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Digital Storytelling: The Dream, the Team the Results


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Slide deck from AAM Annual Meeting in 2015: Digital Storytelling: The Dream, the Team, the Results
Media and Technology track
Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Museums can deepen audience engagement through effective storytelling. Delivering content has never been easier, due to digital interfaces and personal, portable technologies. Without a strong interpretive strategy and the right tools to craft and share our stories, we may be missing opportunities. Join this panel of experts as they describe real-world projects, share results that show the impact of digital storytelling on engagement, and demonstrate a new, free storytelling software.

Learner Outcomes
1. Attendees will learn about interpretive strategy methods and the project team approach to create and share engaging stories on digital platforms.

2. Attendees will learn about combining rapid prototyping methods with formal evaluations to create digital storytelling that delights audiences.

3. Attendees will learn how to download and use a free (open source) set of storytelling software tools developed by the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.

Published in: Technology
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Digital Storytelling: The Dream, the Team the Results

  1. 1. Midsummer Night’s Dream, Samuel A. Cousins , 1858, From the collection of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts
  2. 2. What’s this session all about? DH
  3. 3. DH TDX: The Digital Experience project at the MIA
  4. 4. What is the MIA? DH
  5. 5. DH
  6. 6. Who are we? DH
  7. 7. Douglas Hegley Director of Media and Technology Minneapolis Institute of Arts DH The Team Alex Bortolot Content Strategist Minneapolis Institute of Arts Mike Mouw Director of Multimedia Technology High Museum of Art (soon) Amanda Thompson Rundahl Director of Learning and Engagement Saint Louis Art Museum Scott Sayre Chief Digital Officer Corning Museum of Glass … and a cast of thousands!
  8. 8. Credits: The TDX cross-functional project team members included staff from the following museum divisions: Curatorial, Learning Innovation, Audience Engagement, Visual Resources, and Media and Technology. The project team ultimately extended to include several other departments of the museum. Douglas Hegley: Executive Sponsor, Director of Media and Technology, project conception Karleen Gardner: Steering Committee, Director of Learning Innovation, interpretive writing Matthew Welch: Steering Committee, Deputy Director and Chief Curator Mike Mouw: TDX Project Manager, project coordination Alex Bortolot: Curatorial Content Strategist, research, content creation, interpretive writing, story editing Paige Patet: TDX Project Assistant, project coordination, content creation, interpretive writing, story editing Amanda Thompson Rundahl: Head of Interpretation, content creation, interpretive writing Andreas Marks, Chris Atkins, David Little, Dennis Jon, Eike Schmidt, Erika Holmquist-Wall, Jan-Lodewijk Grootaers, Jennifer Komar Olivarez, Jill Ahlberg Yohe, Liz Armstrong, Nicole LaBouf, Patrick Noon, Rachel McGarry, Risha Lee, Thomas Rassieur, Yang Liu: Curators, research, content creation, and interpretive writing Dawn Fahlstrom, Heather Everhart, Kristin Lenaburg, Kristine Clarke, Natasha Thoreson, Nicole Soukup, Nicole Wankel, Roma Rowland: Curatorial Administrative Assistants, WordPress authoring, image and video acquisition, rights coordination Britta Jepsen, Camille Erickson, Elise Poppen, Laura Scroggs, Laurel Gramling, Zachary Forstrom: Curatorial Interns, research, interpretive writing Meaghan Tongen: Media and Technology Project Coordinator, agile software development ScrumMaster, rights coordinator, WordPress training Jennifer Jurgens: Graphic Designer-Web/Interactive Media, interface design and layout, art direction Tom Borger: Web Developer, WordPress plugin development, front end integration Kjell Olsen: Web Developer, image tiling / annotation development, front end integration Andrew David: Head of Software Development, API development, infrastructure design Tim Gihring: Editor, content creation, interpretive writing Amanda Hankerson, Ana Taylor, Charles Walbridge, Dan Dennehy: Photography Josh Lynn: Digital image processing, metadata coordination, image file preparation Heidi Raatz: Image rights consultation Mike Dust: Video and audio producer/director Ryan Lee, Xiaolu Wang: Videography, video editing, installation Mike Tibbetts, Rose Nelson, Ryan Jensen, Steve Scidmore: IT support, installation, maintenance Frances Lloyd-Baynes: TMS consultation Michael Lapthorn, VJAA: gallery iPad furniture design Al Silberstein, Shawn Holster, Tom Myers: iPad furniture construction Steve Johnson: Electrician Sort of Not Kidding DH … and this isn’t even everyone!
  9. 9. DH Minneapolis St. Louis Corning Atlanta The Team? “The only thing that is constant is change” - Heraclitus
