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Going Mobile at Balboa Park

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Visitor-led mobile content & experience development 1-day workshop at Balboa Park, San Diego.

Visitor-led mobile content & experience development 1-day workshop at Balboa Park, San Diego.

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  • How many people have taken an audio or multimedia tour? Did they enjoy their experience?
  • * Has this ever happened to you taking an audio tour? Expresses the aim of interpretation, be it in the gallery or elsewhere: to help us connect with what we’re seeing, care about it, and thereby open up to learning about it.
  • First, I assume if you’re here today it’s because you understand the need for interpretation in our museums. Like Tate, you do not assume that meaning is self-evident for the exhibits on display. In fact, inviting visitors to see our spectacular exhibitions and collections without offering them interpretation is like spreading a beautiful banquet before our guests - and then denying them cutlery to enjoy it with. sure, they may be able to partake, but it won’t be easy, or necessarily pleasant for our guests to eat with their hands or whatever ad hoc utensils they find nearby. They are almost certain to go away unsatisfied, and feeling insulted. Our multi-faceted virtual museum, awash in data and digital resources, requires multimodal access to turn that sea of information into meaningful insights for our publics.
  • First, I assume if you’re here today it’s because you understand the need for interpretation in our museums. Like Tate, you do not assume that meaning is self-evident for the exhibits on display. In fact, inviting visitors to see our spectacular exhibitions and collections without offering them interpretation is like spreading a beautiful banquet before our guests - and then denying them cutlery to enjoy it with. sure, they may be able to partake, but it won’t be easy, or necessarily pleasant for our guests to eat with their hands or whatever ad hoc utensils they find nearby. They are almost certain to go away unsatisfied, and feeling insulted. Our multi-faceted virtual museum, awash in data and digital resources, requires multimodal access to turn that sea of information into meaningful insights for our publics.
  • But in fact, I think of SAAM like this: a multinodal and multimodal network - a distributed network, in fact. My aim is to build content, experiences, and services that reach visitors wherever and whenever they happen to be on this network.
  • Yet all too often, visitors complain that audio tours give them this sort of experience: http://geschiedenis.vpro.nl/themasites/mediaplayer/index.jsp?media=19799217&refernr=19265092&portalnr=4158511&hostname=geschiedenis&mediatype=video&portalid=geschiedenis Although this video shows an example of one of the earliest tour technologies from the 1960s, excavated by Loic Tallon, the perception of audio tours is that they are not terribly different today in terms of inspiring a herd mentality among users, producing crowding around exhibits and a sort of dumbed-down, one-size-fits-all experience. All the issues that have plagued audio tours throughout their history are visible here: The linearity of the tour lead to a herd-mentality among visitors and crowding around exhibits In addition the challenges of: Hygiene: led to one of the earliest audio tour technology debates: headphones vs wands? Distribution issues always a challenge, but complexity also driven by technology choices, including the headphones or wand choice Very homogenous audience
  • Another way to represent this is as a multi-tiered architecture with up to three kinds of content: 1. -+-+-+-+-+ The Soundtrack 2. o o o o o The Soundbites 3. / | / | / Links
  • Museums are very good at soundbites: the wall label can be seen as a very basic, text-based soundbite. Although writing for the ear or video is not the same as writing for a label or catalogue, it is not such a huge task for museum staff to gain these skills and be able to produce good quality scripts for stops in-house. By contrast, you want a good storyteller writing your soundtracks if you don’t have someone as eloquent ‘off-the-cuff’ as Nicholas Serota!
  • What I like about this soundtrack; Given by the curator: visitors always like hearing from the expert, as long as s/he speaks relatively well! He gives us an overview with basic tools to understand Twombly’s work, both in this exhibition and beyond. He gives us a behind-the-scenes view, insight into what curation and the work of the museum is all about.
