Performing the Jewish Archive

Case Study

Performing the Jewish Archive

The University of Leeds, one of the UK's largest universities, has set out to rediscover musical and theatrical works by Jewish artists, many of which have languished in obscurity until recently.

Image of Homepage design

To help preserve these findings, the university partnered with Thought and Mortar to design and develop a digital presence, called Performing the Jewish Archive, that can be used to showcase their invaluable work.

During the research stage of the project it soon became clear that the people using the site (our user groups) would come from a wide demographic; young and old, students and teachers, the curious and people who have been deeply affected by this period in time.

In order to truly understand the thinking that had already taken place, before our involvement in the project, we held a series of co-design workshops with the university. The user groups were used to guide the decision making process, with each group used to measure the success, or failure, of our ideas.

The outcome is an archive that introduces people to musical and theatrical works through a series of 'Curated Collections'. There is also a 'Browse' section which allows users to find content, and delve deeper, through a well considered, intuitive search interface.

We are extemely proud to have been a part of this project. A project that delivers fascinating content in equal sucess to the appeal of its visual design.

Things we did

  • User experience
  • Interface design
  • Front-end development
Image of the Browse interface

From brand to browse

The new website delivers a cohesive design system that simplifies the experience of searching and browsing the vast quantity of information.

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.

We worked alongside Mark Wales who created a bespoke relation-based CMS written in PHP 7.0 and Laravel, necessary to efficiently serve the large volume of content in the archive.

Image of the archive design