THE FRICK LIGHTBOX - A client-oriented project
DESCRIPTION: This project, also for the UX Design course at NYU, was created for an actual client - the Frick Collection, one of the finest art museums for Old Master European artwork. We were tasked with creating a “lightbox” feature with the following capabilities:
- Bring images from multiple sources onto one screen (the lightbox)
- Allow the user to overlay works of art in the lightbox
- Make annotations to images
- Zooming capabilities for comparison's sake
- Ability to export images/information
- Ability to invite others to collaborate
- Have metadata for the image pop up next to it when scrolled over
- Have a public, searchable archive
For this project, we wanted to focus on consolidating the various features required and streamlining the entire process into easy to follow options.
CLIENT INTERVIEWS: We began the process by sending various questions to Louisa Ruby, lead archivist for the Frick, in regards to clarifying her vision for the product as well as insight into the Frick’s current image analysis process. Her answers gave us insight into what kinds of details the archivists are looking at, what conclusions they are looking to draw, and what they would do differently with a digital tool as opposed to the analog methods they currently employ.
USER INTERVIEWS: We also interviewed a few people currently working in or studying art history, as well as a noted computer science professor at NYU. They were able to give us further details on their methods and processes, and how computers can be utilized in the image analysis process. We were able to learn a great deal through these interviews - the inside information greatly informed the product we ended up making.
COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS: We drew heavily from the Met’s image collection product, My Met. While there are plenty of image collection sites, including the Frick, there were very few programs that allowed users to compare images, particularly through overlays. Sites also had complicated, text-heavy organization, numerous unfamiliar icons, and too many windows. Essentially, the products currently available were all unfriendly to users.
PAPER WIREFRAMES: In our first iteration, we focused on the users’ ability to compare images and place them in certain contexts, according to their research.
USER TESTING: Through user testing our paper prototypes, we learned areas where we could streamline our product by combining pages and employing drop down menus instead of actual pages. We also got good feedback pertaining to our sense of navigation and how to handle guest and registered users.
INTERACTIVE WIREFRAMES: When putting together our interactive wireframes on Axure, we narrowed our features to focus on:
1. Search capabilities
2. Pulling images from various sources
3. Creating collections of images
4. Devising ways of organizing images to help users contextualize them
5. The Lightbox…of course
The printable presentation booklet for this project is here.