The Ghost in the Museum Website: Investigating the General Public’s Interactions with Museum Websites

  • David WalshEmail author
  • Mark Hall
  • Paul Clough
  • Jonathan Foster
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10450)


Museums are increasing access to their collections via web-based interfaces, but are seeing high numbers of users looking at only one or two pages within 10 s and then leaving. To decrease this rate, a better understanding of the type of user who visits a museum web-site is required. Existing models for museum web-site users tend to focus on a small number of groups or provide little detail in their definitions of the groups. This paper presents the results of a large scale museum user survey in which data on a wide range of user characteristics was collected to provide well founded definitions for the user group’s motivations, tasks, engagement, and domain knowledge. The results highlight that the general public and non-professional users make up the majority of users and allow us to clearly define these two groups.


Digital cultural heritage Museum web-site Users Survey 



We would like to thank National Museums Liverpool for giving us access to their users by allowing us to run the survey on their web-sites.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of SheffieldSheffieldUK
  2. 2.Edge Hill UniversityOrmskirkUK

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