I believe Museum websites are important for giving the first impression of museums especially for tourists and first visitors. I can see some features or characters from the website design and user flows.
There are lots of things to talk about the website design of AMNH, but on the other hand, I can understand why they did not update or change kind an old style of website. I think it is familiar for a variety of range people. Menus are on the top and big slide images show main events.
I think the main problem is the ton of the sub menus below each main menus. Each one has almost 10 subcategories. It is better to have more simplified menus to navigate people.
( I actually worried about smartphone web view. But It is better than I expected! )
2. THE MET
I visited The MET website to compare, I can feel it is more classic and arty mueum. Well designed layout and easy to find a menu that I looking for. It is quite modern design considering the smartphone web view. (one page, scrolling design)
I like the map view in the MET website. it is simple interactive to see the info of each building or room.
3. Eldridge Museum
It is a similar layout with The Met website, One-page load style, and simple design. I can easily reach the page that I want to.
4. Tenement Museum
Tenement Museum has a unique style of the museum to encourage the tours for almost of people. So it has the big info “Need help planning your visit?” to navigate to the booking page. There is a few step to book the tours. I like the website a lot. It has various of font sizes to grab the people’s eye. I can see three words “Tour”, “Walk”, and “Meet”. I am sure it is core keywords of Tenement Museum.
I learned more possibility of a website now rather than just delivering information with menus. We can also use WebVR, 3D panorama Tours, Interactive Web, Web AR(ARCore) etc. It may also we consider the varied range of user’s ages and where they from and try to keep the standard format of layout, but the museum websites are also special that future visitors will spend time for a while themselves to have interests.