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HueArts New York State

User Research | UX Design | Product Development | 7 months

hero image huearts windows.png

The first visual and textual record of New York State's BIPOC-owned arts and cultural landscape


Museum Hue works to paint a larger portrait of the arts and culture field by providing greater support and recognition for Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) throughout museums and other cultural entities. The challenge was to understand the different challenges that BIPOC arts entities face within New York State (excluding New York City) to see how they can best support these entities that are BIPOC-led and owned. 


Survey Design | Research Synthesis | Sketch | Wireframing | Data Visualization | Data Collection | Database Management | Development

I worked on this for 7 months as an employee of Hester Street, an urban planning non-profit.


3 Clients (facilitators)

1 Project manager

1 User researcher

1 Graphic designer

1 UI designer/Developer


The research examined the values and contributions of arts and cultural entities in New York State founded and led by BIPOC. Specifically, the research identified the challenges, triumphs, and joys experienced by these entities and their leaders, as well as the critical resources necessary for long-term success. The study used a mixed methods approach that included 14 stakeholder interviews, three focus groups, a survey, and a competitive analysis. Navigate the slideshow to see the different research methods in depth.

Starting with Stakeholders

Stakeholder interviews with 14 New York State arts leaders provided insight into arts communities as they were experts in the field. I used a card-sorting session during these interviews to brainstorm potential audience members using this tool and why. I learned about the key users of the map.

HueArts NYS Stakeholder meeting

Digging Deeper



45 respondents answered survey questions regarding themes heard from interviews. A challenge I faced was determining the length of the survey and balancing out the quantitative information with the consideration of drop-off rates. It took two iterations of editing the survey question wording and the number of questions. 


Here are a few snippets of insights that were found from the synthesis. More is available in the report from HueArts NYS.

Opportunities to collaborate

Funding issues trickle down to their staff capacity, professional development, and their well-being. More than half (52%) of the entities surveyed for HueArts NYS operate on budgets of under $50,000. Artists want to connect to share grant funding opportunities, strategies, resources, and professional development opportunities.

Image by Avi Richards

"Arts organizations operate in a scarcity mindset. Through partnership we increase the offering and extend both of their budgets and broadening connections and network."

Image by Brian Gordillo

"My collaboration ends up being coincidental, like when I meet them at some sort of fair, but never intentional. I'd like to change that with this resource."

Operating in silos

Arts entities in different parts of the state often operate independently due to geographical distances and limited transportation options. As a result, there is a lack of communication and collaboration in sharing opportunities and resources.

More than art

Art spaces offer more than just a space for selling or performing art. They provide essential platforms for creating, supporting, and sustaining BIPOC artists. These spaces address the lack of representation and inclusion in traditional art venues and serve as a vital source of community, cultural expression, and creativity.


"When you think of the Hamptons or even New York State, you don’t think about native people still living there. And just that simple idea of representing oneself and trying to persuade people you are, has been a challenge."



Define & Ideate

The goal of the design was to create a simple and engaging map for HueArts NYS state arts entities to connect, share resources, and increase their visibility to secure grant funding and professional development opportunities. To achieve this, the design direction included a map view and list view, call-to-action buttons, and additional context data to support advocacy efforts.


Information Architecture

The site map shows the hierarchy of the HueArts NYS map and directory elements. The light purple shows what is available on the map view only and the darker purple shows both the List View and Map View menus. The list view was incorporated after the initial feedback.

HueArts NYS - Site Map

Challenges & Limitations

From experience, I knew that the software tool I used to build (think WordPress for mapping!) the map and directory had certain limitations to what I could do within the contract budget and timeframe. I had to constantly communicate via Google documents comments and during meetings on what was possible to the project manager and the clients.



Usability Testing

There was a total of 5 iterations. After a second iteration, I built the medium fidelity prototype on the tool builder to determine the parameters and capabilities before usability testing. I interviewed four arts entities leaders and three internal team members in a week. The goal was to see how easy and simple it was to find a different arts entity and its website.

Main Feedback

HueArts NYS feedback
Prioritizing the map​

Three internal team members quickly realized after the first prototype that they wanted a layout that would show almost all the information on the landing page without the need to scroll.

Hidden transportation information

71% of Interviewees expressed a desire for more transportation information, such as metro station symbols or map directions on the entity cards. Despite the availability of context information (shown in #3), such as transit information, it was hidden and not utilized by any users.

Lack of focus on the landing page

Some users were unclear about the focus on the map, with three out of seven interviewees and internal members unsure if it was for New York State or the tri-state area. The list view menu was also not so visible (#5), but two interviewees and one team member suggested it would be useful to have a list of entities in each row.



One page layout

Keeping the layout on one page without scrolling meant moving the cards from the bottom to the left of the map vertically.

one page layout desktop

Clearer menus

Adding an outline around the “List View” button allowed users to clearly see that they were Call to actions.

before menu button
after menu buttons

Default visibility

To address the fact that users wanted to see transportation, I made the train stations visible by default. I also made the Context Information widget available on the right side of the map so users can add transportation, demographics, or political boundaries to contextualize the entity’s location. Finally, to help users understand the focus is on New York State, the state boundary has a purple outline. The outline reduced eye movement around the map.


before map without outline


after map outline




The HueArts New York State recently launched in late February 2023. HueArts NYS is the first online visual and textual record of New York State's BIPOC-owned arts and cultural landscape. The results of the research allowed Museum Hue to start building programs to support the arts entities in New York State such as a grant proposal writing workshop.  The map and directory helped to identify, visualize, and empower over 130 arts entities that are looking for opportunities.

Before launch, Forbes Article posted in June 2022 describing the next steps for HueArts New York State as they received $1 Million in funding for this project from state government and private foundations. This online record (map) showcases the representation and value of the community in which they serve.


I was honored to be a part of this project, and I learned a lot about the arts communities in New York. Visibility and representation matter, and although there’s more to it than a map to form equitable funding policies for the art world, I believe the map and directory will be a catalyst to further uplift the entities there.

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