An initiative of the North Carolina Museum of Art, NCMALearn (formerly called ArtNC) helps teachers and students use art to break down the walls between the classroom and the outside world. The site connects art and artists with videos, lesson plans and other resources created for educators of various subjects and students of various age levels.
url: learn.ncartmuseum.org | completed: August 2017
Robust Related Content
Learning is fueled by curiosity, and the best educators are able to nurture it in their students. We endeavored to create a website that fed and encouraged curiosity through the exploration of the art of NCMA. To that end, we built a framework that allows NCMA to weave connections between different types of content on the site. Artists connect with artwork, artwork with video resources, video resources with lesson plans, and so on. This allows users to traverse the site laterally, following their curiosity and places each piece of content within the context of another.
Faceted Art Work and Lesson Plan Search
Another goal was to make the site a powerful, easy-to-use resource that educators and students would keep returning to—meaning that it had to be easy to quickly find content relevant to their goals. We built the content browsing pages with a faceted search, allowing users to narrow results by categories such as medium, region, concept, grade level, or subject.
Dynamic Thumbnail Cropping
Often the NCMALearn team will need to crop the images on the site in such a way that directs the viewer’s attention towards a specific area of the work. To meet this need, we implemented a custom cropping tool for the varying thumbnail images that allows for cropping of any and all thumbnail images on the site. This gives the team the flexibility to pick and choose which areas of large pieces of work they should focus on for each thumbnail use case, based on the instructions of a lesson plan or video.
Customized Page Templates
In looking at ways to design certain interior pages, it soon became clear that we would need to find a way to make the page adjust for varying lengths of content. Some works of art had large amounts of content, while others had only a sentence or two. To accommodate these variances in content, we built the pages so that the length of content dictates the page layout, changing from page to page to fill and balance out the space.
To save time entering and updating information for the many artists across the NCMALearn site, we built an integration withWikipedia that automatically pulls in the first bit of each artist’s description.
Swipe to view the original “before” site.
“Cuberis definitely stepped up to the challenge for our site re-design. They were committed to listening and responding to our audiences and our team from start to finish. We were lucky enough to get Cuberis on board to do a usability study prior to redesign which really helped them (and us) recognize and understand the needs of our current and future audiences. The systematic process they provide for each project provides the structure needed for clear communication and goal setting but with enough flexibility to let ideas flow and allow for creative solutions. Also they are really enthusiastic about new ideas which makes all the work that much more fun.”
Kristin Smith, Project Manager – NCMA Connects
North Carolina Museum of Art