One Reply to “Tech is Great. Community is Better.”

  1. Thomas,

    I totally agree that the Mukurtu project was much more successful than the KAS project because of how they listened to their community and took their needs into account when creating the database, and really made the database for the Mukurtu and not just about them.

    I will add, however, that I think that some of their design principles for the Mukurtu project can translate well into any database. Their two click principle, simple design, and ‘breadcrumbs’ aren’t just good for low-tech users. They’re good, full stop. I am currently in the Special Collections course right now, and recently completed a special collections exhibit review assignment which specifically focused on online exhibitions of collections. I saw some really great and really terrible exhibits, all from high profile and well-known institutions. The best online exhibits made me click as little as possible and always gave me a way to find my way back to where I had been. The bad exhibits made me click four or five times to reach an individual piece, and then click again to retrace my steps to find other pieces. I think the principles used to make the Mukurtu project are not, at their heart, about user populations unfamiliar with technology (I would like to say I am at least in the intermediate category) but more about a streamlined user interface. Sure, databases with very high levels of granularity to their records can be useful, but at the end of the day, making it intuitive and easy to use is key for users at all levels of computer competency. Easy does not necessarily mean simple.

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