While the Nichols House Museum remains closed to the public due to the pandemic, its new, improved website offers guests the best possible alternative to visiting in person.
“The work-from-home period allowed me to push the website out and really just immerse myself in it, and complete the pages I had left to do,” said Laura Cunningham, the museum’s curator of collections and education, who spearheaded the project.
The Nichols House Museum had an online presence before this, but the new site takes it to the cutting edge, and Cunningham credits this in no small part to Joe Nguyen, who volunteered countless hours developing it.
“He was so wonderful and generous with his time, and he did it all pro bono,” Cunningham said of Nguyen.
Linda Marshall, the museum’s executive director, wrote: “The project has been many years in the making, and we’re so excited to be able to launch the new website during this time when the Museum is temporarily closed due to COVID-19. The website presents a fresh, more contemporary face to the public and will be used as a launchpad for future programs, exhibitions, and sharing research, etc. Website developer, Joe Nguyen, has been volunteering his time over the past [three to four] years to develop the new site for the Museum.”
In designing the new site, Cunningham said she had to “rethink” old content by “refreshing the language,” as well as develop new content.
Cunningham said the new website is “great for current members already tapped in” and “just more for us to offer them,” but it’s geared specifically towards those who have yet to set foot inside the museum.
Embarking on the project, Cunningham said the design team tried to think about the site from the perspective of someone who had never been to the museum before and what would draw them in enough to want to visit.
“We wanted to make the site’s appearance and language more friendly and welcoming, since it’s so many people’s first impression of the museum,” she said. “There is so much more on the site to engage with, and hopefully that will encourage people to visit the museum on-site as well”
And for those who won’t be able to visit the museum in person when it reopens, the new website offers them the next best thing.
“For people who won’t be able to come to the museum because of geography or accessibility and mobility issues, it’s a way for them to visit remotely,” Cunningham said.
To view the Nichol House Museum’s new, revamped website for yourself, visit nicholshousemuseum.org.