Discovering the Qualities of an Outstanding Museum App

What are the key featureas of modern museum apps? We discuss it in this blogpost after having reviewed 12 of the most successful museum apps around the world. We'll see where they excel and where they still miss the mark.

Discovering the Qualities of an Outstanding Museum App

In the digital age, museums have the incredible opportunity to leverage technology to create immersive and engaging experiences for visitors. recently complethave recently completed a comprehensive study on museum apps and their impact on visitor engagement.  In this article we will discuss what makes a successful museum app and provide examples, the importance of accessibility for museum experiences and what are the main trends for the future.

Key features and functionalities of successful museum apps 

Museum apps have the potential to enhance the visitor experience by providing a range of features and functionalities that can personalize the visit and help visitors navigate the space. Here is the list of key features that have been identified as successful in creating a good museum app:

Personalized Recommendations: One of the most significant advantages of a museum app is the ability to provide personalized recommendations based on a visitor’s interests, location, and previous visits. Successful museum apps use data analytics to suggest exhibitions and collections that may be of interest to users, increasing the chances of engagement and return visits.

Interactive Maps: Interactive maps provide an intuitive and engaging way for visitors to navigate the museum’s layout and exhibits. Apps that offer interactive maps with detailed information on each exhibit or collection are more likely to be popular with visitors.

Guidance as opposed to just providing information: To be successful, museum apps must offer more than just audio guides. Successful apps guide visitors before, during and after their visit. They offer the chance to buy tickets, check opening hours, and physical accessibility, creating an all-in-one platform for planning and visiting the museum.

Based on our comprehensive research, here are the two best museum apps in the industry.

1. British Museum App provides a range of features, including interactive maps, personalized recommendations, and audio guides with captioning. It also offers a unique “Collection Highlights” section, which provides curated tours of the museum’s most significant objects.

2. Rijksmuseum App offers a range of features, including a 3D tour of the museum’s galleries, personalized recommendations, and the ability to create your own collection. It also includes a “Rijksstudio” feature, which allows users to download and use high-resolution images from the museum’s collection.

What Accessibility Means for Museum Experiences?

When we speak of accessibility in the context of museum experiences, we envision a transformative journey where individuals of all abilities can explore, appreciate, and connect with art and culture. Accessibility encompasses not only physical access but also the provision of inclusive information, interactive features, and opportunities for engagement. By embracing accessibility, museums can create a welcoming environment that enables everyone to participate and immerse themselves fully in the wonders of artistic expression. To make museum apps more accessible, it is essential to incorporate a range of features that cater to the diverse needs of users.

Here are some key features that can greatly enhance accessibility in museum apps:

1. Text-to-speech which enables audio playback for visually impaired users

2. Customizable display for better visibility

3. Closed captioning and transcripts that support users with hearing impairments

4. Alternative text for images for visually impaired users

5. Multilingual support for diverse language preferences

6. Gesture-based navigation, swipe gestures for users with motor disabilities

7. Voice commands and search, hands-free interaction options

8. Clear language, simple and inclusive content

9. Audio description

Future trends in the digital transformation of museums

Based on the existing developments and industry observations, here are 5 top trends in the digital transformation of museums.

1. Virtual and augmented reality experience

Museums may increasingly leverage virtual and augmented reality technologies to offer immersive and interactive experiences. Visitors might explore virtual replicas of exhibits or engage with virtual artifacts through augmented reality overlays.

2. Enhanced online collections and digital archives

Museums will likely continue digitizing their collections and making them accessible online. This could involve high-resolution images, detailed descriptions, and additional multimedia content, allowing remote visitors to engage with the collections in a more comprehensive and meaningful way.

3. Personalized and adaptive experiences

Museums might adopt technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning to provide personalized recommendations and tailored experiences to visitors. Through analyzing visitor preferences and behavior, museums can offer customized tours, curated content, and targeted recommendations.

4. Mobile applications and digital guides with augmented reality elements

Museums will continue to invest in mobile applications and digital guides that provide visitors with detailed information, interactive maps, and audio or video tours. These apps may also offer features like augmented reality elements, quizzes, and interactive games to enhance engagement.

5. Online events and virtual exhibitions

Museums may continue to explore virtual events and online exhibitions, allowing them to reach broader audiences beyond physical limitations. These virtual experiences could include virtual gallery tours, live-streamed lectures, panel discussions, and interactive workshops.

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