  • Reading the curator’s intention Keys to understanding the exhibition/display in its entirety Faster than reading (usually stops are slower than reading)
  • An example from an SFMOMA podcast. Like the Tate soundtrack, starts with an introduction and overview of the exhibition, followed by a couple of stops that take us into depth on specific objects.
  • But both the Tate & SFMOMA examples are linear media: not perhaps the best interface for accessing information on a mobile device, whether used inside the gallery or outside. ArtBabble offers a model for what could be an ideal interface for combining soundtrack, soundbites and links to third party content. It allows us to choose either to watch or hear a soundtrack overview of the exhibition or collection linearly, but also offers a notation system that can create ‘stops’ or soundbites at any point along that linear timeline. William Christenberry example Need to redefine 3 rd party content and think about it beyond ‘user-generated content’: e.g. SmartHistory.org
  • Another way to represent this is as a multi-tiered architecture with up to three kinds of content: 1. -+-+-+-+-+ The Soundtrack 2. o o o o o The Soundbites 3. / | / | / Links
  • Transcript

    • 1. Going Mobile at Balboa Park Nancy Proctor http://MuseumMobile.info Visitor-led mobile content & experience development
    • 2. Housekeeping
      • Questions & comments:
      • Hashtags: #mtogo #bpocmob
      • http://wiki.MuseumMobile.info
      • Ideas for continuing the discussion:
      • http://tatehandheldconference.pbworks.com
      • https://mcn2010.pbworks.com
    • 3.
      • Theory: audience-led mobile content & experience design
      • Practice : key messages, audiences & their questions
      • Pulling it all together : building your mobile interpretation plan
      Agenda for Today:
    • 4.
      • In 15 seconds or less:
      • Introduce yourself by name and affiliation;
      • Read your burning question or issue.
      Introductions
    • 5.
      • Interpretation is essential
      • Why mobile?
      • A new approach to designing mobile interpretation and experiences
      • From headphones…
      Part 1: Theory 40 slides to microphones
    • 6. Part 1: The Theory Audience-led mobile interpretation design
    • 7. Opening our eyes
    • 8. Interpretation is as essential to the Museum as cutlery is to a banquet Beth Lipman, Bancketje (Banquet) 2003

    • 9. If the Museum doesn’t provide it: Beth Lipman, Bancketje (Banquet) 2003

      • Some visitors may bring their own,
      • Some may eat only the finger food,
      • Some may choose another restaurant,
      • Many will go away hungry,
      feeling uninvited and unwelcome .
    • 10. Tate Modern’s Principles of Interpretation
      • Interpretation is at the heart of the gallery’s mission.
      • Works of art do not have self-evident meanings.
      • Works of art have a capacity for multiple readings; interpretation should make visitors aware of the subjectivity of any interpretive text.
      • Interpretation embraces a willingness to experiment with new ideas.
      • We recognise the validity of diverse audience responses to works of art.
      • Interpretation should incorporate a wide spectrum of voices and opinions from inside and outside the institution.
      • Visitors are encouraged to link unfamiliar artworks with their everyday experience.
    • 11. Where is interpretation?
    • 12. Photo by Mike Lee, 2007; from SAAM Flickr Group Audiences now access our content through a wide range of platforms beyond the museum’s walls and website
    • 13. The Museum has become a Distributed Network
    • 14. The Museum is transforming from Acropolis…
    • 15. … into Agora
    • 16.
      • A Community
      • A Site for Socratic Dialogue
      • A Marketplace for Ideas & Interpretations
      • An Opportunity for Civic Engagement
      • A Social Media Platform
      The Museum as Agora is:
    • 17. Why mobile?
    • 18. Mobile web use is surging
      • More than 63 million people accessed the Internet from their mobile devices in 2009 - double the number until Jan 2008 Comscore March 2009.
