Moving Ground Zero: Implementing Digital Strategy at the Cleveland Museum of Art


Jane Alexander, The Cleveland Museum of Art, USA

Abstract

The Cleveland Museum of Art created Gallery One to build audiences by providing a fun and engaging environment for visitors with all levels of knowledge about art. Gallery One opened to the public, January 21, 2103 This session will address the three questions most frequently asked by colleagues: 1) Is the concept behind Gallery One working? We will take a look at the inaugural year of Gallery One. We will discuss gaming & playful experiences through the Gallery One Lenses. We will take a closer look at the ArtLens iPad app and share the museum's findings, including the audience research team's immersive study involving observations and intercept interviews with visitors. In addition, we will review analytics of the interactives, including the iPad app's onsite vs. offsite visitor experience, and discuss how the Collection Wall and ArtLens app are being utilized by visitors as tools for discovery and for creating new pathways through the museum's collections. 2) How can the museum sustain Gallery One? We will address the museum's digital media strategy, including 1) how the backend systems and staff workflows have been adjusted to maintain the "big data," and 2) support for operating costs, from content development to hardware. We will also speak to new content development strategies for the iPad app that ensure as many objects as possible have rich media interpretation. 3) What are the next steps? What is Gallery One 2.0? - We will discuss plans for refreshed art installations and interactive technology in Gallery One. We will demonstrate the museum's new ArtLens for iPhone and Android. We will also share our process in adapting the iPad app functionality and content to the smaller device. And we will show how the Collections Wall is being leveraged to promote major exhibitions, and as a tool for gauging visitor interest in themes under development for permanent collection installations, exhibitions, and educational program development

Keywords: analytics, multimedia installation, mobile application; interpretive interactive installation, augmented reality, interior wayfinding, image recognition, art museum, intergenerational learning

The Cleveland Museum of Art just completed a seven-year, $320M building- and renovation project, which included the complete reinstallation and reinterpretation of its permanent collection galleries; a new home for researchers at the museum’s library and archives; and a dramatic central atrium, featuring a stunning indoor space for public programming and parties, fine and café dining, and shopping. From its beginning, the project also included the concept of an integrated interpretive space where visitors could learn to experience art; this concept was realized in Gallery One and ArtLens.

 APPLICATIONS TEAM

Sustaining Gallery One as Game Changer: Technology Systems and Strategies

In the summer of 2010, the museum encountered the perfect storm of events that would lead to the restart of a Gallery One concept: the rapid advance and convergence of mobile technologies, the expressed need for CMA to advance a clear digital strategy, and the looming deadline of December 2012 that coincided with the public opening of the highly anticipated museum expansion.

CMA’s executive team determined that our likelihood of success in executing our emerging digital plans would rely on three essential elements:

  1. Recognize our core competencies and keep these in house (project management & infrastructure, big data strategy);
  2. Focus on the art and the experience (educate, entertain and engage);
  3. Borrow best practices and collaborate with the best practitioners (UX, design, app development).

Gallery One: Test-Bed for museum wide digital strategy

In 1996 the museum’s strategic plan established a commitment to becoming a national leader in the use of new and emerging technologies. It all started with the purchase of collections management database and digital scanners and a commitment to digitizing the collection.

Twenty years later, CMA is particularly proud of its on-budget, successful launch of Gallery One. The Information Management and Technology Services department assembled and managed the development team of Cleveland Museum of Art’s collections and tech staff, as well as nationally-based and local vendor partners that pursued our vision for technology. This commitment resulted in the implementation of ground-breaking uses of technology, culminating in international acclaim, increased exposure and revenue for the Cleveland Museum of Art.

The development and implementation of a comprehensive digital media strategy—including all foundational technology for art information, interpretive content/secondary assets, research resources, and relationship management—was instrumental to the success of Gallery One and ArtLens.

Gallery One and ArtLens were the first beneficiaries of the museum’s digital strategy, and their technology and information management implementation has been recognized by IT professionals as innovative, intelligent, and in-line with tech industry best practices. With visitors and request for information from all around the world, CMA staff had to find time in their schedule to document and answer questions about Gallery One as though it were a case study.

