British MuseumCollection OnlineMatthew Cock, Head ofWeb@matthewcock
Collection Online• Launched 2007 with c. 230,000 records.• Now has 2,050,441 records.• 722,262 of these have one or more images• At the heart of our core purpose, to be a Museum of the world, for the world.
UCL Research• Claire Ross, Vera Motyckova, Melissa Terras• Online 3 June 2010 to 2 July 2010 (SurveyMonkey)• targeting every 2nd - 5th user• total of 2,657 respondents• completed by 1,416 respondents (53.3%)• 30 main questions• Multiple choice• Likert-scale• Open-ended questions• Four defined tasks
Geographical Location• 29% UK – 91% England, 6% Scotland, 3% Wales. – Most from London• 17.6% USA• Germany, Italy, France... Long tail....
Q. How did you hear about the COL? Response Response Percent CountFriend 2.50% 27Professional environment (colleagues) 29.50% 316Academic environment (website, academic staff, 27.30% 293fellow student etcSchool 1.00% 11From a link on the Museum’s website 24.60% 264Through a search engine 15.90% 170Other (please specify) 8.40% 90 answered 1072 question skipped 261 question
Answer Strongly agree Agree Slightly Strongly Dont know Rating Average ResponseOptions disagree disagree CountIt is easy to find 247 408 167 31 64 2.19 917the Collectiondatabaseonline withinthe BritishMuseumwebsiteThe general 199 549 107 13 49 2.09 917design andlayout of theCollectiondatabaseonline isappropriateThe Collection 190 449 190 35 53 2.25 917databaseonline is easyto navigateI am likely to 645 235 11 3 23 1.39 917visit theCollectiondatabaseonline againIt is an effective 418 375 66 13 45 1.79 917way to searchfor objects ofinterestThere should 196 417 153 33 118 2.41 917be links tophysicallocation ofobjects
What improvements would you like to see? Response Response Percent CountImproved search facilities 31.90% 342More images 67.60% 725More detailed records 37.10% 398More objects 31.30% 336Audio/video 4.70% 50Other (please specify) 11.80% 127 Other: rear and 360 degree views of objects, zoomable images, simpler way to receive images (fewer steps), being able to search by acquisition date, and making the COL search more prominent on the main homepage
How has the research helped us?• Open-ended questions - honest opinions• Ammunition for user-centred re-design – going live in February / March 2013 – Making search easier – Larger images – Rentention of medium-resolution image service
What were the limitations?• Self-selecting• Disconnect between survey and Google Analytics data
One Question Survey15 November – 11 January 2013• “Help us improve our site. What did you come to our site today to do?”• Selection triggers a Google Analytics event that records their selection.• Allows us to segment our traffic accordingly• .
One Question Survey: responses• .Plan a visit to the museum• Find specific information for research or professional reasons• Find specific information for personal reasons• Engage in casual browsing without looking for something specific• .Make a booking or purchase
Interesting....• Compare the 29% of respondents who identify themselves as “professional researchers” with the 8.5% whose visit included the Collection Online.
One Question Survey• Around a dozen museums, galleries, and other arts venues did the same thing at the same time....• Culture24 Let’s Get Real Phase 2http://weareculture24.org.uk/projects/action-research/
Thanks• To Melissa, Clare and Vera• Everyone in the Documentation, IS and Web teams, for their work on the re-design• To every curator since the 1970s who has entered data into the database...Any firstname.lastname@example.org@matthewcock