      • Nielsen reports surge in mobile web use driven by “Women, Teens, and Seniors” 30 September 2009 http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/online_mobile/mobile-web-up-34-percent-july-09/
      • English-speaking Hispanics are ardent users of wireless access, whether that is on a handheld device or a laptop computer. Overall, English-speaking Hispanics are the heaviest users of wireless onramps to the internet. Pew Internet Wireless Internet Use April 2009
      6 October 2009 Nancy Proctor, proctorn@si.edu DRAFT
    • 19.
      • April 2009 study by Pew Internet & American Life Project:
      • 32% of Americans have at some point used the internet on their mobile device.
      • 19% of Americans said they had yesterday accessed the internet on their mobile.
      • 50% say it is very important to them to have mobile access in order to stay in touch with other people.
      • 46% say mobile access is very important for getting online information on the go.
      • 17% say mobile access is very important to them so they can share or post online content while away from home or work.
      • http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2009/12-Wireless-Internet-Use.aspx?r=1
      6 October 2009 Nancy Proctor, proctorn@si.edu
    • 20. Convergence http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ILQrUrEWe8 6 October 2009
    • 21. At least half of the Museum’s platforms are already mobile. 6 October 2009
    • 22.  
    • 23. Fraunhofer Institute, Kunstmuseum Bonn: ‘Beat Zoderer’ exhibition (Listen project) 2003 Fraunhofer Institute, Kunstmuseum Bonn: ‘Beat Zoderer’ exhibition (Listen project) 2003 It’s NOT about the Technology
    • 24. Thinking outside the audiotour box Means thinking about content & experience
    • 25. Recent Research & Resources http://wiki.MuseumMobile.info/research
      • 2009
      • CHNM survey on Museums and Mobile Adoption
      • Learning Times International Survey on handheld use in museums.
      • 2008
      • Whitney Museum of American Art: Audio Guide Technologies Survey Final Report
      • 2007
      • Matthew Barney: Multiplatform interpretation at SFMOMA
      • La Placa Cohen Culture Track 2007 (with Antenna Audio)
    • 26. Who is your target audience?
      • Tied to mission & key messages
      • What are the desired outcomes? What do we want them to know, think and/or feel?
      • What platforms do they already use? How do they use them elsewhere & what excites them?
        • Traditional audio tours
        • Cellphones or smartphones
        • Podcasts
        • Mobile social media: SMS, Twitter, FB…
    • 27. A Minority of Visitors Use Technologies in the Galleries 2006 study by Randi Korn & Associates at SFMOMA BUT they use technology everywhere else: WWW = Whatever, Whenever, Wherever
    • 28. Question mapping in the gallery: What do they want to know?
      • Semi-structured interviews
      • FAQs and comments cards
      • Questions posed to staff…
    • 29. Collecting questions…
      • Online question collection:
        • Specialized Q&A services, e.g. AJOA
        • Comments on social media sites
      • Include audience research in order to segment
      • Go deeper with more experienced museum visitors
      • Where are visitors not being served by existing interpretation?
    • 30. Organize & Filter
      • Group questions:
        • Thematically
        • By object
        • By location
      • Prioritize by mission and key messages
      • Prioritize questions that elicit great stories
    • 31. Organize questions Painting Sculpture Folk Art Architecture Dramatic change in style in display Why multiples of same work? Lures aren’t art Story behind the architecture Triple painting?! Memory vessels: idea, ones with stones… Glad you dead you rascal you?!
    • 32. Which content modalities?
      • + - + - + - + - + Soundtracks
      • o o o o Soundbites
      • x x x x Interactives
      • | | | | Links
      • ^ ^ ^ ^ Feedback
      • § § § § Social media
      Narrowcast/ Offline or Networked Networked only
    • 33. Soundbite Sample
    • 34. Soundbites
      • Are ‘atoms’ of information.
      • Commonly called ‘stops’ – or ‘starts’!
      • Facilitate going deeper on a specific object/subject.
      • Usually require a visual (actual object or image).
      • Can be collectable & portable to other platforms e.g. via bookmarking, saving or sharing.
