The new DACS website

In the UK, many artists don’t realise the full extent of their legal rights regarding copyright, and as a result they often fail to receive the royalties that are owed to them. DACS is a non-profit organisation that aims to change this situation. Run “by artists, for artists”, they aim to educate artists about their rights, provide a range of royalty-related services and lobby the Government to ensure artists’ rights never become sidelined.

Before DACS approached Clearleft, they had a website packed with legalese – language that was written by solicitors with an intimidating level of detail. They realised they needed a new content strategy and a website that could deliver this content in an inspiring and persuasive way.

When we began our research, we quickly discovered that even though the organisation’s user groups were diverse, they were united by a common concern: none of them wanted to become legal experts, and only needed “just enough” information about the law to complete their personal goals. For example, artists only wanted to be told about the copyright laws that affected them, not the stuff that affected art galleries or lobbyists – a classic case of “Tell me what’s in it for me, leave out the rest!”

After a period of analysis and prototyping, we realised that the website needed different areas for each user type that could quickly triage users into the correct places. Once in the right place, users could then be shown content with an appropriate perspective, tone-of voice and calls-to-action that matched their needs.

When it came to the visual design, DACS had already undergone an extensive rebrand exercise for print but they needed assistance translating this into a suitable web aesthetic. Ultimately, we drew upon their photographic library of artists to give a “human face” to the organisation, and we combined this with a restrained typographic pallet to ensure legibility. This was, of course, responsively designed to ensure a good experience across a wide range of devices.

“Harry delivered some outstanding work for us – revolutionising our website’s user experience. […] While we were overwhelmed by the challenge, Harry cut a clear path through it all. The result is a website that has vastly improved our online presence and in the second month after go-live we saw a 90% in visitor figures on the previous year.” Tania Spriggens – Director of Communications, DACS

This was a 12 week, 2 man project. I was UX Lead while Paul Lloyd was Visual Designer and Front End Developer. This Case Study was first published on clearleft.com.