Museum directors, exhibition designers, and interpretation specialists were not alone in visiting Gallery One and attending the conference presentations. Technology specialists also tapped Gallery One as a game changer, for one consistent reason: it approaches technology and information management as a business would. A digital strategy plan guides the collection and digital asset management systems balanced with modularity, sustainability, and data efficiency. Finally, what has struck museum colleagues about this project was the Museum’s institutional willingness to embrace digital technology, bring it into proximity to the art, and experiment with new and participatory visitor experiences. One museum educator commented, “The younger generation of museum visitors will expect a digital experience to compliment the art experience and the Cleveland Museum of Art has taken the first step to fully engage this reality, while also providing experiences easily accessible to visitors who aren’t “digital natives.”

The Collection Wall reminds me of David Weinberger’s Everything Is Miscellaneous (2008): it makes every artwork equally available, democratizing the collection…, it enables me to create a tour that threads me like a needle through all the various parts of the building. It disappears the architecture, the molecules, and replaces them with a new organizing principle: visual interest.

– Peter Samis, Associate Curator of Interpretation, SFMOMA


 

GALLERY ONE

COLLECTIONS WALL

  • 4100 works on view
  • 32 curated themes
  • 4 linking facets for each artwork
  • dynamic dataflow from collection database
The Christie iKit multi-touch system allows multiple users to interact with the wall, simultaneously opening as many as twenty separate interfaces across the Collection Wall to explore the collection.

https://mw2014.museumsandtheweb.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/G1_collectionwall-300x199.jpg 300w, https://mw2014.museumsandtheweb.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/G1_collectionwall-450x300.jpg 450w" sizes="(max-width: 800px) 100vw, 800px" /> The Christie iKit multi-touch system allows multiple users to interact with the wall, simultaneously opening as many as twenty separate interfaces across the Collection Wall to explore the collection.

Visitor browses a coverflow of twelve images of Dutch painting. She can jump to a new set of artworks by selecting the Material, Date or Gallery location.

https://mw2014.museumsandtheweb.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/g1main_coverflow_1240_lp-300x200.jpg 300w, https://mw2014.museumsandtheweb.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/g1main_coverflow_1240_lp.jpg 1240w" sizes="(max-width: 584px) 100vw, 584px" /> Visitor browses a coverflow of twelve images of Dutch painting. She can jump to a new set of artworks by selecting the Material, Date or Gallery location.

ARTLENS

  • 55 works interpreted from Gallery One
  • 150+ interpreted works in collection galleries
  • 800+ videos & narrated slideshows
  • 700+ text & image offerings
  • 25 predefined tours
  • wayfinding via 175+ APs
  • 9,200 downloads to date
  • 1,000+ visitor tours created

ArtLens provides visitors with media content featuring interviews with curators, conservators and educations exploring specific aspects of the scanned artwork.https://mw2014.museumsandtheweb.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/W0H6703-2-300x200.jpg 300w, https://mw2014.museumsandtheweb.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/W0H6703-2-450x300.jpg 450w" sizes="(max-width: 420px) 100vw, 420px" />How it all comes together

Flow of information through backend databases that support the Collection Wall and ArtLens.

https://mw2014.museumsandtheweb.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/DigStrat_databaseflowchart_with_wall-300x232.jpg 300w, https://mw2014.museumsandtheweb.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/DigStrat_databaseflowchart_with_wall-387x300.jpg 387w" sizes="(max-width: 693px) 100vw, 693px" /> Flow of information through backend databases that support the Collection Wall and ArtLens.

NO ONE OFFS!

With so many projects and initiatives moving forward simultaneously and dependent on each other for information, no project is allowed to be silo’d, stagnant, hard-coded solution.

A few of many projects

  • integrated CCMS
  • library systems integration
  • DAM upgrade
  • archival repository
  • open-source website
  • mobile site
  • central table

CCMS

The Collections Cataloging and Management System provides a unified platform for all artwork catalog data, metadata, transaction records, related documents and external links. This single application will serve as a front-end application for curators, conservators, registrars and art handlers; and through their work, a back-end database for all systems and projects requiring Collections Information. Library, Education, Gallery One, ArtLens, and Collections Online will be able to access real-time, dynamic, validated catalog information and assets.

