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The Public Art Archive

Making one of the world's largest databases of public art accessible and engaging to everyone.

Back End Development / Dev Ops / Front End Development / UX/UI Design / Web Application Development

The Public Art Archive is a massive centralized database of art commissioned and administered by cities, states, and other institutions around the United States and abroad. Our goal was to build a new user-facing experience to give the public immediate, engaging access to all this art, online and on the go. 

We took a first principles approach to the UX and UI design of the application, starting with understanding the PAA’s primary users and their objectives when using the application, coupled with an audit of the rich data we had to work with. 

The new UI balances the needs of both the casual explorer and the power researcher, providing various search pathways, easy offramps, and lots of clickable objects, allowing users to get lost in the arts while always knowing where they are. 

Users are immersed in curated art from the moment they land on the home screen, from the large rotating hero, to the featured collections, art near me, popular art, and a surprise “art roulette” that surfaces random pieces for endless discovery.

We want our users to focus on the art itself. Taking inspiration from popular consumer-facing products with a rich search, filters, and map layers, we used ubiquitous design elements and UX behaviors to make the PAA experience familiar and obvious to our users.