Cruising, Curious & Casual? What user studies can tell us about the use of Digital Cultural Heritage Collections
Claire Bailey-Ross (University of Portsmouth) explores recent user research relating to the UK’s Gallery, Library, Archive and Museum (GLAM) digital collections. Over the last 30 years, the number of online collections, and the number of online visitors using those collections, has increased significantly. Similarly there has also been significant advancement in the development of appropriate, flexible and effective methodologies to assess the use, impact and value of digital and physical collections on visitor behaviour. But implementation varies across institutions. These changes have posed challenges for museum professionals, and academics alike, seeking to understand how digital collections feature in the behavioural practices of their online visitors.
This talk discusses work from 2015 to 2021 to compare ways in which users have been categorised, their behaviours and identify areas where further discussion is required. The research discussed is a component of a large-scale AHRC Towards a National Collection programme, which aims to have a transformative impact on digital search and cataloguing tools for collections enhancing research capability, public access and public engagement with heritage.
Claire Bailey-Ross is Academic Lead in Human Experience Design within the School of Creative Technologies, University of Portsmouth. Her research takes place within the context of Digital Humanities and focuses on understanding the use, impact and value of digital technologies in a cultural heritage context.
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