How do you tell when it’s time to deprecate a system? If something mostly works OK, is it worth spending time and effort replacing its functionality?
At Artsy, we realized several years ago that we needed to be able to group a bunch of artworks together. If we wanted to have a page with all of the ceramics by Lucio Fontana, or contemporary prints from the IFPDA Fair Sprint 2022, or a gift guide curated by Antwaun Sargent, we needed to have a way to make that happen.
We decided to call these things “collections,” a reasonable name for a collection of artworks. In order to create them, we developed a service called KAWS, named after the artist (whose works we wanted to put in several of these collections).
Now, 4 years later, we’ve taken down the service and folded its functionality into Artsy’s main database and API, Gravity.
Let’s talk about why and what we learned along the way.