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Museums and the Web

An annual conference exploring the social, cultural, design, technological, economic, and organizational issues of culture, science and heritage on-line.

How to Evaluate Online Success – New action research with 24 institutions


How to measure and define the success of cultural websites and online services is a problem common to all parts of the cultural sector – museums, archives, galleries, arts organisations, libraries, publishers. Worse, funding agencies and government departments lack the expertise to offer guidelines or set standards. The result is a confusing mixture of statistics and reporting that reveals little about genuine user satisfaction.

In mid 2010 a group of 24 organisations and agencies from across the cultural heritage and arts sector in the UK began collaborating on a piece of action research addressing the issues around 'evaluating online success'. Coordinated by Culture24 and working with Seb Chan, the group of institutions have been developing a framework and best practice guide for measuring online projects both on organisational websites and those presented through social media channels. 

This mini-workshop will present the findings of the project to date, along with several case studies from partner institutions, anonymised where necessary, demonstrating the impact of metrics customisations, cross-sector audience segmentation, and benchmarking.

The full list of project partners is:

  • Powerhouse Museum
  • British Library
  • National Gallery
  • Science Museum
  • Tate
  • British Museum
  • Kew
  • National Maritime Museum
  • Imperial War Museum
  • National Portrait Gallery
  • Watershed
  • Royal Shakespeare Company
  • National Museums Scotland
  • National Museum Wales
  • Design Museum
  • English Heritage
  • Roundhouse
  • DCMS
  • Arts Council of England
  • Heritage Lottery Fund
  • Museums, Libraries & Archives Council (MLA)
  • University of Leicester
  • Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery


Mini-Workshop - teaches something or explores approaches


sebchan's picture
Seb Chan is currently the Director of Digital & Emerging Media, Smithsonian, Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum. Until November 2011, he led the Digital, Social and Emerging Technologies department at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney, where he oversaw the implemen- tation of Open Access and...
JaneFinnis's picture
Jane Finnis is Director of Culture24, a non-profit online publisher working across the arts, heritage, education and tourism sectors. She is the founder and Chairman of Culturemondo, the informal international network of people who are all developing, building and running online cultural services...
rclements's picture
In recent years I've worked as a project manager and implementation specialist for digital projects in a number of international museums. Currently I'm currently studying for an MA in Innovation Management at Central Saint Martins college of Art and Design, specializing in the creative industries....