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Online Exhibitions

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Online Exhibitions: Five Factors for Dynamic Design

M. Merritt Haine
Museum Communications
The University of the Arts
December 2006
A thesis submitted to The University of the Arts in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Museum Communication.

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© December 2006 M. Merritt Haine All Rights Reserved
No part of this document may be reproduced in any form without written permission of the author. All photographs and drawings produced by and are the property of name unless otherwise noted. Copyrights to images are owned by other copyright holders and should not be reproduced under any circumstances. This document as shown is not for publication and was produced in satisfaction of thesis requirements for the Master of Arts in Museum Communication in the Department of Museum Studies, The University of the
Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania under the Directorship of Beth A. Twiss-Garrity
For more information, contact:
M. Merritt Haine
573 South McLean Blvd.
Memphis, Tennessee 38104
215-817-1213
merritthaine@gmail.com

To the Faculty of The University of the Arts:
The members of the Committee appointed to examine the thesis of M. Merritt Haine,
Online Exhibitions: Five Factors for Dynamic Design, find it satisfactory and recommend it to be accepted.

Amy Phillips-Iversen
Committee Chair
Director of Education &
Community Programs, The Noyes Museum of Art

Phil Schulman
Master Lecturer, Electronic Media, The University of the Arts

Matthew Fisher
President, Night Kitchen Interactive

Beth A. Twiss-Garrity
Director, MA Program In Museum Communication, The University of the Arts

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Online Exhibitions: Five Factors for Dynamic Design
M. Merritt Haine
Abstract
Over the last twenty years, the field of communications has virtually exploded.
Everyday new technologies are being developed. In order to satisfy the public’s need for information and entertainment, museums must keep up with the times. Through the development of dynamic online exhibitions, museums can begin to utilize these new technologies. This purpose of this thesis is to identify what factors must be addressed in order to develop a dynamic online exhibition. Through audience surveys and extensive literature review, the researcher’s goal research is to document the emerging field of online exhibitions. Five factors were identified, and it was determined that the factors should be considered in a prioritized manner. They are as follows: 1) navigability, 2) overall aesthetic design, 3) informative, 4) interactivity, and 5) multimedia. Once these were identified, an online exhibition was developed to test the data gathered. The website can be found at www.fashionofstax.com.

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Acknowledgements
I would like to express my gratitude to all those who aided in the completion of this thesis. I want to thank the director of the Museum Communication department at The
University of the Arts, Beth Twiss-Garrity for helping me through each step of this arduous process. I would like to next thank the members of my thesis committee, who were such amazing assets. I also want to thank Michael Frederick for all of his help throughout the design of the website. I want to thank my friend and classmate, Michele
Amicucci, who talked me through all of the breakdowns that occurred during this process. This list would not be complete without mention of my dear brother Chuck
Haine, who also aided in keeping me sane. Lastly, I would like to thank my parents,
Charles and Connie Haine, who not only edited the several drafts of this thesis, but also bought a Mac this summer in order for me to develop my site at their house. Thanks
Mom and Dad!

Dedication
I am dedicating this thesis to my dear friend Andy George, who lent me inspiration whenever I felt lost. Thanks for believing in me.

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Table of Contents

Abstract....................................................................................................................... iii
Acknowledgements and Dedication…………………………………...…………..... iv
Abbreviations……………………………………………………………………...... vi
Nomenclature……………………………………………………………………...... vii
Chapter 1 – Introduction…………………………………………………................... 1
Chapter 2 - Literature Review……………………………………………………...... 4
Chapter 3 – Testing the Factors…………………………………………….............. 13
Chapter 4 – Thesis Project………………………………………………….............. 26
Chapter 5 – Conclusion…………………………………………………….............. 34
Chapter 6 - Generalizations to the Field .................................................................... 38
Chapter 7 – Implications for Further Research .......................................................... 40
Works Cited................................................................................................................. 41
Bibliography................................................................................................................ 43
Appendix 1 – Overall Factor Results ......................................................................... 46
Appendix 2 - Overall Factor Results with Fashion of Stax Results............................ 47
Appendix 3 – Navigability Results ............................................................................ 48
Appendix 4 – Overall Aesthetic Design Results ........................................................ 49
Appendix 5 – Informative Results .............................................................................. 50
Appendix 6 – Interactivity Results ............................................................................. 51
Appendix 7 – Multimedia Results .............................................................................. 52

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Appendix 8 – Boone Collection Exhibition Results.................................................... 53
Appendix 9 – Foster Exhibition Results...................................................................... 56
Appendix 10 – Silent Witness Exhibition Results ...................................................... 59
Appendix 11 – Tanner Exhibition Results .................................................................. 62
Appendix 12 – Televised Presidential Debates Exhibition Results............................. 65
Appendix 13 – Dynamic Earth Exhibition Results ..................................................... 68
Appendix 14 - Fashion of Stax Results ...................................................................... 71
Appendix 15 – Boone Collection Exhibition Comments ........................................... 74
Appendix 16 – Foster Exhibition Comments ............................................................. 78
Appendix 17 – Silent Witness Exhibition Comments ................................................ 81
Appendix 18 – Tanner Exhibition Comments ............................................................ 84
Appendix 19 – Televised Presidential Debates Exhibition Comments ...................... 88
Appendix 20 – Dynamic Earth Exhibition Comments ............................................... 92
Appendix 21 – Fashion of Stax Exhibition Comments .............................................. 95
Appendix 22 – Sample Pages of Online Exhibitions Tested in Surveys ................... 98
Appendix 23 – Sample Pages from the Fashion of Stax Online Exhibition ............ 105

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Abbreviations

The American Association of Museums (AAM)
The International Council of Museums (ICOM)
Self Generating Master (SELGEM)
Museum Computer Network (MCN)
Museum of Modern Art (MOMA)
National Inventory Programme (NIP)
Personal computer (PC)
International Conference on Hypermedia and Interactivity (ICHIM)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
International Organization for Standardization (ISO)

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Nomenclature-

Aesthetic- a branch of value theory that studies sensory or sensori-emotional values, sometimes called judgments of sentiment or taste.
Didactic- an artistic philosophy that emphasizes instructional and informative qualities in literature and other types of art.
Digital art- Digital art is art created on a computer in digital form. Digital art can be purely computer-generated, such as fractals, or taken from another source, such as a scanned photograph, or an image drawn using vector graphics software using a mouse or graphics tablet.
Digitized art- art done using other media or processes and merely scanned into a computer. Dynamic – pertaining to being actively engaging and exciting. Is also meant to be attractive. Emotive- characterized by or pertaining to emotion.
Entertaining- is an event, performance, or activity designed to give pleasure to an audience. Evocative- to produce or suggest through artistry and imagination a vivid impression of reality. Factors- an aspect that actively contributes to an accomplishment, result, or process.

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Hypertext- a method of storing data through a computer program that allows a user to create and link fields of information at will and to retrieve the data non-sequentially.
Information architecture- the art and science of organizing and labeling web sites, intranets, online communities and software to support usability and findability.
Interface- the communication boundary between two entities, such as a piece of software, a hardware device, or a user.
Interactivity- software or programs which accept and responds to input from

humans.
Multimedia- media that uses multiple forms of information content and information processing to inform or entertain the user.
Navigability- ability to move through a website clearly and easily.
Online exhibition- an online exhibition is just that, an exhibition that is on the web. For purposes in this thesis, it is to be understood as a stand alone online exhibition. That is an exhibition that has no ties to an exhibition inside of a museum.
Sitemap- a web page that lists the pages on a website, typically organized in hierarchical fashion. This helps visitors, and search engine bots, to find pages on the site.
Splash page- a sort of pre-home page or front page, usually providing no real information besides perhaps a note about browser requirements and sometimes a web counter.
Usability- the elegance and clarity with which the interaction with a computer program or a web site is designed.

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Chapter 1- Introduction

In the age of the Internet, we have changed how we perceive the world. We no longer have to wait for days to receive a letter from a friend; it now appears instantly in our inbox. We no longer must search the phonebook for a listing, find an address on a map or call an establishment for their hours of operation. With a couple of clicks of a mouse, it all appears in front of us. As a result of this phenomena, our society expects to be entertained and educated without having to leave home. The Library of Congress in
1992 developed the first online exhibitions. Among them were “1492: An Ongoing
Voyage; Scrolls from the Dead Sea: the Ancient Library Quran and Modern Scholarship; and Revelations from the Russian Archives” (Kalfatovic). Although this is fairly early in the overall history of the Internet, the idea of an online exhibition took a very long time to catch on. In the last five years alone, the practice has exploded on the web for several reasons. In order for museums to keep up with this demand, they must develop dynamic online exhibitions.
Many museums are using staff to develop online exhibitions. The small museum worker does not usually have training in the area of web design. Based on the researcher’s own experience, this topic needs to be addressed. The result is a guide that will steer the museum worker in creating a dynamic online exhibition. At this time, no one guide provides this information together, this thesis serves to do just that. While much has been written about web design in general, no one has sat down and holistically identified the factors of dynamic online exhibition design.
The benefits of online exhibition “include the abilities to showcase objects that

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could never be on view in a gallery due to their fragility, to present numerous page openings or leaves of manuscripts, and to create exhibitions that are, generally, far less expensive than gallery exhibitions” (Kalfatovic). The care of collections is of great concern to object based institutions. Objects are our ties to our past, and once they are gone, there is no replacing them. Online exhibitions will aid in keeping them safe.
Secondly, with the rising cost of travel and current security concerns, people are traveling less and less (Johnson). While the hope is that online exhibitions will help to encourage people to go to the museum on a trip to the city. The marketing possibilities of online exhibition are endless. These exhibitions advertise the mission of the museum, and what can and might be found there. They spark public interest in the museum. The viewers will remember what they saw on the site, or what emotion that it evoked, and might be prompted to visit, realistically we know that this is not always the case. One aspect of online exhibitions that makes them so attractive for museums is that people can safely access collections from any corner of the world without the need for travel.
Although this might not be a positive effect for the museum due to the loss of attendance revenue, the museum’s message can reach a greater audience.
Scholars can access information from these sites in order to research; teachers and students can “visit” anywhere in the world. In addition, online exhibitions also serve as an alternative means of storytelling. Museums reach a greater audience with their information and message through this outlet. In addition, k-12 teachers and students access these sites as an educational aid.
The museum community is comprised of many small institutions, in addition to the larger ones. Many part time employees and volunteers staff these small museums.

