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Can a website be an educational tool for cultural institutions?

How navigation and website design can inform and educate your visitors about your institution

Museums and other cultural institutions need to look at themselves as much more than brick and mortar organizations. The visitor’s experience isn’t limited to the walls of a building. With the advent of digital technology and social media, organizations can provide their visitors with more value, education, and touchpoints for engagement. Museums are treasure troves of information and knowledge and have an audience who wants to learn. Therefore, your website should provide the educational tools needed to capture and retain visitors!

But that is not always done effectively because poor website design and information architecture can negatively impact how users engage with your site.

The first thing you should look at critically is at your site. Not only should it be easy to find, but its design and information layout should provide users with a superb online experience. If a user clicks through to your website, are they able to quickly find what they are looking for? Are you only focusing on the benefits of visiting your organization that day? Do you have content such as animal cams, online exhibitions, teasers, or any other web components to actively engage with your visitors long after their visit?

The majority of websites cover three essential features: they list the location, the cost of admissions and membership fees and benefits, and the hours of operation. While this is relevant information from a brick and mortar standpoint, it focuses only on what a visitor can benefit from while they are inside the museum. This strategy only entices a prospective visitor and neglects to consider the intents of anyone else who might be on your website.

The solution is to provide additional value on your website that will enrich the life of a visitor long after they have left. A digital community that regularly provides educational content, multimedia, social engagement will be far more useful because it will add value to the user.

So, is it worth the investment of overhauling your existing website, or creating a brand new one? The answer lies in whether or not your organization is interested in retaining visitors and members beyond your immediate area.

Contact Absolute Marketing Solutions, an agency with more than 15 years’ experience creating websites and elevating the digital presence for brands, organizations, and companies, to devise an effective strategy for maximizing your website as an educational tool for your institution.

Alfred Goldberg

Co-founder and President of American Operations at Absolute Marketing Solutions. Alfred Goldberg has over 15 years of experience as a small business owner and is one of two individuals in Florida to hold the distinction of being a Mobile Marketing Association Certified Mobile Marketer.

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