1. Introduction

Tate Online aims to help fulfil Tate’s mission to increase public understanding and enjoyment of British and modern international art. Given the rapidly developing scope and potential of digital communications, Tate Online is uniquely placed to reach new audiences and engage them in new ways.

New technologies and online services, together with the proliferation of high-speed internet connections and mobile internet connectivity, have changed the web radically in the past few years. However, cultural and heritage organisations have been slow, by and large, to respond to these changes. Tate Online is widely recognised as among the best museum websites in the world. This reputation is largely built upon the extensive and deep content that has been produced and published online over the past eight to ten years. However, we should no longer view the website solely as a channel for publishing Tate content; we should see it as an interactive platform for engaging with audiences.

With the exception of a number of recent audience participation projects on Tate Online that have made use of social media (in particular, partnerships with Flickr, Blurb, Threadless and MySpace), some excellent interactive exhibition websites (notably Francis Bacon and Miroslaw Balka, and a handful of key strategic developments (notably Tate Kids, Tate Papers, Tate Channel and TateShots), much of Tate Online is a relatively flat, even monolithic and impervious, website. It is thus clear that a complete overhaul of the website is required for Tate to realise its ambitions for a website that can deliver the Tate 2015 vision, refreshed brand values, the new audience strategy and the emerging learning strategy. At the heart of this overhaul are Tate’s online audiences and a rethinking of how we engage with them.

Our ambition is to make Tate Online the most engaging and most social arts website, to match this with the richest, deepest arts content found anywhere on the web, and to pair this with an increased presence for Tate beyond our own website, so that we engage with Tate audiences wherever they are active online. To achieve this ambition we should move on from considering Tate Online as ‘Tate’s fifth gallery’ to making online, quite simply, a dimension of practically everything Tate does, from research and conservation to fundraising and public programmes.

2. Ten principles for Tate Online

2.1 Tate’s website is for Tate’s online audience

The website’s structure and navigation must aid the visitor’s experience and conform to their expectations rather than echoing organisational structures. Each online initiative must serve a defined online audience and fulfil a defined need for that audience.

2.2 The website is both a platform for publication and for interaction

Alongside the ongoing publication of deep content, we shall use the website as an interactive platform for engaging audiences and giving them a platform for discussion, debate and participation.

2.3 The website must be alive with thoughts, conversation and opinion

Through blogs, articles, multimedia other means, we shall find new ways to share the expertise and ideas of artists, curators, individuals working for Tate and others alongside those of our audience.

2.4 Online content, commerce and community are intermixed

Community features – blogs, user comments and discussion threads – should be featured alongside the relevant content rather than zoned off. Tate’s commercial offer – Membership, Patrons, books, artists’ prints, custom prints, online courses and so on – should be promoted alongside relevant content throughout the website.

2.5 All webpages are the start of a range of possible user journeys

The majority of online visitors enter the site at a deep page, from a search engine or other incoming link. Each page must therefore simultaneously stand alone, make its context clear through navigation, and offer links to closely related content.

2.6 Content owners manage their content

The management of web content will be distributed around the organisation, supported by updated back office systems, training and changes to staff responsibilities. The skills to author web content and to engage directly with online audiences must be distributed throughout the organisation.

2.7 Online content needs to be open and shared

Users must be free to take, repurpose and redistribute Tate content to fulfil their individual needs. Data should be made available to third parties for easy reuse.

2.8 Content and interaction should be taken to the online audience

Through social media, third-party websites and new mobile platforms we can reach new audiences and interact with them in the online spaces where they active. In some cases we should expect to find that these spaces be the best place to realise entire projects.

2.9 Personalisation will improve visitors’ experience

By allowing users to customise their online experience of Tate, we shall improve their experience, be able to communicate with them more effectively and fulfil their diverse needs.

2.10 The website must be sustainable

It is expected that the growth of the website will accelerate. To facilitate this growth, the site’s technical and information architectures and our approach to content maintenance and copyright costs must be scalable.

