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Use, Challenges & Future of Mobile in Museums, 2009

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An overview of the findings from the 2009 International Handheld Guide Survey. …

An overview of the findings from the 2009 International Handheld Guide Survey.
See http://www.learningtimes.net/museumhandheldsurvey/

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  • 1. The use, challenges & future ofhandheld guides in museums:An overview of the findings from the 2009 International Handheld Guide Survey.December 2009Loïc Tallon, Founder/Director of Pocket-Proof.Survey produced by Learning Times & Loïc Tallon. Tallon, Loïc. The use, challenges & future of handheld guides in museums. (December 2009: LearningTimes & Pocket-Proof).
  • 2. NB: the term Handheld Guides is used in this presentation to refer to all types of digital, mobileinterpretation tool including audio tours, PDA / multimedia tours, MP3 download tours, IPodTouch tours/applications, interactive tours, cell phone tours etc. Tallon, Loïc. The use, challenges & future of handheld guides in museums. (December 2009: LearningTimes & Pocket-Proof).
  • 3. … about the survey / data1.0 Museums’ OBJECTIVES in using handheld guides2.0 CHALLENGES faced relating to their use3.0 Perceptions of the medium’s FUTURE4.0 Desired KNOWLEDGE SHARE5.0 Other data relationships, and accessing the raw data… Tallon, Loïc. The use, challenges & future of handheld guides in museums. (December 2009: LearningTimes & Pocket-Proof).
  • 4. about the survey / data SURVEY ORIGINSIn October 2009, Learning Times & Loic Tallon launched an online survey exploringthe museum community’s perceptions of mobile interpretation tools.The survey was inspired by a perceived increase in museums’ interest in a mediumwith ever-increasing potential and ubiquity, and shaped by conversations started atthe Handheld Conference Online on 3rd June, 2009.See http://www.handheldconference.orgThe Objectives of the survey were to identify: •  why museums use (or don’t use) handheld guides, •  the challenges relating to their use, •  how they saw the medium’s future, and •  how to improve knowledge share in this field. Tallon, Loïc. The use, challenges & future of handheld guides in museums. (December 2009: LearningTimes & Pocket-Proof).
  • 5. about the survey / data THIS PRESENTATIONOver a period of four weeks, the Survey received 238 responses from museums andcontractors internationally. This Presentation provides an overview of the surveyfindings within the context of the four Objectives.It also explores differences in an individual’s perspective on handheld guides relativeto the experience at their institution.* To achieve this comparison, the surveyresponses have been divided into the following three groups: •  Those from museums that do currently use Handheld Guides. (100 responses; 42%) •  Those from museums that do not currently use Handheld Guides, but would consider doing so within the next five years. (73 responses; 31%) •  Contractors / Consultants working in the industry. (63 responses; 26%)* Survey findings should be regarded as directional only. Tallon, Loïc. The use, challenges & future of handheld guides in museums. (December 2009: LearningTimes & Pocket-Proof).
  • 6. about the survey / data TAG CLOUD HIGHLIGHTING COUNTRY OF RESPONENTS (Q35 & Q43)Australia 9 (4%); Belgium 1 (0%); Canada 6 (3%); China 1 (0%); Denmark 7 (3%); France 39 (16%); Greece 1 (0%); Iran 1 (0%);Israel 1 (0%); Italy 3 (1%); Netherlands 4 (2%); New Zealand 9 (4%); Poland 1 (0%); Scotland 1 (0%); Singapore 2 (1%); Spain 2 (1%);Sweden 1 (0%); UAE 1 (0%); UK 27 (11%); USA 115 (48%); Question not answered 6 (3%). Tallon, Loïc. The use, challenges & future of handheld guides in museums. (December 2009: LearningTimes & Pocket-Proof).
  • 7. … about the survey / data1.0 Museums’ OBJECTIVES in using handheld guides2.0 CHALLENGES faced relating to their use3.0 Perceptions of the medium’s FUTURE4.0 Desired KNOWLEDGE SHARE5.0 Other data relationships, and accessing the raw data… Tallon, Loïc. The use, challenges & future of handheld guides in museums. (December 2009: LearningTimes & Pocket-Proof).
