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Success metrics for Mobile experiences

Posted by Nancy Proctor on | May 15, 2013 | 3 Comments

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.

  • Downloads
  • 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!



MCN Annual Conference 16-19 Nov 2011, Atlanta

Posted by Nancy Proctor on | September 11, 2011 | No Comments

Early Registration ends 24 September for MCN2011 in Atlanta!

An awesome program on “Hacking the Museum” this year (if I do say so myself ;-). The Museum Computer Network Conference includes for the first time dedicated program strands on technology for Conservation and Accessibility, as well as opportunities try Hacking and Mash-ups, Arduino, Kinect, ARGs, Augmented Reality, eBooks, going beyond the Blog, reinventing the Museum Website, new kinds of collaborations with Libraries, Archives, and Audiences, and, of course, lots and lots of Mobile fun!


Museum-Mobile online conference

Posted by Nancy Proctor on | September 11, 2011 | No Comments

October 24-26, 2011 Museum-Mobile online conference

This online conference includes a virtual expo and lots of practical hands-on training in mobile development and management from some of my favorite mobile thinkers! Check out the program at


AAM’s Technology, Interpretation and Education 2011

Posted by Nancy Proctor on | September 11, 2011 | No Comments

September 20-22, 2011, 11-5pm EST: Technology, Interpretation and Education 2011 – AAM’s Multi-day Online Conference and Virtual Expo Hall:

You can get a 15% discount on the Mobile Apps for Museums book through registering for the conference. You can also check out the book’s new blogsite (in development) where we’ll be adding new chapters and continuing the discussions started with the first version of the book:


Virtuality, Technology & Feminism in the Museum

Posted by Nancy Proctor on | August 22, 2011 | No Comments

Symposium 23-24 Sept 2011 at the Smithsonian

Thanks to the Leverhulme Trust-funded international research network on Feminism and Curating, the Smithsonian is hosting a research symposium 23-24 September 2011 to probe some of the deep ethical questions about technology and museum practice:

  • What’s new about “new media”? It is truly transformative, or just another modernist trope of “innovation”?
  • Is technology really “broadening access” to museums, or just adding more and new faces to the existing structures of power?
  • Can technology play a more critical role in the museum, enabling encounters and counter-narratives that “difference the canon” as Griselda Pollock has called it?

Attendance is free and open to all. More information on the Network website and on the symposium wiki.

The symposium will be preceded on Thu 22 Sept by an evening event from The Smithsonian Associates:
Interview with Professor Pollock by Dr Juliet Bellow


Museums & Mobile Online Conference II

Posted by Nancy Proctor on | February 19, 2011 | No Comments

March 22-23, 2011 at

Join us — online — for a worldwide gathering of museum professionals exploring the latest in mobile applications and interpretation. Meet organizations providing products and services. Walk away with practical knowledge, vital skills, and meaningful connections.

  • Learn first-hand from colleagues about existing mobile experiences at cultural institutions internationally — and don’t re-invent the wheel or make the same mistakes!
  • Gather a set of practical in-house guidelines for the successful delivery and operation of a mobile experience at your museum.
  • Hear analysis on the different technology solutions and approaches for delivering a mobile experience, and ask questions to determine what might best for your situation.
  • Engage in healthy debate about the types of content and experience designs that make for a compelling on-site and off-site museum mobile experiences.
  • Explore solutions in the Virtual Expo and engage with vendors about how they work with museums to deliver successful mobile projects.
  • Network with museum colleagues internationally, compare notes, and tap into peer guidance — and all from the comfort of your computer!


Mobile for the Cultural Sector Conference

Posted by Nancy Proctor on | February 19, 2011 | No Comments

8-9 March, 2011, Ravensbourne, London

Register at

Camerjam, and Spark are organising a two day conference exploring the use of mobile technology by cultural organisations looking at the opportunities it offers to:

  • generate new content and revenue streams
  • communicate with audiences
  • exploit content and exhibition archives
  • develop new partnerships

Advances in mobile technology over recent years, coupled with increased smartphone penetration and a willingness of people to access information on their mobile devices, presents big opportunities for cultural institutions to increase their audiences and unlock new revenues streams. Smartphones now make up nearly 25% of all UK mobile phones, representing nearly 20 million devices, with this figure forecast to reach 60% by 2015, according to leading mobile analysts, Mobile SQUARED.

The opportunity to connect with audiences on mobile devices presents a massive opportunity to engage with new and existing audiences and create new revenue streams.

The event will be introduced by leaders from the cultural and mobile sectors and will include themes relating to audience experience, mobile merchandising, mobile ticketing, mobile marketing and augmented reality. There will be a series of workshops for attendees on subjects such as business models and revenue streams for apps and how you would market an app.

Who is speaking?

  • Ed Vaizey MP, Minister for Communications, Culture and Creative Industries
  • Sarah Evans, Head of Mobile Internet, O2
  • Craig Hepburn, Global Digital Director, Nokia
  • Jessica Gwyther, Global Content Manager, Vodafone
  • Jonathan MacDonald, Co-founder, this fluid world, Every Single One Of Us and Human Dialogue
  • Louise Downe, Multimedia Producer, Tate
  • Ilicco Elia, Global Head of Consumer Mobile, Thomson Reuters
  • Ed Hodges, Mobile Consultant, Tesco
  • Henry Volans, Head of Digital Publishing, Faber & Faber
  • Katy Whitehead, Head of Interactive Products, HarperCollins
  • David Rowan, Editor, Wired Magazine

Who should attend?

The Mobile for the Cultural Sector Conference will include a wide variety of people from across the Global cultural sector and the technology sector and will bring together the 200+ senior figures from:

  • museum, gallery and cultural sector curators, directors and board members
  • digital specialists
  • commercial strategists
  • pr and marketing teams
  • fund-raising and development specialists
  • quangos and leadership and training bodies
  • mobile app, website and marketing developers
  • advertising, planning and creative advertising agencies
  • network operators, handset manufacturers and technology leaders


Beck Tench: Info Viz from the Trenches

Posted by Nancy Proctor on | February 19, 2011 | No Comments

MIDEA Connect webinar (free & open to all)

Thursday, February 24 at 11am PT / 1pm CT/ 2pm ET (check for local time)

Beck Tench, Director for Innovation and Digital Engagement at the Museum of Life and Science in Durham, North Carolina will speak to us about her approach to Information Visualization in this special session, Info Viz from the Trenches.

Beck is on a quest to convince all knowledge workers (museum professionals, journalists, teachers, physicians, etc.) that information visualization is a new core competency of our work.  She will discuss grassroots information visualization and share the insights she’s gained from creating both good and very bad visualizations.  We’ll approach data broadly, assessing how and when to use words, sketches, tables, graphics and computational programs to communicate the story they tell.

For more information, please visit the event website at

Sign up at  You will get a follow-up email closer to the event with the details for how to log in to the webinar. The workshop is free and is sponsored by the Edward and Betty Marcus Foundation

About Beck Tench

Beck Tench is a simplifier, illustrator, story teller and technologist. Formally trained as a graphics designer at the University of North Carolina’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication, she has spent her career elbow deep in web work of all sorts – from the knowledge work of information architecture and design to the hands dirty work of writing code and testing user experiences. Currently, she serves as Director for Innovation and Digital Engagement at the Museum of Life and Science in Durham, NC where she studies and experiments with how visitors and staff use technology to plan, enhance and share their everyday lives.

 Learn more about Beck Tench and see her beautiful drawings at


Where2.0: Neogeography, Mobile Technologies & Mapping

Posted by Nancy Proctor on | February 19, 2011 | 1 Comment

Andrew Turner, Chief Technology Officer of FortiusOne, creators of GeoCommons

Speaking at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History
Wednesday, February 23rd 12:30 pm Cathy Kerby Room (CE-340)

Contrary to original beliefs that the internet would create insular, online societies, the web has actually increased engagement with place and history. Learn how organizations and individuals are using mobile phones, web technology and digital maps to share collections, document their lives, and build online and real-world connections with their environments.

Andrew focuses on location- and time-based user- generated content and collaboration for GeoCommons, an open, geospatial visualization and analytics platform. He is a engaging speaker with fascinating experiences with community mapping projects ranging from Haiti Earthquake disaster relief to mapping bike trails in Virginia. He has published two O’Reilly books: Introduction to Neogeography and Where2.0: State of the Geospatial Web.

See also Andrew Turner’s blog at


Mobile clinic at MCN 2010

Posted by Nancy Proctor on | October 3, 2010 | No Comments

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:

  1. 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?
  2. 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?
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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:

  1. Mobile Strategy: Smithsonian Mobile Strategy Introduction and September 2010 update; on future-proofing see Rob Stein and Jason DaPonte at Tate Handheld Conference
  2. Business models: Nancy Proctor at Tate Handheld Conference; Peter Samis at Tate Handheld Conference
  3. Mobile audiences: Smithsonian Mobile Wiki; Museum Mobile Wiki
  4. 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
  5. 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.