User and non-user research for Modes

Cataloguing and numbering arrows at store © Pitt Rivers Museum

Qa was commissioned by the Modes Users Association to conduct research that would shape the future direction of the Association and inform the development of a five year business plan.

Modes is the most widely used Collection Management Software by museums in the UK. The software package enables users to record and record objects and archives. Users of Modes include heritage and community organisations, universities, galleries, hospitals, sports clubs, schools, archives, commerical organisations and private collectors.

Study aims

The main aim of the study was to update and improve the Association’s understanding of the product and service requirements of both current and potential users. The research investigated:

  • How collections data is stored
  • Why certain collection management systems had been chosen, experience of using these systems and levels of satisfaction
  • Users relationship with Modes
  • Awareness and perceptions of Modes products
  • Views on pricing and perceived value
  • Any barriers to using Modes products
  • The future development of Modes

Our approach

We conducted a series of qualitative in-depth interviews lasting 30-40 minutes with a mixture of Modes users and non-users who accessed different collections management systems or did not use any system. We interviewed 22 different organisations over a three week period in January and February 2017.  A range of organisation types were interviewed including museums, universities, sports clubs and archive services.


A detailed report was produced by Qa with the findings providing Modes with an insight into the current Collections Management Software landscape across the UK and directly informing the Association’s future actions and strategy.

For further information on the Modes project please visit:


For more information contact or call 01904 632039