3. Context

The Tate Online strategy has been developed in discussion with colleagues across the organisation and is both an implementation of and an extension of the Tate Media 2015 strategy.

Owing to rapid developments in this area and changes in the wider context, it is proposed that the Tate Online strategy be reviewed every two years.

The strategy responds to key internal initiatives, including:

  • Tate mission
  • Tate 2015 vision and Tate strategy to 2012
  • Tate Media strategy 2015
  • Tate brand review
  • audience strategy
  • digital publishing strategy

The strategy is seen as a framework that will respond to forthcoming developments, specifically the new learning strategy and the programme for transforming Tate Modern.

3.1 The new web

The web is changing at astonishing speed and its audiences are changing along with it. The emergence of the social web has transformed once passive consumers into authors, editors, feature writers, columnists, photo journalists, TV moguls and publishers. These new audiences expect the websites to be interactive platforms.
Emerging mobile hardwire is ushering in an age where audiences will be constantly connected to the web wherever they are.
Data is increasingly becoming transportable so that it can be redeployed to new platforms and aggregated with other datasets.
Audiences are expecting to take content and reuse it in any way they wish, raising challenges around copyright, but also opportunities to share and distribute content for free and as a paid for service.

3.2 Tate 2015 vision and Tate strategy to 2012

Tate Online will be:

  • ideas-led and diverse through a proliferation of opinions, including multiple voices on the same subject, exchanging views
  • inclusive through content developed for audiences ranging from children to academics.
  • a publisher in visual art through acting as platform for artists, their work and their voices, and for Tate’s research and scholarship
  • international through incorporating multilingual elements, working online with curators and writers internationally, and engaging global audiences
  • stimulating two-way conversation and dialogue through blogs, online communities and forums to which users can contribute
  • sustainable through supporting a move away from printed materials to digital delivery, and through building technical and information architectures that facilitate management and controlled growth

3.3 Tate Media strategy

The strategy for Tate Media aims to:

  • create a deep, rich experience through a website redesign, reworking the online collection and commissioning new content
  • distribute authorship throughout the organisation through the deployment of new or upgraded systems, as well as through training and support from Tate Online
  • create a platform for participation through the user comments and the nurturing of online communities

3.4 Refreshed brand values

  • interaction will be at the heart of the new website through online communities (such as Young Tate, Tate Kids or turbinegeneration), user-generated content, blogs, crowd sourcing, social tagging, commenting and forums
  • art and artists will be foregrounded along with users and their needs (internal Tate structures will be kept in the background)
  • the collection will be at the core of the online experience and a hub around which content and user experience revolves
  • Tate will become more porous though a move to the emergence of individuals within Tate expressing their views and engaging directly with audiences
  • Tate’s voice(s) and those of our audiences will be differentiated so it is clear who is speaking and where authority lies
  • openness will be a major characteristic of the new website through sharing of data, expertise and content with users via open standards and new legal frameworks

4. Goals

4.1 Goal: improve the online visitor experience

Tate’s website will be user-centred. Much of the website echoes the organisation’s structure to the point that the website sections are named after the departments that initiated them. This structure must be unravelled and reconstructed using art, artists and user needs as the guiding architectural framework, whilst keeping Tate’s authority, research and scholarship at the centre.

4.1.1 Website redesign

The website will be completely redesigned based on a user-centred design process, led by research, which will result in an information architecture and navigation that users understand.

The graphic design will be clean and contemporary. There will be few individually designed microsites. Certain sections of the website, notably Young Tate and Tate Kids will deviate from, but respond to, this design to give these their own flavour, highlighting that they are self-contained online community spaces and address specific audience needs.

Artworks, video and multimedia will tend to be more prominent than text.

The website redesign will implement an information and technical architecture that will support the ambitions for the website for the coming years and make subsequent redesigns easier through separation of content, design and functionality.

