Improving the Audio Guide: A Look at Our Visitors. MET article.

First impressions.

Improving the Audio Guide. The Audio Guide is a long-standing service at the Museum with over three thousand audio messages attracting 250,000 users annually. It offers six to eight special exhibition tours and can be accessed in up to nine major foreign languages. In September 2013, the Museum launched a new version of the Audio Guide complete with a redesigned interface and repackaged content. This presented a fresh opportunity for us to take a more strategic look at the Audio Guide and see how well it has performed since its rebirth.

In the summer of 2014, I worked with a team of consultants from Frankly, Green + Webb to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the Audio Guide here at the Met (both at the Main Building and at The Cloisters). Below, I will explore some of our key findings and explain how the Museum is moving forward with the results of this research.

The Audioguide as a Service

It's always tempting to think of an Audio Guide as an old-fashioned product that visitors can hold onto and carry with them throughout the Museum if they feel like it, but this perspective is simply too limited. Instead, the Audio Guide should be seen as a service that is a crucial part of the museum experience and one that combines both the digital and nondigital within the physical space of the Museum.

This perspective, popularly known as "service design," is a way of creating and improving experiences (instead of stand-alone products) in order to better meet visitor needs within a specific context. It requires an understanding of the user's full experience (also known as the "user journey") in a robust way-from initial awareness of the offer to the full impact of the offer.

...

Grace Tung, Digital Media Associate, Creative Development, Digital Media

More of this article here


History of Audioguides

By way of introduction: audio guides and mobile devices arrive at the museum.

Beginning of the history of Audioguides in Museums.

The history of the introduction of audioguide systems in museums began more than 50 years ago. It has evolved from cassette systems to digital ram memory, MP2 systems and, even more, MP3 systems.

In this area, the Stedlijk Museum in Amsterdam was one of the first to use, in 1952, a hand guide for its exhibitions; Almost a decade later, at 1961, the Natural History Museum of the United States adopted the use of audio guides, while the Louvre did the same at 1970 (Kamal, Petrie and Power, 2011).

First steps of the Audioguides for 50 years ago.

During the first 35 years of using this type of elements, Proctor and Tellis (2003) identify two significant changes: the passage to the cassettes, in 1980, which reduced the size of the devices. In 1994, from analog to digital systems.

The latter allowed to have a longer duration of visits, previously constricted to 45 minutes maximum.

In the 1990s, visitors were able to choose their own routes, listen as much as they wanted. Choose the language of your choice, and special visits for specific audiences (Proctor and Tellis, 2003).

One of the pioneers in introducing multimedia devices was the Musical Experience Project in England, in 1995, while in the 2002 the Tate Gallery, in the same country, made available to its visitors the first portable device through a pilot project that culminated in the 2005 with a commercial plan (Tallon and Walker, 2008, p. 4).

Evolution of Audioguides in Museums in the last 50 years.

Since then technology has advanced by leaps and bounds The use of mobile devices such as iPads, Palms and cell phones with predetermined programs for guided tours is currently widespread. Selection of specific works to look for in the museum's exhibition, choice of various layers of information, among others, whose purpose is to improve the visitor's experience.

Audio guides today have been modified so that the public skips tracks, controls their visit more and gets more information, depending on their
pleasures.

The use of these devices raises some questions about how they affect the public's visit and how people learn, as well as about the interaction between them and the museum, which has sought to respond through various investigations.

The history of the introduction of audioguide systems in museums began more than 50 years ago.

Author: Monserrat Narváez Naranjo

Published in Studies on publics and museums Volume I. Publics and museums: What have we learned ?.

Text adapted for blog

Authorized by the author.

Learn more about the new Audioguide technology


Improving the Audio Guide: A Look at Our Visitors. MET article.

First impressions.

The Audio Guide is a long-standing service at the Museum with over three thousand audio messages attracting 250,000 users annually. It offers six to eight special exhibition tours and can be accessed in up to nine major foreign languages. In September 2013, the Museum launched a new version of the Audio Guide complete with a redesigned interface and repackaged content. This presented a fresh opportunity for us to take a more strategic look at the Audio Guide and see how well it has performed since its rebirth.

In the summer of 2014, I worked with a team of consultants from Frankly, Green + Webb to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the Audio Guide here at the Met (both at the Main Building and at The Cloisters). Below, I will explore some of our key findings and explain how the Museum is moving forward with the results of this research.

