Museum Council



We have a new site! (And a new identity!)

When I joined the board as chair of the Marketing Committee in June 2018, I knew I would be responsible for leading the effort to redesign our website. Conversations for what we wanted from a new site had been started by my predecessor so I simply needed to pick up the baton.

Why we did it.

In the months leading up to the board change, the Marketing Committee met to discuss the state of the original site trying to identify problems that could be easily fixed. The problems we listed included:

  • A homepage that wasn’t dynamic or effective. It didn’t display upcoming events and failed to represent the mission or personality of Museum Council.

  • A blog that didn’t represent the diversity of our members or of their experiences.

  • The platform wasn’t flexible. We couldn’t easily add features or change the overall structure.

  • It looked dated. The site’s template had a very limited set of styles

I joined the board in the midst of a major change to its makeup. Six of us—almost half—replaced existing members. For many, this is our first experience sitting on any board and we all share a fresh energy and an enthusiasm to jump into this leadership work. And as I met individual with members, I heard from them about the changes they wanted to make in their areas. I wanted a platform that we could restructure as the members of the board rotate in and out and the council evolves.

Evaluating the original site.

I had been a member of Museum Council and of the Marketing Committee for years and had my own opinions for the structure and content of the site. But I dug into the analytics to understand how people were using it. Turns out, almost half of those coming to the site was looking for information about job openings in the area.

A need for a new identity.

As we started mocking up the design and structure of the new site, we realized the colors and styles of our current branding was limiting our options. We saw this as an opportunity to refresh our identity, too. So mid-fall we paused on the web design work to focus on this. We now have an identity that works with the clean, open feel of the website, but we also have icons that work for social media.

Why now?

2019 marks the 80th anniversary of the council. Throughout the year, we’ll offer programs celebrating our anniversary and reflecting on our origins and evolution. I wanted the site and new branding to launch at the beginning of the year to pair our telling of our history by demonstrating our future.

What’s next?

After some final edits, I’ll be moving on to this section, News, and evolving the strategy. In my early research, I latched on to sites like PEW and NY museums. Their news sections are populated with interviews and writings by grantees or members. These digital spaces feel more like an ongoing conversation around practice. I’d like ours to turn into a repository for our collective knowledge and a space for lively discussions about our ideas and projects—discussions we can continue ILR at events and happy hours.

I enjoyed seeing the new site take shape and collaborating with my friends and peers. The highlight of this work was digging into our archive of photos from past events.

Liz Russell