The Art Experience and the Journey Towards it

The National Gallery of Denmark



When we experience art within the confines of a gallery, we tend to open our mind and senses beyond the usual. We want to be inspired, we want to be puzzled, we want to feel. When everything comes together, the experience can be profound, enlightening, even life-changing.

But experiencing art at a gallery requires planning. To some, little, but to others, a host of challenges arise, when planning a trip to the gallery.

When SMK - The National Gallery of Denmark asked us to design their new website, we wanted to address both the profound and the practical.

How can we transfer the uniqueness of the art experience into the digital sphere, and how might we fit it into our constantly more busy lives?





What Matters on
the Journey Towards Art?

Through continuous cycles of getting user insights, mapping the customer journey, pinpointing pains and gains, and prototyping solutions to be tested on users, we set out to uncover what really matters to people before their actual visit to the gallery.

The process already started at the pitch. Instead of illustrating how we would answer to tedious requirements specifications or impress with enticing examples of how key page types might come to look, we investigated into a narrow user scenario: 

How to plan a trip to the museum with kids?


What Matters in an Art Experience?

Art can be experienced everywhere. But art at a gallery – or more generally, exhibited art – has the unique potential to obtain full attention to the art object, and exclude everything else – context, the noise of the world and everyday worries alike.

The visual experience of the website found inspiration in the frame, as a metaphor for the exclusive focus. The frame gives different pieces of content full focus and calls upon us to exclude everything else. And correspondingly, the absence of the frame widens the perspective and brings us back into the more practical realm.

How can we connect the digital and physical experience?









In Opposition to Indifference

The result is a digital experience with equal weight on the art experience and how to experience art.

“The website is an inner journey into the DNA of the institution”

Jonas Heide Smith

Digital Lead, SMK