<p>Press Release from Cogapp</p>

<p>9 February 2009</p>

<p>National Portrait Gallery launches major new website and online collection, designed and developed by Cogapp.
<br /><a href="http://www.npg.org.uk">www.npg.org.uk</a></p&gt;

<p>- New site with redesign and improved navigation systems
<br />- 120,000 records of Gallery portraits online of which 60,000 contain large-screen-size scans and zoom facilities
<br />- Access to letters, private and research papers</p>

<p>The National Portrait Gallery, holder of the world’s most extensive collection of portraits, is launching a major new website and online collection, designed and developed by Cogapp. This new website further opens up the Gallery’s collections with greater-sized visuals, increased zoom facilities and an archive of private papers, online for the first time.</p>

<p>The site’s design places the Gallery’s online collection of 120,000 portraits, from the 16th Century to the present day, front and centre. To achieve this, Cogapp’s design team focused on the National Portrait Gallery's portraits themselves, allowing them to be seen as large and as often as possible. Along with being searchable by name, portraits can also be searched by date and occupation, with a facility to identify individuals within group portraits. The Collection can also be browsed room by room or by selected highlighted portraits. Added to these new routes into the Collection, online access to private papers and letters relating to sitters will allow the public to view them for the first time. These enhancements to the digital collection offer a unique asset for the nation, and for its historians and visual artists alike.</p>

<p>The Gallery’s staff have been provided with the tools to create and standardise content across the site through a content management system customised by Cogapp from open source CMS ModX, ensuring an efficient and easy to manage workflow. The site’s e-commerce system has also been upgraded to make links between Collection pages and products that relate to the relevant sitter or artist and to ensure a smooth and simple experience for visitors. Enhancements have been made to the ‘What’s On?’ Section, including introducing an events calendar enabling visitors to see at a glance what is happening on a particular day, or range of days up to several months ahead in terms of exhibitions, displays and events, and also to the site’s navigation.</p>

<p>Following a highly competitive tender process Cogapp was awarded the contract to redevelop the Gallery's website in October 2007. Initially, stakeholder interviews were conducted with the Gallery's Curators and Directors to help to develop an in-depth understanding of the organisation's unique needs and expectations. As work progressed, Cogapp carried out a number of rounds of user research and wireframe testing at the company’s in-house observation studio - a similar user-centred approach to that employed by Cogapp to award-winning effect for the British Museum, in 2007.</p>

<p>This latest project extends the highly fruitful, decade-long relationship between the National Portrait Gallery and Cogapp, which has previously seen collaborations on an earlier website and online collection along with the Portrait Explorer interactive kiosk system and CD-ROM. </p>

<p>Sandy Nairne, Director of the National Portrait Gallery, London, says: ‘The website is a wonderful and critical part of the National Portrait Gallery’s future. This is an excellent step forward.’</p>

<p>Rachael Rainbow, Project Manager for Cogapp, added: “We have been delighted to build on our long-term relationship with the National Portrait Gallery and work with them to deliver a world-class website which puts the needs of their users first and foremost - and places their incredible collection of portraits front and centre".</p>

<p>For more information, please contact:</p>

<p>Niki Strange
<br />Head of Business Development
<br />Cogapp
<br />Lees House
<br />21-33 Dyke Road
<br />Brighton
<br />BN1 3FE</p>

<p>Tel: 01273 821 600
<br />Mail: <a href="mailto:nikis@cogapp.com">nikis@cogapp.com</a>
<br />Web: <a href="http://www.cogapp.com">www.cogapp.com</a&gt;
<br />Blog: <a href="http://www.blog.cogapp.com">www.blog.cogapp.com</a></p&gt;

<p>Notes for Editors:</p>

<p>Cogapp (<a href="http://www.cogapp.com">www.cogapp.com</a&gt;) is an award-winning consultancy, design and production company working with online and interactive media. Founded in 1985, the company started using digital multimedia in the late 1980s and is now one of the most experienced of its kind in the world. Cogapp has particular expertise in, and an international reputation for, user-centred large scale, long term and innovative work with museums, charities, media, commercial and government organisations. Recent clients include the British Museum, Macmillan Cancer Support, Prudential, the Home Office and the BBC. Current clients include Manchester United, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the National Portrait Gallery in London and the National Archives. The company's aim is to produce well-conceived, beautifully executed and engaging projects that will provide lasting value for clients and enrich the lives of the people who use them. Cogapp has offices in Brighton, England and an outpost in Washington DC. For more information please visit <a href="http://www.cogapp.com">www.cogapp.com</a&gt; and read the company blog at <a href="http://www.blog.cogapp.com/.</p">www.blog.cogapp.com/.</p</a>&gt;

<p>Founded in 1856, the National Portrait Gallery is home to the largest collection of portraits in the world featuring famous British men and women who have created history from the Middle Ages until the present day. A rotating collection, it continues to acquire and commission portraits in the media of paintings, drawing, photographs and sculpture. As well as its London home, the Gallery has nationwide collections in appropriate period settings at Beningbrough Hall in Yorkshire, Bodelwyddan Castle in North Wales and Montacute House in Somerset. Visit <a href="http://www.npg.org.uk">www.npg.org.uk</a&gt;
<br />
<br />DiMA:S – The Digital Media Awards: South is managed by digital business development agency, Wired Sussex. Cogapp won the DiMA:S award for User Experience 2008 for design and information architecture work undertaken for the British Museum as part of their web re-development.</p>



Published on: 3:12AM on 10th February 2009