There have been a few fabulous and very detailed post on Museum on the Web which I’m not going to try and compete with. Instead, after being home for a few weeks (and finally getting over jet lag) these are the items that still are prominent with me.
Facebook killed 25% of the website
While in the Tate web assessment session, we were asked to come up with a profile of an average visitor to a website. Originally we had a personal website but soon realized the profile required a more established website and as Guggenheim was within our group, they were duly elected.
As a tourist from overseas coming over I was chosen as the average visitor. I did check out their website prior to coming to the states and I did screen shot the opening, map and other information. Oonagh Murphy who was in our group also did the same. We established that the information most looked as should be downloadable via pdf so people without 3G access wouldn’t have to worry.
The other point Guggenheim mentioned was some of the data a visitor would look for was easy accessible on the right hand side of the screen. I said I never even looked there, instead opting for the menu click through. ‘Facebook killed 25% of the website with the adverts on the right side …’ was quoted from our group and it really stuck with me. It’s true, I tend to totally ignore the right screen when I’m on a website. I’m not blaming Facebook alone, as Google and other sites use that space for adverts but maybe Facebook was the first to do it. Regardless, it’s a good point for web designers to keep in mind.
Branding the Obvious
We talk a lot about making interactives especially mobile but we never remember simple solutions such as supplying headphones for those who want to use the app but didn’t bring their headphones. It was suggested museums should have such items available with their branding.
Now the idea of having the equipment leads to questions such as cost, supply, people who borrow long term, etc. But the concept of ensuring branding is used is relevant. Branding still seems to be strong with marketing on paper/leaflets but we seem to miss the boat when it comes to branding within our interactive.
Imperial War Museum is a fore-runner in using technology is all areas of the museums but how can the public be expected to embrace new technology if not all the staff do? Carolyn Royston from Imperial War Museum has initiated a Computer Club within IWM Take the bull by the horns and make changes internally before expecting the public to understand.
Since being back, I’ve found out that Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery is setting up something similar within their organization.
To Gamification or Not to Gamification – whatever does it mean
Gamification as a word doesn’t fit the huge umbrella the sector seems to be using it for. Sharna Jackson, Tate Kids, feels challenges should be challenging, not just ‘walking from one end of the museum to the other gets you a badge.’
When I was at Denmark’s Museum Conference, Smithsonian spoke of their gamification and badge system they were using. It was very flexible, from the ‘walking across the museum’ element to the more serious badges equating to educational credit. Perhaps this is something that the word itself is being diluted or maybe has transformed to fit into too many concepts.
And to end, my favourite quote by Keynote Speaker Larry Friedlander:
‘We have to teach people how to learn to swim in the flood of images.’
Thank you to Nancy Proctor and Rich Cherry for allowing me to to be part of Museums on the Web. Being able to share Museomix/MuseomixUK paper was fantastic and seemed to be well recepted from those who attended the session (we actually ran out of time!). I also enjoyed demoing Damien Hirst Spin Plate project with Sharna Jackson from Tate Kids.
For anyone who would like more information, there is a pdf of the program available here.