A single user login will be built across all systems so that users can administer all their site preferences (collection perspectives, email bulletin settings, online course progress, My Collection, ecommerce logins, membership, patrons, shop, comments, forums etc.) and push notifications to email and social media in a single place.

The website’s accessibility will be improved and a new set of accessibility standards implemented.

4.1.2 Content reorganisation

As noted, content will be foregrounded and internal Tate structures moved to the background of the website experience. A series of blogs and landing pages will draw key content to the fore, bring important stories and activities into focus, and provide deep links into the site.

Core content will be migrated to a series of cross-linked content repositories:

  • refreshed gallery sections: new calendar, clearer visiting information, rich media exhibition websites
  • online collection: artists, art works, short texts, captions, collection research entries, thematic essays, taxonomic indexing, online collection research projects, and archive holdings (in due course)
  • Tate Channel: video and audio content and downloadable podcasts
  • articles: TATE ETC., Tate Papers, Tate Magazine, glossary of art terms, conference papers and so on
  • learning resources: resources for children, teachers, young people, adult learners and academics

Each repository will be navigable by artists, themes, categories, issues and other structures.

Content ‘findability’ will be improved though extensive promotion of similar and related content. All content will be tagged with metadata enabling related items to be listed automatically.

The site search will be overhauled and the different search facilities that currently exist on the website (site search, collection search, Tate Channel search, shop search etc.) integrated into a single ‘meta search’, presenting results in a single interface. Search engine optimisation will be improved throughout the website and especially within the collection section.

4.1.3 Online collection

The online collection will be moved back to the heart of the website making it the hub around which much of the website radiates. The collection will be promoted through features on homepage, a prominent position in the site navigation, regular blog articles and promotion through email and social media. Relationships between different art works will be brought to the fore, driving visitors to explore further and deeper into the collection online.

Users have different levels of knowledge and different needs. ‘Perspective’ functionality will enable the same art work to be viewed in different ways. For example, one perspective will highlight scholarly material, while another will be image-led, showing the art work at near full-screen resolution along with images of related works. Users will be able to select and customise their perspective, which will persist while they explore the online collection.

Rich user interfaces will encourage the visitor to explore the collection in more depth and to discover new art works. These interfaces will include maps, timelines and information graphics and will be database driven so that new acquisitions and new research can easily be added.

Collection search will be improved, enabling complex advanced searching facilities. Search results will be available to browse using the rich interfaces (maps, timelines etc.) showing themes, subjects and other sets of results.

The most visited online art works will be identified and a set of content produced for each, including texts, images and multimedia.

Website visitors will be able to curate their own online collections, write their own labels, annotate these and then share them online and with others via social media if they choose. Implementation of social tagging and crowdsourcing of metadata will help create a data set that will support the rich browse interfaces such as maps and related art works and artists and provide an alternative, user-centred taxonomy for the collection.

Links to notable external websites and online resources will provide users stepping-off points to other collections and online resources.

The collection is being redeveloped with a modular format so that new features and functionality can easily be added in the future.

4.1.4 Archive online

The Tate Archive is an extraordinary collection of materials that can illuminate the public’s experience of art and offer rich resources for research and learning. We aim to digitise the archive and publish its contents online. The online archive will be integrated with the rest of the Tate collection so that users’ journeys will flow seamlessly between archive materials, collection art works, artists’ talks and a wide range of other records within the same interface.

4.1.5 Online style guide

A new online editorial style guide will be developed in response to the brand reworking and new tone of voice, and the concurrent updating of Tate Style as a whole. The guide will support the distribution of web content management throughout the organisation and the emergence of individual voices from within Tate.

4.2 Goal: Promote lifelong learning

New learning models that focus on creativity, social interaction, play and participation are developing rapidly. This is not to say that there is no place for more didactic approaches, but digital learning affords users new opportunities to engage in dialogue, generate their own responses and content, and to build communities of interest. This is to be a key area in the delivery of the audience strategy online.