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This can cause problems when deciding on hours of operation. Online exhibitions help in this matter as the mission of the museum can still be presented to the public twenty-four hours a day.
While the reasons for online exhibitions are easy to list, it is harder to identify what makes such exhibitions dynamic. A literature review was conducted, therefore, in order to determine what factors make online exhibitions dynamic so that they can accomplish all the goals listed above. Once the factors of a dynamic online exhibition were determined, a survey was administered to the public. This survey took the factors and had the participants evaluate six online exhibitions against them. The development of an online exhibition was planned in order to illustrate the data collected from the literature reviews and surveys to be true. This online exhibition, created for the Stax
Museum of American Soul Music, in Memphis, Tennessee, focuses on the fashion worn by the recording artists at the label Stax Records. Once the development of the online exhibition was completed, another survey was performed in order for it to be evaluated on the five factors.

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Chapter 2- Literature Review: Defining Factors of Dynamic Online Exhibitions

Computers and technology have been in museums since the 1960s. Database programs were the first outlets found to be of use. The first four museums to utilize this technology were the Smithsonian Institution, the University of California- Berkeley, the
Lowe Art Museum at the University of Florida, and the Oklahoma Inventory of
Ethnological Collections. The database program they used was SELGEM- Self
Generating Master. In 1967, Jack Heller started the Museum Computer Network, an organization that is still in operation today. Museums in New York City were the first to have membership in the MCN. The organization ultimately used the knowledge they acquired during this era to establish guidelines used today. In 1968, the MCN and IBM sponsored a conference on computers and their potential applications in museums.
(Jones-Garmil)
During the 1970s, database programs introduced to the museum field in the 1960s were refined. In 1970, the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) held a second conference on computers and their potential benefit in museums. In 1972, Canada created the
National Inventory Programme (NIP). This organization was formed in order to create a national inventory of collections held in Canada. In 1977, Apple Computers was formed, thus the age of personal computers began. (Jones-Garmil)
In the early 1980s, as desktop computers became increasingly accessible, it was easier for museums to utilize the database programs that were available to them. In 1982, the Getty launched the Museum Prototype Project. In 1983, the “University of
Wisconsin’s Helen Allen Textile collection database and videodisc project was

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completed, including 12,000 records and 23,000 images.” (Jones-Garmil) The next year the Smithsonian began using personal computers. In 1986, the MCN began accepting individual memberships and the organization’s membership base grew exponentially.
(Jones-Garmil)
The change to computers and technology in the 1990s was immeasurable. In
1991, the First International Conference on Hypermedia and Interactivity (ICHIM) occurred. The MCN moved to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1993.
That same year the Paleontology Museum at Berkeley was the first museum to publish its own website. “In the broadest perspective, museums have the primary responsibility for the cultural heritage of the world.” (Jones-Garmil)
Usability is a large part of what makes a web design project dynamic. Hundreds of books have been written on the subject. Usability is defined by the International
Organization for Standardization in document 9241 as “the extent to which a product can be used by specific users to achieve specified goals with effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction in a specified context of use.” Simply stated, the designer must ask if people can easy understand the website. Eichorn identifies five factors for usability. They are as follows: “Learnability- looks at how easy it is to accomplish tasks the first time the user visits the site… Simplicity and consistency are keys to making an interface learnable. The goal is not to make a flashy unique interface; it’s to create one that new users can instantly recognize.
Efficiency- refers to how quickly the user can perform a task once it has been learned. This component sometimes stands in a juxtaposition against learnability

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because the most efficient interfaces may require a large amount of knowledge to use. Memorability- looks at how easily a user can regain proficiency in the use of the interface after not using it for a period of time.
Errors- The errors component focuses on having a system with few errors. It also focuses on how easily it is to recover from errors [messages] that are received.
Web development as a whole is prone to network-related errors, but these errors are seldom fatal because users can just reload their browsers.
Satisfaction- The final component is a subjective measure of satisfaction. This component is affected by many items, especially visual design.”
Jakob Neilsen explains why usability is important:
“With about 10 million sites on the Web in January 2000 (and about 25 million by the end of the year and a hundred million by 2002), users have more choices than ever. Why should they waste their time on anything that is confusing, slow, or that does not satisfy their needs? As a result of this overwhelming choice and the ease of going elsewhere, web users exhibit a remarkable impatience and insistence on instant gratification. If they can't figure out how to use a website in a minute or so, they conclude that it won't be worth their time. And they leave.”
This is the simplest explanation of why the developer must also consider usability issues.
If people do not “get” the site, they leave. In addition, if there is added download time, users will leave the site. Steve Krug simply states that the most important aspect of web usability is that web users, in general, do not want to think. What he means is that when someone visits a website, they do not want to put a lot of effort into where they want to

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go or the information they are trying to find. Navigability largely influences usability as does the informative aspect of website design.
Although the copy written for most websites is generally brief and succinct, online exhibitions have their own standards that need to be considered. The designer should take cue from text panels in a museum, taking inspiration from the way in which they are written. Online exhibitions can feature more complex language and longer paragraphs than are needed for standard websites.
Online exhibitions have been around for more than a decade. While there is not a huge selection of books written on the topic, there has been much written on them on various websites dedicated to museums’ presence on the web. The website archimuse.com, which is the website for the organization “Museums and the Web,” has several papers on the topic of online exhibitions. The organization has an annual conference, during which there have been several sessions on virtual and online exhibitions. The information from these sessions can be found on the website.
The group also has an annual award ceremony that gives awards to particularly dynamic museum websites, including one for online exhibitions. The guidelines by which the sites are judged upon are as follows:
“Best On-line Exhibition or Activity Site
These sites excel in presenting and interpreting museum collections and themes, providing a rich and meaningful virtual experience. They may be a section of a larger museum Web or be a collaborative project between institutions and/or individuals and communities associated with museums. Entirely virtual museums

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are eligible to participate in this category as are exhibitions of Web art and other
"born digital" collections. Quality characteristics include:
* Effective use of multiple media formats
* Innovative ways of complimenting physical exhibitions or providing surrogates for physical experiences in on-line only exhibitions
* New ways of representing museum processes and structures
* Imaginative audience participation and engagement of different categories of
'visitors'.”
At the 1998 conference, Marc Tinkler & Michael Freedman of Plumb Design,
Inc., described an “effective” online exhibition as:
* not an encyclopedia; it is a choreography of sight, sound, and thought.
* alive and encourages exploration; it responds differently to different viewers. If a visitor does not interact with the material, the exhibition acts autonomously to bring an array of images and sounds to the viewer's attention. If the visitor explores, the exhibition responds accordingly.
* dynamic. The very act of viewing the exhibition changes what is on display.
Each time a person visits, he or she has a different experience.1
* communal. In the same way that a physical exhibition is a public experience, an effective online exhibition builds community. Visitors know that others are taking part in the exhibition and can choose to interact. These communications become part of the exhibition as it develops a life of its own.

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In this thesis, dynamic is defined differently that the explanation of factors web users identify as dynamic.
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* a seamless environment that encourages exploration at a number of levels: visually, aurally, intellectually, and emotionally.
A good source for online exhibition reviews is the Artcyclopedia. While most of the online exhibition sites referenced are now dated, much of the information is still relevant. Several themes emerged in the online exhibition reviews. One is clarity of image. Clarity of image is “just that. If the observer senses anything other than a perfectly clear image, the optical system is compromised in some way. There may be fuzziness at the edges of observed objects, a general blurriness or cloudiness to the field, or the lack of clarity may be specifically in limited areas of the field. Any lack of clarity which interferes with resolution in the field of view is unacceptable” (the University of British
Columbia). The visual interest of the exhibition must be engaging. Text and zooming technology is something that most reviewers discussed when looking at the important factors of a dynamic site. The poor overall organization of a site can compromise its dynamic properties. If it is confusing in any way, the viewer is less likely to understand the information that is being presented or return.
Interactivity is a large factor in the dynamic design of an online exhibition.
Interactivity can be defined in several ways. It might be a game where the user is asked to answer questions pertaining to the content of the website. It could be that the user can communicate with other users on the website. “Users expect to be offered a selection of choices, but by offering them, you give up your ability to tell a linear story or to provide information in a fixed order.” (Handler-Miller) The story that is being presented to the viewer must be kept in mind as the developer designs the website.

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This aspect differentiates storytelling on the Internet from traditional media. The difference between older methods of communication and web design was described by
Jakob Nielsen’s website Useit.com:
“Print can stun the reader with high-impact visualization, but the online medium ultimately wins because of the user engagement that is made possible by nonstatic design elements. The Web can show moving images under user control and it can allow the user to manipulate interactive widgets.
“Basic web technology easily allows an interactive map of Chile where the user can click on a city or region to go to a specialized page with more in-depth information. An even greater amount of engagement follows from a more closely integrated interactive visualization where pointing to objects results in explanations or expansions in context, possibly using pop-ups, overlays, or voiceover.” (Nielsen)
Interactivity is what makes each visitor’s visit to an online exhibition (or any other web site) a truly unique experience. The visitor chooses how the story is told through the actions that he/she take on the website.
The interface of the site, specifically “the layout of an application's graphic or textual controls in conjunction with the way the application responds to user activity”
(American Heritage), aids in the navigability. As people, in general, become more computer savvy, web designers may use more multimedia technology.
The connection between an idea, the object and the script is necessary and distinguishes an online exhibition from an online collection. An online collection is an online repository of the museum’s collection to be viewed by the website user. An online

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exhibition is an exhibition that lives on the web to deliver a story about content. As they are in actual museums, exhibitions need to be informative and educational. The user also often wants to be entertained. The subject manner must be clearly defined. There are five types of online exhibitions. A dynamic online exhibition will “elicit a range of emotions and reactions from its viewers, in most cases, an exhibition will aim for one particular effect. (The) five types of exhibition effects that (should be considered) are
Aesthetic: Organized around the beauty of objects
Emotive: designed to illicit an emotion in the viewer
Evocative: designed to create an atmosphere
Didactic: constructed to teach about something specific
Entertaining: presented just for fun!” (Kalfatovic)
Each of these effects is important. Designers must decide upon the mix they will use.
This will aid in the organization and overall design of the site. The subject of the exhibition will lead the designer in the best direction.
As a result of the literature review, the reviewer found five factors that appeared to be most important to the development of a dynamic online exhibition. These factors seem to embody what all the reviewers were looking for in an efficacious site. The factors for dynamic design, therefore, can be summarized as follows:
1. Interactivity- software or programs which accept and responds to input from humans. 2. Multimedia- media that uses multiple forms of information content and information processing to inform or entertain the user.
3. Navigability- ability to move through a website clearly and easily.

