Designing Art in the Afternoon (fish in the morning)

Art in the Afternoon (fish in the morning)

Art in the Afternoon (fish in the morning)

Fast Smart Web Design has worked with Naima Rauam on her site, Art in the Afternoon (fish in the morning), through two design iterations. Both the first and current versions are notable for what’s not there: No colored backgrounds, no busy banner, no complicated navigational strategies. Instead, because the site is so simple, your eye is drawn to the paintings themselves.

Why is the site called “Art in the Morning (fish in the afternoon)”? Simple: When Naima started painting at the Fulton Fish Market, one of the fish mongers let her set up a gallery in his shop after the market closed at 11 a.m.

With Art in the Afternoon, we learned two things:

  • The more descriptions you include, the better search results you get. This is obvious, of course, but it’s time-consuming to write descriptions–and if you’re spending your time describing old pieces,  when do you get time to make new ones?  But as Naima adds more  text, her Google Analytics page shows more hits.
  • Simplicity is not for everyone. When we showed Naima’s site to Russians in our usability workshop in Moscow, they didn’t like it at all. But after we toured the Hermitage in St. Petersburg a few days later, we guessed why the minimalist style was so unpopular in Russia. If your ideal staircase looks like this, why would you like a plain white background?
Staircase at the Hermitage Museum

A staircase at the Hermitage Museum

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3 Responses to “Designing Art in the Afternoon (fish in the morning)”

  1. Victor Says:

    That’s not art, that’s just the staircase leading to the art. When you get to the rooms holding the actual artwork, you are much further blown away. There is gold leaf on everything and the walls are three-dimensional with moldings, gee-gaws, and putti.

    Which is fine for the Hermitage, but on a website you don’t want to look at the walls the art is hanging on, you want to look at the art. The website should merely be the vehicle that brings the art (or information) and shouldn’t attract attention to itself.

  2. Why Maintaining Your Own Site Works « Living the Non-profit Life Says:

    […] events, Meals on Wheels of Staten Island is as comforting and comfortable as an old slipper, and ArtPM changes and evolves as Naima comes up with new ideas every month or […]

  3. Artist Takes Charge of Website, Creates Masterpiece « Websites 101 Says:

    […] December 2011, we wrote a piece about her last version, extolling the virtues of simplicity and letting the art speak for itself. However, a month later, […]

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