For example; “people with low-bandwidth connection” and “new and infrequent web users” (Jim Thatcher, 2006, p 8).
This essay will compare Usability and Accessibility issues related to the use of multimedia in the areas of museums, the ArtStart Kiosk at The National Gallery and British Museums COMPASS Database, and BBC Online Broadcasting. Multimedia guides, software applications, organization of links and information, graphics format and style, navigation systems, screen resolutions, interface, browsing facilities, interactivities, communication access and user applications are the points by which this paper will discuss.
British Museum’s COMPASS (Collections Multimedia Public Access System) and National Gallery’s ArtStart Kiosk; are both database-driven multimedia guides to a selection the Museums’ paintings or objects. Both systems provide users with electronic catalogues of pictures on the application using multimedia touch screen. The technology museums’ system are user-friendly, such that visitors can use the technology even if they do not have previous experience of the collections by providing indexes as common terms and organized information. Organization comes in the form of links to collections of varied interests; virtual tours of groups of objects in familiar themes; objects of the month from the Home page and thousands of links between the objects and to background information. The textual links however could create confusion to the graphical image links at the menu page. This confusion is also brought by lack of site map facility. Instead of a full site map browsing facility, the user can browse specific areas such as browsing paintings by A-Z Artist and paintings title at the ArtStart Kiosk.
With the BBC there is an alternative similar to a site map in which sitemap navigation is facilitated by A-Z