Amgueddfa Cymru — National Museum Wales

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Ro'n i'n falch iawn (a braidd yn nerfus) i fynychu Hacio'r Iaith am y tro cyntaf dros y penwythnos. Mae'r diwrnod ar fformat barcamp - sy'n gofyn bod pawb yn dod â rhywbeth i'w drafod, ei gyfrannu neu'i gyflwyno. Canlyniad hyn oedd diwrnod llawn ymgysylltu, dysgu a hwyl - mi oedd bron bob sgwrs yn sesiwn yn ei hun, a mi ddysgais i gymaint am blatfformau a phrosiectau digidol Cymraeg. Dwi ar fy ffordd i sesiwn Digidol ar Daith, felly gobeithio y gallai bostio crynodeb fwy trylwyr o beth ddysges i yn fuan.

Er fy mod i wedi hen arfer siarad yn gyhoeddus, dyma fy sgwrs gyntaf ar ran yr adran ddigidol - ac am fy mod yn cyflwyno am @DyddiadurKate, roeddwn i'n awyddus i wneud argraff dda ar ran y tîm sy'n gweithio mor galed ar y prosiect. Cewch edrych dros fy sleidiau, a chrynodeb o'r sgwrs ar wefan Hacio'r Iaith. Cewch chwilio trwy #fwrlwm y dydd ar twitter hefyd.

Diolch i'r trefnwyr a'r cyfrannwyr am y croeso, ac am yr ysbrydoliaeth!

Mae dros fis wedi mynd heibio ers i @DyddiadurKate bostio cofnod cyntaf dyddiadur Kate Rowlands. Mi fyddwch chi wedi dysgu rhagor amdani, erbyn hyn, trwy flogiau a chyfweliadau, a thrydar yn ôl ac ymlaen ar gyfrifon fel @StFagansTextile, @archifSFarchive, @RhB1Addysg ac @sf_ystafelloedd.

Rydym ni wedi cael gor-olwg frithliw a diddorol o bob math o agweddau o hanes cyfnod y dyddiadur, sef 1915. Mae cofnodion cryno y dyddiadur wedi bod yn symbyliad i staff i archwilio eu cyd-destun, a rhannu rhagor o gasgliadau a ffynonellau, o Amgueddfa Cymru a thu hwnt. Mae ein cronfa ddata Casgliadau'r Rhyfel Byd Cyntaf yn llawn pob math o wrthrychau sy'n rhoi cip ar stori fwy personol, sy'n mynd â ni i fyd y pethau bychain, fel y gall Dyddiadur Kate.

Un peth sydd wedi dod yn amlwg o gychwyn cynta'r prosiect yw pa mor werthfawr yw casgliad Papurau Newydd Cymru y Llyfrgell Genedlaethol wrth i ni geisio darganfod mwy am gofnodion cryno'r dyddiadur - yn enwedig wrth i Kate sôn am ddigwyddiadau cymdeithasol neu bynciau llosg y cyfnod, fel ei chofnod am yr 'influenza' dros y penwythnos:

Mae cronfa'r papurau newydd yn eisampl wych o sut i gyflwyno dogfennau mawrion, manwl - mae'r chwiliad yn hawdd iawn i'w lywio, sy'n golygu ei bod hi'n hawdd iawn dod o hyd i erthygl benodol, neu i ddilyn dy drwyn gan ddarllen am dy hoff bynciau (fues i'n darllen lot am gystadleuthau gweu dros y penwythnos, mwy cyffrous yn amlwg na phencampwriaeth y chwe gwlad).

