Asian Art Museum

A forward thinking museum designs for the future

The Asian Art Museum Challenge

Design a beautiful website with an intuitive CMS

The Asian Art Museum’s website needed a makeover. Visually, the design did not align with the current brand. The website also had no CMS, making it difficult for employees to update exhibits and events without manually managing content and hand-coding html pages. Prior to working with Carbon Five, the Asian Art Museum built a microsite for each featured exhibition. This strategy worked in the short term yet failed to create a cohesive brand for the museum.

The initial challenge focused on building a microsite with a user friendly CMS. If the microsite met the approval of the museum stakeholders, it would then be possible to get funding for a full redesign.

The Process

Build a custom CMS that is simple and efficient

What initially seemed simple turned out to be one of the more complicated 3-page web apps Carbon Five had ever developed. With only a designer, front-end developer and backend developer, the team built a CMS from scratch that allowed for easy editing of front and theme pages by museum staff.

After two months of hard work, the team took the microsite to the museum stakeholders for feedback. They were immediately given the go ahead to redo the entire website. More pages were built, all of which could be easily edited using the custom CMS.

The Results

A website that runs on automatic

The Asian Art Museum website has been up and running for more than a year and a half. Immediately after launch the museum saw an increase in site traffic. The website also took home the silver at the International Design and Communication Awards for “Best Website.” It also improved the museum’s perception within the art community. Most importantly, non-technical employees of the museum can now manage the CMS and use it to upload images and copy about upcoming exhibits and events.

“Carbon Five's process is thoroughly established and they know what works. But they're not wedded to any kind of dogma, which means that if something isn't achieving results, they can quickly adjust to accommodate the specific needs of the project.”
Janet Brunckhorst
former Manager of Web and Digital Media, Asian Art Museum