Keio University, the oldest institute of western higher education in Japan, celebrated its 160-year anniversary in 2018. Keio’s culture and arts center, Keio Museum Commons (KeMCo), wanted to create a digital experience to connect the university with the public and other academic communities around the world.
Through KeMCo, Keio shares their vast collection of art and cultural assets with students and academics around the world. Together we defined and designed the Keio Digital Archive, a digital space that aggregates and displays Keio’s collections.
Designit’s team mapped out KeMCo’s functions and future activities to see the Digital Archive’s role within the wider museum ecosystem. Before deciding on key screens and features for the MVP, we needed to understand user segments and journeys. KeMCo’s potential users provided a starting point for us to scope down and identify the researchers and learners who get the most use out of the Digital Archive.
We invited a mix of students to share their expectations and wishes for the Digital Archive’s features and visual identity. Feedback broke down into two user groups – art majors, who looked for research tools and robust search functions, and students from other majors, who sought a more immersive, aesthetic experience.
Based on feedback from the main user group, art students, we prioritized research capabilities in the MVP. The team also kept an eye on KeMCo’s future vision for the Digital Archive by creating a UI toolkit that simplifies how the KeMCo team will implement website updates. Following the launch, we facilitated a workshop to map out how the website will evolve to serve the Digital Archive’s future needs.