Innovative interfaces for encouraging exploration in digital cultural heritage collections (Demo Table 5)

Ben Ennis Butler, University of Canberra, Australia

This demonstration will show how 6 innovative and experimental interfaces, developed for the National Gallery of Australia’s Australian Prints + Printmaking website, encourage exploration and discovery to take place.

These interfaces combine data visualisation techniques and modern web design methods to create new ways to access the collection. They allow for serendipitous discovery and freeform exploration to occur.

They sit alongside other groundbreaking museum websites, including those of the RijksMuseum and Walker Art Center, both of which disrupt traditional methods of online access by stepping away from the search box. Results from a recently completed mixed-method research study show the potential of these tools.

The demonstration will provide an opportunity to discuss the results from the research study as well as providing an insight into the development process of the interfaces.

Dörk, M., Carpendale, S., & Williamson, C. (2011). The Information Flaneur: A Fresh Look at Information Seeking. In Proceedings of the 2011 Annual Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 1215–1224). Presented at the CHI 2011, Vancouver, BC, Canada: ACM. Retrieved from:

Shneiderman, B. (1996). The Eyes Have It: A Task by Data Type Taxonomy for Information Visualizations. In Proceedings of the 1996 IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages. Presented at the IEEE Computer Society. Consulted December 19, 2012.

Whitelaw, M. (2012). Towards Generous Interfaces for Archival Collections. Presented at the International Council on Archives, Brisbane. Retrieved from:

Key websites:
Walker Art Center: