Broadening the Reach of the Museo de San Juan through Multimedia Storytelling and Website Design

Project Sponsor & Liaison: The Museo de San Juan, Raysa Rodríguez Garcia

Team Members: Alan Roush (Interative Media and Game Design ’23), Mark Delia (Civil Engineering ’23), Liliana Foucault (Computer Science ’23), Calista Carrignan (Aerospace/Robotics Engineering ’23), and Troy Mullenberg (Data Science/Computer Engineering ’23)

Advisors: Professor Robert Hersh and Professor Leslie Dodson

Download Final Presentation

Download Final Report

Download Website Handoff Deliverable

Download CMS Handoff Deliverable

View the Museo’s Prototype Website

 Pictured left to right: The Museo Educational Department (Kelvin Rodríguez Soto, Raysa Rodríguez Garcia, and Frances Pagan de la Rosa), Professors Robert Hersh and Leslie Dodson, Calista Carrignan, Troy Mullenberg, Liliana Foucault, Mark Delia, Alan Roush, Director of Art and Culture Antonio Morales and his assistant, Ana.


The Museo de San Juan was founded in 1979 to showcase the history and culture of Puerto Rico’s capital city through art. The Museo is looking to expand its digital presence through a website as well as to catalog and manage its collection. It wants a broader audience to discover and learn about San Juan’s history and culture. We conducted key informant interviews and engaged in user testing with Museo staff to incorporate their perspectives in our website designs and in selecting a potential collection management system (CMS). The team recommended that the Museo adopt Omeka S as its CMS, as well as to continue web design utilizing the website platform Webflow, and to adapt examples of multimedia elements on our prototype to tell future stories the Museo curates.

Website elicitation session with the Educational department

Executive Summary


The Museo de San Juan is an art and history museum that opened in 1979 in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. Run by the Municipality of San Juan, the Museo currently lacks a website and a collection management system that supports discovery of its collection and assists in telling its stories. This fact has hindered the ability of the Museo de San Juan to share its history with its community, as well as the transnational audience it strives to reach beyond Puerto Rico.

Front view of the Museo de San Juan

Goal & Objectives

The goal of this project was to explore digital storytelling possibilities with the Museo de San Juan by creating a website prototype. Our team established three main objectives to complete this goal:

  1. Explore methods of digital storytelling
  2. Assess the Museo’s current archival system
  3. Develop a website prototype

The online representation of the Museo de San Juan and its collection contributes to the presentation and support of the Museo’s purpose in society. DEMSJ prioritized engaging elements about the Museo’s history on the website prototype. Furthermore, the Museo’s history is an integral part of its identity as well as the building itself being representative of the history of San Juan.


The team created storytelling elements using audio and visuals, in a total of 8 different website designs, to explore how these elements contributed to user experience over 3 elicitation and feedback sessions. We gauged user experience using Kabassi’s (2016) and Lopatovska’s (2015) frameworks for evaluating websites based on usability and visual aesthetics and conducting elicitation sessions of our designs with the Departamento Educación Museo de San Juan (DEMSJ). Our finalized prototype implements a total of seven unique storytelling techniques that described the Museo’s collection and history.

Lopatovska (2015) Website Features Kabassi (2016) and Lepkowska-White & Imboden (2013) sub criteria
Search Navigation/Orientation
Interactivity Interactivity and feedback, interactive elements
Image Manipulation N/A
Aesthetics Consistency, simplicity, colors that stand out, structure, variety in images
Usability Accessibility, legibility, multilingualism, coherence, usability
Our Website Evaluation framework created using Lopatovska’s (2015) website features as overarching categories for adapted criteria from Kabassi (2016) and Lepkowska-White & Imboden (2013).

