (in September ’08) we received a lot of feedback about how the website looks and acts. You sent us email and posted comments on this blog, and we commissioned a usability study to identify the main issues people were experiencing.
More colour. The most noticeable change is bolder use of colour. You told us you liked the color shards in the Bruce Mau-designed logo, so we incorporated that palette into the design as vertical strips. The blue band across the top brings the website closer to what you see on other AGO materials such as brochures and the Art Matters magazine.
Less scrolling. You told us there was too much white space and that pages were simply too long: The height of the navigation header at the top of each page has been reduced 45%, and the homepage has been substantially condensed.
Clarified navigation. You told us the navigation didn’t clearly indicate the hierarchy of pages within a section: This has been simplified. You told us you weren’t sure how to get back to the homepage: We’ve added a link.
We hope that these plus a handful of other tweaks make the site easier and more enjoyable to use.
The design was created in-house by the AGO’s New Media department, with feedback from the Design and Marketing departments. Our partners at Devlin eBusiness Architects provided technical support for the implementation and conducted the usability study on which it is based. Thanks guys!
This is only the beginning! More usability studies are in the works and we intend for this update to be the first of many. We are committed to continual improvement, listening to the feedback of our visitors and providing you with the best experience possible. Please help us by sending us your comments and feedback, either in the comments here or via email.