When Michael and Nico came to us with the concept for Archival Communication Interface, we were really excited about the opportunity to create a technological solution to bring their idea to life. The NYX system would enable their team to rapidly create and manage beautiful responsive web-based image archives for galleries and institutions worldwide through one centralized system and database, with rich metadata and tagging features and advanced on-page SEO structures for optimized crawling, where desired. We, as individuals, had worked with tons of website generators collectively over the years, some ancient and some contemporary and had all taken away positives and negatives from our experiences that we were eager to apply here. As one of the core purposes of the platform, focusing on the rich and interesting visuals in the archives themselves was extremely important and we wanted to be sure our design was as simple as possible, yet allowed the NYX team to create variability and uniqueness to each individual archive - while obviously keeping responsiveness in mind.
As we mentioned earlier, it was extremely important that the pages generated were unique, while clean and focused on the art of the archive. Through our prototyping we arrived at a modular approach that relied on a set of site-by-site master settings that would provide each archive it’s own unique aesthetic characteristics. Leveraging SVG assets throughout the experience and enabling NYX to upload SVG logos for each archive, we enabled NYX to set a subtle color theme for each archive that would not only apply to text and hover states but the graphical assets of the archive as well. Additionally, NYX admins would be able to select an archive font (although the experience enables other fonts to be used in page creation) and favicon to create a unique look for the archive. Creating pages within the system leans on the paradigm of arranging items from the archive (essentially a library of images) into a system of modular lego-like tile sets. As a user begins to create a page within the archive (they can create 3 kinds actually - but we won’t bore you with all that right now) they are greeted essentially with a blank canvas - users can add modules of tile sets in all sorts of arrangements, and add their items from the archive to the tiles. Users can then add more modules of tile sets, or other kinds of modules as well, including text modules, single image modules and other media modules, including video and audio. A user can then arrange their modules, simply by dragging and dropping. We worked with NYX for 10 weeks to design the principle experience of the platform.
Armed with our core experience design in hand we began preparation of the product backlog and gearing up for our Design and Engineering Sprints. Our architects, experience designers and engineers worked closely with the NYX team to prioritize the product backlog and plan how our iterative builds would be released for testing to the NYX team.
Working in our typical framework of 2 week (10 working day) sprints we burned down the product backlog in 24 weeks and deployed the system for live use at that point. We continue to support NYX on iterating and maintaining on the system currently.