Performing the Jewish Archive

Case Study

Performing the Jewish Archive

Thought and Mortar had the honour of partnering with one of the UK’s most highly regarded universities, The University of Leeds. Having set out to rediscover musical and theatrical works by 20th century Jewish artists – which until now have languished in obscurity – our role was to preserve these findings digitally.

Image of Homepage design

We achieved this by designing and developing a digital presence – Performing the Jewish Archive – which showcases their invaluable work.

Our work began by conducting in depth research to fully understand the heart of the project. The broad audience with which it needed to engage and encourage successful interaction, was the key to informing our strategic approach. We held co-design workshops with the university as well as user groups to guide our process.

The outcome is an archive that introduces people to these performative works through a series of ‘Curated Collections’. The ‘Browse’ section also allows users to delve deeper into this content, through a well-considered intuitive search interface.

We are extremely proud to have been a part of this project, and to have produced a site that delivers fascinating content in equal success to the appeal of its visual design.

Take a look: ptjarchive.leeds.ac.uk

Things we did

  • User Experience
  • Website design
  • Front-end development
Image of the Browse interface

From brand to browse

The research stage of the project quickly revealed the varied demographic of our user groups; from the curious to people who have been deeply affected by the period. Needing to appeal to an audience of varied age, profession and background we lay our focus upon creating a user experience accessible to all.

The cohesive design system simplifies the experience of searching and browsing. Making the vast quantity of information contained within the archive infinitely more approachable to its broad audience.

User groups informed and guided the decision-making process, with each group allowing us to measure the success of each idea.

An archive CMS

In addition to creating the front-end code, we were asked to design and build a content management system (CMS) that would play nicely with particular technical requirements the university has in place.

In addition to creating the front-end code, we were asked to design and build a relation-based content management system that would efficiently serve the large volume of content in the archive while interacting seamlessly with the specific technical requirements of the university.

Image of the archive design