SFMOMA: Rauschenberg Research Project

Between 2010 and 2012 I consulted with SFMOMA on a research and design initiative to translate the traditional print catalog to an online, living format. Working directly with stakeholders at the museum and their target scholarly audience, we designed a holistic digital catalog while simultaneously integrating it into the existing SFMOMA website framework, allowing visitors to find content independently from the project itself as well as allowing seamless administration of the pages into SFMOMA's existing workflow.

I began this work at Hot Studio and continued as an independent consultant.

View the project.



As a team we analyzed potential content that would live in the project pages and made some assumptions about how their target audience would want to use such an online catalog. We took our assumptions on the road and interviewed over a dozen scholars, professors, graduate students, librarians, and curators.


Conceptual Models

I created conceptual models based on how our audience thought about Robert Rauschenberg, his artworks, and their relationships to contextually relevant materials and scholarship.




Under the requirements that the new digital catalog be integrated into the existing website without creating a number of new templates or adding to workflow, I iterated on a number of wireframes that would support that requirement, as well as meet our audience's expectations.




We conducted two rounds of usability tests. The first was with our target audience to validate that the designs met their expectations. We created an HTML prototype for this particular test, developed a test plan and script, recruited within our audience and created a report with recommendations.

The second round of testing was a guerrilla paper prototype session. One part of the design, an image viewer, was going to be a universal feature used throughout the SFMOMA website, not just in the catalog. We opted to grab folks in the SFMOMA Café and walk them through printouts of the wireframes. 

In both cases we made adjustments to the original wireframes prior to moving into visual design.


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