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Handbook on cultural web user interaction
First edition (September 2008)
edited by MINERVA EC Working Group "Quality, Accessibility and Usability"


“User needs” are at the core of the MINERVA project’s approach to the themes of the quality and accessibility of cultural institutes’ websites. “User needs” highlights the main focus of a communication tool that, since 2002, has had users as its central reference point.

Since 2002, following an extended process involving analyses, studies and research undertaken and carried forward thanks to the commitment of many experts from several European countries, representing all types of cultural institutions, a series of tools, handbooks, guidelines and recommendations have been produced.

These outputs have all had the objective of helping and facilitating institutes to create high quality, accessible websites that effectively represent and communicate the quality and excellence of the European cultural heritage: the Handbook for quality in cultural websites: improving quality for citizens and the Principles for quality of a cultural web application with the relevant Handbook.

A prototype of the cultural website “Museo&Web” was prepared on the basis of the first MINERVA manuals. For cultural institutes, this site forms a further work tool that illustrates the use of the contents of the first handbook, both in the design and the implementation of a website.

A further stage in the MINERVA process, achieved within the sphere of the new MINERVA EC project, is represented by the work within this handbook. It deals with the relationship between user and web application in the light of the developments and new online models that have emerged in recent years. This is a practical manual focusing on interaction with users on the web, that also investigates the current Internet trends, strongly orientated towards collaborative functionality, user interaction, social networks and sharing, the evolution of the Web 2.0 and the new challenges of the Web 3.0.

In presenting this work I wish to thank all those who have cooperated in the MINERVA initiative, the authors of the texts and the many colleagues who enriched the debate with suggestions, comments and proposals.

Rossella Caffo
MINERVA EC Project coordinator

cover of  handbook





Quality, accessibility, usability

Best Practices