You can blog your questions about mobile interpretation for museums and cultural institutions here, or tweet them with the #mtogo hashtag and we'll add them to this page.NB: You'll need editing privileges in order to create and update posts to this section.
Register and email us to get set up (takes about 24 hours).
- Please categorize your posts "Mobile FAQs" to get them to appear on this page.
Alternatively, you can tweet your questions using the widget under the login bar at the bottom right of each page of this site. Don't forget to include the #mtogo hashtag!
If you'd like to chime in with an answer to an FAQ, please add it by clicking on the 'Replies' link below the question.
Posted by Nancy Proctor on | May 15, 2013 | 2 Replies
The following represents a working list of success metrics that museums are using to evaluate their mobile experiences. Please assist us by adding to this list, raising questions or clarifying points.
- Usage analytics
- Reviews/ratings in app stores (quality and quantity)
- Comments (quality and quantity)
- Engagement spectrum (from spectating through creating)
- Variety and quality of contributions (for crowdsourcing)
- Pre-, during and Post-visit usage
- Visitor surveys
- Integration with museum offerings (interpretative and educational)
- Integration with museum systems (collections, website, social media)
- Sustainability (ease/cost of maintenance)
- Cost per user (compared to other offerings)
- New audience reach (reaching targeted or underserved demographics)
- Improving audience diversity (cultural and socio-economic, multi-lingual, accessibility)
- Press reviews (quality and quantity)
- Compared to other apps
- Functionality (unique to the platform)
At AAM 2013 session It’s Mobile, But is it Working? we will be presenting these metrics and discussing them. Please contribute!
Posted by Nancy Proctor on | October 12, 2012 | 3 Replies
Tweeted links from the #mtogo archives from Oct 2011-Oct 2012
Feel free to add to the list via the comments below!
- iPads for museums: serving visitors and professional communities, iPads as tools for museum interpretation & for evaluation and audience research 17 November 2011
- MuseumCN RT @ericlongo: @Brooklymuseum uses standing WiFi connected #iPads for visitor comments (Hide/Seek show) #mtogo #artstech #musetech http://t.co/IsKb5bES
- Groundbreaking use of iPads at New Walk Museum & Art Gallery 11 January, 2011
- National Museum of Australia adopting iPads for exhibitions 11 January, 2011
- Enhancing Group Tours with the iPad: A Case Study August 5, 2011 and Enhancing Group Tours with the iPad: 2012 Updates and Discoveries October 12, 2012 & Video MIDEA Workshop 2011: Using the iPad with Group Tours
- Initial experiences with touch screens & QR codes 15 February 2012
- Deploying 129 iPads to NYC Schools
- ArtKollect RT @MuseumCN: RT @brooklynmuseum Now you can search Luce Visible Storage using iPads! http://t.co/sI1rLmTQ #musetech #mtogo cc: @zbartrout
- A teacher talks about Sembl Here’s Tricia Meier, teacher of a Year 5/6 class at Curtin Primary School, talking about her and her class’ experience of playing Sembl at the Museum. 30 MAY, 2012
- Ironclad iPad
@ROMtoronto in Ultimate Dinosaurs #exhibit #museum #musetech #mtogo pic.twitter.com/YscWvMRw 4 July 2012
- Art Institute of Chicago(via @lili_czarina) September 18, 2012
- “iPad Summer”: Tablets in Canada’s Museums September 6, 2012
Posted by Nancy Proctor on | September 11, 2012 | 5 Replies
There was a discussion on the Museum-Ed listserv recently that resulted in a short list of science museums and centers that have audio tours. It is notoriously difficult to create successful (if by “successful” we mean popular) audio tours of highly interactive sites like science museums, zoos, parks etc. so I was interested to record this short list and see if others have more to add. It would be useful to analyze what works – and doesn’t – in tours of this kind of site, and applicable to all sorts of cultural tours.
Thanks to Kris Wetterlund of Museum-Ed.org for this info to get the conversation started!
“Susan Gallo at the Cummer Museum wrote that the Cummer in Jacksonville, FL now has four garden cell phone tours. General adult, family, horticulture and touch.
Dana Atwood-Blaine, PhD Candidate, Science Education at the University of Kansas wrote that she is creating a mobile game for iOS that will focus kids’ interactions with the exhibits at Science City in Kansas City as part of her dissertation research. The game is not created yet, but will be by the end of the year.
