In 2001, Marc Doyle, a UK-based artist and designer, had the idea of setting up a website to encourage students and amateur artists to exchange their artistic ideas and views. Artists who registered for the site would be able to upload images of their work, along with descriptions and prices, and send the images as e-cards. They could also contribute articles to the “Art Magazine” section, and access a resource of art history articles in a section titled “Movements”.
The Development Challenge
The Art Industri website had to be an easily scalable portal application that was cost-effective to develop and maintain. It clearly needed a large amount of complicated functionality, with many interactive features. The artists? portfolio functions had to upload images, statements and contact information, and allow editing of the same. Additional community functions were to include a bulletin board, a guestbook and favourite links.
Why Magic Web?
Magic Web were experienced in developing applications for forums and online communities. With many useful software components already written in other projects development became the relatively straightforward task of building these solutions into the Art Industri portal.
The Art Industri Group decided that the best way to achieve a high quality output was to work in collaboration with Magic Web Solutions, approaching the website as a joint venture.
The site was constructed with MYSQL, PHP, JAVA and JSP (in the forums). It was launched in mid-2002. In the first year, the number of registered artists passed 1,700, with the number of approved images exceeding 6,100 (each artist may upload up to 20 images into the portal).
Many users have reported that Art Industri offers a greater number of portfolio features than other free portals, and even some subscription sites. With continued positive feedback, Art Industri is now one of the fastest growing art-based portals in its sector.
Mark Doyle is extremely satisfied with the outcome:
“The application needed to be easy to use, easily upgraded and simple to maintain. We have achieved this and improved on our original specification through excellent communication between our two companies.”
He has since joined forces with Magic Web Solutions to create two more sites using the same basic skeleton but with added features, for example: mypetpages.net