The Handheld Handbook: Capturing best practices in mobile interpretation for museums


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A presentation from Museums and the Web 2009.

Allegra Burnette, The Museum of Modern Art, USA
Daniel Incandela, Indianapolis Museum of Art, USA
Nancy Proctor, Smithsonian American Art Museum, USA
Peter Samis, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, USA
Koven Smith, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, USA

Aimed at both experienced mobile developers and museum professionals just getting started with handheld platforms, this workshop is designed to capture and share best practice in developing mobile interpretation programs in museums. We hope both to help those new to these platforms get started and avoid common pitfalls, and to gather new ideas and challenges to carry the conversation to the next level and begin collectively developing the next generation of mobile solutions.

In the first 20 minutes of the session, four presenters will review ‘top tips’ mapped by an earlier workshop of 30 museum professionals from around the world with experience in the full range of handheld platforms. These Mind Maps cover four major areas of handheld development, and can be found online on the Handheld Wiki that came out of this earlier workshop:

* Handheld basics: good tour design
* Choosing the platform: audio tour, cellphone, iPhone, proprietary devices...
* Getting it done: what you can do in-house, outsource, cutting costs & attracting revenues
* Advanced handhelds: working cross-platform & pre-purposing content; the virtuous circle of pre-, during- & post-visit services; next generation (UGC, social networking...)

Two demos of key ‘next generation’ handheld developments will then be presented (10 min), followed by small group discussion in response to the presentations (20 min). The discussion will be facilitated by contributors to the original Mind Maps and Handheld Wiki. In closing, participants will be asked to report back to the whole group in response to the questions:

* What works and doesn’t work for your museum of what you’ve seen presented today? The answers to this question will help us in the ongoing refinement of our best practice recommendations.
* What would you propose/like to develop instead? Here we collect new ideas and look towards next generation mobile interpretation requirements.

The outcomes of the workshop discussion will be added to the Handheld Wiki so that the conversation and collaboration can continue. Workshop participants can also join the Wiki before the workshop, to post questions and key issues for the presenters and facilitators to address.

The paper that accompanies this mini-workshop is Smith, K., The Future of Mobile Interpretation

Mini-Workshop: Handhelds: Best Practices [Mini-Workshop]

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The Handheld Handbook: Capturing best practices in mobile interpretation for museums

  1. 1. The Handheld Wiki <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Click ‘Research Wiki’ </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>17 April 2009 Handheld Workshop, Museums & the Web 2009
  2. 2. What is mobile?
  3. 3. Where (and when) is mobile?
  4. 4. Why do we need mobile?
  5. 5. Who uses mobile?
  6. 6. How should we build mobile?
  7. 7. 17 April 2009 Handheld Workshop, Museums & the Web 2009
  8. 8. 17 April 2009 Handheld Workshop, Museums & the Web 2009
  9. 9. 17 April 2009 Handheld Workshop, Museums & the Web 2009
  10. 10. The Future of Mobile <ul><li>Applications, not devices </li></ul>Nancy Proctor, 5 September 2008 [email_address]
  11. 11. The Future of Mobile <ul><li>Information-rich experiences; more Web-like </li></ul><ul><li>Increased information depth & context </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on experience and visitor choice </li></ul>Nancy Proctor, 5 September 2008 [email_address]
  12. 12. The Future of Mobile <ul><li>More meaningful “tours” </li></ul><ul><li>Location and wayfinding </li></ul><ul><li>True user-generated content </li></ul><ul><li>Quick turnarounds/experiments </li></ul>Nancy Proctor, 5 September 2008 [email_address]