  • 8. Q7 & Q19: What are / would be the main objectives for using handheld guides at yourInstitution? (Please select a maximum of three options) Museums currently using a handheld guide. (Q7) Museums not currently using a handheld guide, but wanting to in the next five years. (Q19) Tallon, Loïc. The use, challenges & future of handheld guides in museums. (December 2009: LearningTimes & Pocket-Proof).
  • 9. Museums’ OBJECTIVES in using handheld guides OVERVIEW1.1 Identified by over two-thirds of museums as one of the main objectives of their handheld guide (72%), the providing of supplementary information was by far the most popular response.1.2 This was followed by the creating of a more interactive experience (50%) and the bringing of multiple voices into the visitor experience (39%). It appears that content is king, though this is closely accompanied by how visitors interact with that content.1.3 By contrast, revenue generation (9%) and visitor-flow (7%), two objectives integral to the audio guide’s evolution during the 1980s and the birth of the blockbuster exhibition, appear to be the least relevant to museums today. Tallon, Loïc. The use, challenges & future of handheld guides in museums. (December 2009: LearningTimes & Pocket-Proof).
  • 10. Museums’ OBJECTIVES in using handheld guides COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS1.4 The desire to create a more interactive experience was the primary objective on which those museums that currently have handheld guides and those museums that aspire to developing one within the next five years differed most greatly. 40% vs. 67% respectively.1.5 Those museums without a handheld guide also identified more strongly than those museums currently with handheld guides to the objectives of attracting new visitors / types of visitors, (18% vs. 32%) and to providing better access for visitors with special needs, (11% vs. 29%).1.6 Those museums with a handheld guide identified more strongly with the objective of providing a highlights tour as compared to those museums currently without a handheld guide. (29% vs. 14%)1.7 A simple reading of these differences might be that the objectives of those museums that do not have a handheld guides but would like to are more ambitious than those of the museums that already have a handheld guide. Tallon, Loïc. The use, challenges & future of handheld guides in museums. (December 2009: LearningTimes & Pocket-Proof).
  • 11. … about the survey/data1.0 Museums’ OBJECTIVES in using handheld guides2.0 CHALLENGES faced relating to their use3.0 Perceptions of the medium’s FUTURE4.0 Desired KNOWLEDGE SHARE5.0 Other data relationships, and accessing the raw data… Tallon, Loïc. The use, challenges & future of handheld guides in museums. (December 2009: LearningTimes & Pocket-Proof).
  • 12. Q9 & Q20: How challenging were / do you see the following in the development andoperation of the / a handheld guide system? (1 = Not a Challenge, 5 = Very Challenging) Museums currently using a handheld guide. (Q9) Museums not currently using a handheld guide, but wanting to in the next five years. (Q20) Tallon, Loïc. The use, challenges & future of handheld guides in museums. (December 2009: LearningTimes & Pocket-Proof).
  • 13. CHALLENGES faced relating to the museum’s use of handheld guides OVERVIEW2.1 The three most popular responses to the challenges faced in developing and operating/sustaining a handheld guides system were content related: •  Keeping the content up-to-date. (3.2 : 51%)* •  Cost of initial content creation. (3.2 : 48%) •  Content production. (3.0 : 38%)2.2 By comparison, the elements identified as least important were more hardware related: •  Distribution and collection of the handheld guide players to visitors. (2.3 : 21%) •  Purchase / rental of the handheld guide player. (2.4 : 24%) •  Selection of the handheld guide player. (2.5 : 24%) * (Average score : number of responses who scored the challenge as a 4 or 5). Tallon, Loïc. The use, challenges & future of handheld guides in museums. (December 2009: LearningTimes & Pocket-Proof).
  • 14. CHALLENGES faced relating to the museum’s use of handheld guides COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS2.3 There was a marked difference in scorings between the two groups, with museums without a handheld guides rating all the challenges higher than those with handheld guides, by an average of 1.0 points / 20%. This is likely to relate to the former rating a perceived challenge, whereas the latter were assessing a challenge they had experience overcoming.2.4 In terms of the greatest differences between the two groups, those museums without handheld guides identified most strongly with the financially related challenges: •  Overall cost of sustaining and maintaining the handheld guide system. (2.4 : 26% vs. 3.7 : 56%) •  Cost of initial content creation. (2.7 : 34% vs. 3.9 : 69%) •  Purchase / rental of the handheld guide player. (2.0 : 15% vs. 3.1 : 38%) Tallon, Loïc. The use, challenges & future of handheld guides in museums. (December 2009: LearningTimes & Pocket-Proof).
  • 15. … about the survey/data1.0 Museums’ OBJECTIVES in using handheld guides2.0 CHALLENGES faced relating to their use3.0 Perceptions of the medium’s FUTURE4.0 Desired KNOWLEDGE SHARE5.0 Other data relationships, and accessing the raw data… Tallon, Loïc. The use, challenges & future of handheld guides in museums. (December 2009: LearningTimes & Pocket-Proof).
  • 16. Q10: How do you see your Institution’s handheld guide evolving in the next five years?Q16 & Q21: Which of the following trends, if any, would you see as most appropriate forthe development of a future handheld guide at your Institution? (Please select a maximumof three options). Museums currently using a handheld guide. (Q10) Museums not currently using a handheld guide, but wanting to in the next five years. (Q16 & Q21) Tallon, Loïc. The use, challenges & future of handheld guides in museums. (December 2009: LearningTimes & Pocket-Proof).
  • 17. Perceptions of the medium’s FUTURE OVERVIEW3.1 In terms of how museum’s perceive the future of handheld guides at their institution, the three most popular responses were: •  Increased visitor use of own device. (62%) •  Linking of pre, during and post visit experience. (51%) •  Increased in-house content development. (49%)3.2 The statement with which museums agreed least was: •  Institution no longer providing visitors with handheld guide player. (11%)3.3 It is interesting to highlight therefore that despite the museums believing that the future of handheld guides will involve visitors increasingly using their own device/hardware, only 1 in 10 responders felt that their institution would completely stop providing a player for visitors. Tallon, Loïc. The use, challenges & future of handheld guides in museums. (December 2009: LearningTimes & Pocket-Proof).
  • 18. Perceptions of the medium’s FUTURE COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS3.5 Of the eight options, there were four for which museums that currently did use handheld guides had a significantly different perception than those museums that did not currently use handheld guides but would like to.3.6 Comparatively, those museums that did currently use handheld guides identified the following as more relevant to their institutions: •  Increased in-house content development. (58% vs. 36%) •  Use of more powerful multimedia players. (36% vs. 14%)3.7 Whereas, comparatively those museums that did not use handheld guides rated the following as more relevant to their institution than did those museums currently using handheld guides: •  Content delivered via. Institutions WiFi network. (18% vs. 33%) •  Onsite links to social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, etc.). (23% vs. 36%)3.8 Again, the responses of those working at a museum that does not currently use handheld guide could be perceived as more ambitious that those of their colleagues in museums that currently have a handheld guide. Tallon, Loïc. The use, challenges & future of handheld guides in museums. (December 2009: LearningTimes & Pocket-Proof).
  • 19. … about the survey/data1.0 Museums’ OBJECTIVES in using handheld guides2.0 CHALLENGES faced relating to their use3.0 Perceptions of the medium’s FUTURE4.0 Desired KNOWLEDGE SHARE5.0 Other data relationships, and accessing the raw data… Tallon, Loïc. The use, challenges & future of handheld guides in museums. (December 2009: LearningTimes & Pocket-Proof).
  • 20. Q25 & Q31: How useful are the following types of information to you / your Institution /Company? (1 = Not useful, 5 = Very Useful) Museums currently using a handheld guide. (Q25) Museums not currently using a handheld guide, but wanting to in the next five years. (Q25) Contractor / Consultant (Q31) Tallon, Loïc. The use, challenges & future of handheld guides in museums. (December 2009: LearningTimes & Pocket-Proof).
  • 21. Desired KNOWLEDGE SHARE OVERVIEW4.1 Two types of information were clearly rated as most useful. These could both be identified as representing a desire for practical evidence/research relating to ‘How to / what works’: •  Research findings / visitor surveys from other cultural institution. (4.3 : 83%)* •  Practice guidelines from other cultural institutions. (4.0 : 69%)4.2 A particularly forthright, and potentially representative, response to this question from a museum currently without a handheld guide was: “I would welcome frank discussion among museums about successes and lessons learned. ... We need to be able to demonstrate that X institution developed X products for X cost and got X quantified results.”4.3 The information types deemed least useful were: •  Guidelines on distributing and promoting handheld guides to visitors. (3.5 : 47%) •  General overview of the handheld guides. (3.5 : 49%) * (Score : number of responses who scored the challenge as a 4 or 5). Tallon, Loïc. The use, challenges & future of handheld guides in museums. (December 2009: LearningTimes & Pocket-Proof).