Jeff Liverman, Director of the Danville Science Museum in Danville VA, did a great audio tour for around Danville.”
Posted by Nancy Proctor on | April 3, 2012 | 6 Replies
Over the past 60 years plenty of myths have grown up about mobile in museums. Here we attempt to collect and bust them to give museum professionals the necessary ammunition and talking points to answer concerns about their mobile projects and proposals.
Feel free to add your “myths” below for the museum mobile community to bust! These will also be presented on May 8, 2012 by Nancy Proctor and Eric Longo in the Museums and Mobile Online Conference workshop, “Planning Your Next Mobile Experience: A Step-by-Step Master Class.”
Posted by Nancy Proctor on | April 3, 2011 | 1 Reply
Before MW2011 started, these are the questions and aspirations that attendees sent us for the workshop:
- I think we want a mobile app, but don’t have the first idea where to start.
- I hope to get some ideas about models for developing mobile apps/pitfalls to avoid for institutions that do not have media departments or computer engineers on staff and are on closely managed project budgets.
- How can we use low-cost tools that a non-programmer could publish on their own (what is the best software for this and “best practices” so as to prevent pitfalls)?
- Should we go with a web app or native app?
- What does HTML5 offer?
- How can we best use visual recognition and QR codes/Tags?
- How can we create user-generated content tools with access permissions that allow the content producer to predetermine who can see their contributions?
Data & inspiration:
- I’m looking for new ideas about how to approach designing, developing, and delivering interpretive content to our visitors.
- Need examples of what people/institutions are doing that goes beyond the traditional tour / audio guide.
- Hoping to learn about what might be on the horizon in this ever expanding field.
- We need a literature review of how apps are serving visitors at peer institutions.
- Data-supported research on what works and what doesn’t for visitors.
- I hope to better understand the audiences for mobile apps–who are they, what do they want, etc.
- How can we encourage and optimize audience engagement?
- I’m looking for creative possibilities for teachers in the world of apps!
- I’m eager to learn how colleagues from around the globe and from different size/budget institutions are finding creative ways to develop apps in the service of museum education;
- How apps are being used to augment the overall museum experience.
- About game-based apps for all ages (not just kids/families).
- Thinking of the interesting collaborations that would occur and the cross-pollination of ideas to be generated in trying to build or understand pathways for visitors to engage in meaningful, mission-focused work and content creation.
Posted by M.Jeff on | November 9, 2010 | 1 Reply
I am prolific note-taker and thought I’d post some of my reflections from the recent Museum Computer Network Annual Conference in Austin, Texas, October 27-30. I’m sharing all my notes (I took about 15 pages), but wanted to at least share some of the key points I gathered from the different sessions I attended. Remember too that this is the way I interpreted the sessions, so please post comments and share ideas. Especially if you disagree with my findings!!! Sharing is how we learn from each other. Here goes:
Summary of Key Findings:
- Infrastructure is Key. We can’t have programs emphasizing different technologies unless we have the bandwidth, reception and connectivity to support. This is Issue Number One.
- Technology programs are not intuitive. People don’t know how to jump right in and use the technologies we are developing for them. This is Issue Number Two.
- Are we developing products people want? There seems to be a discrepancy between what visitor research is telling us and what we are actually producing. Mobile lends itself to spontaneity and social behavior, but creating a specific tour program seems to directly conflict with these opportunities.
- Using vague descriptions of “technology” scare people because they are unknown. Emphasizing specific technologies, like QR codes, social networks, apps, video production, etc are concrete examples of use and specific applications.
- Our role as staff working with Educational Technologies is to increase curatorial opportunities to develop interactions between visitors and content.
- Common navigation of programs is virtually non-existent. Every different app and program seems designed in a vacuum from others so there is little chance of creating some kind of common navigational behavior.
- Programs are not cross-platform. Websites are the closest thing to widely distributed access, but in-gallery programs seem to emphasize I-phones. This limits the number of people we are connecting with. Some museums are trying the distributed-technologies approach (handing our I phones at the VIARC desk), but programs should really be using the technologies people already have. If you hand it out, be prepared on-site to fix it and explain how it works!
- New technologies being developed encourage visitor interaction and self-directed research, which means incorrect answers are part of the process. We need to do a better job of facilitating visitor interactions and being able to help them take more ownership of the experience in a productive manner.
