Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Best of the Web Awards

** Museums and the Web 2005 **
** Best of the Web Awards **

Winners announced in Vancouver, April 15, 2005.

Recognizing achievement in cultural and heritage Web site design, a committee of museum professionals selects the Best of the Web each year. See the conference web site at for full details about the competition, the judges, and the judging criteria.

Congratulations to the following sites:

Best Educational Use

Making the Modern World Online - Stories about the lives we've made
Institution: The Science Museum, (London, UK)

Judges' Comments: Learning Modules are an exemplary illustration of what a museum can do with its collections to support specific educational usages for the K-12 educational systemŠ. Two of the most compelling aspects of education are the notion of relationships and theory/application. This site addresses both in an elegant manner.

Best On-line Exhibition

Cycles: African Life Through Art
Institution: Indianapolis Museum of Art

Judges' Comments: The design of this online exhibit is a piece of art itself. Beautiful and fun to explore. ... A highly visually appealing and thought provoking site which provides a rich user experience through interactivity, text and images. A particular highlight is the 'context' link that a user can click on when viewing an object. The graphic elements also nicely enhance the content and navigational options available to the user.

Honorable Mention

Raid on Deerfield
Institution: Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association (PVMA) / Memorial Hall Museum, Deerfield

Judges' Comments: ...raises the bar for historical interpretation online. The site models the value of the whole that derives from a consideration of multiple perspectives. The designers have cast a magical spell that draws the user into another place, another time, another world where one finds truth painted in many shades of grey.

Best E-Services Site

Seminars on Science
Institution: American Museum of Natural History

Judges' Comments: The human touch in the interface gives nice feeling that the seminar is tutored ... by real humans and that the learner is interacting with real people.

Best Innovative or Experimental Application

Eternal Egypt
Institutions: Egyptian Government: The Supreme Council of Antiquities and Center for Documentation of Cultural and Natural Heritage, and IBM Corporation

Judges' Comments: An arresting site. Visually appealing and quite innovative. Good execution of multiple pathways towards making discoveries about Egypt, including multiple languages and collaboration with like-minded institutions. Text -to-speech feature lends itself nicely to those with visual restrictions, and for ESL candidates, but computerized voice effect can become monotonous ...

Best Museum Professional's Site

ASTC (Association of Science - Technology Centers)
Institution: Association of Science - Technology Centers

Judges' Comments ... covers the gamut of basics -- references, publications, articles, and such. With the addition of the online workshops, ASTC shows itself to be responsive to the field and willing to be innovative.

Best Research Site

Timeline of Art History
Institution: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Judges' Comments: ... an excellent site for a range of audiences, including researchers.... considerably expanded and geographical and time coverage is much more comprehensive than a year ago. Good content depth (in a variety of formats, e.g. multimedia) and opportunities for drilling down, as well as relevant interactive features to enrich user experience.... a great balance of content and visuals and alternative exploratory routes for both the serendipitous and more serious researcher. Š beautifully done, easy to use, visually engaging, and intuitive. I didn't even need to read any directions -- the user interface was easy to grasp and use ...

Best Overall Museum Web Site

Making the Modern World Online - Stories about the lives we've made
Institution: The Science Museum, (London, UK)

Judges' Comments: "Making the Modern World" is a robust demonstration of how museum artifacts can be offered online to engage audiences in an innovative learning experience.
... a highly interactive site that gives the user many options for shaping their experience and makes good use of new technologies (I especially liked the use of rich media). It is deep and provides interdisciplinary learning. I was fascinated and could have stayed for hours just poking around and exploring. Great site. Funducational and very informative. Something for everyone! The whole family will be fighting for computer time!

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Congratulations to all of the winners, and thank you to all who participated. A full list of sites nominated, is available at

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A call for nominations for the Best of the Web 2006 will appear in the fall of 2005.


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