FLUID BUT SOLID – AWARDED WEBSITE
FOR THE ACADEMY
Finding balance between avant-garde and usability is like a tightrope walk. But our love for arts, creativity, and difficult UX puzzle solving makes this work a love work – awarded first prize in a prestigious marketing award.
Our largest arts institution needed a new website. And it should not only be fresh and reflect adequate values, but also serve dozens of different use cases, from the general public to staff, researchers and theorists, and of course students and applicants.
Open the box, dump all the puzzle pieces on the carpet, and build according to the brand-new structure. And along the way, don't forget to get creative or check your data. In short - something like artistic research.
HALF ART, HALF... SURGERY
First, we had to take the entire body of the old site and cut it down to its very atoms...
What are the different use cases?
What user groups do they represent?
After a while, broader groups of web use began to emerge. We divided them into three areas, according to three most frequent target groups, from which the pillars of the new site evolved – study, academy, and program.
It's time to have some fun.
From the beginning, it was our intention to intertwine the values of a major art institution into its presentation. The first and obvious one is the art itself. The aesthetic message is already carried to a large extent by the original redesign by 20YY designers, with a "heart emoji" font and a well-found degree of freshness and looseness. The front page of the site then features a looped student video awarded the Rector's Award (the videos will rotate over time of course).
Visitors will get another portion of art during a virtual visit to the individual studios. Each has its own video, each has its own textual presentation that is quite deliberately not pushed into the same template. Just as the individual studios are different, so are their presentations.
* Other (great) temporarily shelved ideas included environmental “installation” that would write the level of air pollution into the visuality of the site, or gender-neutral text version of the site (which is not commonplace in Czech).
The site was from the beginning oriented towards mobile-only presentation. Apart from the visual appeal of structuring the site into a single central column (on the backdrop of which there was the space on the desktop for other videos or visual elements), this concept carried a clear message that the presentation format should match the current technologies.
Then again, the nature of the institution serving the general public prevailed and the site was finally enriched with a standalone desktop version. Listening to the diverse voices of AVU's needs was essential to us, and the site underwent extensive testing and feedback to confirm its structural functionality. Based on "the voice of the people", a popular switch to dark mode, for example, was also added.
The AVU website was most of all a collaborative project of the broad Brainz team with several freelancers, but also with important input directly from AVU. The website won first prize in the “UNIVERSITY” category of prestigious Fenix Content Marketing Awards – hooray for all the “artistic researchers” and collaborators!