Planning Kit for a Quality Site for Small and Medium Sized Museums

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Planning methodology based on the centrality of the user

From the Handbook for quality in cultural Web sites Improving quality for citizens, paragraph 2.3.1:

A planning methodology based on the centrality of the user contains the following points:

  • the creation of a representative group or panel. A panel can be considered representative when its components are chosen on the basis of various roles and goals for which a user may be interested in a site. Among the members of the panel there must be disabled users in order to verify the accessibility of the contents;
  • the construction of situations of use: define context, purpose and modes of interaction with the site. The site will be created, planned, evaluated and continuously updated and improved on the basis of these use-situations;
  • evolutionary planning: the site will undergo evaluation on the part of the panel on the basis of various complex use-situations. This evaluation aims at the definition of new requirements and new goals. The definition of new goals should be undertaken repeatedly, through creating approximate prototypes that are, nevertheless, able to evaluate solutions, identify constraints and establish feasibility. Continuous feedback and discussion with the panel allows in-progress evaluation of solutions and anticipates the final evaluation of the project. The panel finally becomes an observer of the use of the site and aids continuous up dating and improvement.

Constituting the panel is thus a central element in the methodology for the following reasons:

  • it guarantees the level of realism, and gives also consensus and communication on the project,
  • it produces data and ideas and allows empirically guided decision-making. From this latter point of view, the panel is a place for experimentation with appropriacy and also with technological constraints to interaction and accessibility.

© Minerva Project 2005-02, last revision 2006-03-23, edited by WP5, Committee for the development of a prototype of public cultural websites.
URL: www.minervaeurope/structure/workinggroups/userneeds/prototipo/progproto/accessibilita/progettazione_e.html