Summing up the Survey

Now that the results are analysed and the report is in, its now time to reflect on what we learned from this exercise. We set out primarily to learn more about how our visitors used, engaged with and thought about technology; not just within the museum but also personally within their everyday lives. What we found was that there was a generally positive reaction towards digital technology and that many visitors were highly engaged, early adopters of new mobile technologies. So what can this survey tell us?

Overall indications of the results from this survey are positive, however having said this it is not an indication of uptake of a digital offering implemented within the museum. What I believe that this report shows is the expectations of the visitors (this was well summarised in the comments on my last post); now that mobile technology has become so much a part of the visitors daily life and mindset it in turn becomes something that they expect to find as part of the overall offering of any cultural institution. This being said there were some respondents who indicated to us that they had come to the museum to get away from the all the technology in their ‘everyday’ lives.

The survey has also revealed that should a mobile guide / tour be implemented in the museum there would be support for a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) model of implementation, however as stated take up rates are not by any means guaranteed. Possible delivery platforms then are a mobile website, app technology (cross brand) and then perhaps QR Codes or NFC could be used although these last two options may not be the best as over the course of the survey there were only a handful of respondents who had used or knew what these were.

In addition to the strong support for a BYOD model the results also show that there is also a good showing of support for the more traditional method of borrowing a device from the museum. Thus perhaps a delivery method that would be a combination of both BYOD and device rental method.

Moving forward, this survey has revealed that when looking for apps for their smart devices, whether tablets or smartphone that by far the most popular methods are browsing the app store (whether Google play or apple) and word of mouth recommendations. When promoting a new app or device driven system it would seem that having a prominent place within the app store or social media would be key to engage the interested visitors prior to their arrival in the museum; as well as this, promotion internally within the museum will be key to engage the visitor once they have arrived.

We have seen that the cross section of the visiting public that have been surveyed during the course of this project have shown visitors to the museum to be on the whole both digitally aware and engaged I believe that it is not unreasonable to assume, considering these results, that the implantation of a mobile multimedia guide to the museum would be well received. As noted earlier these results are in no way a guarantee of uptake of any system that is implemented within the museum. Rather it is an indication to us that visitors to cultural institutions are expecting to see an option to digitally engage with them and its displays.

Jonathon Cant
March, 2014.

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