      • Can be reused across the museum’s analog & digital platforms as well as those of third parties.
    • 35. Soundtrack Sample
    • 36. The Soundtrack
      • Recalls original ‘linear’ audio tours.
      • Provides a sequential narrative and contextual information: tools for understanding the principles of the displays, both in the gallery and beyond .
      • Immersive, but may be divided into a number of connected segments.
      • ‘ Downloaded’ for audiences on-site and beyond.
      • Like a good album, book or catalogue, should be possible to enjoy over & over again…
    • 37. Soundtracks & Soundbites Combined
    • 38. ArtBabble: the ideal interface http://www.artbabble.org/video/meet-william-christenberry
    • 39. Identify soundtracks & soundbites Painting Sculpture Folk Art Architecture Dramatic change in style in display Why multiples of same work? Lures aren’t art Story behind the architecture Triple painting?! Memory vessels: idea, ones with stones… Glad you dead you rascal you?!
    • 40. Architecture Tour
      • History of the building, style, architect
      • ----------+--------------+------------------+--------
        • O O O
        • Tiles Skylights Ironwork
    • 41. Folk Art Tour
      • Why is folk art, art?
      • ----+-------------------+------------------+-----------
      • / / /
      • O O O
        • Lures Memory vessels Glad you dead…
    • 42. How best to tell the story & create the atmosphere?
      • Monologue:
        • Artists & curators
        • Staff
        • Related experts
        • Professional narrators
      • Reinactments/ plays
      • Interview
      • Dialogue
      • Vox pop / comments
      • Music
    • 43.
      • Knowledgeable or insightful – trusted
      • Relates to the mission or key messages
      • Good communicator with target audience
        • Engaging voice
        • Confident manner
        • Makes it relevant
      • Facilitates the desired outcomes
      Who best to tell the story?
    • 44. The audiences talk back
      • Comments and questions (audio/text/links)
      • Search-research-share
      • Bookmark/Email/SMS to self
      • Collect (MyCollection, ArtStream)
      • Share (Twitter, Facebook, SMS)
      • Forum
      • Voting (show the polls!)
      • Quizzes/games (multimedia/SMS)
      • Mobile giving
    • 45. The right vehicle for your content Audio player Multimedia player Cellphone Personal media player Smart Mobile Browser phones Mobile App Soundtrack x x (x) X X X Soundbite X X X x X X Interactive X X X Link X X x Feedback X X X Social media X X
    • 46. Platform considerations
      • What does your content map require - ideally?
      • What kind of location-based/content triggering solution do your visitors & experience need – really ?
      • What do your sponsors/funders require?
      • Can you support network connectivity at your site?
      • Can you manage user-generated content?
      • Can you support multiple platforms?
      • Users’ own devices or supplied on-site?
      • Can you update content across the platform(s)?
      • What is your upgrade path (in at least 2 year increments)?
    • 47. Mission: SI: Increase and diffusion of knowledge. AA: Be the resource and facilitator for experiencing, understanding and engaging with American art in the US and the world. Objectives: Repeat visitors; Membership sales; Integration into the curriculum
    • 48. Break Please have paper & pen/pencil when you return for Part 2…
    • 49. Part 2: The Practice Key messages, target audiences & their questions
    • 50. Identify your target audience(s)
        • Explorers
        • Facilitators
        • Experience seekers
        • Professionals/Hobbyists
        • Rechargers
        • Virtual visitors
        • Non-visitors
      Falk’s Identity Segmentations
    • 51. Key messages
      • Please list one to three main ideas visitors will take away from visiting the site or exhibition. What objects or didactic components of the presentations will help them learn this?
      • Describe the rationale and originality of the presentation. Is the site or exhibition bringing new scholarship to the field, exposing an under-recognized subject, etc.? Why is this presentation important now?
      • Please note other interpretive components at the site that should be considered (labels, docent tours, audio tour, in-gallery videos, interactive feature, blogs, etc.). Are you aware of existing media created by other organizations that address the key messages/topics of this presentation?
