I’m just back from presenting at the New Museum Lab event in Amsterdam run by the Nationaal Historisch Museum. My talk was titled ‘Digital Effects: Content, Communities and the Museum DNA’ and whilst I won’t be publishing the slides, one thing that seemed to be of interest to a lot of people was this simple list of ‘five rules’. So here it is reproduced.
Museum content, not limited to objects, should be:
1. Discoverable – it is where I am and where I look for it. This means putting content where visitors expect to find it which online means good SEO, folksonomies and smart keywords, and onsite in the galleries it means great exhibition design.
2. Meaningful – I can understand it. Plain English contextual notes and label text, scaffolded where needed and definitely with an appropriate cascade.
3. Responsive – to my interests, moods, location. Content should ideally be able to be personalised with tailored recommendations. Mood responsive? Take a look at the Brooklyn’s handheld project.
4. Useable/Shareable – I can pass it on and share. All content should be released under a license that allows at least non-commercial sharing. Museums are entirely in the social objects business – let’s actually encourage sociality.
5. Available in all three locations – online, onsite and offsite. That means on the the museum’s website, on other websites, in the galleries if it is popular, and if it has a relationship to the outside world it should also be discoverable there as well. The later relies on geo-locations marked in the world either physically or virtually.
Nothing too remarkable here for regular readers or people in the field but sometimes lists are useful. You’ve probably noticed that each of these rules revolve around the notion of visitor-centrism.