Great Expectations: Researching Usability of Online Museum Collections
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This evaluative study examined what museum visitors expect to find when they access a museum's online collection, how they are using online collections, and how successful their searches are. Increased reliance on the Internet in today's culture means the museum website is quickly becoming the face for the institution and, for some visitors, their first impression. If a museum's online collection is not useful or usable, then time spent making data available online will be wasted. This study focused on stakeholders of The Henry Art Gallery, located in Seattle, Washington, and provided a model comprised of Usability Testing and Follow-Up Interviews to create a comprehensive view of the user experience as it relates to online collections access. The findings of this evaluation revealed trends in usability and user experience. For example, users voiced the ability to share collections objects via social media and data suggested a desire for relationship-based search functionality.
- Museology