Some of the required application functionality and implementation of it is highlighted below.

SEARCH

Sixty-seven fields are indexed for standard internet search with Boolean operators inline.

Users can refine their broad searches using filters in a couple different ways, depending on their preferences and knowledge of the underlying data. Search criteria are shown in the left hand navigation bar.

REVIEW AND EDIT

Artwork pages show consistant layout across collections and access levels. Secured fields are stored in pockets that will not expand if the user does not have the necessary access level.

https://mw2014.museumsandtheweb.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/DigStrat_CCMS_catalogoverview-300x169.jpg 300w, https://mw2014.museumsandtheweb.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/DigStrat_CCMS_catalogoverview-500x281.jpg 500w, https://mw2014.museumsandtheweb.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/DigStrat_CCMS_catalogoverview.jpg 1323w" sizes="(max-width: 584px) 100vw, 584px" /> Artwork pages show consistent layout across collections and access levels. Secured fields are stored in pockets that will not expand if the user does not have the necessary access permissions.

CDWA categories are grouped into five main menu items, and pocketed on each page. Pocketing the data allows for quicker overview of the data on the main page while not restricting the users ability to add to or access it. Menu browsing is consistent whether the user is viewing or editing the record.

One of the major requirements for this system was distributed cataloging – curators, educators, conservators, et al need to be able to contribute to the content surrounding the artwork and share their research in a single database; however, editing changes affect modules within the application (for instance loan contracts and shipping docs) and well as every application consuming this artwork data downstream. This application allows for long edit on the catalog side, while not disrupting the published record used in downstream databases with the following process:

When the user selects ‘edit the record’ , the database creates a ‘sandbox’ copy of the complete record in a separate database partition. Upon completion of all edits in their research cycle, the user can select to ‘submit’ changes, and the new record is launched into a three-step approval workflow. This request to review and approve becomes a task item for each approver role in turn, with an optional email notification to the approver of a new task item. The requestor can observe approval progress on their personal site  – the pending task list shows current approval step and status.

UPLOAD

The realities of servers overburdened with multiple versions of the same document, with little or no metadata assigned to indicate which is current, final or even correct, or paper file folders full of useful but inaccessible correspondence, contracts, and notes needed resolution as well. As we accumulate metadata and assets directly linked to the artwork records, we can support new connections among our publishable content as well as expand research support.

A simple document upload process is available throughout the application. Document description and metadata is assigned at time of upload. These documents become securable items stored within database, accessible and searchable to all users with correct permissions. Metadata structure for documents will be strategically planned and implemented, so that the anticipated quick growth of document records will not require emergency re-architecture of the system as new document or asset types become available.

CONNECT (library)

Easy citation creation courtesy of World Cat's API integration. Ad-hoc citation are possible as well, for citing works available in the API.

https://mw2014.museumsandtheweb.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/DigStrat_CCMS_citations-300x169.jpg 300w, https://mw2014.museumsandtheweb.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/DigStrat_CCMS_citations-500x281.jpg 500w, https://mw2014.museumsandtheweb.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/DigStrat_CCMS_citations.jpg 1323w" sizes="(max-width: 584px) 100vw, 584px" /> Easy citation creation courtesy of World Cat’s API integration. Ad-hoc citation are possible as well for citing works not available in the API.

Citations and bibliographies are notoriously messy in institutions with cataloging predating unified library catalogs with the idea of supporting research and scholarship, we specified a simple interface in which catalogers can insert an OCLC number into a search field, and pull via API the correctly formatted citation. Users can further append the citation database row with page number, annotations, contributor (of citation) and chose to restrict publishing of the citation. The database stores the OCLC number upon save, allowing for automatic refreshing of the citation details or format. Our library, or any other library for that matter, can use the stored  OCLC# to link from their catalog records to artworks in our collection. Free text citations are also accommodated, for publications which predate or fall outside of the scope of OCLC catalog.

