But without sensible, clean navigation, all the engaging content would go to waste. So gagosian.com’s most important triumph is the way in which it links between the various, related pieces of content. For example, each artist is given their own page (with a biography and a sample of their work), and from that page, the user is given links to their exhibitions and publications on the left hand column. On the right hand column, a “more” box provides blog-like links (time stamped and dated) to the latest site updates that are relevant to the artist— a new exhibition or a new edition. Likewise, if a user enters into the content by browsing upcoming exhibitions, the page for each exhibition features links to the artist’s information. So no matter how a user dives into the site, they’re not going to miss the relevant content they’re looking for. Gagosian.com also features a powerful—and quick—search box that’s featured right at the top of the page. The best part of the search is that it pre-sorts its own search results. Instead of just presenting the user with a meaningless list of links, the results are divided into artists, exhibitions, and publications (where appropriate). It is touches like this that make browsing the site an overall sensible and intelligent experience. These ingredients collaborate seamlessly on gagosian.com, and the end result is a site which fully accomplishes its mission: to enhance usability, to increase the capability of the gallery to present the art and artists, to present the Gagosian Gallery in an innovative, informative fashion and ultimately to serve as an extension of the gallery online. It’s a reflection of durable truths in contemporary Internet design— usability, simplicity, and a focus on content.
The Art World and the World Wide Web. Essays, Interviews and Case Studies.