UX Analysis of a Creative Exhibition

We’re doing a brief in-site on the promotional site for the Massey University Exposure Exhibition. You can view the site here. We’re going to look into the design and layout of the homepage and make some assumptions on what was prioritized and why the design decisions were made. This should give us a good basis for understanding the general “why” of the design of this site.

Homepage
Hover Effect on the Squares

Where we land above the fold presents us with the name of the University and the event and some random squares that spell out “exposure” when you hover them. The header is a bit of a conundrum. One man’s artistic and creative header is another man’s distraction that takes away from the content a user is here for. I tend to side with the distraction. I personally spent about 30 seconds or so trying to figure what in the world it spelled out. lol.

The expansion of the header after clicking the “i”

There’s also a large lowercase “i” that I mistook for part of the hover thing. And that “I” is the only place to see the dates of the physical exhibition on the homepage. I’m not sure why you would put the date of the event behind a click rather than out in the open. Information that important shouldn’t be hidden in plain sight. They would probably do better by showing that info rather than some hover effects with no purpose other than “delight”.

As we move down the page we’re thankfully met with a list of filters to whittle down the massive list of 350+ graduates. It’s extremely tough to manage this many pieces of information on one page. While not the most simplified or aesthetically pleasing way to display all of this it does accomplish the task.

The filters, while helpful, only grey out the irrelevant links rather than collapsing the list. Which means the entry you want to get to is still just as physically far away as it was before it was filtered. The extra step of bringing results physically closer would have helped that much more.

Filtered List

A possible use case for the site would be a proud family member that just wants to get to their student and may not exactly know the discipline they’re under. (Like most of our families that can’t speak to what we do either, lol) Alphabetical order is a great option for that scenario. I would like to see an option where every alphabetical group would start collapsed and then you would click to expand it. It would help to simplify and clarify the huge list a bit. I don’t know how many users would want access to all 350 students at once.

The entries also have a feature where if you hover over the link, a preview of the students work is displayed. While this provides added context to make sure you have the right student before you click, the execution is a bit off.

Image Preview Hover

I like the fact that image was processed to match the site’s aesthetics, but the image pops up over top of the list of students and I believe has a multiply blending mode applied so the clarity of the image is severely obscured. I would rather have seen the space below the filters used as an area to display the images. That way the work gets the platform it deserves and isn’t displayed in an area where many of the images will be hard to decipher.

Image Preview Placement Idea
Wayfinding and Footer

The site ends with the wayfinding system for finding each discipline at the physical event, an about link and the footer.

Overall the Swiss inspired layout and heavy use of red make for a clean and modern site, and with a few UX tweaks could make a useful one for promoting the event and celebrating the graduation of an army of creatives.

What insights did you pull from this site? Let me know in the comments.