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A Refreshed Website Experience

Today we’re launching refreshed websites for the de Young and Legion of Honor.

What is a “refresh” exactly? In our case, we focused on three specific aspects of our websites: opportunities to tell richer stories about what’s happening at the de Young and Legion of Honor, a new visual design, and a clearer focus on the unique personalities of our two museums.

Our first goal was to create a better platform for telling interesting stories about our work at the museums. These institutions are busy places, and more of what happens here—projects in our conservation departments, or news about our latest acquisitions—can now be highlighted on the new websites. We have better capabilities to display videos, places to share voices from both inside and outside the museums, and opportunities to learn more about the artists featured in our exhibitions. There are also areas to dig more deeply into institutional initiatives, or to discover special programming.

Updated video feature design
Before and after: video on the former de Young website and on today’s refreshed website.

We also updated our visual design to make our most-visited pages—those covering things like special exhibitions or how to plan a visit—more clear, concise, and appealing. Our new Visit page is a good example; hours and ticket prices are now front and center, maps of the galleries are easy to find, and unique circumstances like traffic changes are now highlighted. Elsewhere on the site, we’ve improved membership information, clarified the descriptions of our curatorial departments, and made calendar events more prominent.

Updated visit page design
The updated visual design of the Visit page is more clear, concise, and appealing.

The de Young and the Legion of Honor each have a distinctive personality; the de Young seeks to challenge convention and encourage collaboration, while the Legion of Honor focuses on the art historical, social and political context of its collection and exhibitions. These differences are now reflected more clearly on the websites. Typographic updates, new images of the building and our visitors, and fresh color palettes all help to emphasize what makes these two museums unique.

Updated homepage design
The refreshed homepages for the de Young and Legion of Honor websites.

Outside the changes to the visual design, many aspects of the sites remain the same. We haven’t changed the underlying structure of the site, so all the pages on the old site remain where you would have found them in the past. A future stage of this project will have a greater impact on the kinds of information available and how a visitor might find and explore it.

Feedback from our visitors is one of our most useful tools, and we welcome questions and comments at contact@famsf.org. We’re proud of this important first step in improving our presence online, and we’re looking forward to bigger changes in the near future.