CONNECT (Getty and VIAF and Provenance)

Integration with controlled vocabularies for creators and owners (as well as AAT and TGN terms) is also required. This is a slightly more complicated scenario, as we need to support an encyclopedic collection where works within our Asian, native American and European collections have very different structure for identification of creation and ownership. A union list of our 15 year legacy person database allows CMA catalogers to maintain publishing authority over the attributions, while providing a database of linked aliases in ULAN to support search. VIAF database can also be queried, providing standardized language and details for persons and organizations not commonly found in art catalog databases. Additionally, new records can be added on the fly to the local union authority.

IMTS is positioning this table to link into our Central Table, which is a consolidated database of our advancement division’s constituents and which will then provide a true enterprise-wide view of constituent activity.

Provenance project

As an interim solution while waiting for completion of the CCMS project, the team implemented a Drupal site to store provenance research metadata for artwork in the museum’s permanent collection following guidelines set forth in the Getty Research Institute’s, “Categories for the Description of Works of Art”.  Provenance researchers enter data into a series of nested, recurring “ownership history” containers, each with a high degree of internal metadata granularity.  These data compartmentalization efforts will improve indexing and search options, ultimately allowing us to improve historical research opportunities across the collection.  A web service was created to allow a complete provenance record – from artist’s creation to CMA ownership – to be displayed alongside the digitized artwork on collection online.

PLAN (Exhibitions and Service Requests)

Exhibitions module provides a unified planning space and bird’s eye view of collection activity for curators, conservators, educators and collection managers. Exhibition, venue and object attributes and statuses allow for detailed reporting and for the creation review committee’s agendas. The shared view provides completely up-to-date information for all decision-making stakeholders. Documents and images can be uploaded with attributes and descriptive metadata for ease of sorting and search.

Another feature is the ability to sync and un-sync a permanent collection record from the exhibition instance of the record.  Tombstone details might changed or amended to fit the intellectual scope of the exhibition. These changes can remain as unique versions of the record specific to the exhibition, or can be synced back into the permanent collection record (following standard approval workflow demonstrated earlier.)

Once the checklist is established, the planner selects a set of artworks using filters, and assign them to service requests (which will be linked to the exhibition). This loops photographers, conservators, registrars and packers into the planning and scheduling process. Cascading from requests for photography, photographers can schedule their service, and request art movement in turn. All approval and request workflows link with our Active Directory supporting single sign-on and integration with Outlook calendar and email. Integration with AD allows for simpler tech support. The shared platform for data and documents promotes efficiencies in staff time and data storage.

 COLLABORATE

Sharepoint delivers customizable project sites which can be used for any type of collection based collaboration within the application.

https://mw2014.museumsandtheweb.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/DigStrat_CCMS_projectsite-300x168.jpg 300w, https://mw2014.museumsandtheweb.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/DigStrat_CCMS_projectsite-500x281.jpg 500w, https://mw2014.museumsandtheweb.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/DigStrat_CCMS_projectsite.jpg 1323w" sizes="(max-width: 584px) 100vw, 584px" /> Sharepoint delivers customizable project sites which can be used for any type of collection based collaboration within the application.

Stakeholders clearly specified the need to collaborate before, during, and sometimes even after the publication or installation of a collection-related document or project. Sharepoint provides templates for custom team sites and document workspaces which users can create from their site and invite colleagues to join and collaborate. Sites can be customized on the fly with different ‘webparts’, depending on evolving project needs.

A custom site can be developed for exhibition theme development. Educators, curators and exhibition designers can be invited to join. Draft documents and sketches can be uploaded, checked out, and edited, all with Sharepoint native version controls including rollback, in place. This functionality ia a major draw for our stakeholder groups, envisioning a new way of doing business within the museum as well as with external  colleagues, who can be invited to join, share and collaborate with us in turn.

CCMS Product Description

  • built on open technologies of Microsoft SharePoint Server, Microsoft SQL Server and .Net
  • built with Collaboration as a primary goal
  • employs SharePoint embedded features and custom workflows for sharing information with internal colleagues
  • institutional based premise for sharing information between museums
  • community based premise for publishing information to the world
  • cloud-ready to support a community of museum catalogers and professionals from multiple institutions regardless of size
  • built using the latest frameworks and design patterns including SOA (Service oriented architecture) and MVVM (Model-View-View-Model)
  • designed to be agile and adaptable to multiple platforms; iOS, Android, Surface
  • designed to scale from a few users to tens of thousands of users
  • designed to be adaptable to specific museum by allowing theming and branding according to preference

PICTION DAM

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To support the creative use and reuse of the museum’s abundant information about its permanent collection and art in general, we had to build a solid backbone for collection information. The effort is ongoing an all fronts, but we took a significant step regarding the digital asset management component of that backbone this past year.

