Project M investigates the possibilities of enhancing the visiting experience for Museum M in Leuven. Even though art can be very interesting, Musea can have a somewhat dull experience. After several talks with visitors of M, I realized that I was not the only one experiencing this dullness, but the art is not to blame.
This led to the following research question:
How can going to a museum bring an enhanced experience without interfering the magic of the art exhibition itself?
First of all, I decided to divide the user experience into three segments: before, during and after the visit. The experience of visiting a museum isn’t something that solely happens in the museum itself. The before and after of that visit are just as important as the visit itself.
# Before the visit
Many of the people I interviewed stated that they chose to visit the museum based on: reading it from the folder because they’re a museum member, seeing a poster or banner in the city where the museum is housed or hearing about it from friends. They’ve also stated that I was not the first time they would miss an exhibition or reading because they knew about it too late.
To make it easier for the visitor, I created a simple agenda function that lists all the current and future exhibtions. I wanted it to be as intuive as going to the movies so that visitors can open up the app and see what’s going on in M and maybe pay a visit.
# During the visit
At the museum itself, I wanted to enhance their visiting experience by adding an extra digital layer to the artwork presented. In each room a QR-code could be found that the user could scan.
This layer added extra information about the artwork, how it was made and some background information about the artist.
It also contains some media of other similiar artworks, photos and videos about the work in progress, press articles and video’s about the artwork and the audioguide.
A greater value could be found in the dialogue-feature. This allowed the visitor to discuss the artwork with other visitors. This was also linked with social media so that the discussion about the artwork and exhibition could continue online.
# After the visit
The interviews I did also gave away that many visitors discuss their visit to the museum either with the person they went with or with their friends and family. Because of this, I wanted to add an extra feature where the exhibitions they visited were automatically saved to their collection so they can browse through it when they’re telling their stories and have some visuals ready to show.
The video below sums up the features of the app.