Kati Price, Head of the Digital Media Department, Victoria and Albert Museum

I had the pleasure of interviewing Kati Price, the Head of Digital Media at Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Kati oversees all digital activity, from the museum’s websites, apps and social media to developing new digital products, services and experiences.

Kati’s 18 years’ experience in the design industry spans both the commercial and the public sector. She  is passionate about digital technologies, design, and beekeeping.

Her undergraduate degree from the University of Durham, is in Geography and Anthropology. Kati earned her Master of Arts Degree in the History of Design from the Royal College of Art. Part of her Master’s Degree program involved working at the V&A—and it took her 14 years to return where she first began her career.

Digital Media Team

Kati oversees a team of twenty divided into three core areas: technology, design, and content. A recent brand refresh exercise helped bring a focus back on the V&A brand as it’s shown in both print and digital. The goal is to be both consistent and coherent–whether in an exhibit, on the side of a bus, or visiting the website.

V&A Website

When Kati started at the V&A in 2013 she was struck by how dated the website was at the time. The site offered a poor user experience and content that wasn’t compelling.  Oddly enough she is most proud of writing the business case for the website redesign project. It took almost four months to get the project approved.

The firm Made by Many won the tender to “create a new digital brand vision for the Museum”.  Their aim for the website redesign was to “bring the V&A to life online”. Version 1.0 of the redesigned and rebuilt web platform was released in April of 2016.

The V&A website attracts 12-14 million visits per year, roughly four times the actual physical visitor numbers. As a result, the V&A looks at the website as an experience unto itself, since the majority of its users aren’t able to visit the museum in person.

politics and museums

When asked if the V&A tries to remain neutral in these politically charged times, she reminds me that their new Director, Tristram Hunt, is a former Labour MP. Hunt recently announced that the V&A will campaign “to step in and do something” about the 40% decline of UK students studying art and design.

Kati’s Blog

Check out Kati’s Victoria and Albert Museum Blog, and an especially relevant blog about the digital development process–Choosing the right yardstick.

 

References

Block, I. (2017, September 28). V&A “to step in and do something” about fall in students studying design. Retrieved from https://www.dezeen.com/2017/09/28/victoria-albert-museum-tristram-hunt-encourage-more-design-technology-subjects-gsce-news/

Montgomery, A. (2016, April 22). How the V&A’s new website was designed. Retrieved from https://www.designweek.co.uk/issues/18-24-april-2016/how-the-vas-new-website-was-designed/

Owen, W. (2016, April 12). Open access! A new digital direction for the V&A. Retrieved from https://www.madebymany.com/stories/open-access-a-new-digital-direction-for-the-v-a

Price, K. (2016, December 22). Choosing the right yardstick: What research tools to use when in the digital development process. [Blog] Retrieved from http://www.vam.ac.uk/blog/digital-media/choosing-the-right-yardstick-what-research-tools-to-use-when-in-the-digital-development-process

Smith, R. P. (2017, November 3). How Artificial Intelligence Could Revolutionize Archival Museum Research. Retrieved from https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/how-artificial-intelligence-could-revolutionize-museum-research-180967065/

V&A Secret Seekers. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.vam.ac.uk/articles/secret-seekers?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=digital&utm_content=secret_seekers

One Comment Add yours

  1. Jennifer Hall says:

    Your question about political involvement on digital media really piqued my interest. Her discussion about the erosion of education as a direct result of political “turbulence,” as you put it, really highlights the fact that museums are reaching a point where they really can’t stay neutral. The decision to see how individual museum voices play out in this arena is a really interesting one. It puts a lot on museum employees who seem to be encouraged to have a voice in this narrative, but if we’ve learned anything from the social media age, it’s that it only takes one slip-up when someone says the wrong thing to cause a total fracas.

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