institution: Museum of Contemporary Art Australia
category: Marketing and Promotion
MCA.COM.AU is a complete overhaul of the MCA’s website, replacing an existing site whose lifespan ran from 2012 to 2018.
The new site has three key objectives:
- to bring a range of voices and perspectives to our audience
- to declare and demonstrate the MCA’s core values; and
- to create a rich and interlinked experience for users.
We achieved these goals firstly by advancing clear design principles supported by appropriate technology.
Our main design principle is a disciplined simplicity that allows us to showcase the very strong visual assets the MCA produces, while de-cluttering text elements. The site is designed with modular elements that are reconfigurable within pages. For website users and editors, there is clarity and rhythm without repetition.
The site is supported by the powerful and flexible Django framework, and is rendered using React for a fast and modern experience.
Our key objectives are overlapping and reinforcing. We have achieved them through a combination of design, content and functionality that is shown to the user as soon as they use the site.
On a user’s first visit—regardless of which page they land on—they are shown an Acknowledgement of Country, which is a culturally significant recognition of the Aboriginal peoples who are the traditional owners of the land on which the MCA sits. This is a powerful declaration of one of the MCA’s core values, further demonstrated by the top-level navigation item ‘First Peoples of Australia’. This section of the site gathers information relating to our Aboriginal staff members, their work, and the organisation’s many programs for and commitments to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community in Australia.
The site contains a dynamic set of tools that allow all pages and content to be easily and strongly showcased across the site. In this manner, the content that is drawn into the ‘First Peoples of Australia’ section is not siloed. We can bring a range of perspectives and voices to our audience, and encourage fluent user-engagement driven by links between content.
We have used this approach across the site to demonstrate other key organisation values, including a commitment to accessibility, and a commitment to communicating the work of contemporary artists and their perspectives.