Best of the Web Winners

Rich Media
Anish Kapoor in MCA Publications
honorable mention: Man of the West, Man of the World


Art NC is designed for the North Carolina Public school system. It’s meant to help teachers of students from K-12, in all subject areas, see how art can be a very useful tool to teach their subjects, to inspire creativity and independent thinking. It felt like it could have an enormous impact on a large targeted population.

The content was top notch, from the hi-res quality of the images to the clear,

jargon free descriptions of the art, to the helpful tags for subject, concepts, and related topics, to the overall navigation and user experience on the site.

The concept map builder is pretty genius. It allows teachers to create connections among 150 works of art and relate them to the topics they teach, for students at every level.

The related content nav on the right side is really helpful, allowing teachers to see connections between concept maps, subjects, lesson plans. A lot of thought seems to have gone into how Search works. In areas where the producers assumed teachers would

know what words to type into the search field, they have that option as well as drop down menus. Where teachers might not know the names or have the vocab, search provides a drop down menu of choices only. If you type in your own word and it’s not on their concept list it returns results that include the word so you can decide the relevance for yourself.

honorable mention: MoMA Learning

Digital Exhibition
The Gallery of Lost Art

The Gallery of Lost Art is a fascinating online exhibition about modern works of art that have disappeared, been destroyed, stolen, or otherwise lost forever.

The use of the warehouse floor as a structure to house the images was spot-on, and the feature provided a perfect amount of contextual information. Easy to navigate, and fun to move around the areas and dive deeper into the archival photos, interviews, films, and other media.

I also love the idea that even though this is a digital exhibition, it has a “closing date” which helps you think more carefully about the ephemerality of the works being presented.

Innovative / Experimental
Rijksstudio: Make Your Own Masterpiece

The Rijksstudio project allows the visitor to browse 125,000 super-high resolution Google Art images in the Rijksmuseum’s holdings AND copy them, cut and paste them, mash them up, make online collections, share them … and then use them to make custom objects
… from posters to greeting cards to decals for a mobile phone or even a scooter.

All done extremely easily, through clear and easy-to-follow steps.

Judges quotes:

“Conceptually brave and radical, Rijksstudio takes the Google Art Project and busts it wide open. Rijksstudio blows apart the old orthodoxy that an online collection is a one-way didactic experience.”

“It’s a wonderful hybrid of a site: A fascinating mix of a collection website, a resource website and a web-shop.”

“Most art museum trustees would rather burn their collections then let them be used this way.”

Technically an uncompromising example of responsive design. I myself spent WAY to much time playing with this site on an iPad.

So, hats off to the Rijksmuseum for its unabashed openess, innovation, engagement and sense of play.

This project is as important as it is well-executed and it’s the winner in the Innovative/Experimental category

honorable mention: Web Lab

ArtBabble Redesign

– ArtBabble stood out as Best of the Web in this category due to its commitment to evolve
– is now more standards compliant (metadata), it has been integration with other products (YouTube), it is HTML 5 and available on multiple platforms, it degrades well (accessibility), it is responsive, etc.
– it has not been built and then set on a shelf to grow old gracefully, but rather has shown a commitment to respond to the needs of its users

Sound Uncovered

– hits all the marks in terms of technical success: excellent content structure, efficient and effective information architecture, great interface design, very usable, fantastic media production (nice images, good sound, etc.)
– besides all the technical wins, it is extremely fun and engaging. A variety of interaction styles keeps the user interested in what the next activity will be and keeps the experience fresh and interesting.

honorable mention: Romare Bearden: Black Odyssey Remixes

– the app that keeps on app’ing
– a well designed app provides a fun experience
– you can use the app over and over and continually produce a new output

Museum Professional
Beyond the Printed Page: Museum Digital Publishing Bliki

My favorite thing about this site is that it was developed through a process of discussion within the community. And I like that you can see the members of the group, it gives a real sense of breadth, and shows that this is a thriving, active community.

As a product, this site was well-organized and easy to navigate. The straightforward, non-flashy design complements the focus on the site’s compelling long-form content; and the conference and event wiki is particularly helpful.

Research / Collections Online
Cooper-Hewitt Online Collection
honorable mention: MetPublications | The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Social Media
Titanic on Twitter

Best Small Museum Project

Txtile City is both a mobile site and the app and they succeed beautifully at their goal: to provide “an interactive map that builds community knowledge by drawing together experiences and stories to show the significance of textiles in shaping the city’s social, cultural, economic and architectural terrain.”

This site/app is bursting with rich, unexpected, informative and delightful content. Each location has at least one and sometimes many well produced audio and/or video stories told by people connected to the industry in a wide variety of ways.

The stories I heard were from historians, garment workers, union organizers, hat designers, Chinese immigrants, Italian immigrants, Polish immigrants, and art curators, and I only listened to about 10 of the many addresses. One video was a performance piece by an artist.
The stories had an unhurried feel to them, which in turn made me happy to slow down and just listen.

Both the mobile site and the app have clear, easy to follow, very simple navigation. Users can access the stories via either Google map pins, or the list of street addresses. That’s it. All audio clips have a picture of the building on the screen so if you’re on site you can be sure you’re at the right building. Interactivity .
Users can click a link within the mobile website to upload their own video stories. The site offers advice about what makes a good subject for a story.
It’s deeply respectful of its subject and clearly developed by people who care passionately about the subject and are able to convey their enthusiasm to users

People’s Choice
Rijksstudio: Make Your Own Masterpiece

Best of the Web
Rijksstudio: Make Your Own Masterpiece

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