Invitation to Tender - Freelance County Pages Usability Evaluator Central Unit

Salary: £ 5,000

INVITATION TO TENDER

British Museum PASt Explorers Project

Freelance County Pages Usability Evaluator (Work Package 2)

CONTENTS

  1. Letter of Invitation
  2. Introduction
  3. Project background
  4. Outputs
  5. Summary of services
  6. Budget
  7. Delivery schedule
  8. Proposal format
  9. Contact details
  1. Letter of Invitation

You are hereby invited by the British Museum to submit a tender for the final stage usability evaluation of the County Pages (https://finds.org.uk/counties/), developed as part of The British Museum’s Portable Antiquities Scheme PASt Explorers project activities. The project is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). The Invitation to Tender from the British Museum contains Instructions and Information for Tendering and Specification of Requirements.

If you wish to submit a tender, you are required to return your proposal by e-mail or post.

Tender submissions must be clearly marked for the attention of Claire Costin and submitted no later than 12 noon on 31 January 2019. Please send your proposal to:

ccostin@britishmuseum.org

Claire Costin
PASt Explorers Project Manager
Learning and National Partnerships
The British Museum
Great Russell Street
London
WC1B 3DG

We look forward to receiving your tender response.

Yours faithfully

Claire Costin

PASt Explorers Project Manager
T (UK +44) 020 7323 8618

  1. Introduction

This is a brief for the final stage usability evaluation of the County Pages, developed as part of The British Museum’s Portable Antiquities Scheme PASt Explorers project. The project is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

We are looking for an experienced external consultant to design and undertake the final stage usability evaluation of the County Pages.

The evaluation will establish:

  • whether diverse members of the public can easily explore PAS finds and heritage in their local area;
  • whether diverse members of the public can easily explore the work of the PAS, Finds Liaison Officers (FLOs) and volunteers in their local area;
  • whether diverse members of the public can easily explore learning resources such as guides to identifying and recording finds;
  • whether improvements made to the County Pages as part of the first stage usability evaluation recommendations implemented achieve the above aims;
  • recommendations for any further improvements to the County Pages.
  1. Project Background

Portable Antiquities Scheme

The British Museum's Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) records archaeological objects found by the public in England and Wales. Every year thousands of objects are discovered, many of these by metal-detector users, but also by people while out walking, gardening or going about their daily work. If recorded, these finds have great potential for transforming knowledge, helping archaeologists understand when, where and how people lived in the past.

The PAS offers the only proactive mechanism for systematically recording such finds for public benefit. This data is made available to Historic Environment Records (HERs) and is published on the PAS website (finds.org.uk). This data is an important educational resource that can be used free of charge by anyone interested in learning more about the past.

The PAS comprises a network of 39 Finds Liaison Officers (FLOs), locally based archaeologists who liaise with the public and record archaeological finds onto the PAS database. They are based in various museums, county archaeological units and universities. The work of the PAS is co-ordinated by a Central Unit of two (the Head of Portable Antiquities Scheme & Treasure and the Resources Manager) based at the British Museum plus four period specialists known as National Finds Advisors (NFAs) based elsewhere.

Further information on the PAS can be found at the Scheme’s website, http://finds.org.uk/.

PASt Explorers

PASt Explorers is a PAS project funded by the HLF for five years. The project started in November 2014 and will finish in 2019.

The primary aim of PASt Explorers is to create Community Finds Recording Teams (CRFTs) by recruiting and training volunteers from local communities around England and Wales. These teams work with their local FLOs to record archaeological objects found by members of the public locally onto the PAS database. They also help promote the activities of the PAS to new audiences in their areas, recruiting others to volunteer with the PAS and engage with the history and archaeology of their local areas.

PASt Explorers aims to:

  • engage a wider audience of volunteers;
  • through volunteers, engage a wider audience at a local level, beyond the traditional archaeological and historical groups, who will help inspire interest in heritage in others;
  • enable members of the local community to adopt an integral role in recording finds and building up knowledge of the archaeology and history of their local area;
  • increase the capacity of the PAS to record finds, many of which would otherwise be lost to the local archaeological record;
  • provide training for volunteers to enable them to learn more about archaeological finds and how to record them, providing a broader understanding of archaeological processes;
  • provide care and protection for the historic environment delivered by local communities through fostering an interest in the care of their archaeological heritage and by providing knowledge of the issues threatening the survival of the archaeological record.

PASt Explorers objectives are to:

  • recruit and train volunteers from local communities who will operate as Community Finds Recording Teams around their local FLOs to help record finds presented by the public;
  • create a new means of communicating with the PAS’s audiences through the County Pages on the PAS database. These will provide a medium for disseminating information about the archaeology of the local area and for the volunteer network to contribute to this knowledge;
  • produce resources (published online, but also in print where required) to enable volunteers to identify and record archaeological finds from their local area, to guide the development and maintenance of County Pages, and to guide the delivery of outreach programmes, tailored for local use;
  • create a sustainable outreach structure in each FLO region, manned by PAS volunteers who will help deliver finds recording events, talks, displays and exhibitions, finds handling sessions and other activities;
  • encourage and foster bonds within the CFRTs.