Y tu cefn i'r hanes cymdeithasol a'r trafod a'r rhannu, erbyn hyn, 'mae'r dechnoleg sy'n ei gyflwyno. O safbwynt digidol, mae DyddiadurKate wedi bod yn ffordd wych imi weithio gyda thîm i roi tro ar dargedu cynnwys uniaith-gymraeg ar gyfryngau cymdeithasol. Mae hefyd wedi rhoi cyfle imi arbrofi a gwerthuso rhag-bostio (yn defnyddio tweetdeck), a phlatfform analytics mewnol twitter. Dwi'n gobeithio y bydd y teclynnau hyn yn dod yn ran o waith mwy o'n trydarwyr, fesul tipyn - ac felly o ran 'pethau bychain' fy mywyd bob dydd innau, gan mlynedd yn ddiweddarach, cofnodi data fydda i, tra'n gwylio dyddiau Kate yn pasio heibio.

If you’ve been browsing our Visiting or Learning pages recently, you may have noticed a new look to those areas. From 9th December 2014, we are trialling parts of a new, updated Amgueddfa Cymru website with you.

Visit the Homepage

We need your feedback to help make these new pages as good as they can be. If there’s anything that didn’t work for you; anything that you found confusing or difficult to use; any information that you couldn’t find easily; or anything that you’d like to see improved, please let us know. Equally, if there are things that you really liked about the pages, we’d still love to hear from you!

Send Feedback

Why update the website?

During an extensive study of the existing website, we identified many areas where we think we can improve.

One of our core aims is to bring you the information you need more quickly and with less fuss. We are doing this by improving our content, simplifying our navigation and reducing the clutter on our pages.

With these new pages we want to bring you a fresh, modern web experience and one that works equally well on any device you may be using - be it a mobile, tablet, screen-reader or desktop computer. Visiting each of our seven museums is a unique experience and we also hope to bring a little more of that flavour of that to the web.

These are just a few of the ways we want to make the website better. We will be doing more work on all this in the coming weeks and months.

Coming in 2015

During the first half of 2015 you will see more and more areas of the website updated and improved. New Collections, Curatorial, Venue Hire and Blog pages will follow soon, as well as a new, updated Online Shop.

We will use any lessons learnt during this period to make sure that every area of the website is as good as we can possibly make it.

Your feedback and input to the new site will help us make that happen. And, of course, this is just the beginning.

Update 1 - 16 January 2015

Huge thanks to everyone who sent their feedback to us over the past few weeks. There are too many bug fixes and updates to list here, but here are a few of the changes we've made so far:

What's On:

  • The calendar feature has been restored - you can now view events on a chosen date.
  • Added the option to view events at all our museums.
  • Show 'List View' by default.
  • Added images, suitability and cost information to the List View.
  • View and date choices are now 'sticky', so they won't reset as you switch pages.

Blogs - this is the new, redesigned blog area. We hope you like it.

Website Search - A number of broken links were fixed. We also improved the display of search results on mobile phones.

Update Collections databases - Paleontology, Mineralogy of Wales, Mollusca, Vertebrate and Marine Invertebrates database all redesigned and updated.

Graham Davies, Digital Programmes Manager, Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales

"Content is King". The phrase is strong, infallible, sitting proud on his pedestal, a little like the Queen Mother, or the National Health Service. Sacrosanct. But has the time come to question some of our long held adages in the world of digital content and web design? Is content actually 'King' anymore?

Fresh back from an energising few days with the fab team at Culture24 at the Let's Get Real workshops and conference, I am determined not to let the enthusiasm and momentum get buried by the squillions of things in my inbox that greet me now that I am not 'Out of Office' anymore.

The discussions of the last few days have left me pondering over our constantly evolving digital landscape.

Which direction, and how high do we have to throw our digital content ball to get it successfully into the constantly moving net of engagement?

Jessica Riches, in her talk on 'Learning from Brands' seemed very surprised that she was the first of the day to mention the phrase ‘Content is King’

This made me think. And think again. About the shift in focus to be more about platforms, the importance of audiences and what channels those audiences use and reside in.

So has the time come to update or even rewrite the rulebook?