  10. 10. Why? DH
  11. 11. Source: DH
  12. 12. DH
  13. 13. DH
  14. 14. It starts, and ends, with PEOPLE
  15. 15. Museums are Awesome!
  16. 16. What is storytelling? What makes it effective? DH
  17. 17. Storytelling in the Museum Setting AB
  18. 18. To engage audiences: MIA is making shifts in tone, voice, length, appeal, etc. Example ArtStories introduction for Beer Pot, Unknown Artist, Zulu Culture AB Museum Shifts How is brewing beer like growing babies? The Zulu believe the same ancestral forces that ferment beer also create children in the womb. Zulu families will drink beer together and ask their ancestors to help grow the brood. Round, shiny black pots like this one are at the center of Zulu beer parties, refreshing the living while linking them to past family ancestors. Beer pot, mid-20th century, Artist Unknown, (South Africa, Africa), Clay, Anonymous gift of funds, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, 99.115.1 Breaking News: Zulu Beer Pot ArtStory recognized in 2015’s Excellence in Exhibition Label Writing Competition
  19. 19. Language processing Language comprehension Smells Emotions Emotional reactions Memories Motor cortex Visual Images Your Brain on Facts Your Brain on Stories Human beings prefer narrative - No one speaks in database AB
  20. 20. How does MIA use stories to engage? DH
  21. 21. GENERAL PUBLIC THE ENGAGED, CURIOUS NICHE PARTICIPANTS Snorkeling Scuba diving Participant Identities Based on John Falk, Identity and the Museum Visitor Experience (2009) • Each identity will have participants from all three categories (although not in equal proportion) • Any given person may inhabit any of the identities, based on each visit motivation 1. Explorer 2. Facilitator 3. Experience Seeker 4. Professional/Hobbyist 5. Recharger Surface swimming Wading ATR
  22. 22. Audience Insights Research EXPLORER / PROFESSIONAL 52% EXPERIENCE SEEKER 27% FACILITATING SOCIALIZER 8% FACILITATING PARENTS 7% RECHARGER 6% Brand champions Targeted programing already in place OK ATR
  23. 23. PARTICIPANTS CONTENT: Overall Interpretive Framework The majority of our audiences do not come to us with deep prior knowledge. In order to engage as many of them as we can, it is our responsibility to deliver content that meets multiple and varied needs. ATR GENERAL PUBLIC THE ENGAGED, CURIOUS NICHE Snorkeling Scuba diving Surface swimming Wading
  24. 24. CONTEXT Introduction What is this? Why does it matter? CONTENT Narratives & stories From surface to complex Tell me more … EXPERTISE Deep, rich Scholarly research The foundation of details & facts INFORMATION Invite, welcome Inspire, delight Inform CONTENT: Layers of Information PARTICIPANTS This is not, and never will be, “dumbing things down”. Instead, this is opening as many doors as possible, and meeting our audiences where they are, with respect and enthusiasm. ATR GENERAL PUBLIC THE ENGAGED, CURIOUS NICHE Snorkeling Scuba diving Surface swimming Wading
  25. 25. “Never overestimate your audience’s knowledge and never underestimate their intelligence” - Glenn Frank (1887-1940) ATR Thomas Struth “Audience 1 (Galleria Dell Accademia), Florenz”, 2010.51.2, Minneapolis Institute of Arts
  26. 26. What exactly is TDX at MIA? DH
  27. 27. MM BEFORE: “The nursing home of museum technology” - MIA staff, 2012
  28. 28. • Establish a modern approach • Engage audiences via digital platforms • Overall TDX Project Goals - Social interaction - Informal learning MM Ambition!
  29. 29. Key Messages (Example from TDX Interactive Map of Africa treatment) Africa is and always has been globally connected. Visitors will understand and appreciate the vast scale of Africa and the incredible diversity of cultures and art objects offered by the continent Experience Objectives (Example from TDX Interactive Map of Africa treatment) 1. Museum visitors will feel that they better understand the African Galleries art objects, and why they are in the museum. 2. There is lively social interaction between visitors which is facilitated by the interactive map, with discussions that this art collection has been influenced by global ideas flowing into and out from Africa. 3. Visitors will appreciate the richness and variety of African art in the museum’s collection and the cultures that made the objects. MM
  30. 30. FUNDING Thank you! MM
  31. 31. • Phase 1: Africa Eight month team production schedule to create new software experiences for an 82 inch Perceptive Pixel by Microsoft touch wall and ArtStories on gallery iPads for the redesigned African Galleries • Phase 2: Collection Highlights One year team production schedule for the museum-wide launch of ArtStories on iPads in the galleries via a responsive design website—also works on vistors’ smartphones, digital tablets, or personal computers • Phase 3: Japan – underway Six month team production schedule to add social learning experiences to the Minneapolis Institute of Art’s growing Japanese art collection MM Phases
  32. 32. What tools does TDX use? DH
