March 22-25, 2006
Albuquerque, New Mexico

Demonstrations: Description

Encouraging Visitor Involvement on the V&A website

Toby Travis, Victoria & Albert Museum, United Kingdom

Visitors have been encouraged to become more involved with the V&A website through a number of projects. This demonstration will focus on four of the more interactive elements of the site. Some of these features have already proved to be very popular, others are still in the trial stages - all of them provide excellent scope for further development.

  1. Design a Tile interactive

    This Flash interactive was an extremely popular part of an Arts and Crafts exhibition microsite. Users are able to design their own tiles by adding and manipulating patterns and defining colour schemes through an intuitive Flash interface. Finished tile designs are added to a gallery and, crucially, users are encouraged to comment on each other's creations.

  2. Every Object Tells a Story Podcast

    The 'Every Object Tells a Story' microsite contains a popular podcast feed. This feed broadcasts a collection of mp3 audio files of curators and researchers discussing the stories behind objects that mean something to them. Users who subscribe to our podcast feed receive automatic notifications of new audio content and are able to easily download files to mobile players without having to return to the main V&A site. We are currently considering ways to build on this initial success, particularly focusing on the possibility of podcasting visitor-generated content and providing audio tours for exhibitions and galleries.

  3. V&A Events RSS feeds

    We are currently in the process of launching RSS web feeds detailing upcoming events at the V&A. As with podcasts users can subscribe to feeds notifying them of future lectures, gallery talks, workshops and performances at the museum. This ensures events are not overlooked or forgotten and allows users to define the content they wish to receive. Ultimately we intend to syndicate our RSS feeds to third-party sites, enabling them to publish links to V&A content.

  4. Artist-in-Residence Blog - 'Concealed, Discovered, Revealed'

    We have set up an online blog for our artist-in-residence, the textile designer Sue Lawty. She writes lively, revealingly personal entries about her work and experiences during her tenure at the V&A. Visitors are encouraged to post comments on her diary entries and fascinating dialogues have emerged between the artist and her audience.

Demonstration: Demonstrations [Close-Up]

Keywords: Interactive, blog, podcast, Flash, RSS, user-generated