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4. Informative- serving to inform; providing or disclosing information; instructive and entertaining.
5. Overall aesthetic design- just that, design that is pleasing to the eye.
While all of these factors must be addressed in any web design project, not just an online exhibition, they are extremely important to an online exhibition. Interactivity is an important area that museums, in general, need to look at now more than ever.
Increasingly, people must be engaged in order to be entertained and informed. Twentyfirst century life is defined by the use of multimedia in every aspect of our lives. We expect to see it in everything that is presented to us. In general, when people visit a museum’s web site, they expect to be informed of something new. They wish to be presented with ideas and facts that are fresh to them. Is this not what museums visits are, at their base level?

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Chapter 3- Testing the Factors

The literature review defined many standards for online exhibitions. The next research step was to administer a survey to a segment of the general population in order to test the data gathered. The participants were chosen from many professional areas. It was determined that the participants should not just be museum professionals, or those in the art field, as that is not the only audience of online exhibitions.
The American Association of Museum’s web site was utilized to search for examples of online exhibitions. State by state, the accredited museum’s web sites were visited and determined as to whether they have an online exhibition. If the exhibition existed in cyberspace only, it was reviewed on the five factors previously stated. Three web sites were then chosen. The first one was “The Boone Collection” at the Field Museum of
Natural History in Chicago, Illinois. The second site was the “Tzintzuntzan, Mexico:
Photographs of George Foster” exhibition at the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of
Anthropology in Berkeley, California. The last exhibition that was “The Silent Witnessthe Story of Lola Rein and Her Dress” at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC.
The next step was to format an online survey through the research web site Survey
Monkey. The museum online exhibitions were entered as well as the five factors chosen by which to judge the exhibitions’ effectiveness. The test was created on 19 November
2005. The survey was created and sent out to forty-three people, of which there was a forty nine percent (n=21) response rate. The survey candidates were chosen in a random manner. The reason for this is that the opinion of the general public on this subject was

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desired. The response was immediate.
The three sites were chosen in order to show different kinds of online exhibitions.
The levels of sophistication varied greatly. The “Boone Collection” at the Field Museum in Chicago, Illinois, was chosen because of its simple design. This site represents what the earliest sites looked like. The “Tzintzuntzan, Mexico: Photographs by George
Foster” exhibition at the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology at the University of
California- Berkeley was chosen as it seems to be representative of the transitional time in online exhibition design. The motif becomes more sophisticated, however the aesthetic qualities of the site seem lacking. The final exhibition, “The Silent Witness- the
Story of Lola Rein and Her Dress” at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in
Washington, DC, was chosen simply for its sophistication. The designers of this site really explored all the factors identified in the literature review. They tell a woman’s story in a way that is tactful and beautiful (see appendix 19). The researcher chose these exhibitions for the previous reasons, but was surprised by what she found in the survey’s respondents. Respondents found The Boone Collection site informative, though the consensus was that the design was tame. One respondent, an exhibit designer, stated, “I found this exhibition to be average in most ways which accounts for my markings of unsatisfied in two categories. I did give the overall aesthetic design a "No Opinion" rating as it was not displeasing, but it also left me feeling it was kind of bland and uninspired. Overall I expect more from the Field Museum.” A university professor agreed. She “(l)iked how easy it was to get from place to place (consistent design, anchors, back buttons).
However, it was not terribly interactive and I did not see any multimedia. It was a book

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on the screen basically”. They were not alone in how they felt about this exhibition (see appendix 13).
Though many participants stated that the interactivity of this site was rather primitive, the majority of them found the website overall to be at least satisfactory.
Interactivity of the site was rated as satisfactory by sixty three percent of the respondents, followed by thirty three percent for unsatisfactory and five percent had no opinion (see appendix 7).
The multimedia of the site was also ranked similarly. Most felt that the site lacked any multimedia whatsoever and gave it a “no opinion” ranking. A professor of optometry stated, “this site could use more multimedia, interactive links, etc. Perhaps some attention to spacing (creating more space, easier to follow for the viewer). I liked the comprehensive nature of the background writing that accompanied the exhibitions”
(see appendix 7).
Though the majority of respondents did not like the lack of multimedia in the site, one person did. A graduate student in film studies said that he was “glad there was no multimedia, when I went to pages like "introduction" and "biography" they actually contained interesting information, and I found the photo section easy enough to navigate.
Smartly doesn't try and convey too much information in one space” (see appendix 7).
The navigability of the site is what most people agreed was the one of the best aspects of it. Fifty seven percent of respondents found the site’s navigability satisfactory and thirty three percent found it very satisfactory. This is an aspect of design that appeared to be of most importance to the participants. Another optometry professor said that he “ liked the organization of the exhibitions by country of origin and then category.

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It was extremely easy to navigate. The optional commentary link was nice and I was glad that the descriptions were not included with the image upon first presentation. Overall, it was a good site. I liked the additional links to the CCUC and Field Museum included in the contacts page” (see appendix 7).
The group rated the site as informative. The overall aesthetic design was ranked as satisfactory as well. The group found the ease of navigability to be high.
The “Tzintzuntzan, Mexico: Photographs by George Foster” exhibition at the
Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology at the University of California- Berkeley was more negatively rated than the “Boone Collection” exhibition. According to a museum studies graduate student, “the site's opening page was nice and clean. I liked the images. However, I would have liked to have seen more images throughout. Also, I didn't understand the navigation. I kept having to push the back button on my browser to get back to the main page. I didn't like that the text on the left hand side of the page was a lot longer than the text on the right. Overall this site was kind of boring.” This sums up what the rest of the respondents stated as their issues with the site. One exhibit designer stated,
“no interactivity or multimedia to speak of. Lots of information, but it is not prioritized visually so the casual visitor can get the basic information easily. This approach will only appeal to people who are looking for in depth knowledge on this subject, which I would venture to guess that is a very small number of people. The design is bland and not well thought out” (see appendix 14).
Half of the participants felt that the interactivity of the site was unsatisfactory.
The same amount felt that the multimedia availability and navigation were just as unsatisfactory. The majority, fifty five percent, found the site to be informative, but since

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the overall aesthetic properties of the site were rated as being unsatisfactory, web visitors were left focusing on the negative (see appendix 8).
“The web site is very informative but contains way too much text. Most brick and mortar museum visitors will spend less than a minute per artifact and text panel, it is even less on the Internet. The site doesn't navigate well. The text to the left side does not let the visitor know what to do. Also, there is no back button. The page design is rather boring.” (museum associate director)
Museums must take into consideration all factors of design in order to have their sites produce a more informed visitor. As a doctor suggested, “I do not care to read text that small. (But) thumbnail images would be useful on the left-hand side so I do not have to click them all (just those of interest to me).” Overall, the site seemed to leave much to be desired (see appendix 14).
The final exhibition, “The Silent Witness- the Story of Lola Rein and Her Dress” at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC, was overwhelmingly the most popular exhibition among the respondents. Although the subject manner is a very saddening tale, the way it is presented is in a manner that with which most people can relate. The consensus is that the overall design of the site greatly helps it achieve the purpose of an online exhibition to convey the exhibition's message through the Internet.
As one museum studies graduate student said, this is “ the best site out of all three. This page had everything I would want out of an online exhibition. The talking is great but you can still move on when you want to. And the photographs that are interactive (when it allows you to click on changing photographs throughout the story) let

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you pick and choose what you want to see, just as if you were seeing it in person. It also seems to capture the essence and personality of this museum.” This is the reason online exhibitions were first introduced to us (see appendix 15).
The main complaint was that the download time on the site’s software was too long. A few participants worried that some visitors might not have the flash capabilities in order to view the site properly. As high-speed Internet connections become more available to the common web visitor, this factor will not need be considered.
Overall, the results of the survey were that the site was very successful in conveying its message. Seventy four percent found the interactivity of the site to be very satisfying. The multimedia was ranked as very satisfying by seventy nine percent of the subjects. The navigability was ranked slightly lower though. Forty two percent ranked it as very satisfying and fifty three percent just found it to be satisfactory. The respondents also found the site to be very informative and the overall aesthetic design to be extraordinary (see appendix 9).
Based on the results of the first survey, a second was administered to a broader population. Three more online exhibitions were presented. The first exhibition to be reviewed the Henry O. Tanner exhibition at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
The second exhibition was “The History of Televised Presidential Debates” exhibition at the Museum of Broadcast Communications. The last exhibition chosen was the Dynamic
Earth exhibit at the National Museum of Natural History. These sites were chosen for their overall design and navigation. As opposed to the previous survey, the researcher chose these sites for their dynamic design attributes. The sites appeared to be much more successful overall (see appendix 19). The surveyor was trying to determine what stood

