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Five (slightly provocative) thoughts

October 31, 2014 - Rachel

1) Users and user testing is everything – but thinking about why is as important as thinking about who.

> Know what success is and how you’re going to measure it. “Visits” isn’t enough. Engagement, newsletter signups, downloads, time on site, registrations – think about what makes a difference for you and your organisation, and why.

> User test with your mum, your friends, your class

> Buy “Don’t make me think” by Steve Krug

> Don’t assume anyone else will get what you’re doing

2) Museums aren’t special.

> If you’re a regular online punter, someone looking for an image, an experience, some history, a story – museums are one of a gazillion billion other sources.

> Even as a day out, we’re a day out. We could be a zoo, a gallery, a theme park.

What does this mean? Not despair – of course we’re bloody special – but it means we have to work really, really, really hard to be seen. Relaxing safe in the knowledge that “we’re special” doesn’t work.

3) Mobile apps are a terrible money-eating timesink red herring. One with big googly eyes that wants your life in exchange for 5 downloads and £1.50 in revenue.


4) If you can’t iterate, you aren’t making the most of what digital can do for you. The last thing digital is is “fire and forget”.

> having google analytics on your site is one thing

> looking at your Google analytics is another

> actually acting on what you find – that’s the important thing.

> this means resource and money on an ongoing basis, not just when a funder pays you to launch something.

5) Visibility is authority.

This one is stolen from Koven J Smith and his colleagues.

Museums worry a lot about authority. They worried and continue to worry that social media – prosumers – are undermining authority.

The simple truth is that if you’re not found on the first page of Google, you have no authority anyway.

Search Engine Optimisation – SEO – is probably the single most important thing you or your tech team should focus on. After user testing and strategy, obviously.

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