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Redesigning Your Museum’s Web site: A Survivor’s Guide

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A presentation from Museums and the Web 2009. …

A presentation from Museums and the Web 2009.
Allegra Burnette, The Museum of Modern Art, USA
Charlotte Sexton, The National Gallery, United Kingdom
Joanna Champagne, National Gallery of Art, USA
Dana Mitroff Silvers, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, USA

Using case studies from the Web site redesigns of The Museum of Modern Art, New York (MoMA), the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC (NGA), the National Gallery, London, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), this paper considers the changing role of museum Web sites, outlines the goals of the respective projects, compares and contrasts the different approaches taken, and presents valuable insights from the four institutions.

As of publication, the museums represent the different cycles of a Web site redesign initiative: NGA is in the discovery and strategy phase, the National Gallery and MoMA are in the development stage, and the new SFMOMA site is live. Together the authors of this paper explore the shared challenges we faced in planning, developing, and deploying new and improved Web sites, and present some of the valuable, and painful, lessons learned.

These lessons – applicable to organizations of all sizes – include how to manage staff input, how to keep team momentum and enthusiasm, and how to evaluate all technology options. Within these practical discussions, we also touch upon some of the fundamental, strategic considerations involved in the preparation and planning of a major, cross-departmental endeavor. We hope to offer the wider museum community an opportunity to tap into our recently acquired first-hand knowledge and experience.

Mini-Workshop: Redesign: A survivors guide [Mini-Workshop]


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  • Very interesting presentations, am i impress with this slide.great job nice informations.

    I like your 'Brooklyn Museum' slide.

    our dinosaurs museums blog is http://dinosaurs-video.blogspot.com
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  • The paper is herehttp://www.archimuse.com/mw2009/papers/burnette/burnette.html
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  • 1. Redesigning Your Museum’s Web site: A Survivors’ Guide Allegra Burnette The Museum of Modern Art Joanna Champagne, National Gallery of Art, DC Charlotte Sexton, The National Gallery, United Kingdom Dana Mitroff Silvers, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Museums and the Web 2009 April 17, 2009
  • 2. Joanna Champagne, National Gallery of Art, DC
  • 3. Audience: demographics, personas, attitudes
  • 4. Discover your audience via the attitudes they have towards Art and your museum...find out what they are passionate about
  • 5. Look beyond museums: trends
  • 6. Smart search, and evolving discussions about art in the social sphrere..leave no influential web trend/practice unexamined
  • 7. Brand direction: digital and physical equity
  • 8. Harmonize Web design with existing physical brand systems and institutional values...so that online and physical experiences can form a cyclical and nourishing relationship
  • 9. Moving towards design
  • 10. Serve the art and the place
  • 11. Charlotte Sexton, The National Gallery, UK
  • 12. Web site redesigns: an exercise in leadership
  • 13. Yes we can…
  • 14. Everyone has an opinion…
  • 15. Homepage: January 2008
  • 16. Homepage: April 2008
  • 17. Homepage: May 2008
  • 18. Homepage: June 2008
  • 19. Homepage: August 2008
  • 20. ‘Success’ is spelt t.e.a.m.
  • 21. The Team EXTERNAL PARTNERS CORE PROJECT TEAM ADDITIONAL SUPPORT Governance: Information Systems: Project owner 1 x Production Support Head of Information Systems 1 x Programmer Head of Collections 1 x Collection integration CMS - BoxUK 1 x Technical Support Core Project team: Design and IA - Bureau for Internal Departments: 1 x Designer Information Visual Affairs 2 x Editors Education 1 x Administrator Search Engine Development 1 x Project Leader Optimisation - I-Level Comms and Media 1 x Project Manager Curatorial Photographic Curatorial: AV Collection Information Manager Plus: Additional temp staff
  • 22. Q. How do you survive a website redesign project?
  • 23. Allegra Burnette, The Museum of Modern Art
  • 24. It’s more about the people than the technology
  • 25. 1. Outline your internal capabilities and resources
  • 26. 1. Outline your internal capabilities and resources 2. Specify initial technical requirements
  • 27. 1. Outline your internal capabilities and resources 2. Specify initial technical requirements 3. Further define your requirements
  • 28. 1. Outline your internal capabilities and resources 2. Specify initial technical requirements 3. Further define your requirements 4. Remain flexible
  • 29. 1. Outline your internal capabilities and resources 2. Specify initial technical requirements 3. Further define your requirements 4. Remain flexible 5. Think about the launch, but also think long-term
  • 30. Internal Web Teams SFMOMA = 2 people National Gallery, London = 5 people NGA = 5 people MoMA = 7 people
  • 31. Existing, off-the-shelf solutions Open-source software Custom solutions
  • 32. If you’re thinking of doing it internally, hire good people!
  • 33. If you’re thinking of doing it externally, hire vendors who have a real understanding of your goals and requirements
  • 34. If you’re thinking of doing it externally, hire vendors who have a real understanding of your goals and requirements or get different vendors.
  • 35. And don’t forget to have fun!
  • 36. Dana Mitroff Silvers, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
  • 37. Be ready to respond 1.
  • 38. Be ready to respond 1. Success is not just about 2. the numbers
  • 39. London, 16 March 2009 | | 1
  • 40. London, 16 March 2009 | | 1
  • 41. Success is not just about the numbers
  • 42. Establish goals you can evaluate Be realistic about the results you can get
  • 43. To what extent does the new SFMOMA site:
  • 44. To what extent does the new SFMOMA site:
  • 45. To what extent does the new SFMOMA site: Contextualize the collection? 1.
  • 46. To what extent does the new SFMOMA site: Contextualize the collection? 1. Foster engagement with the 2. museum?
  • 47. Confluence of factors: Our methodology 1. Difficult (impossible?) goals 2. to measure
  • 48. i
  • 49. Thank you! And now the questions...