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out to the audience of these sites. This survey was created on March 26, 2006. The survey was sent out to fifty people, of which there was a forty-eight percent (n=24) response. The Tanner featured a game where the participant was challenged to pick out paintings that were created by Tanner. This was overwhelmingly the part of the exhibition that was best received. One professor stated that she “really liked the gamelike feature where I was to see if I could pick out which painting Tanner printed. I liked the explanations when my answer was wrong - stated very positively. However, I could have used more "education" into his style before beginning than just looking at the one painting.” Although the survey results pointed to a high level of informative aspects, many participants wanted to be presented with more facts about Tanner. “(The) site felt skimpy. Not enough information especially in the biography section. Some information was left out depending on how you accessed the site. While it was pleasing enough to the eye, it didn't take it far enough.” (another professor) Most respondents agreed on that point. While the design of the site was well received, the lack of information was something that was repeated. Another complaint about the site was that there was too much scrolling on certain pages (see appendix 10).
Almost every participant stated that there was not nearly enough multimedia aspects to the site. The interactivity of this site rated as satisfactory with less than fifty percent of the group. As stated previously, the game was what was most popular. One participant highlighted the ability to zoom in on images. Forty-two percent of participants agreed that the ease of navigability was very satisfactory. The same amount agreed on the overall aesthetic design of the site. While some thought there was just

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enough information available, others felt that they left the exhibition yearning for more information (see appendix 10).
The “History of Televised Presidential Debates” was not met with the same reactions. Overall, people were satisfied with most of the factors. The interactivity was rated as being satisfactory by fifty-seven percent of the respondents. None of them elaborated on this in the comment section of the survey. The multimedia of the site was stronger than other sites, at least in regards to the rating section of the survey. However, time and again, respondents complained that there was too much multimedia, and it was inaccessible to most of them. Many of them would have to download new applications in order to view the site, and most were not willing to do so. This is obviously something that developers must consider when designing a web project. While videos are nice to include, and can prove to be very informative, it is something for which most people do not want to have to work. One respondent, a media professor said, “Initially (the site had) a lot of promise- but very quickly let down expecting audio and video and getting no connections.” Another respondent, an art history professor, expanded on this by saying,
“Providing video is nice but it was only offered in REAL format. This limits the number of people that can view the video. The photo section is a nice alternative to the video but it did not allow for click through of the images. I had to go back to the list then click on the next image. I also felt that the pages loaded a bit slowly for my high speed connection, I can't imagine how long it would take on a dial-up connection.”
Most of the respondents thought that the developers should have kept an eye out when it comes to the amount of multimedia in the site. Too much can be a bad thing, especially

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when that media is inaccessible to the user (see appendix 17).
The navigability was received well by some of the respondents, however the same number felt that it was lacking. Thirty-five percent of the group felt it was satisfactory, and the same amount found it to be unsatisfactory. A museum studies graduate student said, “The locations of buttons changed as you moved through the site. This prevented me from going back to where I started, or viewing specific areas that I had previously been interested in (because I didn't know how to get back easily).” This is something that developers need to take into account. Keeping the buttons in the same place on each page greatly aids in the navigability of a site. Things need to be obvious in order for users to figure it out (see appendix 11).
Respondents also differed in their opinions about how informative the site was.
The results of the ranking part of the survey were thirty-five percent found it to be satisfactory and another thirty-five percent found it to be very satisfactory. A particular factor that kept reappearing throughout the respondents was positive reaction to the online curriculum. “I was delighted to see the inclusion of the curriculum resources.” (art history professor) Other respondents felt the same way about this feature. However, most participants felt that there was so much information included, that it impeded the navigation of the site (see appendix 11).
The results on the overall aesthetic design were lukewarm. Thirty percent of the respondents said that they found it to be satisfactory, while another thirty percent found it to be either unsatisfactory or very unsatisfactory. One respondent, an education professor, said “Wow! I almost didn't even enter it. Too hard on the eyes… Text is a turn off too.” Another professor said, “I found the fonts and colors too aggressive and

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political (I mean they looked like parodies of political posters which, theoretically, would be appropriate, but I found it off-putting.)” This was stated repeatedly by respondents.
The aesthetic design of the site was considered entirely too busy and would turn them away if they were not asked to visit the site for a survey (see appendix 17).
The final site that the participants were asked to visit was the Dynamic Earth exhibition, produced by the Smithsonian. It was received extremely well by the respondents. The Smithsonian’s website appears to be a great resource for dynamic online exhibitions.
The interactivity of the site was voted to be very satisfactory by seventy-four percent of the respondents. While this was an aspect that was reviewed in such a high manner on the ranking part of the survey, not many people went into the reasons for this on the second part of the survey. Only one person even mentioned it, and they stated that it was “excellent” (doctor of optometry). It has been determined that any of these factors should not call attention to themselves to the user, just appear for them (see appendix 12).
The multimedia factor of the site was received just as well by respondents
(seventy-four percent found it to be very satisfactory). The participants stated that they were able to actually view all of the multimedia aspects of the site, which is key to the dynamic properties of the site. A museum studies graduate student said, “I am a science geek, so particularly enjoyed this one, especially the solar system movies with sci-fi soundtracks!” It was promising that the respondents were able to view the movies, as for other websites reviewed this was not the case (see appendix 18).
The navigability of this site also scored high with participants. It got a sixty-one percent satisfactory rating. Another museum studies graduate student said, “(This site

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was) easy to navigate because while multimedia/interactives changed, menus and buttons stayed in the same locations. Also, different layers and text size/boldness created a hierarchy of subjects telling me what to look at first, second, last etc.” Three of the respondents disagreed with the majority though. Another museum studies professor said,
“I did get lost a time or two so I suppose the navigation could be a little more intuitive.”
“I really liked the introduction to the site with the sound component. I thought that the navigation on the homepage was nice - there were two ways to navigate into the site.
However, I think that once you are inside the site it gets more difficult to navigate because there are so many different ways to go through the exhibit.” (museum studies graduate student). It appears that this site may have had too much information to be wholly effective (see appendix 18).
Out of all of the factors of the site, informative scored the highest. It received an eighty-seven percent very satisfactory rating. “This was by far the best site I visited.
Even though there was lots of information on some screens, they did not seem overcrowded… Although this topic is not particularly interesting to me, I felt I learned something and enjoyed it.” (museum studies professor). The respondents felt that the informative aspect was strong, and the best way to get the information to the user is to have all other factors work together, that is, use those factors harmoniously to make the information come across clearly (see appendix 12).
Sixty-five percent of the respondents felt that the overall aesthetic design of the site was very satisfactory. It was stated that the use of vivid colors keeps the user’s interest. However, one museum studies graduate student said, “I felt the design could have been more organic since the topic was the earth,” suggesting that online exhibition

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designers need to keep the topic in mind when making decisions on aesthetic choices (see appendix 18).
The answers gathered in the survey narrate a tale about how people view online exhibitions, or rather what they want to see (see appendix 1). The navigability of the site seems to be of the utmost importance (see appendix 2). People need to be able to find their way around the site, in order to view it correctly. Instructions on how to navigate the viewer’s trip through the exhibition should be included in order to aid in the experience. However, time and again, it was repeated that navigation must be intuitive in order for it to be dynamic. The interactive nature of the site also ranks high in what people are looking for in an enjoyable online exhibition (see appendix 5). People want to interact with the exhibition. They want to push buttons and see what the result is. They want to be a part of the story that is unfolding. The “Choose Your Own Adventure” books come to mind when trying to understand the public’s need for interaction. (These books featured options at the bottom of each page, which would change the story that the reader experience, i.e. for option “A” go to page 113, for option “B” go to page 146.)
People want to play an active role in what they are viewing.
Along those same lines fall the multimedia aspects of the design (see appendix 6).
The term multimedia covers many features. Audio is a very popular multimedia application. It helps to develop the audience’s willing suspension of disbelief. This is needed in order for viewers to let themselves go and experience the exhibition at its fullest potential. The informative aspect of the site is rather important, but the group seems to agree that the aforementioned factors must be addressed in order for the information to be transferred to the viewer. The developer must take into consideration

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the amount of content that goes into the site and how it affects the navigability (see appendix 4). Lastly, the overall aesthetic design is something that needs to be addressed throughout the process of online exhibition design. The aesthetic design needs to be subtle, as to not take away from the objects and story, but still be dynamic enough to engage the visitor along the way.

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Chapter 4- Thesis Project

An online exhibition was developed for Stax Museum of American Soul Music, located in Memphis, Tennessee. Carol Drake, Exhibits, Archives, and Education
Manager for the museum was consulted on possible subject matter. It was decided that the topic of the exhibition would be the “Fashion of Stax.” The project was created from
June of 2006 through November of 2006.
Stax Records was a soul music record label out of Memphis. In Soulsville U.S.A.,
Rob Bowman describes the label:
“(It) was founded in 1959 by Jim Stewart and Estelle Axton. The first successful artists recorded by Satellite (the first name used by Stax Records) were vocalists
Rufus and Carla Thomas, a father-daughter duo whose work attracted Atlantic
Records, with whom Stewart made a contract giving ownership of master tapes and first choice on releasing recordings. Another of the early bands signed to the company was a Memphis group, The Mar-Keys, formerly known as The Royal
Spades. Shortly thereafter, pianist Booker T. Jones joined the label and, along with members of the Mar-Keys, began performing as Booker T. and the Memphis
Group; this band's sound exemplified the style that Stax was looking for. In 1962,
Stax created a subsidiary label, Volt Records, used for rhythm and blues music.
The first artist released by Volt was Otis Redding, their most successful artist.
Another hit-making act was Sam and Dave, sent to Stax by Atlantic. Atlantic producer Jerry Wexler frequently brought his artists to Memphis for recording sessions at Stax. In the BBC documentary Soul Deep, he reported putting Wilson
Pickett and Booker T. and the MGs' guitarist Steve Cropper in a motel room "with

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a bottle of Jack"; the night's work produced the soul standard "In the Midnight
Hour.” Those artists included Isaac Hayes, Rufus and Carla Thomas, Al Green,
Otis Redding, Sam and Dave, Mavis Staples and Albert King.
“In 1972, Al Bell and Stax recording artists staged a concert, Wattstax, which drew over 100,000 predominately African-American Los Angeles. The event, known as the "Black Woodstock," was MC'ed by Reverend Jesse Jackson and filmed by director Mel Stuart (Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory). The festival featured performances by Stax artists and some humor from a then littleknown Richard Pryor.
“Meanwhile, the future of Stax was not so hopeful. A deal was struck with
Columbia, but Stax's profits were cut severely; the company was unable to continue. The last big hit for Stax was "Woman to Woman" from Shirley Brown in 1974. Its success delayed the crunch for several months, but, in 1976, Stax finally went bankrupt.”
The process for any web design project begins the same way. There are steps the developer, in consultation with museum staff, takes in order to create the website. The first step is the conceptualization of the idea. All websites are based around a central idea or group of ideas. A designer must ask him/herself, “What is this website going to be about?” Next comes brainstorming. The developer sits down and starts making lists about the topic. S/he must develop the factors that will make the site exciting. At this stage, there are several questions that the developer must ask him/herself, these include
“Why are we creating this website? What do we expect to accomplish? What are we offering to our audience? What kind of site is it? Who is the primary audience? How

