MINERVA EC for the quality
of cultural web applications:
the Handbook
on cultural web user interaction
Maria Teresa Natale
MINERVA eC Project
Jerusalem, 11 November 2008
2007-2008: MINERVA EC
WG on quality accessibility
and usability
The Working Group
was coordinated by Germany
Participants are from:
Finland, Italy, Belgium, Czech Republic, Greece,
Poland, Belgium, Slovenja, and Israel.
Jerusalem, 11 November 2008
2007-2008: MINERVA EC
WG on quality accessibility
and usability
In short
Our European Working Group works on quality of cultural
web applications.
We continue the work done in MINERVA, and complements the
results with new publications.
We monitor relevant guidelines and promote best
practices related to websites.
The main target are the small institutions.
Jerusalem, 11 November 2008
2007-208: MINERVA EC
WG on quality accessibility
and usability
Our objectives are
• to support small cultural heritage institutions in increasing
the accessibility to their digital cultural heritage by sharing
practises and techniques within the wider community and
interested public;
• to motivate cultural heritage institutions which are still
reluctant to make their already existing digital content
available within the European digital library;
• to contribute to the mutual alignment of metadata sets
and metadata use in the cultural heritage sector in order to
improve quality, accessibility and usability;
Jerusalem, 11 November 2008
2007-2008: MINERVA EC
WG on quality accessibility
and usability
Our objectives are
• to realise guidelines and measurement tools that assist
in the maintenance and raising the quality of cultural heritage
• to contribute to the organisation of tutorials to make users
aware of open source software tools that assist in improving
the quality, accessibility and usability of digital cultural
heritage offers.
Jerusalem, 11 November 2008
Handbook on cultural
web user interaction
WG Roadmap
2002 Beginning of Minerva
2003 First Deliverable on quality
2003 Handbook for quality in cultural Web sites.
Improving quality for citizens (and 10
quality principles)
2004 Museo&Web planning kit
2005 Quality Principles for Cultural Websites:
a Handbook
2006-08 Dissemination of MINERVA products on
quality of cultural websites
2008 Handbook on cultural web user
(draft - Ljubljana, 1st edition - Leipzig)
Jerusalem, 11 November 2008
MINERVA EC Web quality tools
downloadable from
Jerusalem, 11 November 2008
Handbook on cultural web
user interaction - 2008
edited by MINERVA EC Working Group
“Quality, Accessibility and Usability”
Monika Hagedorn-Saupe (Working Group coordinator)
European Editorial Committee
Monika Hagedorn Saupe (coordinator), Germany
Hanna Arpiainen, Finland - Pierre-Yves Desaive, Belgium
Nathanael Dupré Latour, Czech Republic
Axel Ermert, Germany - Pierluigi Feliciati, Italy
Gabriele Froeschl, Austria - Susan Hazan, Israel
Karine Lasaracina, Belgium - Maria Teresa Natale , Italy
Tzanetos Pomonis, Greece - Maria Sliwinska, Poland
Hans Van der Linden, Belgium - Franc Zakrajsek, Slovenja
Texts by
Rossella Caffo, Pierluigi Feliciati, Chiara Faggiolani, Monika Hagedorn Saupe,
Susan Hazan, Maria Teresa Natale, Carol Peters, Giovanni Solimine
Pierluigi Feliciati, Maria Teresa Natale
cover by
Susan Hazan, Francesco Bocci
Jerusalem, 11 November 2008
The users: who are they?
Jerusalem, 11 November 2008
The users: who are they?
(in 2003)
MINERVA 1st Handbook for
A user is a professional or not,
specialist or not who casually or
with specific aims, occasionally or
systematically uses the Cultural
Web Application. User identity is
extremely variable depending on
cultural profile, aspirations for
cultural growth, professional
aims and even momentary
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The users: who are they?
(in 2003)
MINERVA 5th quality
A good quality cultural
website must be usercentred, taking into
account the needs of
users, ensuring
relevance and ease of
use through responding
to evaluation and
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The users: who are they?
(in 2008)
After 4 years, other definitions for Internet users:
• hybrid individual
• transceiver (transmitter + receiver)
• prosumer (producer + consumer) =
information recipient and provider of its own contents
Different terms characterize the various
user’s activities and behaviours on the
consumer / client / audience
user / surfer / viewer
player / clicker / downloader / streamer
Jerusalem, 11 November 2008
Another type of user...
Non human users/agents:
robots, spiders, crawlers, harvesters…
This variety of definitions reflects an articulated
offer of contents and applications in the new
media environment, which at the same time is:
vehicle of information and communication
encyclopedic archive and tool of cultural training
entertainment and community interaction area
technological platform
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Available also
in PDF and XHTML
Jerusalem, 11 November 2008
goals and target
To answer to some questions still unsolved
in the previous MINERVA web quality tools:
 What do users want?
 How do users behave?
 How can we understand their use of our web applications?
