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.
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.
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