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Internet-savvy are they?” (Niederst)
The second step is creating and organizing the content. At this time, the lists and sketchbooks come out. The content of the site is finalized and copy writing is completed.
It is also at this time that the sitemap is determined. The information architecture greatly aids in the organization of the site.
Then it is time to develop the aesthetics of the site. Aesthetics are an important part of any web design project (see appendix 3). Decisions are made on the color scheme, typography to be used, images style and any interactive effects. Sketching out ideas is a very important part of this step. The developer can see whether or not his/her ideas are workable and if the parts will fit together.
The producing stage is next. As the design of the site is already in the works, it will be easy to decide where the images shall go. It also helps determine what images should be used. This is also the time that HTML files are coded. Any multimedia effects that the developer is going to use are added at this time.
The final step is to create a working prototype of the site. This step really brings to light what the site is going to look like and feel like. After this, it is time to begin testing. Not only must the developer test the site in order to determine if the site can be correctly viewed in different browsers and operating systems, but usability must also be addressed. Once these have been tested, it is time to upload the site and test again.
(Niederst)
The process of creating the online exhibition began with the decision of the topic and the consideration of the audience. As fashion is something that was of interest to
Carol Drake at Stax, it was deemed an area that needed more research by investigating

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the archives at the museum. The photo archive was searched in order to collect photos of artists who were the top players at Stax. The photographs told the story of the institution.
It was through this search that the artists who were to be featured rose to the surface. It is commonly thought that many of the artists on the Stax label influenced the fashion style of the era. It was very bold in color and pattern. Ultimately, five artists were chosen to be showcased in the exhibition: Isaac Hayes, Rufus Thomas, the Bar-Kays, Booker T. and the MGs and the Staple Singers. Finally, a large gallery featuring images of several artists was presented.
The audience of the website consists of a broad range of the people. The record label reached its peak in popularity in the 1960s; therefore many Baby Boomers access the site in order to revisit the music of their teenage years. Stax’s music continues to be popular with the twenty-something audience as well. As the institution includes a music academy that consists of high school and middle school students, the website is accessed by teenagers too.
Next, the costumes and textiles section of the archive was examined. The labels on the clothing gave clues to the designers of the clothing. This was the hardest part of the research, as many of the labels had been cut or worn through. The next step was to begin a web search on the designers that were found in the archive. Ultimately, only two designers had information written about them. These were the “The Alamo of Nashville” and “Granny Takes a Trip.” Both design houses left behind a fascinating legacy. The next step was to refer back to the photo archive at Stax, in order to find photos that would be placed in the artists section and the gallery. The digital database of photographs was utilized in order to collect more images.

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The next section that was developed was the introduction area. While it makes sense to develop this area first, it was held off as the other sections dictated what should be included in the introduction. An historian was consulted in order to help develop this section. The first area was the “History of Stax.” This section was essential to the web site, as the record label is relatively unknown. A list of artists was another section included in this area. A section that talks about the history of Memphis was developed.
The city of Memphis has had a huge effect on the world music scene, and therefore it was deemed necessary in this introduction. A section about the Civil Rights Movement was included, as Stax Records itself was a part of this history. Stax would not have been in existence if it were not for the actions of Civil Rights leaders and activists from the 1950s and 1960s. The shooting death of Martin Luther King, Jr. had a direct effect on the decline of the Stax label, as well as the decline of the city of Memphis. All of these stories are intertwined and need to be examined in order to have a greater understanding of what the artists were trying to say not only in their music, but also in the clothing they wore. The last section of the introduction tells the story of Stax and the Soulsville neighborhood today. This was important to include in order to show what has happened to the area and to highlight what can be done through the dedication of the staff of an institution. The aesthetic design of the museum was studied, as well as its current website http://www.soulsvilleusa.com, to develop a base for the overall design of the site. In order to decide upon the general aesthetics of the online exhibition, many tours of the
Stax Museum of American Soul Music were conducted. The main theme throughout the institution is the circle. It not only represents a vinyl record, but also appears to

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symbolize the full circle that has evolved with the rebuilding of Stax. This was the main element that was utilized in the online exhibition. Next, the color scheme of the website was established. That determination was accomplished by research into the colors used in 1960s pop culture. The colors purple and green were ultimately chosen, along with dark grey and white for accents. The buttons featured on the index pages of the main sections were created next. They resemble records in their appearance. Each page was then laid out on the template that was created for the site (see appendix 20).
Throughout the process of the development of the site, the results of the research were consulted on several occasions. It determined decisions that were made. As the design of the site progressed, the factors that were laid out in the research reminded the researcher of what people wanted to see and how they wanted to see it. For example, when deciding what the layout of the page should be, the researcher determined that navigability was more important that overall aesthetic design, based on the survey results.
She then made the decision to include buttons on each page that would get the user not only back to the home page, but also back to the first page of its section. The factors that have been identified greatly aided the initial organization during the development period of the site. As the developer ran into issues about where to go next, the results of the data gave clear directions.
Through the development of the online exhibition, the researcher discovered some interesting things about the factors chosen. While it was initially thought that all of the factors did in fact need to be addressed, the need to prioritize of said factors appeared. It would not be possible to include all of them in the same manner and therefore the literature review was consulted in the decision of the prioritization of the list.

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At the end of the project, a survey was conducted in order to determine whether the online exhibition that was created did, in fact ,adhere to the factors (see appendix ).
The navigation of a site seems to be the hardest part to determine, as everyone approaches websites in different ways, having different navigational needs. This is a factor that would need to be researched more by the museum worker in order to determine what works across the board. The main problem the participants had was that the navigation was very confusing. This was something that the researcher had tried to take into consideration while designing the site, but was ultimately unsuccessful in it.
Some participants liked the “next” button featured on each page, while others found it to be bothersome, or even annoying.
The overall aesthetic design scored well, and it also was reviewed as successful in the comments section by most of the participants. They felt that the color scheme was good. However, one participant felt that the design was entirely too rigid (museum studies professor).

The informative factor of the online exhibition scored to highest of

all. While some participants were confused as to why certain information was included, many felt that they learned a great deal from the site. The issue stemmed from the bits of information not being connected well enough to the other to allow the used to read it as a unified story. Meaning that each section should build upon one another, and this was not accomplished. The interactivity of the site scored high as well. The participants did not comment much on this section, except to say that they liked the quiz, but felt it was too short. The multimedia scored lowest of all. This was expected as the researcher had purposely left out a lot of multimedia factors. This was done as it appeared that this was

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not an important factor to participants in the initial survey. Some participants stated that they would have liked to have seen more movement on the individual pages of this site.
Overall the survey data showed that the Stax online exhibition was interesting, though not as dynamic as had been hoped for in the development of the site. The main thing that the researcher gained in the development of the site was that personal needs in a website are not universal.

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Chapter 5- Conclusions

The literature and reviews of online exhibitions established that there is a template for developing dynamic online exhibitions. There are many factors that make these sites dynamic, but five areas of design were chosen to help us understand what it is that people want. The researcher set out to determine the factors, and then use them in the development of an online exhibition. Conclusions can also be drawn about the process of creating online exhibitions.
The researcher found through the literature review and the development of the
Stax online exhibition that these factors are not easy to address (see appendix 1). It came to light that each factor cannot be approached in the same manner, nor can they be addressed to the same degree. Where one factor, such as navigability is of the utmost importance, it is hard to give multimedia the same amount of attention. Multimedia often impedes the ease of navigation of a site. When the user visits a multimedia area of the site, long download times or loud music, may impede on the navigation of the site.
Therefore, each factor needs to be considered, but at different levels of priorities. The prioritized list is as follows:
1) Navigability
2) Overall Aesthetic Design
3) Informative
4) Interactivity
5) Multimedia

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Each of these factors builds on one and another. They also must work harmoniously in order to create a dynamic web site. Navigability is of most importance, if they get lost, users will leave the site. This was exhibited in the results from the surveys (see appendix 2). Next is the overall aesthetic design. The design of the site will not only aid in the navigation, but it will also keep the interest of the user. The design can be used to show the user where to go, using color or text change (see appendix 3). Of course, the site needs to be informative. Is that not why people visit online exhibitions
(see appendix 4)? This is lower in priority on the list as the first two factors must be utilized in order to get the message across in a clear manner. The interactivity of the site is low on the list as the first three factors work together very closely, and the interactivity is something that just adds value to the site (see appendix 5), as does multimedia (see appendix 6). These are two very important factors; however, they are not essential for an online exhibition to be dynamic.
In general, when people think about dynamic design, the bells and whistles
(meaning interactivity and multimedia) of the site often come to mind. Through the research conducted, this was found to be false. (see appendix ) The definition of dynamic means something full of energy- energetic and forceful. One might conclude that moving images and flashy games was what made up dynamic design. In fact, it is navigability and information that really define this aspect of design for most users. For people to become really excited and engaged in an online exhibition, they want to be informed by a site that is easy to navigate. The energy actually has to do with the power of navigability.
The user has the power to move easily around the site and control what is going on. This energy in the user should be the aim of dynamic design. The online exhibition should be

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simple to navigate, look good and then be informative. This will not only get the message of the site across to the viewer in a more efficient way, it will also boost the entire experience that the user has with the online exhibition. People, in general, visit online exhibitions (and museums) in order to be informed. They expect for this to happen in an efficient manner that is easy for them to navigate and understand. As interactivity and multimedia scored at the lowest overall, these factors are not as important in defining a dynamic experience to the user.
When this research was begun, it was the researcher’s aim to help a small museum worker in the development on a dynamic online exhibition. Through the development of the site, it appeared that this would be an improbable feat. The online exhibition took approximately six hundred hours to complete, over the course of five months. It would be nearly impossible for any small to medium sized museum worker to dedicate this amount of time. Through the final survey of the site, the researcher found that the design of the site was not nearly as sophisticated as was the goal. This tells the researcher that not only are time restraints a detriment but also a lack of a web design background can be as well.
As museum staff will not always be designing the online exhibition, museum employees on all levels must consider the new arena of communicating with the public through online exhibitions. Curators, educators, administrators, collections managers and marketing specialists should all be involved in the input into the design of an online exhibition. This team can then help give direction to the web designer. Teamwork will help in this new venture, as it will not exclusively lie in the hands of the web designer. If the team works seamlessly together and considers the needs of the public, online

36

exhibitions should grow and prosper.

