Meet the Developers
Update: As of November 2020, the website is live! Please visit africanamericanhorsestories.org
Post date: May 20, 2019
Website development sounds a lot like building a house, and, to be honest, it can cost as much as one. You begin thinking about an address, a place where people can find you. You get a contractor and they talk to you about the architecture, the design, sustainability, and accessibility. You make lists of features and prioritize them by which ones are most important and how much it will cost to make those dreams come true. You want to make sure you are building something that will last. None of it can happen without a team of professionals who hold the same vision you do and understand how to make it a reality. This is why the museum is excited to introduce our web development firm, Message Agency!
Message Agency is a perfect match for the Chronicle of African Americans in the Horse Industry. As a certified B-Corporation, they work exclusively with nonprofits, foundations, universities, and government agencies to use technology for the greater good. Their work has included projects similar to the Chronicle, such as the website they built for the American Friends Service Committee, called Peace Works, where contributors can share their stories easily.
To more fully understand the needs of the Chronicle’s future users and the capacity of the museum, Message Agency paid us a visit here at the Kentucky Horse Park. Founder Marcus Iannozzi, Project Manager Terrell Woodbury, and User Experience Designer Isabelle Tan flew in from the east coast. Information Architect Kirk Shimamoto joined us via video conference. In addition, the project’s Audience Strategist Kate Haley Goldman, also joined the video call. The museum staff brought their specialized perspectives and we convened to take the first steps of website development.
After a full morning of analyzing workflows and exploring the various needs of the site’s contributors, visitors, and administrators, the Message Agency team got a tour of the museum and paid special attention to the Chronicle’s launch pad, the Black Horsemen of the Kentucky Turf exhibit.
We are just beginning this journey together, and already trust that the Chronicle is in good, capable hands with these digital builders and their robust team. When you build a house, you want to get it right the first time, and this is the approach Message Agency has shown, taking the time to get to know as much as possible before breaking ground on the site. We’re looking forward to talking through all the details with them as they lay the foundation and guide the heavy construction phase of the Chronicle.