Chaffey Community Museum of Art Web Design by Huntington Hearst

Designing the Chaffey Community Museum of Art Website

I started designing the site with very little information. I had a basic understanding of the museum's goals, logo, and eventually, I found a font the board chairwoman really liked. That's it.

The Chaffey Community Museum of Art (CCMA) in Ontario, California, hired Huntington Hearst to design their website redesign and move away from their old WYSIWYG HTML editor website.

Part of the reason that they hired Huntington Hearst to design the Chaffey Community Museum of Art website is that everyone else they talked to wanted to have an hour-long conversation about their website needs. While having this conversation makes things easier, they didn’t want to have this conversation. I believe this was in part because all they wanted was a more modern looking site. It was my job to figure out what that meant. And I did.

I started designing the site with very little information. I had a basic understanding of the museum’s goals, their logo, and eventually, I found a font the board chairwoman really liked. That’s it.

They needed a store to sell museum memberships and process online donations. They required different pages for each of the gallery spaces in the museum.

Their logo is green and purple.

And they’re going to have many different artworks. The different colors involved mandated a neutral color palette to work with any artwork they’d want to show.

And the board chairwoman (who comes from a printing background, so she understands fonts and design) loved the Playfair Display font.

Yes, that’s all I started with.

To start designing the Chaffey Community Museum of Art website I created a staging site on my Siteground hosting account and stared an empty Elementor screen. I had no inspiration, no direction, and very little direction. Finally, I found a template site (I wish I’d saved it) with great design ideas. I took a bit from one template and a bit from another. I started cobbling things together in Elementor until I had something I was happy enough with to offer it as a homepage idea. About a week later, I presented it to the chairwoman.

And she loved it!

Chaffey Community Museum of Art Website - WordPress and Elementor back end

Of course, she had corrections and ideas. That’s part of the design process. It’s during this first meeting that she saw the Playfair Display font she loved. I meant to remove it and forgot. But that’s another story. That one font gave me more data to design the site with. And yes, that font had a real impact on the design process and outcome.

After getting the homepage nailed down, and that took a few iterations, the rest was easy. I used the Yoast Duplicate Post plugin to duplicate the homepage and edit the copy to fit the needs of the new page.

To incorporate selling museum memberships and donations, I used WooCommerce. And the museum purchased a license for the Donation for WooCommerce plugin. It was relatively easy to configure and has worked well for their needs.

The chairwoman is now one of my biggest supporters. I am currently working on another website for a different organization she works with. This one will be a transfer from a Joomla website to WordPress with a complete redesign and modernization. I’ll share the details of this one when it’s finished.