Over the last six months a project team at the Museum has been hard at work redesigning a key part of the Museum’s digital offer – the MAAS online collection website. We’re pleased to announce the site is now live and available at https://collection.maas.museum/.
The collection website allows online visitors to search the vast MAAS collection, enabling access to object records, photographs and in-depth information prepared by the Museum’s experts over decades.
It is a significant global resource, used by visitors from around the world including researchers, designers, students and people looking for inspiration among the collection’s wonderful objects.
About the Online Collection
MAAS was one of the earliest institutions that led the way in making its collection data publicly available online. That was over 10 years ago, and both web technology as well as audience behaviors have changed significantly over that time.
The present redesign was aimed at updating the site to better cater to how people use the web today, on a variety of devices, while building the infrastructure to continue adding rich collection data in the future.
Understanding our online visitors
The project team involved in the redesign adopted a user-centered approach, spending significant time understanding how online visitors were using the site and defining what could be improved. Two key visitor motivations emerged: research, and finding inspiration by browsing the collection. The team then worked through a series of design sprints to prototype features and solutions designed to meet these motivations.
Powered by new technology
The new collection site is built entirely on a cloud-based platform. This offers scalability, meaning the infrastructure can grow to meet demand. The site is updated every 30 minutes, so any new acquisitions or changes to records are available to the public immediately.
If interested, you can read more about the underlying technology or access an API to the collection.
Key features of the new site
• An expanded catalogue of 130,000+ searchable collection records
• A new visual design with a focus on imagery, using responsive layouts optimized for mobile screens
• A redesigned object page that allows for quick scanning of object information as well as expansion to display comprehensive object data
• A powerful, fast search interface for the collection that accommodates complex searches as well as simple ways to filter through results
• Recommendations of other related objects, as well as related events, articles and exhibitions.
• High-resolution images of most collection objects, with zooming functionality allowing for detailed exploration.
• Collection sets – galleries of objects united by a theme, inviting exploration of the breadth of the MAAS collection.
The project team will monitor feedback and continue to refine the site and roll out new functionality, including adding new features to collection sets. Multilingual access to the collection records is also on the roadmap, as is 3D digitization of objects from the collection.
The new site is a major initiative of the Museum’s Digital Studio team, in partnership with the Curatorial, Strategic Collections, Registration, Programs and Communications teams who contributed significant expertise.
We hope you enjoy it! The team welcomes your suggestions and feedback via firstname.lastname@example.org.