We held a total of three elicitation sessions, in addition to having numerous informal conversations with DESMJ regarding our website design and storytelling methods. The feedback we received aligned with criteria and conclusions from the literature as well as educate and engage the community through our storytelling elements and design of the website prototype. From our interviews and elicitation sessions, we received feedback on our website designs and storytelling methods and learned that their view of the Museo influenced what they felt should be displayed on the museum website. From our interviews and elicitation sessions, we received feedback on our website designs and storytelling methods and learned that their view of the Museo influenced what they felt should be displayed on the museum website.

Our teams’ methods involved two key informant interviews with Irmarie Reyes Pérez, the Museo’s archivist, as well as three elicitation sessions with the Departamento Educación Museo de San Juan (DEMSJ) and Luis Moises Perez Torres, the Director of the Museo de San Juan. DEMSJ is a group of museum educators comprised of Raysa Rodríguez Garcia, Kelvin J. Rodríguez Soto, and Frances G. Pagan de la Rosa, who provided feedback on our storytelling methods and website design. Ms. Pérez provided us with information related to the Museo’s current content management system, as well as any feedback related to our team’s CMS.

We also needed to explore and assess the Museo’s current content management system in order to ensure how future website content would be supported, updated and maintained. We conducted an interview with the Museo’s archivist, Irmarie Pérez, who informed us of the system. She shared the physical and digital scale of their current system, explaining the Museo’s methods of documentation, searching, and maintenance of their collections. We discovered the people and processes for curating exhibits which relate to methods of finding and collecting content for a future website.


Prompted by dialogues about future digital presence and online media content overarched by general access to archives, we found that many things impact the overall perception of identity for the Museo by its stakeholders. We discovered that an absence of a vast working knowledge of the depth of the Museo’s collection greatly contributed to the differences in opinions when it comes to the purpose of the Museo, as well as what should be presented on the website. This prompted questions about its archival systems and curation processes, in addition to collection management software. A list of criteria for CMS software was compiled and used to evaluate different platforms available. The top criteria included bilingual functionality, simplified interface, searchable, simple data entry, cost, and confidentiality options of fields. Five options were evaluated, and two platforms were prototyped with the museum’s collection: Omeka S. These platforms were selected after learning that a local implementation would be something they could begin working with on its current technology, regardless of municipal funding constraints due to the open-source nature of the systems of these systems.

Building up a presence online required a platform with several considerations, cost, learnability, ability to embed, modern design, etc. Through an evaluation of three website hosting platforms, we chose Webflow to host our finalized prototype.


We mainly focused on creating the website designs, capturing numerous forms of multimedia content, and implementing that content. This limited potential conversations and dialogues with the Museo or other external sources about how such media can influence the perception of the Museo on a website. Many paintings and artifacts from its exhibitions were copyrighted, which reduced the potential for collected media. Our team therefore focused primarily on telling the history of the Museo’s building which influenced storytelling methods explored. Future iterations could expand upon other methods that explore community engagement and responses, for example.

An analysis of the Museo’s archival system transitioned part of our focus to the maintainability of a website, leading to exploration of content management system applications. Although an important aspect for the future website, this took away from further research about the effectiveness of storytelling methods. Additionally, we needed to consider the Museo’s role as a Municipal Museum and how our work fits into that role. This relationship, as well as the logistics of implementing an official website in the future, could be explored, and solidified with more time, resources, and discussions.


An online presence would support the reputation and image of the Museo de San Juan. Through our team’s process of prototyping, we found that Webflow allowed us to fine tune and design every facet in addition to supporting multimedia content. Thus, for future iterations, it is recommended that the Museo use this platform to continue the work started by this team.

Identifying and implementing Omeka S as a viable collection management system allows more staff members to gain a deeper understanding of the collection the museum holds. For implementation, the team has identified that starting with a locally hosted instance of the CMS would fill the short-term needs of the Museo. When migrating to this new system, it is imperative that new protocol for data entry and media creation be developed using the international standard (the Dublin Core), which would be supported by the Omeka S system, to ensure a higher quality of metadata and discoverability that would bring them onto the same level as many other institutions using the same standard.