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Chapter 6- Generalizations for the Field

As stated previously, this research is important to the field in many ways. The field of online exhibitions is a growing one. Over the next few years, it will be something that more and more museums will begin to view as an outlet for their information. This research will help guide them in developing dynamic exhibitions.
This research initially aimed to make it easier for the average museum professional, who works in a smaller institution, to develop online exhibitions on his/her own by spelling out the process in easy steps. Since the thesis project proved that online exhibition design is not easy. This research now may serve as a guide. In museums that do have the budget to hire outside help for the development, this guide will serve to help museum workers communicate just what they are looking for in the online exhibition.
This will give language and prioritized factors to discuss with designers.
Through discussions with museum professionals and an interactive media professional, it was determined that this data also can be used for development purposes in grant proposals. An institution can use the research to explain why it is important for a museum to have an online exhibition. It will also show user dynamic and user-tested factors. Museum websites present the mission of the institution to the public via the
Internet. Online exhibitions offer not only a glimpse of what the museum has to offer, but also of what they are capable. This is something that will draw the user into possibly visiting the museum. It also gives the museum another outlet in order to get certain messages out to their audience. In order to get the message across to users, the developer must create an online exhibition that will engage viewers long enough for them to grasp

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the concepts. If a strong reputation of an institution’s online exhibitions is established
(such at The United States Holocaust Museum’s), people will access the site in order to see what is new. Therefore, if the museum has any new happenings going on, the viewer will be informed of such.
Online exhibitions could turn into advertisements, or movies, or shows that serve to not only inform, but also to entertain. This is how people are used to getting/ receiving their information, therefore museums need to adapt to this new way of presenting ideas.
Although dull online exhibition design can be easily done, the development of a dynamic online exhibitions is a much better way of getting the message through to the audience.

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Chapter 7- Implications for Further Research

As online exhibitions are a fairly new area of the museum field (only within the last ten to fifteen years), additional questions that will further this research are:
1.) The survey could be expanded to assess further priorities with a larger sample.
2.) Who should be on the team that develops the site?
3.) Once developed, if the designers are hired outside of the institution, who will be designated to update the exhibition, if that is deemed necessary?
4.) How will the online exhibitions be promoted and what sources can be used for such promotion?

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Appendix 1- Overall Factor Results

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Appendix 2- Overall Factor Results with Fashion of Stax Results

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Appendix 3- Navigability Results

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Appendix 4- Overall Aesthetic Design Results

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Appendix 5- Informative Results

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Appendix 6- Interactivity Results

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Appendix 7- Multimedia Results

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Appendix 8- Boone Collection Exhibition Results

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Appendix 9- Foster Exhibition Results

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57

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Appendix 10- Silent Witness Exhibition Results

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Appendix 11- Tanner Exhibition Results

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Appendix 12- Televised Presidential Debates Exhibition Results

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Appendix 13- Dynamic Earth Exhibition Results

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Appendix 14- Fashion of Stax Results

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Appendix 15- Boone Collection Exhibition Comments
The first survey was administered on the website: http://www.surveymonkey.com. The test was created on 19 November 2005. The survey was created and sent out to fortythree people, of which there was a forty nine percent (n=21) response rate. The participants were friends, acquaintances, co-workers, classmates, and professors of the researcher. The participants were presented with three websites, and told to rate them according to five factors- navigability, overall aesthetic design, informative, interactivity, and multimedia. They were then asked to comment on what they liked or disliked about the site and what they might do to change it. The results to this last questions are as follows: The Boone Collection of the Field Museum of Natural HistoryIn the space provided below, please explain what you liked and disliked about the site.
What might you change about it?
1. Very nice site. A lot of information for those with interest. Despite the lengthy information, users can bypass and skip what they choose to. Overall, I would suggest that the site is too wordy. Images of good quality. No multimedia present. That would have been nice.
2. I liked this site, but I thought that Korea and China were given short sheriff in that there was only one photo per site.
3. It is difficult to appreciate the first Japanese scroll which was divided into sections.
Being able to visualize the whole scroll one will appreciate it, even though small. It would have been nice to include Chinese and Korean scrolls and paintings.

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4. I thought that overall the site was very easy to navigate through. However, I would have liked more interactivity. The color scheme was nice as well as the multiple ways that you could get to one page. It was easy to figure out but I would have liked more images to look at.
5. I liked the information that was provided and I felt that it was easy to navigate.
However, I did not feel that it was creative.
6. Would have had more to view especially for Korea and China.
7. This site could use more multimedia, interactive links, etc. Perhaps some attention to spacing (creating more space, easier to follow for the viewer). I liked the comprehensive nature of the background writing that accompanied the exhibits.
8. I found this exhibit to be average in most ways which accounts for my markings of unsatisfied in two categories. I did give the overall aesthetic design a "No Opinion" rating as it was not displeasing, but it also left me feeling it was kind of bland and uninspired.
Overall, I expect more from the Field Museum.
9. It was a little dry - too much text, not enough examples of the art. The Japanese part was better, but the Chinese and Korean sections had very few examples.
10. I liked the organization of the exhibits by country of origin and then category. It was extremely easy to navigate. The optional commentary link was nice and I was glad that the descriptions were not included with the image upon first presentation. Overall, it was a good site. I liked the additional links to the CCUC and Field Museum included in the contacts page. Only change I would suggest.... the red background page made the text little more difficult to read compared to the others.

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11. Color Contrast could be improved. Sounds and movie clips would be a very nice addition. 12. I liked how easy it was to get from place to place (consistent design, anchors, back buttons). However, it was not terribly interactive and I did not see any multimedia. It was a "book on the screen" basically.
13. The visuals were beautiful but too few--I felt there should have been more. However, the site was informative and easy to navigate.
14. Easy to read. The background images and colors were not distracting from the text.
Good layout. Ability to click for more information if it is needed. Would like to have had some audio and video.
15. Maybe have some light music playing behind the site, Also I thought there was a lack of images for Korea and China.
16. I liked that you could click on an image and get a full size image to look at.
17. The only part of the site I considered "interactive" was the image gallery in which you could choose a country. Since an online exhibit has no physical or tactile qualities, interactives play a large role in keeping me engaged. I would have more of this. As for the overall aesthetic design of the site, I thought it was kind of dry and/or boring. I also had trouble finding the "home" button since its at the very bottom in small letters. I like to be able to easily return to where I started so that I can explore something else.
18. It was very simple and straightforward. It wasn't very flashy but what it lacked in design it compensated for in navigability.
19. I'm glad there was no multi-media, when I went to pages like "introduction" and
"biography" they actually contained interesting information, and I found the photo

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section easy enough to navigate. Smartly doesn't try and convey too much information in one space.

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Appendix 16- Foster Exhibition Comments
Tzintzuntzan, Mexico: Photographs of George Foster exhibition at the Phoebe A.
Hearst Museum of AnthropologyIn the space provided below, please explain what you liked and disliked about the site.
What might you change about it?
1. Poor introduction page. Some could think that the one page was the sole website. Text way too small. I do not care to read text that small. Thumbnail images would be useful on the lefthand side so I do not have to click them all (just those of interest to me).
2. The content was excellent. The photos were great in detailing life in this village. I thought that the background was bland but it did not distract from the presentation.
3. I think it was somewhat plain, it could have been more interactive.
4. The site was very good.
5. I thought that the site's opening page was nice and clean. I liked the images. However,
I would have liked to have seen more images throughout. Also, I didn't understand the navigation. I kept having to push the back button on my browser to get back to the main page. I didn't like that the text on the left hand side of the page was a lot longer than the text on the right. Overall this site was kind of boring.
6. I felt that the website was informative, but I had similar issues with this as i did the first one. I did not feel like the information was arranged in a creative way. It could have been more interactive.
7. This site was extremely informative and interesting. I wished I had time to read it all carefully. 78

8. Choice of photos absolutely support artist's portrayal of Tzintzuntzan, Mexico. Fairly mechanical display (traditional pop-up photo). Resolution of pictures seems sufficient, however size could stand to be increased.
9. No interactivity or multimedia to speak of. Lots of information, but it is not prioritized visually so the casual visitor can get the basic information easily. This approach will only appeal to people who are looking for in depth knowledge on this subject which I would venture to guess that is a very small number of people. The design is bland and not well thought out.
10. I would like for pictures to be larger. The text is interesting, butit would be nice to click the pictures and get them to go full-screen.
11. Great photos were difficult to access and got lost in text. The homepage design was beautiful (horizontal images with exhibit title) and I expected the others to follow. The title page was clean and drew attention to the photos...the rest of the exhibit relied on the user to read everything in order to navigate the page. I would suggest re-organizing the exhibit in the "changes" theme that is emphasized at the end of the exhibit. Thumbnails of each photo would have made it much easier to choose my viewing route. I think that there is too much information on the introduction/homepage.
12. Hate home page or link page...it's just pictures, no text.
13. OK, the last one (Boone collection) was much better! There was too much text - page to page was just one big label. While one could pick a photo from the left column, there was no thematic index like Boone.

