The website was originally launched in 2004 when the museum opened its doors after 10-years of renovation works and housing more than 1.000 years of Catalan and European Art, from X-century til mid XX-century, being the mural Romanesque paintings and the Modernism sections the jewels of the collection. Now in 2014, the website has been totally revamped to provide a much better and richer user experience, basically through: visual design, enrichment of quality content and functionalities, personalisation, increase of interaction offerings, and making available the online collection of 6.500 art objects.
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Commenting and sharing options have been distributed throughout the whole website and after registration users can bookmark favorite artworks and publications as well as design their own itinerary.
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Social tagging museum objects is also a newly added feature, and with that it’s the first museum in Spain offering this option. Plus the museum aims to be a transparent and social responsible institution, so a new part about museum strategy, goals, social responsibility, annual reports and statistics has been made available.
From the usability and IT matters perspective, main things to note are: the website is AA accessible (following W3C recommendations), it has been developed under open source CMS (Drupal), with WRD_Web Responsive Design (the mobile version will be up and running in 2 weeks aprox.), it offers online ticketing. The user-centric view has been integrated from the very beginning. A Card-sorting session an Eye-tracking session and a usability test were performed with real users along the process, thus giving us juicy feed-back that was taken into account to achieve a better user experience.
The beta version of the website was launched in Catalan in January and has been launched in English just a few days ago! Some parts or functionalities may still not be fully operative but will be in the next few weeks. And it will also be trilingual Catalan-English-Spanish (although some parts, such as educational materials or the annual reports, are only in Catalan for now).
Museums in Spain (in the South of Europe in general) don’t have in-house developers, therefore the design and development have been outsourced through a public contest. The project, conceptualization, content strategy (reusing as well as creating content), web architecture, deciding features and functionalities required and the direction and overall coordination of the whole process have been totally performed in-house. It has been not just an updating of technology and an adaptation to current user behaviours but also a dramatic increase of available content and resources. We will continuously work to improve and enrich this just revamped museum website. We hope you enjoy your visit!
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