1. Content is King?

Surely it's not just raw content that is king anymore. Who your content is intended for significantly alters how it should be written and where it should be published. What is the intent of those people reading it? (as apposed to the intentions of those writing it). So I give you rule rewrite number 1:

Content, Intent and Purpose are the new King, Queen and Jack

By thinking of it this way, you are reminded that content on its own doesn't stand any more. It's equally important to also think of why you are writing it and where the people are who want to read it?

2. Build it and They Will Come?

This fell off its pedestal a long time ago, but if we were to prop it back in place the stonemasons would need to re-carve the plinth to read: 

Write it and take it to where they are. Or perhaps better still: Go pay them a visit and have a chat

This helps reinforce the idea that we can't be institutional broadcasters anymore, we should be working with our audience to help them answer what they want to know, rather than what we want to tell them.

To demonstrate this, Shelley Bernstein provided us with a superb keynote speech at the Let's Get Real conference on how the Brooklyn Museum are trusting the audience and developing a wholly user-centric approach to their new responsive museum.

3. Design Responsive Websites

Great, Yes, very good. Although a revision of this phrase can encompass web design by default whilst primarily focussing on content:

Optimise your content to be platform independent

4. Think Mobile First

Yes, we must, and we should make this behaviour ingrained. By turning this rule upside-down, our new banner proclaims (and by its very nature automatically assumes mobile first):

Remember to check the desktop

Think back to those good old days where everything had to be retrofitted to work in IE 6. Who now retrospectively checks that everything reads and works well on a desktop? Not many I'm guessing.

But beware. Herein lies the paradox: Remember, people looking to visit one of our venues are more likely to be looking us up through a mobile device. However, people looking at in-depth long-form curatorial and academic material are predominantly still using desktops.

This is where headline metrics can be misleading, if your website as a whole shows a rise in mobile, that doesn't mean that all the content on the site is being accessed through mobiles. This is why metric analysis is so crucial before we apply blanket statements based on overall trends.

This brings me onto to something bigger I have been mulling over recently...

"Can we put it on the website please"?

Quite frankly, I dislike the term "Website". I often ask what section or area people are actually referring to, for websites these days have come to contain many distinct areas and functions, serving completely separate and different audiences and requirements. Maybe this is the crux of the problem? At the moment we are all busy working on a 'one solution fits all approach'. Shouldn't we be thinking of applying separate templates and content strategies based on different audience requirements within our own websites?

Going back to our rewritten rule number one, and this should be applied within (and throughout) our own organisational websites too.

All this can help us ensure that we consistently put the users needs at the centre of our goals and ambitions. Just by thinking a little differently about our assumptions, we have the ability to take a quicker, more direct route to successful engagement.

I started out writing a long meandering post about galleries, but what I came to say is this: I've really enjoyed the I Spy Nature exhibition at National Museum Cardiff, which runs until April 2015. Each time I've gone down to see it, the place has been full of families, conversations, and children dressed up as bugs and scientists, hopping from display to display.

I Spy Nature
I snapped the picture below at one of our interactive stations, only just avoiding the lunchtime rush (and sticking out my elbows to maintain our younger visitors' privacy!)

I Spy... Nature gives you a chance to see the world as seen through the eyes of a bat, a scientist, or a fly. Provided you're under 10, you can even to dress up like one as you explore the creepy-crawly specimens, 3D printed corals, interactive quizzes and activities. The giant, interactive microscope screen mentioned in David's post can be found in a beautiful cabinet of slides. For those of you who prefer 'the real thing', there's also a working laboratory microscope, with a spinning table of fascinating slides to choose from.

The I Spy... team have also been taking the show outside to different places, bringing their amazing collection with them. For example, here's @CardiffCurator with a curious object at the Eisteddfod:

 

The I Spy... pop-up museum will be, er, popping up, for one last time this summer. Catch them at the Capitol Centre in Cardiff between the 28th and 30th of August. In amongst the handbags, sandwiches and end-of-season sales, you'll find scorpions, creepy-crawlies and a seashell that's bigger then your head. Pop down to see them between 11am and 3pm to see what you can spy!