4.2.1 Tate Kids

Tate Kids focuses on learning by doing. The site promotes children’s creativity through an online community where children can upload their own art works, display them next to Tate collection works, and comment on each other’s works.

The site also offers a range of games and interactives to encourage children to explore works in Tate’s collection and create their own online responses. The site aims to be enjoyable, social and above all, fun. The hope is that children who join Tate Kids will want to explore their interest in art further by joining Young Tate when they get older.

We shall investigate further extending the Tate Kids programme through a series of online games and partnerships, and are seeking to explore commercial opportunities with Tate Publishing.

4.2.2 Young Tate

To support teenagers and young people and enable them to develop their creativity and possibly enter the creative industries, we shall launch an online community website for young people. Young people will be able to upload their own work into virtual galleries, create online sketchbooks and studios, and interact with each other.
The site will integrate with existing social networks (Facebook, Flickr, YouTube etc.) and partner them on specific projects rather than trying to create a competing social networking website.

This community website will run a series of competitions, challenges, and creative projects asking members of the online community to respond to Tate’s programme of exhibitions and displays.

The site will provide resources for young people wanting to pursue careers in the arts and creative industries, including help with GCSE themes, career profiles in the arts, and information on applying to art school.

4.2.2.1 Project: Great British Art Debate

The Great British Art Debate website will invite young people to engage and explore questions of identity, engage with Tate’s and the partners’ collections online and share their thoughts and experiences through an interactive website and social media.

4.2.2.2 Project: ARTIST ROOMS

The ARTIST ROOMS website will be extended with a suite of new rich media content to engage young people with the ARTIST ROOMS collection and its themes.

4.2.3 Schools and teachers

The schools and teachers area of the website will be simplified into a destination website covering Tate’s in gallery programme, downloadable teaching packs, digital whiteboard and other elearning resources, and online projects.

4.2.3.1 Project: Tate Movie Project

In partnership with Fallon and Aardman we shall launch the Tate Movie Project which will invite school children to contribute to a film through a website and outreach activities.

4.2.3.2 Project: turbinegeneration

We shall extend turbinegeneration – a project that partners schools internationally and uses the web as a tool for creative collaboration – to include new languages, reaching thirty countries by 2012.

4.2.4 Adult learners

Targeting audiences with a general interest in the arts, the website’s wealth of online learning resources will be reorganised and centralised, and a new database-driven elearning browser created so that users can browse by artist, category, subject matter etc to find resources relevant to their interests.
Through the development of related content functionality, the new articles section and new rich media, learning materials will be highlighted throughout the website, creating thematic, artist- and art work-led journeys through the site.

4.2.4.1 Project: Creative Spaces

The relaunch of Creative Spaces will see the creation of an online community for adult learners, in partnership with eight other national museums. Creative Spaces focuses on users’ creativity and acts as a platform for them to create online notebooks, publish their own work and interact with one another.

4.2.4.2 Project: Online courses

The online courses are a commercial offer and take a practical approach to learning where students are able to try techniques at home, upload images of their own work and discuss them with other participants on the course. A new course will be developed in 2010.

4.2.5 Scholarship and research

Research on and around Tate’s collection is becoming a significant aspect of Tate’s web output. Working with curators and the Research Department, we shall restructure the way that research is published on the website.

4.2.5.1 Publish the outcomes of collection research

A major component of the overhaul of the online collection is to support the publication of online collection research projects. These collection research projects are conceived very differently from the previous printed (catalogue) versions in that:

  • they may have a non-linear structure
  • they may have several thematic or chronological structures alongside and overlapping each other
  • a work may appear in multiple ‘chapters’ or parts of the project
  • they may include audio, video and other multimedia content
  • users can feedback on and add to Tate research through project blogs, comment threads, social tagging and data crowdsourcing
4.2.5.2 Build an online community of academics and scholars around Tate’s research centres and major research projects

Each research centre and major project will be provided with a project blog to update their specialist audiences on developments and findings and to invite contributions from third parties. The blog will exist for the period of each project and then be mothballed as a record of the project.

