The Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of the world’s largest and finest art museums. Its collection includes more than two million works of art spanning five thousand years of world culture, from prehistory to the present and from every part of the globe.
Web Accessibility for the Met
Currently the website is not completely accessible and we worked on making it more accessible to people who are visually impaired. Our design brief included making the website accessible in three particular areas:
- Audit feature, usability study, propose redesign
- Online collection
- Idea/process to sustainably generate descriptions of the work
- Work with content team to define needs
- Ticketing & Admissions
- User centered design methods
- How to incorporate accessibility from the start
Instructors: Claire Kearney-Volpe & Gus Chalkias
Team: Chian Huang, Cherisha Agarwal, Srishti Kush
My role: As a team of three we divided the three main areas among ourselves. I was looking into the Ticketing and Admissions part to research and find how the whole process of buying a ticket and gaining access to the museum can be made seamless on the website.
The Wave Report shows all the errors in a website based on the web accessibility guidelines. The report for the home page of the MET website is as shown below:
During our research, we read about web accessibility to familiarize ourselves with web accessibility best practices and guidelines and also tried to work with screen readers like JAWS, NVDA and VoiceOver. Each screen reader had different navigation keys and features and it was quite inconsistent. We found the experience to be quite frustrating and were motivated to make this whole experience much better for users of the MET website in particular. The research findings are consolidated in the tables below:
- Database is pretty extensive and hard to organize
- Audio description not available of many collections
- Visual redesign of their website – in progress
- Wireframes – follow their current visual theme
- HTML snippets expected – to show the functionality
- Previous implementation design mockup was shared
- We interviewed 7 users about their comfort with screen readers and gave them three tasks to perform on the MET Museum website
- Most common insights were:
- Most people browse the web using mobile phone
- Screen readers like JAWS and Voice Over are not user-friendly
- Most users preferred to use search instead of navigating using screen readers
- People with low vision preferred not to use screen readers but zoom their screens
We analyzed the current user flow and made revisions according to what would work best for accessibility with screen readers.
Based on our research findings and insights from user testing, we created mock-ups which improved the existing search, collection and ticketing web pages of the MET website by incorporating accessible features and functionalities.
We also created a functional demo of the web pages in HTML and tested it out the with screen readers. Following are the videos of each of the category while using JAWS to navigate the different parts of the web page.
- Improve home page load time of the website
- Speech to text implementation for forms and search
- Occurrence of errors to be clearly communicated to users
- Complete payment process by voice assistance only
- Built-in Artificial Intelligence to make search and collection process easier
- More multimedia presentation