Design principles for creating mobile experiences in museums.


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We share principles and processes for designing mobile experiences in museums based on research across a wide range of cultural organisations

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  • I’m guessing a lot of you are here today because you believe that mobile might offer you opportunities to do something for your organization and you want to do it well. This presentation has been inspired by a number of conversations that I’ve had with people over the last few months all of whom share that ambition but are feeling a little, shall we say, challenged.
    In retrospect, perhaps our hopes were impossibly high.  Mobile was going to enable us to deliver unlimited amounts of information as ever lower cost, apps would offer up new income streams.  It turns out that its all a little more complicated and over this year what I have begun to hear is concern over failure - a fear that if you get it wrong there is a chance you will never get the chance to do something ‘mobile’ again.
    And yet we can many of us still see an opportunity.
    The interesting thing for me, is that if an exhibition fails – no one throws up their arms and shouts exhibitions don’t work because we know they can work. We would be able to say  that the narrative hadn’t been thought through, that the labels weren’t well written or the layout didn’t work or it was a great idea, badly implemented. But we wouldn’t give up on exhibitions.
    When it comes to exhibitions? have enough evidence and we design principles (always evolving but still principles) that if you make the right decisions they CAN work.
    Mobile is the same – but somehow if it doesn’t work at the moment and do what certain people think it should the entire platform gets the blame.
    The good news is that we are starting to gather evidence. It’s now time to begin to master mobile as a tool and identify where to use it.
  • So my aim for today is to give you some of that evidence, to think about some processes and some design principles that will help you have those conversations.
  • A lot of energy goes into thinknig about content – what information we can convey to our audiences, and a lot goes into the experience design in product terms. What tends to get neglected – at least until the last moment – are all the other areas of service. These are often harder problems to resolve nto least because if you’re in the digital or interpretation department, front of house and marketing for example isnt in your control. But getting the service aspects right is crucial. Here’s an example
  • The V&A offer a comprehensive free wifi service. At the moment this service is not marketed
  • Is this about concerns using smartphones as guides?
  • this is an interesting principle both in terms of marketing to visitors and to colleagues - one of the biggest barriers to take up accordig to the MA survey was no dedicated budget! They need to communicate it not as a digital project but as a learngi/interpretation/marketing... project
  • While Non users do use some negative descriptors, the lack of descriptors used in comparison to users is far more striking
  • So we can see some real opportunties here.
    Some caution –there is a difference between supporting and enhancing what they are doing and and barging in, trying to change what they do
    Results from V&A
  • Design principles for creating mobile experiences in museums.

    1. 1. Frankly, Green + Created for: Webb All In Hand: Mobile Technology + Museums Presented by: Alyson Webb Date issued: November 2013
    2. 2. We work with cultural organisations to help them design, evolve and improve their digital services. Frankly, Green + Webb
    3. 3. We specialise in mobile. Frankly, Green + Webb
    4. 4. After the Gold Rush Frankly, Green + Webb
    5. 5. Share some of our design principles, our processes and the evidence behind them. Frankly, Green + Webb
    6. 6. Service Design Principles Frankly, Green + Webb
    7. 7. 1. Design a service not a product Frankly, Green + Webb
    8. 8. Service design • Operations • Processes • People • Marketing Experience design Content design • Communication • Infrastructure • Software • Hardware • Information • Help • UX Frankly, Green + Webb
    9. 9. How Likely are Visitors to Use the Free Wifi Service? Frankly, Green + Webb
    10. 10. In the main, visitors’ concerns about using their smartphones in the museum centred on practical concerns about cost and battery life 1 in 5 visitors had no concerns at all about using their smartphones Frankly, Green + Webb
    11. 11. 2. Design the service around specific audience motivations Frankly, Green + Webb
    12. 12. Who Uses the Audio Guide? Frankly, Green + Webb
    13. 13. 4. What are your main objectives in offering mobile technologies? (Select up to three) To widen access for people with special needs (eg visually-impaired visitors) 27% To raise our public profile/marketing 18% To provide visitor information (eg opening times) 24% To provide primary interpretation to visitors 18% To provide additional content to visitors 68% To provide access for people with a foreign language 8% To provide a more engaging visitor experience 67% To keep up with visitor demand 28% To keep up with museum peers 13% To generate income 17% To attract new visitors 33% To allow visitor participation 26% Received funding for mobile project 7% As part of education programme 11% 0% Frankly, Green + Webb 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80%
    14. 14. 3. Market the benefits not the technology Frankly, Green + Webb
    15. 15. Communicating The Benefits Of The Service To Non-Users Non-Users have few negative perceptions of the guide… They have little perception of the guide at all Frankly, Green + Webb
    16. 16. This is the audioguide hand out location. Less than half of the visitors take the free audioguide Frankly, Green + Webb
    17. 17. 4. Decide what you would like to see and make that happen Frankly, Green + Webb
    18. 18. “(we) liked when the story referred to things in the museum and asked you to find them.” Frankly, Green + Webb “probably would have walked past Fire of London picture otherwise.”
    19. 19. 5. Develop services that improve, extend or piggy-back on natural visitor behaviours Frankly, Green + Webb
    20. 20. Q. What activities did you engage in using your smartphone, that enhanced your gallery or cultural visit? Took a photo/video of art/ objects on view 83% Took a photo/video friends and/or family 39% Shared photos/videos with family/friends 34% Visited a gallery/museum website 31% Searched for info about art/ paintings on view 29% Checked for visitor info 29% Shared the experience via social media 28% Downloaded a gallery app Played a game Other Frankly, Green + Webb 11% 6% 4%
    21. 21. 6. Do something small and do it well. Frankly, Green + Webb
    22. 22. Frankly, Green + Webb
    23. 23. 7. Physical context and mobile experience has to work together Frankly, Green + Webb
    24. 24. “there was somewhere quiet to read - like the house” Frankly, Green + Webb “…the saxon roundhouse where we sat and watched the videos and then thought about what made our house a home and what differences the were between ours and theirs”
    25. 25. Process Frankly, Green + Webb
    26. 26. 1. 2. Work cross-departmentally 1. Show evidence of how your visitors are using mobile in the gallery already 2. Agree on a set of principles 3. Be clear and honest about what mobile does well and what it does badly 4. Make use of what is already out there. 5. Webb Set the expectation of iteration 2. Frankly, Green + Start mobile 1. 9 tips on process Start small Map the whole visitor journey
    27. 27. Images thanks to Flickr Commons: The hidden treasures of the Worlds Public Archives Frankly, Green + Created for: Webb All In Hand: Mobile Technology + Museums Presented by: Alyson Webb e: t: @FranklyGW w: Date issued: November 2013