Four Tests in Three Summers: Assessing visitor preferences in handhelds at SFMOMA

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Information about Four Tests in Three Summers: Assessing visitor preferences in handhelds...
Education

Published on September 8, 2008

Author: psamis

Source: slideshare.net

Description

Talk given at Tate Handheld Symposium, Sept. 5, 2008.

Four Tests in Three Summers: Assessing visitor preferences in handhelds at SFMOMA Peter Samis Associate Curator, Interpretation San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Tate Handheld Symposium • 5 Sept. 2008

Case Study: Matthew Barney .

Matthew Barney sculptures in the gallery

Our problem: subtract the man/film from the gallery, and… How to make the mute plastic speak?

Traditionally, this would have been cause for a multimedia feature. … online, by the galleries, in the Koret Center.

To this, we added multiple format audio tours: Podcast: download from home Gallery X-plorer: rent in Atrium Cell phone: turn on in show Collaboration with Antenna Audio to develop content for all three.

Podcast: download from home

Gallery X-plorer: rent in Atrium

Cell phone: turn on in show

Downloadable podcast map

Cell phone promotional card - collab w/ Guide by Cell

At first, we thought we were setting out to measure visitor preferences for three different types of audio tours. And we did that.

What did we find out? There is no clear winner Traditional devices skew older iPods and cell phones seem to skew younger * Visitors appreciate multiple experience options * statistics not fully conclusive

There is no clear winner

Traditional devices skew older

iPods and cell phones seem to skew younger *

Visitors appreciate multiple experience options

Different devices support different touring styles : Cell phones averaged 4.6 stops out of 10, indicating à la carte, on demand use

Cell phones averaged 4.6 stops out of 10, indicating à la carte, on demand use

iPods and traditional audio tour devices averaged 70-80% stop use : a more immersive , custom experience In fact, iPod and traditional headset tour users had more in common than these users might suspect…

iPods and traditional audio tour devices averaged 70-80% stop use : a more immersive , custom experience

Those who chose the iPod and cell phone formats rated them more highly than traditional headset tour users rated theirs. (although the content was identical!)

Phone logs enabled us to see patterns in where visitors wanted information most: (or perhaps where they or could find the labels!)

In fact, GuideBy Cell now mashes up area codes and Google Maps to reveal where visitors are from:

Stats: Cell-phone Tours Good News: Guide by Cell records 1st exhibition with over 10,000 calls Average message selection in other museums is only 33% Bad News: Still only averaging 45 visitors/day Only 3.7% of exhibition visitors

Good News: Guide by Cell records

1st exhibition with over 10,000 calls

Average message selection in other museums is only 33%

Bad News:

Still only averaging 45 visitors/day

Only 3.7% of exhibition visitors

So somewhere along the way, the target shifted.

The elephant in the room is that: The vast majority of our visitors do not use technology during their museum visit. So how do we reach them?

If our goal is to use technology, we may just nod and move on . But if our goal is to enhance visitor experience, we have to think larger.

“Variable on-demand mediation.” –Brad Johnson, Second Story Interactive

Interpretive Menu: analog + digital One curatorial intro panel Exhibition brochure Docent tours Audio tour delivered via: Antenna MP3 gallery guide Downloadable podcast Cell phone tour courtesy GuideByCell Learning Lounge in show: Plasma screen with Barney video interview clips Barney FAQ wall graphics Interactive feature/website Books & catalogs

One curatorial intro panel

Exhibition brochure

Docent tours

Audio tour delivered via:

Antenna MP3 gallery guide

Downloadable podcast

Cell phone tour courtesy GuideByCell

Learning Lounge in show:

Plasma screen with Barney video interview clips

Barney FAQ wall graphics

Interactive feature/website

Books & catalogs

Here’s what that looks like: Use of offerings by respondents:

But on the other hand: What helped make meaning?

So what did we learn? What did visitors prefer? Audio: Different people opt for different devices Video: Visitors want to see and hear the voice of the artist above all else and perhaps most surprisingly: Visitors opt for the analog first.

Audio: Different people opt for different devices

Video: Visitors want to see and hear the voice of the artist above all else

and perhaps most surprisingly:

Visitors opt for the analog first.

Or put another way: This is our Opportunity Space! Is it time to re-train our visitors? Change their expectations? Change our approach? All of the above?

How do we activate that opportunity space?

Next Tests: 2007 Traditional audio tour vs. iPod Picasso & American Art & Brice Marden Matisse: The Painter as Sculptor Take your time: Olafur Eliasson/ Joseph Cornell /Jeff Wall

When visitors were given the choice … 49% 51% Eliasson / Cornell / Wall 45% 55% Matisse 41% 59% Picasso & Marden iPod Antenna XP - “Classic”(mp3) Exhibitions in 2007 (in sequence)

Do we detect a trend?

Visitors liked the fact the iPod showed an image of the work. But the menu function was poor.

Fast forward to summer 2008 (right now):

Enter Frida Kahlo MENU: analog + digital mix Brochure Wall texts Multimedia tour with low price barrier to entry Learning Lounge Supplementary galleries to add context Kiosk / Website Video Podcasts

MENU: analog + digital mix

Brochure

Wall texts

Multimedia tour with low price barrier to entry

Learning Lounge

Supplementary galleries to add context

Kiosk / Website

Video

Podcasts

 

 

 

Antenna XP-Vision multimedia player

 

 

 

 

 

Visitor Feedback

 

 

 

 

 

 

NEXT STEPS

Purpose-built or Visitor-supplied ? Controlled platform Hi-fidelity audio, video & interactivity Free of associations & hassles of home & office Only about the art Focused, optimized for tour experience Rewrites the economic model: No need for museum to lease fleets of players No need to staff and sell players to visitors Free to visitors More casual but Quality of experience cannot be assured Questions we have now:

Controlled platform

Hi-fidelity audio, video & interactivity

Free of associations & hassles of home & office

Only about the art

Focused, optimized for tour experience

Rewrites the economic model: No need for museum to lease fleets of players

No need to staff and sell players to visitors

Free to visitors

More casual

but

Quality of experience cannot be assured

Unless we rewrite the spec for what a quality tour experience is to a low enough threshold that it can be delivered with confidence to a wide variety of visitors in a non-proprietary manner

Does that mean we bypass the bells and whistles of Flash and the iPhone ?

Or do we opt for that expressive power and continue to supply the hardware on the old lease contract model ?

I, for one, no longer believe it will all sort itself out… “ in two years.”

Soon to come… an SFMOMA iPhone title: In the meantime…

Don’t worry, folks— This is only a test!

This is only a test!

Thank you.

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