The Alutiiq Museum and Archaeological Repository Unveils New Website

alutiiq_museum_website.jpgScreenshot of the Alutiiq Museum’s new website. Kayla Desroches/KMXT

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

Technology is Kodiak’s lifeline to the rest of the world, and that also applies to Kodiak museums.

The Alutiiq Museum and Archaeological Repository has accounts not only on the most popular social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, but also image-sharing sites like Instagram and Pinterest. And recently, it put money from a City of Kodiak nonprofit grant towards making its website more user-friendly.

The museum staff has been working with a Denver-based web designer since last winter to revamp its website, which it unveiled last week.

The Alutiiq Museum’s Director of Research and Publication, Amy Steffian, says an up-to-date website is vital to connecting the museum with its audience.

“The Alutiiq people are spread all over the world. Even in Kodiak we have Alutiiq communities around the island that can’t access the museum, and the way they get to us is through our website and, in the past, our website has had tremendous amounts of traffic and what we’ve noticed in recent years was that the platform was old, it wasn’t keeping up with the technology, the pictures were a little bit dated, and it was losing audience.”

Which is why the museum felt it was time for a change. The new website includes a more accessible design.

“One thing we learned from people who came to our old site was that they had trouble finding information. It was set up like a blog, so you had to click through a lot of different levels to get to the information, so we’ve tried to make this a lot easier to navigate, to make the presentation less confusing and cleaner. And we’ve limited the number of categories up top and then had many different menu items below them to make it easier for people to find what they’re looking for.”

The museum also updated the website’s color scheme.

Steffian says they worked with the four colors named in the Alutiiq language: White, black, red, and blue.

“If you look at traditional artwork, you certainly see the use of those colors predominantly. It’s not that Alutiiq people didn’t recognize other colors. It’s that in their language they have four color words, and those are the terms for colors I just described. And if you want to say a color like yellow, then you have to compare that color to something that is yellow, so you would say, well, that’s the color of oil, for example.”

You can learn more about the four colors, including how Alutiiq people created them as pigments in their art, on the Alutiiq Museum website.

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