We’ve been using Piction DAMs for five years now, and they’ve multiplied during that time: we have three. Our main Piction DAM houses all of our art photography for staff use, editorial photography, and soon, selected conservation and archival images. That DAM is internal, and links to our collections management system. It also feeds 1) the DAM that supports our Collection Online and serves up additional content for the website like epublications and lesson plans, and 2) the CMS that provides artwork descriptions and images to the Collection Wall in Gallery One and ArtLens, along with rich-media and thematic tours, and over 850 videos.

Tying all those systems together has always been challenging, because of a decision made very, very long ago to architect the artwork collection records based on the artworks themselves, rather than the images. If an artwork had detail views—and some of them now have hundreds—it was almost impossible to manipulate the detail view images independently, to correct load errors, generate new derivatives, control use privileges, use in lightboxes, or export.

In November 2103, we bit the bullet and upgraded our main Piction DAM to the latest available release, Piction 7, and then flattened the architecture by pulling apart the existing “gang” records, so that each image was represented by its own record. Primary images stayed in the original collection, while the details views were moved to a second, supporting collection. This manipulation effort took three days of machine time, and was followed up by an en masse regeneration of all derivatives (to new specs, but also ensure there were no holes or mismatches) and a re-alignment of the Piction Discoverer interface and all our downstream integrations to adjust to the new structure. All told, the work and the checking and the tinkering took about six weeks.

This rearchitecture greatly enhanced the custom tools we’d asked Piction to add two years ago; now that we could include detail views in lightboxes, we could export them as part of a batch, include them in a Powerpoint, print them on a contact sheet, or include them on a checklist. This gave our curatorial, collection management, interpretation, and conservation department access to 32,000 images they could look at but not touch, and the flexibility to use any specific image they wanted.

The Piction DAM was also integrated via single sign-on with our Sharepoint-based CCMS system, which will be completed this year, to provide thumbnail images for search results lists, reports, and detailed checklists, as well as lightboxes of available images for single artworks.

All this backbone work has turbocharged downstream use of artwork images, and we’re eager to see the results in upcoming exhibitions, publications, and programming.

Piction upgrade included flattening data.

https://mw2014.museumsandtheweb.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/DigStrat_DAM_PictionUpgrade-300x198.jpg 300w, https://mw2014.museumsandtheweb.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/DigStrat_DAM_PictionUpgrade-454x300.jpg 454w, https://mw2014.museumsandtheweb.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/DigStrat_DAM_PictionUpgrade.jpg 1281w" sizes="(max-width: 584px) 100vw, 584px" /> Piction 7 application upgrade: flattened legacy record structure (1:1); expanded staff-requested tools; export PPT and Excel; contact sheets; batch downloads; integrated with CCMS

ARCHIVAL REPOSITORY

The overall digital strategy for the museum’s collection information includes ensuring the preservation of—and long-term access to—artwork-related digital images.

As of late 2012, digital bulk of collection-related image files topped 13 TB, including studio artwork photography and editorial photography residing on 11,000-plus archival DVD-Rs, and thousands of documentary images for in-house conservation reside on secondary network storage. By 2018, the digital bulk was projected to top 30 TB.

The museum’s IMTS department addressed this need in the widest possible context, with an Archival Repository project implementation. The project team includes staff from the Museum Archives, IMTS (both infrastructure and applications teams), Collections Management and the Photo Studio, Conservation, and the Performing Arts department.

The project team weighed the long-term total costs for establishing an in-house footprint for an Archival Repository, versus using a SaaS or cloud-for-hire solution, as well as practical considerations for data integrity, security, and access considerations. Ultimately, the team chose a cloud-for-hire approach with Cleveland-based virtual data center vendor, BlueBridge Networks, which provided the best balance of administrative overhead, leveraging of in-house skills/expertise, and data control.

