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Kathleen Maloney/Stephanie Pau, SFMOMA, writers
Patrick Newberry, associate creative director
Kevin Farnham, chief creative officer
Alex Kaplinsky/Manny Tan/Guillermo Torres, programmers
Tim Svenonius/John Weed, SFMOMA, technical leads
Leo Ballate, SFMOMA, technology director
Stephanie Pau, SFMOMA, editor
Tana Johnson/Tim Svenonius, SFMOMA, producers
Peter Samis, SFMOMA, executive producer
Tana Johnson/Deborah L. Schafer, SFMOMA, project managers
Method/SFMOMA, project design and development
SFMOMA, client

"This piece really does make sense of Modern art by allowing access into a world that can, at times, be elusive. It accomplishes this artfully by providing an awe-inspiring breadth of context for each work inside an information architecture that helps people to make connections." —juror Melissa Haworth

"Because it's vastly different than assuming a user sitting at a computer, designing location-based media requires a unique sense of context. This site opens its audience up to the world of modern art by engaging it in so many ways at once." —juror Jeffrey Veen

Overview: Consolidating thirteen previous multimedia features, this new kiosk system puts all of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art's multimedia resources within a three-click reach of its visitors. Intelligent filtering makes it easy to find what you're looking for, even if you don't know an artist's name or the title of an artwork.

• Video delivered in FLV format
• Hosted on Windows 2003 server running IIS v6 and SQL 2K
• 16 person team, 1-year development time
• Dynamic content filtering

Comments by Peter Samis:
"The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) had developed ten years of award-winning educational multimedia features about modern and contemporary art which were all presented in the Museum's new Koret Visitor Education Center. Yet after observing visitor use patterns, we found that people didn't know how to pick and choose.

"We resolved to create a unified interface that federated the content from all thirteen programs through a single portal with three simple menus: Artworks, Artists and Interactive Features. It required analyzing and atomizing all the deep content that we'd produced up to that point. The challenge was compounded by the variety of legacy programs. Most were in Flash, but some were in HTML and still others had been produced in Apple Media Tool, a relic from the mid-'90s. Some parts were served over a LAN, others via the Web, while still others were drawn from a local drive and some used QuickTime video, others used FLV. The interface had to pull from each, without users suspecting or noticing the difference.

"The new look, crafted by Method, Inc. created an elegant and engaging space in which the Museum's interactive features could play 'under a single roof.' Though the technical challenges were many, a seamless new interface emerged in which internal animations added a sensory-rich dimension to the mere act of exploring and selecting.

"We hope that the upcoming generation of interface designers of search engines and federated databases take note: Resource discovery and finding aids don't have to be dry, they can be as creative and immersive as we can imagine them."


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