As I am creating my own Art Photography/Performance website I will look at two photographers websites whose work I admire; Katy Grannan & Corrine Day. Here I am analysing the website itself, and how the work of the artists is displayed and how easy and functional the website is for the user. This website research will assist me in understanding how to create my own website so I will consider the overall design, colours, and typography, navigation, usability/user-friendliness, links and mobile view.
I will begin with the Katy Grannan Website. I will begin the homepage design, the homepage here although looks interesting and is well laid out in a grid format with a landscape header, it has the artists name however it does not state what kind of artist she is or that in fact she is a photographer and filmmaker. When I click into the film at the top - it just states 'trailer for film' but there is no introduction and I do not know what this is about. I click into he other boxes and there are just a single image and do not lead anywhere just state and event or exhibition. This is very disappointing as I cannot directly from the homepage click into her work.
I then went onto the navigation bar, this is on the left hand side and includes galleries, exhibitions, screening and how to connect. It is very simple and easy to use but also not very interesting in design and when I click on the first tab 'Galleries' It is just a page with the galleries her work shows at.
As can be seen from this image there are no images! just a list of galleries and the same is true of the Screenings page which is just a list on a black page and the Exhibitions (a list on a black page)
The Social Media connects to Facebook, Twitter/X and Instagram. Grannan does not have a huge number of followers on Facebook or Twitter (around 800) however on Instagram she has 11.3k . There are posts but clearly they are not all as well used as they could be.
I then checked the mobile phone website and this was pretty much the same except the homepage just scrolls through the grid squares. The black page are the same but some of these have not been adjusted for the phone view so do not fit on the page properly.
Overall the experience of using this website was highly disappointing I wanted to look at galleries' of images and really explore the wok and instead there are just black pages with lists or singular images to promote something. There was essentially very little photography and I would not visit this site again.
The second website I looked at was Corrine Day Website. I will begin with the homepage which actually contains a biography/history as Day died young, starting off as a model and then becoming a photographer at the height of heroine chic. Day was close friends with her muses and this intimacy is reflected in her images.
The homepage here has a black background and white text it states simply her name and that she is a photographer and includes her images which make the page immediately more interesting and I want to see more. Scrolling down the page there is quite a of of information as this site is created by the Corrine Day Estate and in the footer there are different email contact addresses for enquires about her work. The copyright symbol is in the footer and there is a copyright statement and term of use link to protect the artists work.
The second page on the navigation which is situated in the header and is easy to use. Is the Autobiography page which is written by the artist in her lifetime and includes an image - this is a nice remembrance of the person she was as it is personal and engaging.
The next three pages are 'Fashion', 'Musicians' and 'Actors' and these all show examples of her work which you can click into and enjoy
For Instance in Vogue China you can view the shoot here..
When you click into the images they all pop up full screen so this is a very good way to show photographic images to be able to really see and explore the work.
The user then just click in and read the press article and see the images. This works really well as it gives an idea of her time in the 90s and a context to the work Day created.
The last page is 'Missing Negatives which are actually good to see but are missing negatives the foundation is looking for.
I love to see old negatives as this is how I learnt photography on an Olympus OM-2 SLR camera using Ilford film.
There is no social media on this site as this site is the Corinne Day Estate it is understandable, I do think this site is a very good remembrance of the artists work and is consistent, clean and easy to use throughout and I am glad in a way there is no social media.
The mobile view on the Corinne day site - the homepage has an image and Enter site and then goes to the home and the information shown above the images are quite small on the mobile and these could be bigger and the writing a little smaller as the writing does dominate the mobile homepage. The gallery pages work well as the images still pop up nicely with the information and when you tap they appear large on the screen. Each page's format has been adjusted well to the mobile screen, I would say perhaps except the homepage. Overall and enjoyable and pleasant experience and I would definitely visit again.
Comparing both sites, clearly the first site was disappointing - I think the homepage could have been interesting and I actually quite liked the grid design but clicking into each grid was disappointing whereas everything on Corrine Day's website when you clicked in there was more images and information and each image could be make full screen when clicking on it. Thinking about my own site I will consider having maybe more images on the homepage that can be clicked into and I will ensure all images enlarge to full screen and have correct title and good information. Both sites were consistent in dark background and clear text throughout in the same font so there was no confusion as to the site you are looking at. I feel that the consistency on my site is similar so i am happy with this aspect of the website. Social media was interesting on Grannan's I am not sure how much it added but I expect if you follow Grannan on Twitter or Instagram then it is interesting and informative. On Day's as there was not any I almost preferred this I could look at ethe work and just enjoy and did not feel any need to 'connect' or to 'share' - this has made me reconsider the inclusion of some of my own social media on my own site.
The mobile view on Day's site was much more interesting, worked better throughout and although I think the homepage could be improved there was a landing page with an image which was inviting. Grannan's did not work well and was not that interesting or engaging. Looking at these it did remind me how important it is to get the mobile view right and working properly and I will be focusing on this in UX testing after I have published.
This was a good experience as I have considered my own design ideas and my own site while viewing these and I will be exploring different ideas with my galleries to make them engaging and user friendly to ensure that my site visitors want to return!