      SFMOMA's "Interpretive Goals Questionnaire” http://www.archimuse.com/mw2009/papers/samis/samis.html
    • 52. Working with objects & questions
      • Display your object
      • Write down questions about your partner’s object
      • Ask each other your questions
      • Analyze the kinds of questions: can you group them? E.g.
        • Formal
        • Functional
        • Existential
        • Relational
        • Emotional
      • Roughly what % of questions fall into each category?
    • 53. Question-mapping
    • 54. Lunch & On-site Question-mapping
    • 55. Part 3: Putting it all together Building your mobile plan
    • 56. Set up your worksheet
      • Mission
      • Objectives
      • Target audience(s)
      • Key messages
    • 57. 1. Organize & Filter Questions
      • Group questions:
        • Thematically
        • By object
        • By location
      • Prioritize by mission and key messages
      • Prioritize questions that elicit great stories
      10 min
    • 58. 2. Identify content modalities
      • + - + - + - + - + Soundtracks
      • o o o o Soundbites
      • x x x x Interactives
      • | | | | Links
      • ^ ^ ^ ^ Feedback
      • § § § § Social media
      Narrowcast/ Offline or Networked Networked only 10 min
    • 59. 3. Choose your voices
      • Monologue:
        • Artists & curators
        • Staff
        • Related experts
        • Professional narrators
      • Reinactments/ plays
      • Interview
      • Dialogue
      • Vox pop / comments
      • Music
      10 min
    • 60. 4. Engage in a dialogue
      • Comments and questions (audio/text/links)
      • Search-research-share
      • Bookmark/Email/SMS to self
      • Collect (MyCollection, ArtStream)
      • Share (Twitter, Facebook, SMS)
      • Forum
      • Voting (show the polls!)
      • Quizzes/games (multimedia/SMS)
      • Mobile giving
      10 min
    • 61. 5. Choose your platform
      • What does your content map require - ideally?
      • What kind of location-based/content triggering solution do your visitors & experience need – really ?
      • What do your sponsors/funders require?
      • Can you support network connectivity at your site?
      • Can you manage user-generated content?
      • Can you support multiple platforms?
      • Users’ own devices or supplied on-site?
      • Can you update content across the platform(s)?
      • What is your upgrade path (in at least 2 year increments)?
      10 min
    • 62. Mission: SI: Increase and diffusion of knowledge. AA: Be the resource and facilitator for experiencing, understanding and engaging with American art in the US and the world. Objectives: Repeat visitors; Membership sales; Integration into the curriculum
    • 63. http://picasaweb.google.com/anup.rao/HaifaAkkoIsrael#4954285426665324562 From Headphones to Microphones: From “ we do the talking” to “we help you do the talking.”
    • 64. A Smarthistory Dialogue
    • 65.
      • http://museummobile.info/ wiki, blog & podcasts
      • Conferences:
        • Museums & the Web, April 13-17, 2010, Denver, CO
        • Tate Handheld Conference Sept 2010, London & 2008 archive: http://tatehandheldconference.pbworks.com/
        • MCN Oct 28-30, 2010, Austin, TX
        • Online HandheldConference archive (June 2009) & forthcoming: http://www.handheldconference.org/program/
      • Beth Harris & Steven Zucker, SmartHistory http://SmartHistory.org
      • Koven Smith: http://prezi.com/67549/ & http://www.archimuse.com/mw2009/papers/smith/smith.html
      • SFMOMA (Peter Samis & Stephanie Pau): http://www.archimuse.com/mw2007/papers/samis/samis.html & http://www.archimuse.com/mw2009/papers/samis/samis.html
      • Nancy Proctor: [email_address] @nancyproctor http://MuseumMobile.info
      • With many thanks to Kate Haley-Goldman for her help with this paper!
      Opportunities to continue our work: