Our team interviewed visitors at two venues in London to understand their behavior during their visits. Did they prefer to be guided through a gallery or to explore on their own? As they walked around looking at art, what types of signage or information did they expect to see or hear? Would they rather rent a device from a museum or install an app on their own phone?
Because everyone's relationship with art is unique, the answers to these questions were varied. We drafted a set of unifying principles to align the team before beginning to design anything. Smartify tours needed to:
1. Empower people to explore independently
Some museum visitors are more independent than others, and not everyone we spoke with wanted to be guided along a tour. Some people kept their phones out in the gallery, while others stowed theirs away in a pocket while listening to audio. A tour on Smartify needed to be equally simple to follow sequentially or to start from anywhere in the list.
2. Allow for easy multitasking
Mobile users are constantly switching between apps and tasks. Someone might receive a text in the middle of a tour, or have a sudden urge to post to their Instagram story. Allowing people to pause a tour and pick it up again later was a must.
3. Support all media types
Depending on the venue and its collection, a Smartify tour would contain a mix of audio, video, text, and even AR content. The experience needed to support any kind of media.