Case Study NW Film Center

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The Challenge

The Portland Art Museum was ready to mature the website of their sister organization, the NW Film Center, with a full IA/UX overhaul and UI redesign. Teams at the Museum and the Center had identified what they believed were some critical shortcomings of the Film Center’s website. They knew the Center’s website needed to be reimagined and redesigned but didn’t know how to approach the process. They challenged me to validate their assumptions and understand if there were additional opportunities to create a more meaningful engagement with their audience.

Screenshot of the home page of the NW Film Center website

Primary Objectives

  • Sell more tickets to film screenings
  • Increase volume of class registrations
  • Reach a broader audience
  • Facilitate successful information seeking


Mark Wyner is smart, passionate, and extremely insightful. His work sessions and usability testing helped our team quickly get to the core needs of the site to create a better user experience with a more intuitive structure. I would work with him again in a heartbeat.

Michael Smith, Art Director

My Approach

Early conversations revealed that the teams weren’t completely aligned about existing deficiencies, or even how to position the Center to fulfill the desired narrative. My first objective was to connect the dots between their perceived shortcomings and their primary goals for the redesign. Then I wanted to learn more about the behavior of their audience, both in task flows and information seeking patterns. This required UX/design research, and a deeper engagement with the teams. Once some ideas were in place, we would employ user testing for an iterative IA/UX process, yielding validated maps and wireframes to be used by UI designers, writers, and developers.

Scope of Work

  • Heuristics audit
  • Analytics audit
  • Competitive landscape analysis
  • Stakeholder interviews
  • Collaborative design
  • Visual sketching
  • IA and wireframes
  • User testing

Photo of sticky notes on a whiteboard and a screenshot of wireframes

Screenshot of standardization grid and a screenshot of a heatmap

The Results

When I completed my research and UX work, I was very satisfied that the thoughtful participation by my client helped drive a deep collaboration, enabling us to realize this product to its full potential. They were very active with me, and I witnessed many moments of revelation throughout the process.

Increase in ticket sales
Increase in class registrations
Swing from paid to organic traffic