In a parallel effort, the team also evaluated open-source archival-management applications, and compared them to commercial SaaS offerings. They set up pilots with two strong software candidates—DSpace and Fedora Commons—for hands-on evaluation of the out-of-the-box functionality, available ingest utilities, and overall ease of customization. The final Archival Repository is DSpace, with a custom-coded front end for preparing and ingesting day-to-day batches of digital files from each internal source/function and their accompanying descriptive, technical, and preservation metadata in Dublin Core XML. The team developed custom mappings and extraction routines for various subsets, and a custom schema for non-standards-based data, including CMA accession number references and service order numbers.

Ingest of legacy digital-image materials is currently underway, and will be followed by the addition of other permanent records for archival AV materials, institutional office documents and data sets, and ultimately artwork in time-based media.

With the successful implementation of a cloud-based Archival Repository for the long-term preservation of and access to electronic records, the museum is looking for other ways to leverage virtual data centers to better manage large-scale and high-availability applications.

Candidates for the cloud include other “filing”-type content management systems—such as the Sharepoint document repository supporting the museum’s collection cataloging and management system, the Papersave document management system integrated with the museum’s finance system. These systems, once established, have an immense storage footprint but minimal ongoing development work on the applications themselves. The museum’s high-use, internal Piction DAM for research-level images may also be a candidate for the cloud, if ingest- and download performance for digital images proves sustainable.

The website/collection online and integrated library system/online public access catalog are also candidates for migration to a virtual data center, where the servers are administered by the cloud vendor for 24/7 access by the public, but the applications themselves are regularly re-configured, maintained, and upgraded/extended with custom modules by IMTS staff.

The museum is also currently looking at SaaS solutions to meet its needs for membership and donor management, ticketing, and human resource management/payroll. These specialized systems are easily configurable from an application interface (e.g., customization/development work is not needed), and/or rely on centralized knowledge bases (e.g., rapidly-changing tax law surrounding the Affordable Care Act) to meet compliance requirements.

“DRUPALIZING”

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The decision was was made to convert the Cleveland Museum of Art’s website(s) to Drupal for consistency and to further build in-house expertise. This would be implemented in three steps for three sites: the museum’s staff intranet, the public website, and the museum’s library website.

The museum’s staff Intranet served as a test-bed for software functionality and the internal content management process. Having a true content management-based intranet would give staff members the ability to navigate and find information quickly and get the latest updates and events. But most importantly, it would test a proposed gatekeeper-strategy of content management necessary for the public website.

After the intranet, the Museum’s public website was converted to Drupal. At the time Sitecore and WordPress were being used for the website and the blog, respectively. The biggest conversion challenges would be to fix what was never implemented properly and to migrate more than 65 thousand pages worth of data.

The museum’s WordPress- and PHP-based library website would then be converted when a second Drupal developer was brought in-house.

INTRANET

Obviously, installing and configuring Drupal for a staff intranet would be a huge improvement even without a custom design. But content management would also provide things that were unavailable with the old intranet, such as document search and streaming news.

The biggest challenge would be to retrain staff – to both add information and go there to read information. Even with a simple-to-use tool, content managers for each department would be saddled with an additional responsibility: creating and maintaining content. They had to be further coaxed into it by removal of their mass broadcasting tool: the all-staff email. With help from management and creative ideas like forcing the browser homepage, fun polls, and a scavenger hunt, these challenges were overcome and currently, two to three news updates are posted daily and content is growing rapidly.

WEBSITE

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After the Intranet proving ground, attention turned to the public website.

The site – designed by Pentagram – had been developed by a third party who poorly implemented the usually-competent Sitecore CMS. With heavy customization, the site’s functionality could not be updated in-house, which meant high cost and time for development updates in addition to software, training, and licensing fees.

But the major issues of the site had more to do with general web functionalities. Embedded page overlays and non-standard URLs broke common search engine functionalities such as SEO and image indexing – the site lost valuable website traffic when art images no longer appeared in the Google image search. Social sharing could only be done with short links and lacked images. And even worse, the browser back button did not work.

Migrating to Drupal would not only fix these functionalities, but also give the content editors an easier administration interface, give the developers a highly-engaged community for problem-solving, and give the museum opportunities for collaboration with our peers at other museums, libraries and other nonprofits.