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14. The photos were beautiful, but the main listing page was a little drab. The earth tones went along with the main theme and did not detract from the photos but were lacking and didn't invite exploration.
15. The website is very informative but contains way too much text. Most brick and mortar museum visitors will spend less than a minute per artifact and text panel, it is even less on the internet. The site dosent navigate well. The text to the left side does not let the visitor know what to do. Also, there is no back button. The page design is rather boring.
16. The pictures where amazing maybe if they were shown better the menu took up a lot of room on the left side of the screen and i hade to scroll alot to look at each picture and then again to his continue.
17. I thought that there was way to much text, and it was hard to figure out what was a link and what wasn't.
18. Little to no interactivity but it didn't seem to hurt the site. It was pretty navigable, however, the continue button was way too small. What I liked most about this site was the aesthetic design, and the bright and beautiful photographs.
19. It wasn't as easy to navigate but I liked how the design looked like a gallery space.
20. I don't like homepages with no info, that you have to click-through to get to what you are looking for. I also don't like how everything is in one column at the side regardless of what category it is (the links to the intro and home page are no different from the links to individual photographs). However, I do like that each photo has some information along with it that expands our understanding of it.

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Appendix 17- Silent Witness Exhibition Comments
Silent Witness- the Story of Lola Rein and her Dress exhibition at the United States
Holocaust Memorial MuseumIn the space provided below, please explain what you liked and disliked about the site.
What might you change about it?
1. If I has seen this site, and compared it to the rest, they would have not compared at all.
Fantastic! Multimedia is wonderful. I actually feel like that I am at a museum rather than the Internet.
2. Very well done! The best of the three sites. I liked the multimedia approach to this page. 3. I expected to learn more about the story, seeing the dress may have had more of an impact if I saw it in person.
4. I thought this site was great. I didn't like that it made you install something in order to look at it but after I installed the player it allowed me to view it. I liked that you could roll over the pictures and it would highlight them as well as the movement across the screen. It was very interactive. The layout was nice too. Overall, I think this site was the best one out of the three that I viewed for this survey.
5. This website was great because visually it kept my interest as well as being informative. 6. Very powerful.
7. Very well done. I like the multimedia approach, picture display/spacing and userfriendly approach.

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8. Excellent, informative and beautiful. My only two complaints would be that the text is too small and would be very hard for many people to read and I did not find the navigation for the chapters until halfway through the first story.
9. I liked that it told a story and provide so much detail. I would be interested to know what has happened to her since.
10. Great option for guided "sound on" tour. Nice additional photos with the option to view the captions. This site offered a lot of interaction.... I liked the video clip and the dress viewing best. I don't have any suggestions for change.
11. Print is too small, colors are muted and yes it's a sad story...but MAN! Too much is too much Voice is a little sappy: needs better narrator.
12. I am prejudiced because I love all the web work of Holocaust Museum. We patterned our own stuff after them. Everything is beautiful aesthetically and rich in depth and detail. Instructions are spelled from length of time to expect through multiple ways to access information. My only compliant with them is use of small font.
13. Wonderful site. Very well done. It was a touching story, which left one wanting to visit the Holocaust Museum.
14. This is what an interactive exhibit should be like. Very informative, great design, navigates well. Love the audio commentary and the video clips. My only concern about this website is that I do not see an option for people who do not have FLASH or that are on a dial-up Internet connection.
15. I enjoyed it. I liked examining the dress.
16. I thought that this site was the best out of the three. The aesthetic design was great, and the interactivity was really creative.

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17. The best site out of all three. This page had everything I would want out of an online exhibit. The talking is great but you can still move on when you want to. And the photographs that are interactive (when it allows you to click on changing photographs throughout the story) let you pick and choose what you want to see, just as if you were seeing it in person. It also seems to capture the essence and personality of this museum.
18. I liked this site the best. It was very fun and interactive. Having little experience with online exhibitions, I would have rather seen all three sites first and answered questions on them later.
19. I don't like sites that are too flashy, that automatically start talking to me, that require fancy plug-ins. I really don't like navigating big blocks of text in macromedia windows that are hard to control and aren't controllable the way normal text is in a website. I like the info, and it seems like a good exhibit, but I don't think the "explore the dress" facet has the emotional impact that might have planned for it. Too complex for its own good.

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Appendix 18- Tanner Exhibition Comments
The second survey was administered on the website http://www.surveymonkey.com. This survey was created on March 26, 2006. The survey was sent out to fifty people, of which there was a forty-eight percent (n=24) response. The participants were friends, acquaintances, co-workers, classmates, and professors of the researcher. The participants were presented with three websites, and told to rate them according to five factorsnavigability, overall aesthetic design, informative, interactivity, and multimedia. They were then asked to comment on what they liked or disliked about the site and what they might do to change it. The results to this last questions are as follows:
Henry O. Tanner exhibition at the Smithsonian American Art MuseumIn the space provided below, please explain what you liked and disliked about the site.
What might you change about it?
1. Aesthetic could be more vivid. The information supplied makes it more interesting, almost story-like.
2. I enjoyed viewing this site. It was aesthetically pleasing and very easy to navigate.
3. I loved this site! The only thing that bothered me was that there was way too much scrolling in the first biography-timeline section.
4. What a wonderful site. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Would have liked some audio, music and efx to help with the period feeling.
5. Lots of images. Smooth transitions. Not a lot of information written on each page
(brief and succinct).
6. Enjoyed option to see all works in a collection.

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7. I thought the size of the Flash window could have been a bit larger. The navigation of the different areas was not intuitive. I initially thought that the time line was the whole thing and discovered the other areas, as I was about to close the window. I do think that the information that was delivered was to the point and kept my attention. I especially liked being able to view all of the works in the collection at once and to be able to choose a specific image to view.
8. Having an automatic slide show that you could pause, stop, or speed up would be great. I really liked that you could get a close up on the photos. My computer screen made it hard to hit the "next" buttons on the gallery page.
9. Site felt skimpy. Not enough information especially in the biography section. Some information was left out depending on how you accessed the site. While it was pleasing enough to the eye, it didn't take it far enough.
10. Didn’t seem to fit on my screen -- I felt like I was missing parts liked the biography, thought the length and images were great. Loved the gallery of all images owned by SI by Tanner
11. I enjoyed the interactive game "Can you identify a Henry Tanner painting?".
12. The opening screens were not very visually interesting. Some of the organization on the screen could have been better. I enjoyed the little ID quiz but don't know how non-art people would feel about it. I liked the big screen of thumbnails, which could be enlarged.
13. The site was set up to provide a chronological account of Tanner’s work and life. It was informative and enlightening. It also showed progression in his art. I think it was well done and I probably would not change anything.

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14. I really liked the game-like feature where I was to see if I could pick out which painting Tanner printed. I liked the explanations when my answer was wrong - stated very positively. However, I could have used more "education" into his style before beginning than just looking at the one painting.
15. Quick and to the point. I appreciated the fact that I could learn a bit and not get bogged down. I would slightly change the tabs at the bottom. There is not a need to hyperlink the photo and the year.
16. Not overly interactive. Navigability is very easy. Good color scheme
17. There were few instructions the user need to figure out how they wanted to view the exhibition. An introduction and conclusion seemed to be missing.
18. I thought this site was nicely done, easy to navigate and aesthetically pleasing. It would have been nice to have seen a larger image for some of his works. The information provided was clear and concise.
19. Seems very straightforward, a good way to access a lot of biographical information on many artists. A little boring - could easily use music or some other way to make it more dynamic.
20. Overall, the site was very easy to navigate and I liked the color palette that was chosen. The muted colors highlighted the artworks very well. I thought there was a bit too much scrolling involved in the site through the timeline portion.
21. I like the timeline and how you could click on a picture to get to the next date and not just on a number. I liked the muted colors. It could have had some animation.

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22. Loved the "can you pick the Tanner?" game! I also liked the arrangement of information into the 3 categories - biography, work in context, and gallery. Sometimes images on the page took a while to load.

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Appendix 19- Televised Presidential Debates Exhibition Comments
The History of Televised Presidential Debates exhibit at the Museum of Broadcast
CommunicationsIn the space provided below, please explain what you liked and disliked about the site.
What might you change about it?
1. Maybe a bit too busy. The streaming was slow but adequate. Needs a bit more meaty information. 2. I thought that the multimedia was nice and it was easy to navigate. However, visually I thought that this site could be more interesting.
3. The locations of buttons changed as you moved through the site. This prevented me from going back to where I started, or viewing specific areas that I had previously been interested in (because I didn't know how to get back easily).
4. Initially a lot of promise- but very quickly let down expecting audio and video and getting no connections. Particularly disappointing after the first site.
5. Lots of info! Great combination of both written documents and video clips. Easy to get lost within the abundance of info and multiple pages.
6. Many multimedia options, but several bad links to real player files.
7. I did not spend more than 5 minutes in this site. The look of the site is attractive but the navigability of the site prevented me from exploring it further. Providing video is nice but it was only offered in REAL format. This limits the number of people that can view the video. The photo section is a nice alternative to the video but it did not allow for click through of the images. I had to go back to the list then click on the next image. I also felt that the pages loaded a bit slowly for my high-speed connection, I can't imagine how long

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it would take on a dial-up connection. I was delighted to see the inclusion of the curriculum resources.
8. Most of the video links were not available. This page had too much information to choose from. If I had more time, I would have tried to dig through everything, but it was just overwhelming. The overall scheme of it was OK, but it felt very unorganized. Instead of years, maybe by just people. I don't know...just NOT what it currently is.
9. Wow! I almost didn't even enter it. Too hard on the eyes. Had to figure out how to navigate a little too much. Has potential but definitely unrealized. Text is a turn off too.
10. Loved the aesthetic since I can't watch video on my computer, felt like I lost a lot great that they had the transcripts of the debates loved the curriculum resources offered much more information than necessary, so that one can tailor his experience.
11. I liked how the site provided resources for teachers to use with their students.
12. I could not watch the video because I was not willing to pay for quicktime pro (even though I have quicktime player). That eliminated the most potentially engaging part of the experience. I found the fonts and colors too aggressive and political (I mean they looked like parodies of political posters which, theoretically, would be appropriate, but I found it off-putting.) I would have liked brief descriptions of the different debates or other features to help me choose which I wanted to see. I did like the wide variety of choices available and know I'd go back to this site if I wanted to get into that topic (which is not particularly interesting to me).
13. The site needs options on what format you view the videos. I was not able to see any of them without downloading new software. Many people will not go to this trouble, but instead will just skip it. Visually the site is cluttered and difficult to read.

