The Detroit Institute of Arts

General information

City / Country: Detroit, Michigan / USA
Theme: Art
Languages: English
Platforms: Web
Web accessibility: Not specified
Mission: "With a rich history dating back to 1885, the Detroit Institute of Arts has been the cultural gem of the city of Detroit for over a century."
Outstanding features:
My DIA lets user personalize his DIA experience. 

User can download a pdf map of the museum.
No interactive features.


Current and past exhibitions
General information about the exhibitions.
Information pages contain a clickable list of events related to the exhibition.

GOOD PRACTICE Set event reminder
User can set and event reminder for an exhibition, that will be sent to his email address.

GOOD PRACTICE Add to My DIA Calendar
It allows user to maintain a personalized agenda with his preferred events (see Best practices > My DIA section for more information)

Online catalogue

User can visit the museum catalogue from a thematic index...

...or using an advanced search form

GOOD PRACTICE Once the user has reached a piece info page, he is allowed to

  • Send it to a friend
  • Ask for rights and reproductions
  • Add it to My DIA Collection (see Best practices > My DIA section for more information)
  • Click Research to enter to a list of documents of The DIA Library & Archives, directly related to the piece.(see detail of options at the bottom of the page)

Online exhibitions
Some exhibitions have a special exhibition site with educational aims.


 DIA website contains mainly two types of documents:

There are no other types of resources.

Online activities

DIA website contains pdf documentation with activities aimed at educators.

Visit planning

General visitors

The main feature to plan the visit is MyDIA (see Best practices > My DIA section for more information), which allows users to prepare their visit by:

  • Creating and managing their own My DIA Collection. Users can gather information about their most interesting pieces before visiting the museum.
  • Managing their My DIA Calendar, a personal agenda that allows them to remember what events are taking place at the museum.
  • Receiving email reminders of the events they have previously selected.


Educators can prepare their students visit by downloading pdf documentation about the museum catalogue and exhibitions, available at the Learning ( section.

This subsection includes lessons for grades K-12 created by local teachers.

Visit follow-up

No special features to follow-up the visit.

Online community

There are no resources for online community.

There is a Membership section (, but it doesn't include any online community feature.

Mobile features

No features for mobile devices.

Searching & browsing

Conventional browsing behavior based on a main top menu, and a secondary menu on the right side of the page.

Simple search.

Not advanced search.

Site map

No site map available.


User can submit his email to receive the newsletter. No registration required.

My Email Reminders
GOOD PRACTICE  When the DIA schedules an event, class or workshop that matches user selected interests, My DIA sends him a notification email.

My DIA Calendar
GOOD PRACTICE  Allows user to keep track of the upcoming events, classes and exhibitions that interest him most.

Online transactions

Become a DIA Volunteer
Form that opens in a new window, with a different design.

Set event reminder
Online form.

Search the Collection
Advanced search form.

DIA Shop
Drives user to a different site, with a different but similar design.

Annual Giving & Donate now
Allows user to make a contribution by credit card. Opens in a new window (Yahoo e-commerce), with different but similar design.

Join / Renew / Upgrade Membership
Allows user to manage his membership. Opens in a new window (Yahoo e-commerce), with different but similar design.

Contact us
Contact form with CAPTCHA to minimize spam.

My DIA registration
Online form

Outstanding best practices

MyDIa is a set of tools designed to let users personalize their DIA experience. Requires user to login (all users are free to register).
My Collections

My DIA Collections allows user to bring together all his favorite masterpieces with just a few clicks.

1.     Create a new collection

2.     While browsing the DIA's online collection, he can click "Save to My DIA" in the preview screen for any piece of artwork. He can add as many pieces of art as he likes, and create multiple collections.

User can print his collection and use it to plan his next visit or even share his Collection with a friend by clicking "Email" next to the item of his choice in the list of My DIA Collections.

My Calendar
The My DIA Calendar allows user to keep track of the upcoming events, classes and exhibitions that interest him most. To save events in My DIA Calendar user must first open an event in the general DIA Calendar. When he's found an event he wish to save, clicks "Add to My DIA Calendar" at the bottom of that event's information screen.

Once user has logged in to My DIA, his personalized calendar is located in the right column of the page below the side navigation. Dates that feature events he's saved are shown as blue-underlined links. He can also remove an item from My Calendar.
My Email Reminders 
When the DIA schedules an event, class or workshop that matches user's selected interests, My DIA can send him a notification email.
Modify profile
Allows user to update his profile data. He can also change his password.

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