Title:Creating Online Experiences in Broadband Environments
Authors:Jim Spadaccini
Publication:MW2000: Museums and the Web 2000

The emergence of broadband technology has changed the Internet experience for millions of users. Faster Internet connections create opportunities and unique problems for Web developers. More compelling resources can be created for broadband connections—larger (and/or more) graphics, better quality video, and more interactivity are a few of the options. However, most Web visitors don’t have a broadband connection. The tension between taking advantage of the latest technology to create the most compelling experiences possible and creating resources that are accessible to a broad public audience is not a problem that is unique to developers in the museum world—but it is one that is particularly sensitive given the fact that most museums receive some sort of public funding and have a mission to serve the community at large. Unlike the museum floor, users’ experiences with online resources have always differed due to factors such as connection-speed and the capabilities of their computers. The emergence of broadband (and faster computers) has made this problem more pronounced. So what are the options? What are the advantages that broadband presents? How can museums take advantage of what broadband offers without leaving other visitors behind? What technologies and techniques can developers use to create compelling online experiences that are "scalable" for visitors connecting at different speeds?