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14. This site has a lot of information but is very time consuming to use (since so much is video, is hard to navigate, and lots of small font). Probably best in classroom setting or if doing in-depth research. Not something to pursue during leisure time.
15. Some links were broken
16. I could not get this site to function.
17. If I was interested in the topic I would be thrilled to find such a wealth of information.
Since I am not very interested, the site was a bit over whelming
18. This exhibition has a lot of information and can be explored in various ways. To view the entire exhibit would take a long time so the user needs to pick and choose what they want to see or learn. The teacher resources are a great idea!
19. Although this site is based on very interesting and compelling times in America's political history, it was not successful in all aspects of bringing the history to light. Video clips were slow to download (enough to lose interest and not view them), navigation was somewhat cryptic, pages were slow to load and not all areas gave the user an alternative option. A few links led to empty pages or pages that were no longer accessible.
20. Well, it couldn't get much uglier. There's something remarkably ham-handed about the navigation as well.
21. Although the site was very informative, providing information to those who wished to learn more, I thought it was a bit text heavy and made me not want to read but skim. I liked the appearance of the site. There was one broken link that led to a page that could not be displayed. This was a little discouraging.

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22. I did not like the white on black. I didn't like the star background motif either. I thought both elements made the text hard to read. Otherwise, I liked the video options and how they were organized.
23. This is a good site for someone looking for deeper information after having seen the exhibit. However, as one stopping by for a cursory look, I found it overwhelming. I didn't want to have to watch videos and read essays. I would add more introductory information for those not looking for the research materials.

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Appendix 20- Dynamic Earth Exhibition Comments
Dynamic Earth exhibit at the National Museum of Natural HistoryIn the space provided below, please explain what you liked and disliked about the site.
What might you change about it?
1. The best of all three. Lots of cool information, interesting. Vivid colors, keeps us engaged. The interactive function is excellent.
2. This was an excellent site.
3. Easy to navigate because while multimedia/interactives changed, menus and buttons stayed in the same locations. Also, different layers and text size/boldness created a hierarchy of subjects telling me what to look at first, second, last etc.
4. A lot of very good clear information. The audio and animation most certainly add viewability. Bravo Smithsonian
5. The graphics are wonderful! Lots of information and a good combination of text, images and video. Really easy to navigate even though there's an abundance of material to browse through.
6. Best website. Very in depth and entertaining.
7. Fun, interactive, and informative website. I enjoyed the areas like meteorite impact and build a volcano.
8. Not a thing!
9. This one is a hit as far as I'm concerned. It's got just about everything going for it. It's good to look at, very informative, and easy to navigate.
10. Like that they offer two options -- multimedia or plain. The plain ("printable") version looked JUST like the National Museum of Natural History in person -- same idea

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of white walls with gems and specimen in square cases. The multimedia site was excellent -- wonderful links, great information and images
11. Great website!!!
12. This was by far the best site I visited. Even though there was lots of information on some screens, they did not seem overcrowded. Excellent use of a wide range of colors.
Fonts and graphics were not intrusive and were easy to read. Good development of options as the cursor was moved around. Although this topic is not particularly interesting to me, I felt I learned something and enjoyed it.
13. This site was good enough to bookmark for further study. My only comment would be that as good as the overall aesthetic is there is a little room for improvement, but I am being a bit of a nit picker.
14. Great site. Multiple ways to get to same information (navigation). Lots of content but indexed well and in small chunks so not overwhelming.
15. Terrific!
16. The site would be okay if I were an elementary school student doing a book report. I find it too simplistic and rather boring. More multimedia would grab my attention more.
17. This site was very interesting, however, at times I clicked to go back, and went too far back, I lost my place in the website.
18. Easy to understand information especially about a technical subject.
19. I loved this site. Excellent use of Flash technology and all sorts of options for the user to explore, download and print. Very well done and the Smithsonian, in all its might and resources, should offer nothing less than excellence.

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20. This is the most interesting of the sites, although it may be a little too much for a simple 15 minute tour to give any real assessment of. I did get lost a time or two so I suppose the navigation could be a little more intuitive. Like the real exhibit, there are anomalies I just don't get - like the Hope Diamond.
21. I really liked the introduction to the site with the sound component. I thought that the navigation on the homepage was nice - there were two ways to navigate into the site.
However, I think that once you are inside the site it gets more difficult to navigate because there are so many different ways to go through the exhibit. Overall, I liked the aesthetic design and the color scheme.
22. Loved it! Easy to navigate... kept my interest. The simple design helped me understand what section would be next. The multimedia made it fun and exciting.
23. I am a science geek, so particularly enjoyed this one, especially the solar system movies with sci-fi soundtracks! There is A LOT of information in this site, but I never found it overwhelming - it's very well organized. I felt the design could have been more organic since the topic was the earth.

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Appendix 21- The Fashion of Stax Online Exhibition
Fashion of Stax Online Exhibition
In the space provided below, please explain what you liked and disliked about the site.
What might you change about it?
1. Needed music clips from the artists or background music. Not much else to change.
2. Pros: Colorful, retro, upbeat design. Love the colors too. Good category groupings.
Cons: Too many clicks needed to get to the information. ("Next") No "about us" description upfront, so they assume visitors know what it is.
3. I liked the colors and the use of vintage photographs. Getting around the site was fun and I did not mind that non-linear choices left obvious gaps. The section on Fashion was interesting and fun to look at but I couldn't quite figure out why it was part of the site.
True, the time period is the same, but drugs and art and the war in Vietnam and alternative lifestyles were at least as important to the period.
4. There were som many different circles with text but not all could be clicked onconfusing
5. the whole page had to reload with every link I clicked, making the experience slower than useful, and I saw no reason to break the finroamtion contained in the "60s Fashion" section into multiple pages (which each took a long time to load), insted of one long page, or perhaps a frame where I could scroll through just the info to read more.
Additionally, for a fashion section, not nearly enough pictures of the fashion. Finally, it seems a little bit weird, the way the text is laid out, in that the final text box is "with colors, patterns, and textures borrowed from non-western cultures." this sentence

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fragment isn't really big enough to deserve its own page, and also, well, is a sentence fragment. 6. Liked that the site loaded quickly. Lots of information choices.
7. It would be much easier to maneuver if all of the information found on topics could be read all on one page, as opposed to having to choose "next" and wait for the page to upload before finishing the text.
8. Overall, it was a nice site but there could be more interaction, it seemed too simple.
9. 1. I especially enjoyed the gallery photo selections and Memphis narrative, but had trouble with my computer in getting the images loaded efficiently on all menus. It would have been nice to see the images change in the circles only...rather than have the entire page reload. (this could have been a problem with my computer) 2. I would have enjoyed the option of music playing while navigating the site. I think that it could enhance the visit. 3. I like the circles used on each page. It offers a unique design, but I would have liked to see different colors or layout used to highlight each section. 4. Great photo inclusions as the curser is moved over the menu selections. 5. I would have liked seeing more than one photo with each narrative or an option to view a small movie related to the topic when applicable. (i.e. artists section) 6.The quiz is a fun addition. 7. A gallery preview (small thumbnails) would have been nice.
10. I totally loved the gallery. Great photographs! My favorite was the clip with James
Brown. One thing, on the credits on the last line in the first paragraph, there is no space between the words, "Museum" and "of". Just thought you might want to know! You did great Merritt. Congrats!

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11. i really like the color scheme of the website as well as how clean all of the lines are. i felt there was an adequate amount of information, but at the same time the information was not overwhelming. the only thing was that each page took a little long to load on my computer. this could be because i have a rather old model.
12. The designb is consistant with that of the leading art magazine "Computer Arts" and follows the basics for good design. It's very nice and not veryly done.
13. The website was colorful. I liked that it kept the same format and design throughout.
The use of records was a clever idea. The site was easy to navigate. It might be useful to add a button "back to the topic;" this way when you are in the middle of a section you can go back to the original selection of the Intro., Gallery, etc. At somepoint in the future music clips could be added by the insitiution, if premission is granted from the artist. If
Stax is a destination for visitors then this information should be included.
14. My main disappointment with the site is that it lacks association with the title, "The
Fashion of Stax". I would have liked to have seen more about the fashions of the era and information pertaining to fashion than the history of the Stax label, studio and recording artists. The images are great and they are what is so unique to your project, but are not highlighted in the website. As far as navigation and interactivity, these features are consistent and easily recognizable from page to page. My overall feeling is that the site lacks the passion you have for the thesis...but I know it's there!
15. There is a lot of information on the site, and I like how the fahsions are set in the context often times and place. I wished for music and captions for the photos, though.
The game was interactive but short. I liked how it told me what the correct answer was when I guessed wrong.

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16. I do not care for the way the pages load. It is very distracting and I would not search this site. The layout is visually interesting once. Because the layout is duplicated on page after page, it is visually boring. I do not care for this one at all. I think that it is poor at best. 17. Didn't like the small amount of information per "bubble". Would prefer more information per page than continuous clicking "next" to read the info. Attractive relaxing colors and easy navigation.
18. annoying to have to keep flipping to "next" button every paragraph while reading the label copy! would have liked some video clips or music clips -- couldn't find any
19. Sorry to be harsh, but the design is terribly rigid - disk theme way over-used so the overall feel is dry and meager. For such a content I would imagine a much more lively look - and sound! Where is the music? The navigability is OK, but a little annoying that you have to click through to not much reward.
20. I liked it, but some video would be nice. Also - maybe some pics other than publicity shots - and pics that can be viewed larger.
21. I thought that the site was very nicely done. The navigation was intuitive and the content was very informative.

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Appendix 22- Sample Pages of Online Exhibitions Tested in Surveys
Boone Collection-

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Foster Exhibition-

100

Silent Witness Exhibition-

101

Tanner Exhibition-

102

Televised Presidential Debates Exhibition-

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