Title:How to Evaluate Online Success? A New Piece of Action Research
Authors:Sebastian Chan, Jane Finnis, Rachel Clements
Publication:MW2011: Museums and the Web 2011





How to measure and define the success of cultural websites and online services is a problem common to all parts of the cultural sector - museums, archives, galleries, arts organisations, libraries, publishers. Worse, funding agencies and government departments lack the expertise to offer guidelines or set standards. The result is a confusing mixture of statistics and reporting that reveals little about genuine user satisfaction.


In mid 2010 a group of 24 organisations and agencies from across the cultural heritage and arts sector in the UK began collaborating on a piece of action research addressing the issues around 'evaluating online success'. Coordinated by Culture24 and working with Seb Chan, the group of institutions have been developing a framework and best practice guide for measuring online projects both on organisational websites and those presented through social media channels. 


This mini-wowrkshop will present the findings of the project to date, along with several case studies from partner institutions, anonymised where necessary, demonstrating the impact of metrics customisations, cross-sector audience segmentation, and benchmarking.


The full list of project partners is as follows - 


Powerhouse Museum

British Library

National Gallery

Science Museum                                            

Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery                                


British Museum                                                                   


National Maritime Museum                               

Imperial War Museum                                

National Portrait Gallery                                                                 


Royal Shakespeare Company                

National Museums Scotland                                                             

National Museum Wales                                               

Design Museum                                     

English Heritage    



Arts Council of England

Heritage Lottery Fund

Museums, Libraries & Archives Council (MLA)

University of Leicester