I am currently working on a project involving changing the website of a museum: improving its performance and making it a better user experience. The objective is to make the digital experience more meaningful for both the user and the institution. As part of market research at the beginning, I looked at other museum websites to see what was out there. I was thrilled to see the diversity of experiences we can find online. Here are 5 of my personal favourites!
These are personal choices representing my interests and taste, I am sure there are a lot more that are amazing as well. Please share them in the comments ;).
Rijksmuseum: can we do better?
This one is an easy pick. It uses wide visuals with catchy phrases to draw you in their experience and content. The website is intuitive: the information can be found easily and the user-journey is a real pleasure. My two favourite elements are the “Stories” which can be found directly on the homepage and give you a digital curated experience; and the Rijksstudio which presents the collection in different themes so you are guided. Plus, and it’s important, it looks good!
Philbrook Museum of Art: informative and quirky
We’ve heard a lot about Philbrook Museum of Art since the start of the pandemic because of their amazing work to keep the museum alive while being closed. It reflects on their website! Wide and colourful visuals, intuitive UX, easy-to-find information, the site is a pleasure to browse. The activities to do at home are promoted on the homepage (a lot of video content!), their social media content too, which I find smart: it creates bridges between the different platforms and indicates that different formats and content can be found in different places. The website is a real space for the local community. Plus, it is full of quirky spaces such as the page dedicated to the cats living in the garden! Love it!
Design Museum London: a journey full of discoveries
I’m sure you now get that I love nice visuals! This website gives them plenty of space. Visuals are the first thing you see there and they are what you remember. They are what draw you in and what makes you want to click on a link or to visit a page. It does not feel like there’s a lot to go through or read but when you spend a little bit of time browsing it, the website is actually a goldmine. I really like the discovery journey of finding more and more page after page.
Brussels Museums: everything in one place
This website is special because it groups information about more than 100 museums in and around Brussels. All the practical information is there, the info about exhibitions too. This website is a well-designed, easy way into the activities of the museums you can find in the area. It is not a place for digital content which you would find on the museums’ websites themselves, but still, it is really nice to not have to go to dozens of different websites to have the first info and an overview of what’s on.
Science Museum London: full of stories
Again, a very visual website with an intuitive UX and easy-to-find info. Plus, they have a really good space called “Objects and Stories” where there is an online access to the collection and, mostly, the stories. Classified in topics, they give you the opportunity to discover the amazing museum’s content whether it is historical, cultural, scientific and its objects. A story can be a 3 minutes read only and can allow for a quick overview or a deeper dive into what the museum has to offer. I personally really enjoy it!
This is my personal selection. What about you? I’m interested! What is your favourite museum website? and why?