19 November 2011

4P visits the Art Gallery: a blast from the past

The other day I was going through some boxes of children's drawings (all my children are adults now) and I came upon one of my daughter's exercise books from grade 4. I'm posting an excerpt here because it describes a school excursion to the Art Gallery of NSW. (It is exactly as written – no corrections.)
4P lerning to Look

tues 29th may  4p visits the art Gallery

The art Gallery is a place were you go to enjoy your self and thats what 4p did when they went to the art Gallery.

4p got the train at Tempe and got off at St James. 4p ate recess at Hyde park in front of a wishing fouwntane. After recess we went on the moving walk way. It was fun. We had to walk on the wet grass all the water skwerted up into our shoes. When we got to the art Gallery we went on a chair that went up and down when a man bangs down a hamer. Then 4p was split into three groups.

My dad took one group and two volintir gids took the two other groups. I was in my dads group of cours. There is lots of interesting thing to see at the art Gallery but your not aloud to touch. If you do touch you will get into BIG trouble. My dad and the two volintir gids talked about what the shapes the people in the painting would like and what colurse too. Dads group went down to the aberigenal exerbision then 4p had to leave. We had lunch on the bottom floor of center point then we went in the Queen Victoria bilding were mum took one group and miss poulos took the other. It was fun there to. Then the two groups met each other agen and we walked down to central station were we got on a train that would take us to Tempe station and we walked back up to the school.

21 February 2011

The Henry Ford Museum website - too much of a good thing?

I just had reason to visit the website of “The Henry Ford” (comprising The Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village)

This site is an example of what happens when the aim is to give visitors to a site as much control and as many options as possible, in the smallest possible space.

On the home page alone, I found:
  • 2 quick-link drop-downs: “I am” and “How do I” (see below)
  • 2 ticket-purchase drop-downs: “Purchase by venue” and “Purchase by event”
  • A search box
  • A login-in form: user name + password
  • A “Plan your visit” form: 4 fields + 5 buttons
  • A menubar with 13 menu items, each with a roll-over drop-down of up to 12 items
  • 13 buttons (apart from the ones as part of forms)
  • 20 text links (including 4 in a scrolling field and 9 in click-to-expand boxes)
  • 3 image links
  • an auto-start video (with sound) + 5 video links
Many of the features are good ideas by themselves. (I particularly like the “I am” and “How do I” controls; the auto-start video is a mistake, especially on a home page.) But taken together, all these elements would just cause bewilderment.

[More about the “I am” and “How do I” quick-links (shown as “smart site”):

Choices for “I am”:
  • Just Browsing
  • Educator
  • Private Event Planner or Bride
  • A Local Visitor
  • Group or Tour Planner
  • History Enthusiast
  • Tourist/Out of Town Visitor
  • Member
  • With Media
Each choice produces a different menu for “How do I”. Eg, for “With Media” the menu is:
  • Get Member Discounts
  • Buy an Annual Ride Pass
  • Upgrade my Membership level
  • Renew my Membership
  • Buy a Gift Membership
  • Donate to the Annual Fund
MoMA does a similar thing in its navigation footer-bar.]