  • 22. Desired KNOWLEDGE SHARE COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS4.4 Financial information was deemed less useful by museums who currently have a handheld guide (ranked 6th out of 9) than by museums without handheld guides (ranked 2nd) and the contractors / consultants (ranked 3rd). Ironically, it is the former of these two groups who are most likely considered to be best positioned to provide this information.4.5 By contrast, those at museums with a handheld guide were markedly more interested than their colleagues in Practice Guidelines from other institutions.4.6 Areas where the information needs of the contractors/consultants were higher than those of museums include News/Review about handheld guides players, and two options relating to how museums understand and make decisions relating to handheld guides.4.7 It is maybe telling that on average the contractors/consultants rated the usefulness of information types higher than their museum colleagues. This could relate to their digesting more handheld guide related information: 57% of contractors kept up-to-date on handheld guides on a regular basis, compared to 35% of those working in a museums. (Q23 & Q29). Tallon, Loïc. The use, challenges & future of handheld guides in museums. (December 2009: LearningTimes & Pocket-Proof).
  • 23. … about the survey/data1.0 Museums’ OBJECTIVES in using handheld guides2.0 CHALLENGES faced relating to their use3.0 Perceptions of the medium’s FUTURE4.0 Desired KNOWLEDGE SHARE5.0 Other data relationships, and accessing the raw data… Tallon, Loïc. The use, challenges & future of handheld guides in museums. (December 2009: LearningTimes & Pocket-Proof).
  • 24. Other data relationships, and accessing the raw data… LOOKING BEYOND THE SURVEY’S OBJECTIVES5.1 This overview of the survey findings has considered data from around 20 of the 30 questions in the survey, chosen because they either related specifically to the survey objectives or to the ability to break down the responses into the three groups for comparative analysis.5.2 However, by returning to the raw data, a number of further insights are made possible. These include: •  breaking down the responses in terms of type of museum, •  or in terms of the type of handheld guide they currently offer visitors. •  or simply to identify those handheld guides services museums most regularly contract-out.5.3 Two such ‘alternative’ insights that I found particularly interesting relate to: •  The size of museum considering working with handheld guides. •  The particular interest of Art Museums in this field. Tallon, Loïc. The use, challenges & future of handheld guides in museums. (December 2009: LearningTimes & Pocket-Proof).
  • 25. Other data relationships, and accessing the raw data… SMALLER MUSEUMS & HANDHELD GUIDES5.4 In terms of annual attendance (Q37), number of full time staff (Q38) and number of full time staff working specifically in digital programs (Q39), the museums that were not currently using handheld guides but would consider doing so in the next five years were smaller than those museums that already do use handheld guides.5.5 Q37: What is the annual attendance at your Institution? Less than 5,001 to 50,001 to 250,001 to 500,000 to 750,001 to 1 More than 1 5,000 50,000 250,000 500,000 750,000 million million Museum currently using handheld guide 1% 14% 30% 21% 5% 7% 22% Museum not currently using handheld 7% 29% 32% 9% 4% 9% 9% guide, but intending to in next five years Tallon, Loïc. The use, challenges & future of handheld guides in museums. (December 2009: LearningTimes & Pocket-Proof).
  • 26. Other data relationships, and accessing the raw data… SMALLER MUSEUMS & HANDHELD GUIDES cont.5.6 Q38: How many paid full time (or full time equivalent) staff work at your Institution? Less Between Between Between 21 Between Between Between More than than 5 5 and 10 11 and 20 and 50 51 and 100 101 and 250 251 and 500 500 Museum currently using handheld guide 2% 3% 8% 21% 20% 21% 12% 12% Museum not currently using handheld 7% 13% 13% 26% 14% 8% 15% 4% guide, but intending to in next five years5.7 Q39: How many paid full time (or full time equivalent) staff work in digital programmes at your Institution? Less than one / We dont Between 1 and Between 4 Between 11 have dedicated staff 4 and 10 and 20. More than 20. Museum currently using handheld guide 32% 42% 9% 10% 7% Museum not currently using handheld 46% 32% 11% 7% 4% guide, but intending to in next five years Tallon, Loïc. The use, challenges & future of handheld guides in museums. (December 2009: LearningTimes & Pocket-Proof).
