One of the joys of agency life is that our work is social and evolutionary in nature — and you just never know when a project with one client will earn opportunities for new connections and initiatives with another.
That was the case in our growing partnership with Grounds for Sculpture (GFS). On an ongoing basis, we oversee a variety of fluid marketing projects to promote Constellation Culinary Group’s exclusive on-site hospitality services at GFS, a truly unique and nationally acclaimed not-for-profit 42-acre sculpture park, museum, and arboretum located on the site of the former New Jersey State Fairgrounds in Hamilton, NJ, near Princeton.
We expanded that partnership by teaming up with GFS to design a new WordPress-based website that better communicates their strategic vision in a more contemporary way. After sitting down with the client, we learned that their goals for the new site were to increase all of their existing revenue streams, including rentals for corporate and private events; to improve navigation and user engagement for both first-time and repeat visitors; and to promote their wide array of offerings to people at all levels of art understanding.
We began by leveraging a large sampling of digital user surveys and stakeholder interviews, as well as leaning into the specialties we've developed in objective-driven design, user-centric strategy, and flexible design systems for arts- and culture-driven organizations. Some of our top priorities were to ensure that the site accurately reflected the GFS aesthetic, that it met the accessibility needs of all users across all devices, and was easily managed by their team going forward.
Some of the noteworthy features we created include a robust yet easy to digest calendar of events, a user-friendly map of the grounds, an enhanced section tailored specifically to children, and an alert bar that displays important messages globally across every page when activated (e.g., “Closed for Weather Today,” or "Event Sold Out").
We identified the opportunity to create a soon-to-be-released search tool that allows visitors on location to look up specific artifacts using a corresponding map ID. And we took a forward-looking approach to creating an artists and collections interface that features detailed information and eye-catching imagery showcasing the installations and those who create them, which is expandable so the client can bring additional collections, including the horticultural specimens, online as needed in the future.
In addition, the site also now seamlessly integrates with an existing third-party application to simplify the customer experience for buying tickets, registering for events, making donations, securing memberships, and more.
This new digital experience positions GFS to achieve their goals and reflects the transcendent visitor experiences for which they are known — while keeping an eye on how the organization will evolve in the years to come.