 Do effective methods to ask users about their expectations
(before) and their degree of satisfaction (after) exist?
The target readers of the handbook are all the cultural subjects
and projects concerned with tangible and intangible cultural
heritage, planning to develop new web applications or to update
and improve their existing applications, taking into serious account
the users point of view.
Jerusalem, 11 November 2008
Handbook on cultural
web user interaction
Key messages
 Quality must be planned from the start
 The user is critical – involve him at every stage
 Relationships with other resources must be
considered: online (interoperability) and future
(long term preservation)
With proper planning, and building on the
information, examples, standards and
guidelines available, creating a high-quality
website need not be much more difficult,
expensive or slow than creating a lowerquality one
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Table of contents
1. Users and cultural contents on
the web: state of the art
2. Finding one’s way
3. Practical tools
4. The importance of
using metadata
Jerusalem, 11 November 2008
1. Users and cultural
contents on the web:
state of the art
1.1. Users and services in cultural web
applications: websites and portals
A synthetic and up-to-date panorama of users and
cultural content providers on the web
with 24 good
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1.2. Current trends in web services:
Web 2.0-3.0
The role of cultural institutions in the
current and future information society
and the changing face of the institutions
as they present, and represent the
institution online
2. Finding one’s way:
first question
2.1 Cultural entity types
A cultural entity can be a person, an
organisation, an institution or a group
of different entities combined to
deliver a cultural product, which may
also deploy web technologies in
achieving its aims.
Jerusalem, 11 November 2008
2. Finding one’s way:
second question
2.2 Web application types
A schematic, up-to-date,
presentation of the main types of
web applications that cultural
subjects can promote as tools for
achieving their mission in whole or in
Some types has been already more
deeply analysed in chapter 1
Jerusalem, 11 November 2008
2. Finding one’s way
third question
2.3 Web applications
life cycle
The relation between the life
phases of a web site and the
issues connected with
interaction with its users.
Some phases are particularly
critical both because they can be
used to gather information about
user expectations or because they
can focus on meeting these
Jerusalem, 11 November 2008
2. Finding one’s way
fourth question
2.4 Users and uses
A survey on what it means to
talk about users and usage of the
cultural web and some tools of
reflection for designing
applications that satisfy citizens’
•The web user: state of the art and
•The web user: who is he?
•The in-home user and the simulated
•Simulated uses
•Systems adapting their behaviour to
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2. Finding one’s way
fifth question
2.5 Interactive and user side
The ICT applications that can be adapted
for the end user, providing interfaces and
selections of contents and of personalized
•Interactive communication services with the
intermediation of the information provider
•Interactive learning services
•Virtual interactive tours
•Commercial interactive services
•Interactive forms
•User-side services
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2. Finding one’s way
sixth question
2.6 Audience
measurement in the
A review of the techniques and
metrics used for user
evaluation on the Web
•Census data measurements: web
•Sample or user centred
• meter
• standardized interview
• static textual questionnaire
•Audience metrics
•Log file analysis
•Protection of privacy
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2. Finding one’s way
seventh question
2. Users in the globalised
world: multilingualism
Language is one of the most
significant barriers to website access
and, because of this barrier, great
parts of the European digital cultural
heritage cannot be found on the
Research on Multilingual Information
Access thus focuses on the storage,
access, retrieval and presentation of
information in any of the world’s
With a case study: the MultiMatch
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3. Practical tools
4.1 A self-evaluation questionnaire for
planning a user-centred web applications
Addressed to those cultural subjects that are about to
develop a new web application (or want to update one
already on-line) and whose objective is to seriously
evaluate user’s expectations, their satisfaction and the
possibility of foreseeing advanced forms of interaction.
•general information
•application quality and users
•helping the user find his way: profiling and customization
•interactive services
•audience measurement
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3. Practical tools
4.2. Websites and portals feedback
Standardized interview model to be
distributed to users of web sites and cultural
portals. It can be used as a reference for the
construction of a personalized questionnaire,
that responds to the requirements of one’s
own web application.
The questionnaire model is divided into 7
sections: 1. data protection; 2. personal details;
3. visit; 4. reasons for the visit; 5. technical and
graphic aspects; 6. identification of the web
application; 7. quality of the content and search
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5. The importance of
using metadata
The importance of using tagging and
metadata, to grant visibility and
findability to our contents.
A quick guide to:
Benefits of using metadata
The Dublin Core metadata element set
Syndication techniques and languages
The next step: towards semantic integration
Jerusalem, 11 November 2008
Some documents and studies produced by
important institutions and other European projects
are included at the end of the handbook.
1. Study on users and usages of Michael-fr
2. Digital Library Users: Results of a Survey on
Needs, Expectations and Skills
Jerusalem, 11 November 2008
the user is
Thank you for your
Any question?
Maria Teresa Natale
Pierluigi Feliciati
Jerusalem, 11 November 2008