Six Norwegian Museums
How can an app enhance the museum experience?
In September 2012, six of Norway's most prestigious museums, approached us with the challenge of creating a common app focusing on families and youth. The goal was to enhance the experience of the visit by creating activities along the journey, increase participation and introduce additional information about the different art collections.
With so many stakeholders it was only natural that the brief was trying to cover everything and everybody. The list of “what the app should be”, included audio guides, augmented reality, games (such as turing artworks into puzzles), news feed, quiz games, interviews, drawing competitions, users commenting on artworks, push notifications, statistics, cms, gps positioning of artwork and map integration – to mention a few.
It was clear what this project needed was new perspective: a clear and consistent story with solutions that was based on user patterns and needs, rather than a list of functionalities.
Our starting point was to understand the service as a journey, and the value it would have for the user – before, during and after the visit to the museum. To promote art through various activities, participation and reflection – at the right time. We believe that this approach would be of key importance for the service to be perceived as valuable and relevant.
Experience + Share
Notify & invite
Plan & check calendar
Inspire & inform
Notify & invite
Guide to & inside of museum
Check in & share
Drill down + Be Updated
Further, the goal is that every time people interact with the museum, we draw them to closer to create a relationship. For this to happen, we have to try to anticipate the encounters and needs at the various touch points, and guide the visitors.
We saw potential in ways to strengthen the relation with frequent visitors and families, and found several business opportunities in these initiatives.
We created tools and services for visitors to better plan their visits to the museum – our ideas included: selling tickets in an app, supplying additional material of the exhibitions, overviews of material available in the reading/media room, access to catalogues, ways to allow the visitor to visit exhibitions more than once (some art projects require more than one visit), an annual family pass that could be valid for all six museums, a “friends of the museum” membership with a range of benefits and advantages, such as free admission to the museum’s temporary and permanent exhibitions, free access and preferential reserve bookings for our activities, preview-visits to the exhibitions and artists’ studios, meetings with exhibition curators, etc.
With so many stakeholders, feature requests and short time (a plan to publish in May 2013, meaning 6 months for the whole project), with content and services that would require investments in both infrastructure, content development and editorial - as well as developing the app itself - we proposed a different way of working:
Everybody working in the same direction
We didn’t get the project, but we learned a lot in the process. We believe the artwork alone has value enough when visiting a museum. Instead use the opportunity to create a lasting relationship to the museum.