Murray Art Museum Albury (MAMA) Website

We are art.
Best Navigation/Structure / Nominee

Best Navigation/Structure

The new platform supercharged the earning power of the gallery, streamlining all transactions. Bonnie MacTavish, Head of Experience Strategy


Q: Can you briefly describe your project and the concept behind it?

A: MAMA is a regional Australian art gallery with big ambitions. Their business objectives of increasing visitation and paid involvement with gallery programs needed to be realized through their new digital platform - handling all visitor info as well as transactions. To compel people to make the trip to this regional destination, the site needed to convey the breadth of experiences on offer at MAMA, in an easy to navigate content platform.

Q: Once you settled on your idea, what influenced your decision on the chosen technical approach? How did it differ or go beyond approaches you’ve taken in the past?

A: We used our usual headless stack to enable maximum flexibility as the gallery’s needs evolved. However, there were several unique features MAMA required that needed bespoke solutions. We engineered an API-driven event calendar to surface topical content, fully controlled within the CMS. We also integrated a platform new to us, Roller, to handle purchases through the site (gift store & art course supplies) as well as event ticketing.

Q: What web technologies, approaches, tools, or resources did you use to develop this experience (WordPress, headless, AI, Sublime Text, HTML5, Adobe XD, etc)?

A: The MAMA site uses next.js as our front-end framework, along with Sanity as the CMS. A headless, static approach results in a blazing fast site for users, and it’s also an incredible dev and content authoring experience. We’re also using GSAP for animations, Jotai for state management, Stripe & Vercel serverless functions for donations and purchases.

Q: How did the final product meet or exceed your expectations? What results did you see?

A: We always wanted to create elements of playfulness within the very structured site, so the homepage & featured Exhibition pages are a real achievement. We took the hero image & overlaid bespoke typography created for each exhibition as an SVG, then incorporated coloured backgrounds to create a moment of real impact. What’s more, we built this capability into the CMS, so content editors could easily replicate, with the CMS auto-selecting colors.

Q: Why is this an exciting time to create new digital experiences? How does your team fit into this?

A: This was a particularly exciting new project for MAMA as we were able to break away from their antiquated, government-mandated tech stack and engineer one that was fit for purpose. The Nightjar team love problem solving & discovering new tech solutions to client challenges. Even though we may have solved the same problem before, it’s likely there’s now a new tech solution, and we thrive on this learning opportunity.

Q: How did you reach a good balance of your own creative ideas and technical capabilities with a fair representation of the client’s brand?

A: We had an incredible foundation to build upon, with the very tight brand guidelines by renowned artist and type specialist Mark Gowing. This system enabled us to create a strong, gridded design system, aligning the content and creating a pleasing Swiss style aesthetic. We were able to use the digital medium to elevate his typography, leveraging silky animations and transitions typical of a Nightjar build.
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