4.2.5.3 Share Tate’s knowledge with museum professionals and academic specialists

Tate’s current activity will be listed in a directory of projects using a project template. The template will provide an outline of the project, contact details and a project blog to share their knowledge and experiences with colleagues in other museums and galleries, as well as academic specialists, inviting comment. These blogs will be a platform for publishing research outcomes and will replace the many existing project microsites. Previous projects and project blogs will be archived as a record.

4.3 Goal: Develop engaging platforms for multiple voices, discussion and debate

Online audiences are now active contributors to online communities through comment threads, forums, blogs and social media. Tate should embrace this and welcome online audiences as contributors and collaborators. Dialogue and debate will be embedded throughout the new website, through forums, blogs and community websites and through Tate activity on third-party social media websites.

Significant effort needs to be put into the moderation and guiding of these new communities. Ultimately, it should be the aim that colleagues throughout the organisation undertake this work.

4.3.1 Homepage discussion

The website homepage will feature user contributions, promoted via email and social media. The subject of this discussion will encompass the collection, exhibition programme and other themes.

4.3.2 Online community guidelines

In many cases we shall nurture new online communities through facilitating discussion amongst audiences themselves. In other cases, the discussion will be in response to content authored by a Tate employee or some piece of Tate content. In such cases, it will be appropriate for Tate to respond and join the discussion directly and it is envisaged that numerous members of staff will therefore be involved in this work.
Unmediated interaction with online audiences will be new to almost everyone involved and therefore training, new policies and new skills will need to be developed to help Tate staff shape communities.

4.3.3 News section

The news section will be used to promote Tate stories. Core content will be Tate’s communication calendar and Tate’s activities.

4.3.4 Blogs

A series of blogs are planned, including one for each Tate gallery and, as noted above, one for each major research project and research centre. Authors will be identified as individuals, comments welcomed and each blog will have an owner within the organisation. Features will be image-led.

4.3.5 Social media

Social media has much to offer Tate across our learning, marketing, communications and audience engagement activities, and in delivering our mission. Tate is already using social media extensively, and there is now a clear need to implement an organisation-wide strategy and set of policies that will facilitate growing use in the future.

Key to our approach must be a recognition that social media websites are not just a new platform to advertise our activities or promote our brand. We must transparently interact with audiences and, though this is labour intensive, the result will be an engaged audience with whom we have a deep relationship. This engagement will have Tate content and ideas as its staring point, and all of our social media activity should be linked closely to Tate’s programme.

In building Tate’s presence in social media spaces we aim to:

  • engage audiences
  • promote Tate’s programme
  • distribute Tate content to a wider audience
  • To further these ambitions we shall instigate a Social Media Strategy as well as a Social Media Policy, and shall begin reporting metrics of social media activity alongside monthly web statistics.

4.3.6 Multilingual text

Internet use is growing fastest in the non-English-speaking world. We shall develop content to engage these new audiences, through working with local artists, curators and writers to commission text and other content for Tate Online.

4.4 Goal: Develop open content platforms

Consumption of online content has shifted towards users as authors and editors, especially through social media and online publishing platforms (blogs, YouTube, Flickr, etc.). We shall embrace audience creativity and personal ambitions, though new end user licences, empowering them to reuse and remix Tate content.

4.4.1 Distribution of content to third-party websites

Through distribution of content to third-party websites, Tate will reach new audiences and engage with those audiences where they are active online.

Specifically, we shall distribute content to the following third-party content websites:

  • YouTube
  • iTunes
  • iTunes U
  • Flickr
  • Wikipedia
  • Google Earth

4.4.2 Syndication, subscribing and ‘push’ formats

We shall make it possible for users to subscribe to Tate content and have update notifications or new content pushed to them. For example, listings through iCalendar format, news and list-based content in RSS format.