  • 27. Other data relationships, and accessing the raw data… ART MUSEUMS & HANDHELD GUIDES5.8 I also found it interesting to note that the majority of responses from museums came from art museums, (53%).5.9 And, as the following comments suggest, there appeared to be differences in terms of how Art Museums and other types of museums perceived and related to handheld guide. “Very interested in these findings and in which art museums participated.” “It would be great to hear, perhaps even segment off, experiences from No-Art Museums.” “Please try to consider No-art museums when providing information because the approaches are different. In an art museum, the focus is about the artists perspective on their creation and the context in which they created it - it is about the object. In science and history museums, the focus on the story of the person/place/event/thing, the context in which it occurs and the visitors personal connection to it. Vastly different approaches for handhelds Between these types of museums. Up to now, handheld discussions seem to be skewed to art museums.” Tallon, Loïc. The use, challenges & future of handheld guides in museums. (December 2009: LearningTimes & Pocket-Proof).
  • 28. Other data relationships, and accessing the raw data… ART MUSEUMS & HANDHELD GUIDES cont.5.10 Historically, handheld guides have been more regularly used in art museums than in other types of museums. However the survey results may indicate towards a shifting in this balance.5.11 Q36: Which of the following best describes your Institution? Other types Art Museums of Museum Museum currently using handheld guide 65% 35% Museum not currently using handheld 36% 64% guide, but intending to in next five years5.12 The reasons behind these difference / balance, and how this affects each types of museums objectives for, and use of, handheld guides would be interesting to probe further, both through this survey data and future research. Tallon, Loïc. The use, challenges & future of handheld guides in museums. (December 2009: LearningTimes & Pocket-Proof).
  • 29. Other data relationships, and accessing the raw data… http://www.learningtimes.net/museumhandheldsurvey/5.13 To enable further analyses to take place - and hopefully increase the value of this project for the community - the survey raw data can be accessed at the following web site: http://www.learningtimes.net/museumhandheldsurvey/5.14 We encourage any / all interested parties to participate in this further data analysis. In return we ask that you please post your findings to the site’s message boards so that they be shared with the community.5.15 Equally, if you have any questions about this survey, suggestions on content for, or the distribution of, next years survey, or are just interested to participate in similar further research projects, please contact us through this web site.5.16 And finally, thank you again to everyone who took the survey: we hope you find the results interesting!! Tallon, Loïc. The use, challenges & future of handheld guides in museums. (December 2009: LearningTimes & Pocket-Proof).
  • 30. About Pocket-Proof & Learning TimesThe 2009 International Handheld Guides Survey was developed by Learning Times andLoïc Tallon, director/founder of Pocket-Proof.Pocket-Proof is a digital consultancy specialized in the research, development andevaluation of mobile interpretation tools in museums. Pocket-Proof was founded by LoïcTallon, co-editor of one of the leading books in this field, Digital Technologies and theMuseum Experience: Handheld Guides and Other Media (Alta Mira Press, 2008) and aconsultant with mobile interpretation project experience with institutions including EnglishHeritage, the Shakespeare’s Globe, the Watts Gallery, the Abu Dhabi Louvre, and theKhalsa Heritage Centre, India. See www.pocket-proof.comLearning Times produces unique online events, multi-day conferences and onlinelearning programs for museums, education, non-profit and learning-minded organizationsaround the globe. Their partners and clients include groups like the SmithsonianInstitution, American Association of Museums, American Association of State and LocalHistory, the New York City Department of Education, the University of Hawaii, EducationDevelopment Center, Wiley / Jossey-Bass Publishing, and public television station WHYY,among scores of others. See www.learningtimes.net Tallon, Loïc. The use, challenges & future of handheld guides in museums. (December 2009: LearningTimes & Pocket-Proof).
  • 31. THANK YOU.http://www.learningtimes.net/museumhandheldsurvey/Hashtag: #handheldsurveyEmail: loic@pocket-proof.comCite as:Tallon, Loïc. The use, challenges & future of handheld guides in museums: An overview of the findingsfrom the 2009 International Handheld Guide Survey. (December 2009: LearningTimes & Pocket-Proof),published at http://www.learningtimes.net/museumhandheldsurvey/ Tallon, Loïc. The use, challenges & future of handheld guides in museums. (December 2009: LearningTimes & Pocket-Proof).

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