The Ashmolean Museum became the first department within the Gardens, Libraries and Museums division to create a website on the Oxford Mosaic web platform, launching a brand new Ashmolean Museum website (www.ashmolean.org) on 27 September.
The engaging new site is the home of the museum online, providing a rich virtual experience for the online visitor. The website’s ambitious brief envisioned a high-level of quality design and functionality to showcase the Museum’s exceptional collections and treasures, and engage the public in its calendar of exhibitions. It also highlights to the academic community and subject enthusiasts the range of the department’s research projects, and provides a gateway for the public to engage with its research.
Delivering the website to the challenging specification provided an exciting opportunity for the Mosaic Web Platform Team to extend the platform to deliver a range of enhanced designs and features, suitable for use by the University’s world-class museums. The Project brought together a multi-partner project team comprising the Museum’s digital content specialists, the Mosaic project team, and two external digital design agencies. Following an initial analysis and design phase involving the agencies, Ashmolean Museum and wider GLAM staff, the 5-month technical build was undertaken with the Mosaic project team working to the supplied design brief. Working in 2-week sprints, enhancements were regularly demonstrated to the project partners to ensure the delivery remained closely aligned to the spec.
Georgina Brooke, Web Project Manager at the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology commented of her experience: ‘We worked with Oxford’s Mosaic team on a challenging project to radically develop the platform for a new and demanding audience in a short amount of time. … It’s evident that a huge amount of work has gone into the platform and I wish the team every success for the future.’
The changes added enhancements across many areas of the Mosaic product, meaning code from the existing platform needed to be refactored to accommodate the needed features – an effort well justified by the result. In contrast to usual, one-off web projects not using the platform, all these changes are implemented in the core Mosaic codebase, meaning they will also be available to other GLAM units adopting Mosaic to use in future website projects. Existing Mosaic users will also be able to benefit from these changes – for no charge – as they are rolled out during the course of Michaelmas Term.