Two days ago the Kentucky Arts Council launched a redesigned website. The change was a massive undertaking for some of our staff, as the entire process was done in-house. We’d have the website construction crew canonized, but saints have to be dead and they (barely) survived the process. We have all been looking forward to the launch because a) it would be done, and we could all breathe a sigh of relief and b) the new design is attractive and fresh.
But this new website is certainly not a superficial change or even solely about aesthetics. Although we could have just decided to slap up a new coat of paint, we took the opportunity to do major renovations to better serve our constituency.
I would like to point out a few things that were deliberately engineered to improve your visits to our home.
It’s all posted on our front door.
We have all of our upcoming events and deadlines right on our homepage on a scrolling bar. No need to explore a labyrinth of pages and links to find out when your grant or program deadline is.
We labeled all of our cabinets, closets and drawers for you.
The old website was organized in a way that made sense to us and facilitated our use. But we realized the average viewer doesn’t necessarily know what we call stuff; often they are just looking for a general category like “craft artist program.” To be more welcoming and helpful, the top navigation bar is divided into the four general categories we receive the majority of our inquiries about.
We put new locks on the doors.
Ever gotten halfway through a grant application, only to discover that you are not eligible or your project isn’t applicable due to some teeny-tiny detail? Well, we don’t want that to happen to you. Each grant or program’s opening page answers several key questions before you invest your time: “What is it,” “Who is eligible,” “What is the deadline to apply?,” “How do I apply” and “What are my responsibilities?”.
We decorated with art from Kentucky artists.
We have always put Kentucky artists first, but now our website reflects this priority. The Kentucky Arts Council is launching a new Featured Artist Program that offers participants in the Kentucky Arts Council’s juried programs an opportunity to showcase an image of their work on the homepage. Our debut artist is Lynn Dunbar, who also created the artwork featured on our agency brochure. Look forward to seeing a new artist every month.
We are always home—in living color.
Above all, we are people; we have idiosyncrasies, superpowers, weaknesses, desires, hopes and dreams, good days and bad days and lives outside of the Capital Plaza Tower! But how could the average Kentucky art enthusiast know this when we are just names attached to a government e-mail account? Illustrations are great at highlighting and sometimes exaggerating humanity. We’re showing off our “exaggerated humanity” on the contact page with personalized illustrations by artist Mike Maydak.
Please come to our new homepage, take off your coat and stay a while. We would appreciate your feedback on our remodeling efforts by taking this brief survey. We are also hosting a little housewarming party on Facebook through Aug. 5. Like us and watch for an opportunity to win some prizes.
Sarah Schmitt, arts access director
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