Human connection through art and culture
Getty is an arts and culture force. With two stunning locations visited by nearly two million people each year, an impressive art collection of nearly 125,000 objects, and highly prestigious research, conservation, and philanthropic programs, the organization’s reach is vast. However, an outdated and cumbersome digital experience did not reflect the institution’s multifaceted nature and limited both user engagement and organizational efficiency.
Getty partnered with AREA 17 for a multiphase engagement to create a new, scalable digital platform. In this first phase, we’ve focused on uniting the organization’s expansive art, knowledge and resources into a cohesive and compelling set of introductory landing pages.
Through these initial pages we’ve laid the foundation to continue shifting the full experience towards a user-centered approach while at the same time taking a terrific first step towards realizing Getty’s mission of inspiring deeper curiosity and understanding through the arts.
The Getty’s digital content footprint is huge. Across four programs and a distinct publishing arm, the opportunities for users to engage with arts and culture are endless. From online exhibitions and arts databases to deeply-researched reports and open-source tools – our primary challenge was one of breadth.
Our first step was to consolidate this wide and expansive content offering into a streamlined site navigation that transitions the organization away from internally-driven silos and towards an integrated experience that makes it easier for users to find, browse, and engage with content.
The best product experiences are a reflection and embodiment of a brand’s values. For us, this meant building on the work of our collaborators — Studio Scott who redesigned the visual identity and design language and Two by Four who refocused Getty’s brand strategy. With this foundation in place we sought to create a digital experience wholly animated by Getty’s guiding purpose: to advance and share the world's visual art and cultural heritage for the benefit of all.
Throughout our engagement, we were encouraged by the Getty team to create an experience that was as open and accessible as it was evocative and expressive. The spacious and airy design takes visual cues from the iconic Getty Center in Los Angeles, while a highly legible type system aims for ultimate clarity. By infusing bold colors and unexpected moments of encounter with Getty’s art, we’ve also sought to create a sense of surprise and delight. The end result is an experience that truly brings to life Getty’s spirit of generosity and inventive nature.
Our design system was created to be enjoyed and appreciated by all — including, perhaps most importantly, the Getty team. To ensure design integrity across multiple creators and channels we created a component-based library using Storybook.
By integrating plug-ins that expose documentation for each component, as well as utility features like knobs, tests, and accessibility reports we’ve made it easy for Getty to understand and own their new design system. And to ensure a smoother workflow for content creation and display, we built a custom front-end application in Vue.js — using a Nuxt.js framework for server side rendering — that facilitates seamless integration between a decoupled Contentful CMS and our front-end component library.