Museum apps can connect exhibitions with visitors’ end devices and thus bring museal collections into the 21st century. They also offer new ways of imparting knowledge. Therefore, it is no surprise that there has been an uprise of digital offers in museums and other cultural institutions. Based on our Mobility Suite mos., we at Fabrik19 develop diverse digital solutions that can be adapted to individual requirements flexibly. While the first part of this series primarily presented the features and advantages of a museum app, the second and this part revolve around the functions that can be built into such an app.
The future of learning is digital. Thus, it makes sense to offer museal content in a playful way as well. Gamification has developed into a major trend in museums and other cultural institutions in recent years. The aim of this approach is to make the transfer of knowledge in non-game contexts more interesting through playful content. That way, motivation to engage with museal collections can be increased.
Playful content can be implemented, for example, in the form of puzzles, task games or a scavenger hunt through the museum. The offer can be designed in a way that is appealing to both younger guests and adults. Variety can be guaranteed by providing the possibility of choosing different characters. Each of them can then set a different course of the game in motion. QR codes can also be used in this context to make the games accessible quickly. A small reward upon completion lets children think back to their museum visit with joy.
Another focus can be placed on digital content that enables participation and accessibility for digitization makes museums and other cultural institutions accessible in a new way. As they are tourist locations, multilingual content is a particularly important feature. The more languages are offered in the app, the more international guests can take part in the exhibition. However, other, smaller functions can also make people’s visit noticeably more pleasant and informative.
A case in point is the possibility to change the font size, which can make it a lot easier for visually impaired people to use the app. Subtitles in videos or transcripts of acoustic content enable additional participation for the deaf. Moreover, sign language can be added to videos in order to help people with hearing impairment explore the museum’s content while audio tours can help those with reading impairments understand. Using simple and easy-to-read language makes it easier to convey information to people with intellectual disabilities. Evidently, there are numerous ways to make a museum app accessible and as barrier-free as possible.
Service and other functions
Visitors can also personalize the app as they wish with the help of other functions. For instance, a favorites list or bookmarks enable them to save interesting content for later. This increases the chance that visitors will deal with the content of an exhibition even after their visit. Furthermore, an event area can provide information on current events and the shows of the day or week. A museum app can also organize the appointment allocation and ticket sales automatically. Plus, a service area with information on opening times, directions and parking facilities bundles everything guests need to know prior to visiting. Comprehensible operating instructions for the app and a note to bring your own headphones round off the digital offering.
Financing options for museum apps
It is no secret that the costs of a well-designed and professionally developed app are not low. However, a fully functional app is an investment in the future of the institution. Plus, there are numerous refinancing and funding options, for instance subsidies from the state and the EU in the field of digitization. Also, cities, municipalities, numerous associations and other foundations offer additional support in this area. Integrating a donation platform into the app, through which exclusive content is activated, is another possibility. A fee-based installation of links to the gastronomy and hotel industry of the region is an additional financing option.
On a side note, a native application not only represents an investment in the future of the company, but also in the future of the planet. The digitization of museum content can save a considerable amount of raw materials such as paper. Thus, a museum app also contributes to the sustainability of the cultural institution.
In summary, this series of articles has revealed the large number of options there are when it comes to museum apps. Thanks to the flexibility of our Mobility Suite mos., an app like this can be adapted to the wishes of the customer and the target group flexibly. The guests’ smartphones become multimedia museum guides that enable a largely independent and personalized visit. We are happy to support you in realizing your ideas professionally and digitally on the basis of the latest technologies. Contact us with your request.