  33. 33. SS Evaluated: PACHYDERM SS
  34. 34. SS Evaluated: IMA TAP
  35. 35. SS Evaluated: AIC LaunchPad
  36. 36. SS
  37. 37. SS Mike Mouw (just about) fainted – we had less than FIVE MONTHS to launch! Mike, are you okay? Mike?
  38. 38. SS
  39. 39. SS MIA Griot
  40. 40. Griot
  41. 41. How does the TDX Project function? DH
  42. 42. MM Establish Goals: Treatment docs
  43. 43. MM Front End Evaluation
  44. 44. Rapid Prototyping Hard hats! MM
  45. 45. Iteration MM
  46. 46. Remedial Evaluation MM
  47. 47. How do you involve all those staff? DH
  48. 48. ATR Starts and Ends with Audience
  49. 49. ATR Work Sessions
  50. 50. Collaboration ATR
  51. 51. How do you craft the stories? DH
  52. 52. To remain viable, museums must rethink not only what types of knowledge they create, but how/with whom they create it, and finally how they communicate it. AB
  53. 53. Scholarship is the foundation of our work. Start there. Everyone likes an underdog. Don’t do just the highlights. Level with the visitor. Speak to universal experiences. Good stories trade on the visitor’s empathy • Who are your characters? • What is the situation? • What decisions did they make? • What were the stakes? AB Choosing stories – Which ones? Why those?
  54. 54. If you do nothing else, get rid of the passive voice. The passive voice denies people of their agency – and sounds like we’re hedging. The active voice shifts the focus to people doing stuff. I hate this guy, don’t you? AB
  55. 55. AB Writing Workshops Professional writing consultation from Kris Wetterlund, helped inform: writing-about-art-for-museum-educators/
  56. 56. Is it an app, or is it a website? What’s the difference? DH
  57. 57. WebApp, not Native App =
  58. 58. Responsive Design One URL = multiple devices
  59. 59. SS Native App Pros • Stored on device • May not require network • App stores • Access to all hardware • May be faster Cons • Device specific • Requires App store download • Requires download to update Web App vs. Pros • All browsers/platforms • Responsive - All devices • URL not download • Always up to date • Lightweight • Some bookmarking • Less expensive • More sustainable Cons • Requires network • Hardware access limitations: camera, Bluetooth, GPS, etc.
  60. 60. What did TDX deliver? DH
  61. 61. New Working Methods: Strong Collaboration, Rapid Prototyping and Iterative Cycles
  62. 62. Delivered: Interactive Map
  63. 63. Delivered: ArtStories
  64. 64. 6 Delivered: Study Table
  65. 65. What is open source? It’s free, right? DH
  66. 66. Open Source Software • “Free” download • No company • Community support • Can be modified • Susceptible to security issues • Requires technical support Commercial Software • License fee • Maintenance fee • Company support • Often can not be modified • May require less tech support Open Source
  67. 67. Griot is free and open source Griot is available for download at GitHub SS
  68. 68. Has TDX been successful? DH
  69. 69. AB Formal Evaluation
  70. 70. AB Methods
  71. 71. Major Findings AB
  72. 72. • Visitors will use technology in the galleries. • They will spend a significant amount of time with the technology, and will read aloud and discuss as they do so. • The technology was used effectively and with positive response by individuals and groups.
  73. 73. • The use of technology does not detract from visitor focus on the art. • When visitors left the gallery, the descriptions of their visit were almost exclusively about the art, and notably not about the technology.
  74. 74. • People who used the technology spent more time in the exhibit than those that did not use the technology • even after subtracting the time spent using the technology
  75. 75. AB Next Up: Evaluation of Phase 2
  76. 76. Who else is using Griot? DH
  77. 77. Saint Louis Art Museum ATR
  78. 78. ATR
  79. 79. ATR
  80. 80. ATR The de Young (FAMSF)
  81. 81. Can we see it now please? DH
  82. 82. Live Demo(gasp!) Questions while we set up? DH
  83. 83. What’s next? What’s on the horizon for digital storytelling? DH
  84. 84. SS
  85. 85. Chinese, Dish with Design of Gardenia Sprays, early 18th century, Bequest of Edith J. and C.C. Johnson Spink Eero Saarinen, American (born Finland), Armchair, designed 1956, manufactured c.1960, Knoll Associates, Inc., New York, New York, Gift of Michael Ashworth Egyptian, Mummy Case of Amen-Nestawy- Nakht, c.900 B.C., Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Barney A. Ebsworth for the children of St. Louis ATR
  86. 86. MM
  87. 87. Minneapolis Institute of Arts AB Living Rooms: The Period Room Projects Our 18th century rooms speak about contemporary issues like race, gender, technology, & the 24-hour economy ArtStories focus on the Arts of Asia Global Maps (fingers crossed!) Stories of global trade and exchange told through a digital map interface
  88. 88. This presentation available at: Thank you! Questions? Douglas Hegley: @dhegley Alex Bortolot: Mike Mouw: @MikeMouw Scott Sayre: @zbartrout Amanda Thompson Rundahl: @AmandaTRundahl More information on Griot: