ArtStart is the National Gallery’s award-winning interactive media system, launched to great acclaim in 2005. The Gallery has made a number of enhancements to the system with the help of digital agency Cimex, improving the user experience and access to the collection.

ArtStart helps users look up information about every painting in the Gallery via high-quality touch-screens. Cimex was commissioned to develop an A-Z artist index and a facility that would allow visitors to browse the entire collection on one screen, known as ‘visual browse’.

Employing a user centred design (UCD) approach, the agency enhanced their user’s journey through the collection, making it more accessible for all visitors from beginners to experts.

The new facility provides easier access to the whole collection and increases the opportunities for visitors to make serendipitous discoveries. The paintings can be arranged by date, by artist or in a random ‘shuffle’ mode. With the A-Z artist tool, visitors can go directly to an artist’s work.

Since the new look ArtStart system was launched, the visual browse functionality has been used more than 15 000 time a month and the Artist A-Z search tool more than 55 000 times a month. And now more than 95% of paintings are viewed at least once a month.

The new visual browse feature is proving to be most popular with ArtStart’s younger users.

“ArtStart aims to introduce new visitors to the National Gallery’s collection – with over 2 300 paintings; some people don’t know where to start. The new Visual Browse feature lets visitors flick effortlessly through the entire collection, pausing when something catches their eye.”

“Our other new feature – the Artist A-Z – let’s visitors go directly to the paintings by the artists they are most interested in. Cimex collaborated closely with the Gallery and has successfully delivered an attractive and fitting addition to our award-winning system. We are very pleased with the outcome,” said Andrew Doran, Front of House New Media Manager, National Gallery.

Editors Notes:
- Cimex is a top 40 interactive media agency, which has pioneered cutting edge design, technical expertise and engaging content in business and learning digital media projects for over 10 years – winning more than 30 awards in the process, including two BAFTA Interactive Awards.

For enquiries, please contact:
Marketing Manager
53-55 Scrutton Street

Tel: 020 7324 7780
Fax: 0207 324 7781

Published on: 12:00AM on 30th August 2007