The Audioguide as a Service

It's always tempting to think of an Audio Guide as an old-fashioned product that visitors can hold onto and carry with them throughout the Museum if they feel like it, but this perspective is simply too limited. Instead, the Audio Guide should be seen as a service that is a crucial part of the museum experience and one that combines both the digital and nondigital within the physical space of the Museum.

This perspective, popularly known as "service design," is a way of creating and improving experiences (instead of stand-alone products) in order to better meet visitor needs within a specific context. It requires an understanding of the user's full experience (also known as the "user journey") in a robust way-from initial awareness of the offer to the full impact of the offer.

...

Grace Tung, Digital Media Associate, Creative Development, Digital Media

More of this article here


Curiosities about the Prado Museum - Madrid - Spain

1 Was Guernica in the Meadow?

So is. The Guernica was commissioned by the Government of the Republic for the Universal Exhibition of Paris of 1937. After its closure, he began a journey through different countries. First, its creator decided to take care of the MoMa of NY until Spain regained a democratic system. He finally returned to Spain in 1981, and was exposed in the Meadow, in the Casón del Buen Retiro, until 1992, when he moved to the newly created Reina Sofía Museum.

2 A movie portrait

Around 1902, the sculptor Mariano Benlliure made a bust of Goya inspired by the portrait that the painter had done to Vicente López. This same bust, preserved in the museum, served as inspiration to elaborate the award that is given today to the winners at the Goya gala of Spanish cinema.

3 A gift from Franco to Hitler?

It must be said that this is a legend, but it could have reality. It is said that the work La Marquesa de Santa Cruz was bought by the dictator Franco to give it to Hitler during his interview in Hendaye. In the instrument that carries the marquise many believe they see a swastika drawn.

4 The toilet of Ferdinand VII

What today is the 39 room of the Museo Del Meadow It was, in the 19th century, The Rest Cabinet of His Majesties. This was a room that included a small room for the hygiene of kings, which was called "toilet of his Majesty in the Royal Museum". Today, this space preserves the marble floor and decorative wall paintings.

5 The golden cough

The golden cough is a badge consisting of a Golden ram hanging from a necklace. It belonged to a cavalry order instituted by Philip the Good in 1430. Finally, it ended up falling to Carlos V and was linked to the Spanish Crown. So, in the museum It is possible to find this golden twist in several paintings representing the royal family.

6 The smallest works of El Meadow

In the Museum of Meadow we can find a collection of miniatures. These are small paintings, between the 20 and the 200 millimeters, which used to represent portraits and that served as a gift among European courts.

7 Rubens and astronomy

Rubens reflected in his works some of the revolutionary observations of heaven made by Galileo. For example, the blue background of 'The Birth of the Milky Way' reflects the multitude of stars in the galaxy that had gone unnoticed until then. Also, in 'Saturn devouring his children are included three bright bodies, like the ones Galileo observed when pointing his telescope at this ringed planet.

8 Did you know that He Meadow Don't have an 13 room?

Next to the 12 room, dedicated to Velázquez's painting, Room 13 was not included due to superstition. For this same reason, phobia or irrational fear of the number 13We also did not find the 13 bus in El Centro de Madrid, and this seat number was replaced by the 12 bis seat on the airplanes.

9. The Meadow on fire

On November 25 of 1891, Mariano de Cavia recounts in the newspaper El Liberal a fire that would have destroyed most of the museum's works. Many people from Madrid went to Paseo Del Meadow to verify that there was no such fire; It was an invention of the author to denounce the abandonment of the facilities.
El Meadow yes he suffered a fire, known as the Alcazar fire during Christmas Eve of 1734. One of the paintings that suffered the most damage was El Triunfo de Baco, from Ribera, which was divided into 3 fragments, and today 2 is exposed.

10 The fake Gioconda

In 2011 it was discovered in El Meadow an interesting background behind the "false Gioconda" varnish, which could have been painted in Leonardo da Vinci's studio as well as the "original" that the French Louvre museum preserves. Everything indicates that it is about a replica painted by one of Leonardo's favorite pupils.
And these are some of the many curiosities of Prado Museum, which has been housing one of the most important pictorial collections of humanity for 200 years, and which is closely linked to the history of Spain. Which of these did you find the most curious?
Source: Very Interesting: Link here