Website Homepage

https://mw2014.museumsandtheweb.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/DigStrat_website_homeold-300x264.jpg 300w, https://mw2014.museumsandtheweb.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/DigStrat_website_homeold-339x300.jpg 339w" sizes="(max-width: 573px) 100vw, 573px" /> Museum’s homepage showing card layout and the three-card layout (triptych used for highlighting exhibition, events or other development priorities)

Web Migration Project

The migration to Drupal included the following:

  1. a rapid development timeline (July to December) to launch in support of the ArtLens iPad app
  2. a site redesign for functionality and a massive migration
  3. to meet deadlines, help from third-party Drupal developers to help with decision-making and the migration
  4. two special challenges:
    1. integration with the museum’s online collection (Piction DAM) consisting of a weekly refresh of images and metadata for about 60 thousand objects
    2. a daily events feed to and social sharing from ArtLens

After the migration, the site’s general design – menus and card layouts – were maintained and the most noticeable changes were the design and layout of the internal pages and the search functionality. Once the collection online data was in Drupal’s database, the search page could be streamlined to include facets and hovers containing full images with at-a-glance title, artist, and year. The search-and-retrieval process was further enhanced with Apache Solr as a search engine. Art object pages were fully redesigned for usability and a more intuitive experience.

 Content page changes:

Search page changes:

Streamlined to include facets and hovers containing full images with at-a-glance title, artist, and year. We also sped up the search and retrieval process by using Apache Solr and its Drupal module.

Art Object page changes:

 

MOBILE SITE

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The last major phase of redesign was the museum’s mobile site. The biggest challenges were to make the entire site available on mobile, to maintain as much imagery as possible and not to undermine mobile user interface expectations such as single-column layouts and button-based lists.

Because the layout didn’t work well on small screens, responsive design was abandoned for platforms smaller than tablet. Mobile detection was installed on the server side using the Apache Mobile Filter and the mobile site is served up as a mobile domain – m.clevelandart.org – with Drupal’s Domain Access module handling the switch to a mobile theme.

CENTRAL TABLE

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As part of the normal course of survival non-profits must continually find ways to introduce themselves to the public, to show who they are and what they do, and then invite the public to become personally involved in their mission.  When that invitation is accepted, however, each type of involvement, such as membership, event attendance, shopping, or classes, may rely its own method for capturing and tracking data relative to the participation. Inevitably, this leads to a variety of different systems that usually aren’t connected with each other but which each hold valuable pieces of constituent data. And each piece of this data can be significant when attempting to construct a picture of the total involvement of individuals or groups. 

One of the most challenging aspects of the CMA digital strategy initiative involves collecting this widely scattered information about our constituents –members, donors, prospects, and guests – and then delivering that information in a way that is cohesive and meaningful to administration and staff.

Several different approaches to consolidating this diverse data – most of which involved copying data back and forth between systems – were considered and rejected as too complex to implement and difficult to keep synchronized. The museum chose instead to construct what we call the Central Table – a translation table that sits outside of any one database system and integrates customer identification numbers into a single location. That data can be used as anchors to identify constituents across different databases. Constituent information specific to the software system can then be pulled into consolidated reports on individual or group activity.

Tracking rentals of iPad scanners is just one of the bits of information that is integrated into the overall picture of member and guest activity data.

https://mw2014.museumsandtheweb.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/DigStrat_Portal1-300x201.jpg 300w, https://mw2014.museumsandtheweb.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/DigStrat_Portal1-1024x686.jpg 1024w, https://mw2014.museumsandtheweb.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/DigStrat_Portal1-447x300.jpg 447w" sizes="(max-width: 747px) 100vw, 747px" /> Tracking rentals of iPad scanners is just one of the bits of information that is integrated into the overall picture of member and guest activity data.

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Cite as:
. "Moving Ground Zero: Implementing Digital Strategy at the Cleveland Museum of Art." MW2014: Museums and the Web 2014. Published April 29, 2014. Consulted .
https://mw2014.museumsandtheweb.com/paper/moving-ground-zero-implementing-digital-strategy-at-the-cleveland-museum-of-art/


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