It should be possible to integrate these updates with social media, mobile phone applications and email and this will be investigated.

4.4.3 Data sharing

Tate’s collection database will be opened up through a public data feed or API (application programming interface) to allow Tate’s collection dataset to be accessible to third parties. This will be limited by copyright restrictions on images. Through the API, new acquisitions and changes to data will be pushed to users. Users will be able to combine Tate’s data with that of other organisations, for example, combining multiple museums’ collections and building visualisations and interpretations of this data or cross-collection search and browse interfaces. In all cases references to Tate content will need to include a link back to the content’s page on Tate Online.

4.4.4 Commons licences

Most of the content on Tate Online is published under restrictive end-user licences. We shall audit these and review what content could be released under a more permissive licence that would enable users to reuse and remix this content as part of their own creative projects or research.
These new public licences are likely to be based on a commons model, focusing on wide distribution which will democratise knowledge and give audiences the freedom to share their and Tate work. For example, users could take art work images from the collection and share them on their non-commercial blogs, social media profiles or online project so long as this includes the correct caption information and a link to Tate Online.

4.4.5 User-generated content

User-generated content will be pervasive throughout the website in the form of user comments, discussion threads, crowdsourcing of data and creative online communities, including Tate Kids, Young Tate and Creative Spaces.
One of the challenges this raises is how to communicate the authority of Tate’s research and scholarship amongst a myriad of voices and opinions. However, we see this as a problem that can be resolved with design rather than with architecture, and thus user voices and Tate voices will be intermixed.

4.5 Goal: Maximise ecommerce opportunities

Through improved capture of users’ contact details and behaviour we will know our customers better, be able to personalise and improve their online experience. Key to maximizing this opportunity is more targeted emarketing, cross promotion of products and up selling, and developing long-term relationships with audiences.
The majority of the content on the website is distributed free and it is envisaged that this will continue to be the case. However, significant opportunities exist around online revenue generation. We shall also investigate new digital products and ‘freemium’ models where basic content and services are offered for free with a paid for premium service.

4.5.1 Targeted email and relationship management

We shall initiate a managed journey from first-time virtual or actual visitor, through membership and patrons schemes, to donor. Data capture of email addresses and social media signups will be a key first step to this and will be implemented throughout the website.
The existing customer, ticket buyer and members databases will be migrated to a single relationship management system (RMS). This data will then be used for personalised and targeted communications.

4.5.2 Ecommerce and ticketing

Tate books and products and ticketed events will be promoted throughout the website in context. For example, the promotional space on a TATE ETC. article page on Francis Bacon might promote Tate books on the artist, tickets to events on twentieth-century painting and so on. The promotional spots will be generated dynamically so that they are always up to date with current products.

4.5.3 Marketing

Marketing of the programme at the galleries remains a key concern for Tate and a primary need for many of our online visitors. Listings information will be simplified, a new online calendar developed and the process planning a visit through the website made easier.

Online marketing campaigns will increasingly focus not only on branding and graphics but on storytelling, engagement, interaction and participation. Marketing campaigns will become more technically sophisticated with behavioural targeting, partnerships with third-party websites and their audiences, and use new technologies such as mobile.

As we move to a more sophisticated use of econtact details, data capture is likely to become as important an outcome of marketing campaigns as sales and footfall.

Tate Publishing and Tate Enterprises products will be promoted alongside Tate events and exhibitions.

4.5.4 Publishing

Tate Publishing sees significant opportunities for investment, and will initiate a digital publishing programme within 2010–11. Tate Publishing’s Digital Publishing Strategy has identified the following potential areas for commercial development of Tate and Tate Publishing content:

  • ebooks
  • print on demand
  • emarketing of Tate products
  • mobile phone applications
  • ‘freemium’ services

4.5.5 Online fundraising

The case for giving to Tate will be reiterated throughout the site, in particular, through the news and blogs sections and through social media.
Microsites will be built to support individual fundraising campaigns and micro donations will be asked for as part of ticket and product purchases. The Tate Fund online donation page will be promoted in context throughout the website.

