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Chapter 7. User Experience: Museums on t... > User Experience Narrative: The Metro...

User Experience Narrative: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

We promised you an extended look at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Web site. We now invite you to experience the extraordinary collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, familiarly known as the Met, as we explore the site using JAWS. Before we begin, however, we want to acknowledge the cooperation and great community spirit demonstrated by the Met staff, and especially librarian Eileen Sullivan. The Met necessarily safeguards the integrity of how its collection is publicly represented and reproduced. Our request to the Museum was outside the norm and yet, once Ms. Sullivan helped us to communicate to the Met about how we would use these images to improve Web use for people with disabilities, the Met staff members fully cooperated by granting us permission to print screen shots of their Web site to illustrate our experiences there. We are grateful to them for their interest in promoting access to these rich materials for all users, including those with disabilities.

Let’s get started with our exploration. In comparison to the vast sprawl of the Smithsonian or the enormous holdings of the Louvre, the Metropolitan Museum of Art seems almost petite, with a mere 2,000,000 objects. Yet here, too, we encounter unexpected accessibility barriers that reduce the site’s effectiveness and lower the quality of the user experience.


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