Posted by Nancy Proctor on | October 15, 2010 | No Replies
On Oct 5, 2010 Erika Lovley published “Health, safety risks alleged at Capitol Visitor Center” in Politico, alleging that “lice and body fluids” had been seen on the audio tour headsets provided at the US Capitol Visitor Center.
In over a decade of working with audio tours and the like in museums around the world, I have never heard such rubbish. Citing conveniently anonymous ‘Visitor Center employees’ as the whistle-blowers, this article’s abuse of journalistic integrity beggars belief: anyone who has spent more than 5 seconds working with or witnessing an audio tour operation would know that this concern is completely absurd, and the photo in the article as well as the statement from Capitol spokeswoman Eva Malecki illustrate perfectly the standard procedures for maintaining headphones in the audio tour industry.
I challenge Politico and Lovely to find one substantiated example of the health and safety of audio tour guests being negatively impacted in the 60-some years audio tours have been distributed to hundreds of millions of cultural visitors globally; the publishers should be ashamed of such fear-mongering and sensationalist journalism, clearly aimed at undermining the US Capitol Visitor Center and providing a platform for the anti-Obama rants of the trolls that commented on the article, not any helpful information in the public interest.
Posted by Nancy Proctor on | October 3, 2010 | No Replies
A cross between agony column and war room, this ‘unconference’ style workshop begins as soon as you sign up. Through the MCN2010 wiki, you are invited to pose your questions and mobile interpretation challenges; if they are based on actual projects you’re working on, all the better. Our aim is to plan real mobile solutions you can implement.
The workshop will include an overview of the following areas of mobile solutions development, with the opportunity to go in-depth on the aspects that participants are most interested in:
- Mobile strategy: What is it? Do you need one? How can we weave mobile into the big picture of information and information systems at the museum? How do we future-proof our mobile solutions in a landscape of such rapidly-changing technology choices?
- Mobile business models: What role(s) can mobile play in the business of the museum? Should museums charge for apps and mobile services, or aim to make them free to achieve greater outreach? How do we decide?
- Mobile audiences: Understanding who uses mobile now in museums through a look at recent research and best practices in audience-led evaluations of mobile needs.
- Mobile content and experience design: Tools, strategies and best practices for developing mobile content and experiences that are led by audience and museum needs, not by the technology. Brainstorming of mobile experience models ‘beyond’ the audiotour. Includes an introduction to mobile content standards and the initiative underway that includes a summit at MCN the afternoon after this workshop.
- FAQs: Common concerns and some answers to help get buy-in internally for mobile programs and overcome fears of phones and screens in the galleries etc.
The workshop leader, Nancy Proctor, will respond to your questions and goals by creating and linking to resources online that answer your mobile needs in a public forum so others can learn from and add to the solutions provided as well. The online dialogue will culminate in the on-site workshop where we can compare projects and collaboratively learn and develop solutions.
Some initial resources:
- Mobile Strategy: Smithsonian Mobile Strategy Introduction and September 2010 update; on future-proofing see Rob Stein and Jason DaPonte at Tate Handheld Conference
- Business models: Nancy Proctor at Tate Handheld Conference; Peter Samis at Tate Handheld Conference
- Mobile audiences: Smithsonian Mobile Wiki; Museum Mobile Wiki
- Mobile content and experience design: Balboa Park Mobile Workshop; Slides and Worksheets; examples from Tate, Kew Gardens, Dallas Museum of Art and Stedelijk Museum; on mobile content standards
- FAQs on the Museum Mobile Wiki – add yours!
The aim is to help you find the mobile answers that meet your and your audiences’ needs so that you leave the workshop with a workable plan for mobile interpretation at your organization, and a range of online resources that put the expertise of mobile experts from around the globe at your disposal for future developments.
Posted by Jan Bossier on | September 23, 2010 | No Replies
We wrote an article about the web technologies we used to build a mobile multimedia iPhone app, including jQuery, jQTouch and Phonegap. Be sure to read it on our blog at artspot.be.
Posted by Ed Rodley on | May 21, 2010 | No Replies
This blog post from A List Apart is still my favorite introduction to the realm of content strategy. Kristina Halvorson (follow her @halvorson!) is right on the money. Useful for anyone staring at a pile of ideas and trying to decide how to parcel them out in multiple media for multiple audiences.