4.6 Goal: Develop content for mobile devices

Emerging mobile platforms offer new opportunities for engaging with audiences in new ways. Mobile devices are (almost) always connected, location-aware and are social devices by design.

4.6.1 Mobile web

The mobile internet is growing rapidly. Apple iPhones now account for 1% of all traffic to the website. Once all content is migrated into a content management system and the site relaunched, we shall look at developing specific versions of sections of the website for small screens and mobile devices.

4.6.2 Mobile applications

Tate has a number of mobile applications in development phases. Broadly speaking, successful mobile applications are either useful or fun. Tate’s applications will play to the strengths of this new platform, which include providing entertainment to fill spare time, location awareness, and a tool for building online communities.

4.6.3 Mobile ecommerce and marketing

We shall investigate opportunities for mobile ticketing, mobile fundraising and SMS-based communications.

4.7 Goal: Create sustainable information, design and technical architectures

The web will continue to evolve rapidly and Tate must be in a position to take advantage of these changes and move with the times. It is therefore critical that a scalable technical and information architecture is developed that will allow the website to grow and change quickly.

Going forward the policy is to create infrastructures that deliver web content and build online relationships and these infrastructures must have scalability from the outset.

4.7.1 Information architecture

The new site information architecture and navigation will be built for growth without site sprawl.

4.7.2 Content management

New systems will be deployed to make adding new content to the website quick and easy. Content editing and contribution will be distributed throughout the organisation with curators and others updating and managing pages with their content. Content editors in Tate Online will oversee this work closely, and training and support will be provided.

4.7.3 Copyright

Management of the rights of the content on the website is set to become increasingly difficult and expensive as we acquire more annual licences. We propose a new model that uses extensive linking to content on other websites as the solution to this problem. Where a work is not covered by fair dealing or within the collection the policy will be to link to this resources elsewhere and then monitor (and ask users to report) broken links.

5 Supporting technology

5.1 Website architecture and infrastructure

To deliver the ambitions will require replacing or development on almost all systems powering the website. We shall also rationalise the website’s technical architecture and build integration layers joining the different systems so that these systems are invisible to the user.

5.2 Systems

Core systems (managing content and functionality):

  • Content Management Systems (CMSs).
  • Collection Information Service (CIS) and The Museum System (TMS).
  • Sales System.

Integration layers (joining these systems and ensuring a seamless user experience):

  • search
  • single user login
  • promotion of related content and products

Back-of-house systems (drawing data from user behaviour online):

  • Relationship Management System (RMS)
  • mass-mailing system

5.3 Hosting

It is likely that the website’s hosting needs will change over the coming years as the site becomes more dynamic and database-driven. It will certainly be an advantage to be flexible in this area.

6 Metrics and reporting

Whilst top-level numbers of visitors to the website is a reasonably good metric of success, it is clear that the new directions will need to be measured in new ways. A new monthly report will be developed to report more detailed and more meaningful statistics.

6.1 Content reporting

We shall report top content (films, art works, articles), both for the reporting period and over time.

6.2 Visitor reporting

We shall report visitor data, such a referring sites, search terms, geographic location and so on.

6.3 Ecommunications and social media

We shall report on performance of email communications, number of social media followers, views of distributed content, and content shared via users via social bookmarking.

6.4 Ecommerce

We shall report on online ticket sales, donations, online patrons and membership sales and renewals, and online shop purchases.

6.5 Projects

We shall report on individual projects for the period of those projects

6.6 Community

We shall investigate new ways of measuring online audience engagement.

6.7 Annual survey

An annual online survey will be carried out to benchmark audiences and will dovetail with the in gallery research to better provide overall view of Tate’s audience.

Acknowledgements

This paper is an edited version of that presented to Tate Trustees on 17 March 2010.
John Stack is Head of Tate Online.
Tate Papers Spring 2010 © Tate