NZMuseums Revamp – Phase 1

Today we’re launching the first phase of the NZMuseums website redevelopment. National Services Te Paerangi and Vernon Systems have been working together over the last couple of months to bring you a host of new changes.

WordPress integrated into News section

Wordpress integration

The News, Blog and Spotlight sections of the NZMuseums website now run on top of WordPress. This has allowed us to provide several new features:

– News Search

– Browse articles by categories, recent posts and author

– RSS feeds by category and author

– Automated notification of comments to both authors and commentors

You can see these features on the News page.

Object detail page enhanced

Object detail page

– new icons for object type (art, photography, history etc)

– better layout

– new image slider and zoom option

– Share button to share the page on social networks

You can see an example of this with Raglan Museum’s carved tobacco pipe.

Museum directory page enhanced

Museum directory slider

– search a museum’s collection from the directory page

– better layout

– new image slider and zoom option

Here’s Raglan Museum’s new directory page.

Eventfinder integration

In Feb 2010 the NZLive events website was merged with Eventfinder. We’ve reworked the What’s on search page and museum directory page events to use Eventfinder. All event information from NZLive has been migrated to Eventfinder.

Explore options extended

The Explore page now brings up a mosaic of object images, with options to explore by most interesting objects (ranked by comments, numbers of images, amount of cataloguing detail, numbers of tags and view count), most popular (by view count), and by tags. The tag cloud now gives an option to expand the tag view to the top 1000 tags.

Technical changes

The site has been reviewed to make the layout and styling more consistent and to improve the HTML markup.

Web addresses within the site now use shorter search friendly URLs, with redirects from the old addresses for each page.

eHive enhancements

NZMuseums is built on top of the eHive online collections management system. There have been many enhancements to this over the last few months, including additional cataloguing fields, better tools for managing pick lists, an image cropping tool and new administration reports. The next feature to launch will be new screens for managing object acquisitions.

Upcoming changes

This is the first phase of the NZMuseums redevelopment. In April we’ll be launching a new home page designed by McGovern Online and integration with DigitalNZ to show suggested related items in the DigitalNZ repository when you’re on the NZMuseums results page.

About Paul Rowe

Paul is Joint CEO of Vernon Systems, the developers behind eHive. eHive is the foundation of NZMuseums and provides contributors the administration functions to manage their collection. He works closely with National Services Te Paerangi on the continuing development of the NZ Museums website. You can also follow him on Twitter on http://www.twitter.com/armchair_caver
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