The team comprises the PAS Resources Manager, who oversees the management of PASt Explorers, as well as a full-time Outreach Officer, and two 0.6 Project Officers, who are specifically project funded. Until September 2017, the team also had a project funded ICT Officer.

County Pages Overview

The County Pages (finds.org.uk/counties) are part of the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) website (finds.org.uk). They were conceived so that diverse members of the public could explore:

  • PAS finds and heritage in their local area;
  • The work of the PAS, Finds Liaison Officers (FLOs) and volunteers in their local area;
  • Learning resources such as guides to identifying and recording finds.

The County Pages provide a platform for PASt Explorers staff, FLOs and volunteers to create and share this content.

The County Pages is a WordPress multisite installation. It was launched in June 2015, comprising the main site and a single county sub-site (Leicestershire) as a pilot for future county sub-sites. The other county sub-sites are being launched in stages, due to be completed by the end of September 2018. The main site of the County Pages is a portal to individual sub-sites for each county in England, and one set for the country of Wales.

The main site has a home page with an introductory paragraph; a section aggregating the latest news posts from the PASt Explorers project team; a section aggregating the latest news posts from the across the separate county sub-sites; and links to the individual county sub-sites, finds and recording learning resources, and the project team’s contact details. The content for the main site has been generated by the PASt Explorers project team, FLOs and volunteers with feeds from the content generated on the individual county sub-sites.

Each individual county has a separate sub-site within the County Pages network. For the visitor, these are visually integrated with the main site and with one another, but behind the scenes they are independently run by staff and volunteers. Visitors reach the network sites at https://finds.org.uk/counties/{name-of-county} e.g. https://finds.org.uk/counties/leicestershire. Similarly to the main site of the County Pages, the home page of the county sub-site has an introductory paragraph; a section aggregating the latest news posts from the PASt Explorers project team; and links to other pages and categorised content of the sub-site.

First stage usability evaluation of the County Pages was undertaken in January 2017 and a usability report published in May 2017 (see Appendix A – available upon request). Subsequently, all recommendations in the report were implemented by September 2017.

4. Outputs

Design and undertake the final stage usability evaluation of the County Pages.

The evaluation will establish:

  • whether diverse members of the public can easily explore PAS finds and heritage in their local area;
  • whether diverse members of the public can easily explore the work of the PAS, Finds Liaison Officers (FLOs) and volunteers in their local area;
  • whether diverse members of the public can easily explore learning resources such as guides to identifying and recording finds;
  • whether improvements made to the County Pages as part of the first stage usability evaluation recommendations implemented achieve the above aims;
  • recommendations for any further improvements to the County Pages.

.The evaluation will:

  • gather data on whether users find navigating the County Page's content easy, and specifically, whether they could find localised content that may be interesting and relevant to them.
  • assess the overall ease of use of the County Pages for different types of users performing navigation tasks;
  • identify obstacles to users finding content they are looking for.

5. Summary of consultant services

In summary, the consultant will:

  1. Produce a detailed final usability evaluation of the PASt Explorers County Pages.
  2. The usability evaluation should evaluate the following:
  • whether diverse members of the public can easily explore PAS finds and heritage in their local area;
  • whether diverse members of the public can easily explore the work of the PAS, Finds Liaison Officers (FLOs) and volunteers in their local area;
  • whether diverse members of the public can easily explore learning resources such as guides to identifying and recording finds;
  • whether improvements made to the County Pages as part of the first stage usability evaluation recommendations implemented achieve the above aims;
  • produce recommendations for any further improvements to the County Pages.

Full and final ownership of the usability evaluation will reside with the British Museum.

6. Budget

The maximum total budget for the work is £5,000. This fee must include all expenses incurred and excludes VAT.

7. Delivery schedule

The PASt Explorers project ends in December 2019. The project team aims to implement final improvements indicated in the final stage usability evaluation in the final year of the project.

31 January 2019 – tender submission deadline
By 28 February 2019 – interviews and consultant selected
By 31 March 2019 – start-up meeting with consultant, usability evaluation methodology agreed and work begins
31 May 2019 – County Pages final usability evaluation report submitted.

8. Proposal format

  • 2 References.
  • A brief written response to the programme overview provided.
  • An introduction to and credentials of your organisation.
  • Examples of relevant projects you and/or your organisation have previously undertaken.
  • Details of the personnel proposed to carry out the work.
  • Details on how you would propose to satisfy the requirements of the brief.
  • Reference to how you propose to deliver this work (frameworks, methodologies and approaches).
  • Budget breakdown for the project, including any VAT expenditure required.
  • A statement of the number of days each team member will work on the project along with their job title and daily rates.
  • Details of other costs, including travel. These should be described in sufficient detail to allow assessors to consider the reasonableness of the costs and more generally the efficacy of the proposed approach.
  • Ability to meet the timescale outlined.

9. Contact

For further details regarding this project please contact:

Claire Costin
PASt Explorers Project Manager
Learning and National Partnerships, The British Museum, London, WC1B 3DG
ccostin@britishmuseum.org
Tel: +44 (0)20 7323 8618

Advert went live on: Friday 11th January 2019
Advert archived on: Thursday 31st January 2019

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