Our new artist database and user interface for the Inuit Art Foundation had to be accessible to users from the populous south to the remote north. The IAF is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the work of Inuit artists across Canada. We created a resource for artists to control their self-presentation and crowd source information otherwise unavailable to them.
Understanding the special needs of artists working in remote communities was essential.
Our first priority was to really listen to IAF representatives before making recommendations and drawing up priorities. In addition to cultural and historically based sensitivities, technical barriers to internet communication in the far north emerged as a key issue.
Project success would ultimately depend on artists taking part and contributing.
We created interactive mock-ups and proto-types for the IAF to circulate among artists in the north. Their feedback helped us determine which fields should be public or private, which should be configurable and which should framed to accommodate special sensitivities.
The community now has a new home base.
We provided the IAF and their constituents with a central repository of information on Inuit artists across Canada. Our solution met the overriding goal of offering access in communities where bandwidths are extremely low, even while maintaining a high standard of visual design. An intuitive interface allows artists to edit their profiles and users to suggest improvements.
“Engagement statistics have been very, very high.”
“Artists,” the IAF has told us, “have been particularly excited about the way that their work is being presented.” Our database is helping establish professional records essential for attracting interest from museums, collectors and grant-giving bodies. It’s moving Inuit art towards a new state of play.