Bora Sheshu, Head of UX, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Bora is the Head of user experience design at The Met. She’s a multi-disciplinary designer, storyteller and researcher, who focuses on creating audience-centered and data-driven experiences. She’s devoted to advancing user experience as a practice across the museum sphere. At The Met, she has successfully implemented audience development, usability testing, and design thinking across all digital initiatives as well as non-digital practices. She’s created the User Research Lab to conduct moderated and unmoderated testing, and integrating user testing into the design process. She’s passionate about big ideas and always aiming to represent the unspoken user voice. She seeks excellence in every aspect of her work with empathy and a strong sense of design. Since starting at The Met, she’s launched redesigns for The Met’s homepage, object page, and a new digital product, The Primer, that prepares visitors for their visit based on audience engagement. Her main effort this year is establishing a Design System that incorporates UX, visual design, and voice as part of a universal system across The Met’s digital experiences to include: website, media and e-commerce in an effort to establish consistency and user-centered system of components that reflect UX best practices. Prior to joining The Met, she lead user experience at HBC Digital and NBCUniversal.
Cathy Sigmond, Senior Associate, RK&A, Inc.
Cathy Sigmond is a Senior Associate at RK&A, Inc., a firm based in Alexandria, VA and New York City that partners with cultural organizations on intentional planning, research, and evaluation projects. In her work as an evaluator, Cathy helps museum professionals think strategically about the audiences they intend to serve. She advocates integrating human-centered design research and evaluation into all aspects of museum work to help practitioners understand how the interplay of design, messaging, social context, and the built environment affect the visitor experience. Her recent projects range from evaluating approaches to designing digital interactives at a children’s museum, to leading design concept testing for a suite of new exhibitions on aerospace, to assessing usability for an exhibition on the future of New York City. Cathy is passionate about sharing the value of evaluation for improving the visitor experience in museums and presents regularly at museum-based conferences, like that of the Visitor Studies Association. She also guest lectures for graduate programs including The George Washington University’s Museum Studies program, the Fashion Institute of Technology’s Exhibition and Experience Design program, and the Pratt Institute’s Museums and Digital Culture program. Cathy has co-chaired the Human-Centered Design SIG since fall 2018.
Interested in joining the Human-Centered Design SIG?
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Humans are at the heart of every museum interaction: visitors who enter a physical front door, users who explore a website, fans interacting on social media, community members looking for support, museum staff and volunteers who create and nurture these spaces. In human-centered design (HCD), we seek to understand people’s needs and place those needs at the center of our work. The human-centered design process emphasizes research and ideation, and can be applied to just about any type of product, service, or experience.
The Human-Centered Design SIG aims to foster conversations in the MCN community about who we serve, how to understand their needs, and the role that museums can and should play in their broader communities. We begin with the principle that accessibility and equity are essential to museum and place service to people at the core of our work. Anyone interested in using HCD to improve people’s experiences in museums is welcome, no matter your role or level of design experience!
Relevant topics include:
- Best practices and strategies for centering experience design
- Integrating conversations about the visitor experience into the museum’s digital and
- Exploring and advocating for best practices for inclusion and access
The group communicates via MCN’s Basecamp message board, which you’ll have access to when you join this group.