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ANALYSIS

SEPTEMBER 2016

Ultimately, like any brand, every museum today understands that adopting mobile isn’t only important but necessary to attract customers. “There was not a single person at the Guggenheim, no matter how old they were, that felt like we should not be engaged with technology,” says Krantz. “It’s just a part of how museums are developing, because if they don’t, they’re going to lose a lot of business.” SAMA founder Anna Stolyarova (right), in front of one of the museum’s graffiti exhibits, by artist Uriginal

Breaking down barriers “Museums that do not adopt technology and become more agile, will not only miss out on a whole new audience, but on making content more accessible, entertaining and desirable,” agrees Anna Stolyarova, founder of SAMA (Street Art Museum Amsterdam). Not only does mobile offer a way for museums to extend their audience, it has the potential to help them move beyond that older visitor demographic, and break down some of the barriers that make them seem inaccessible to other audiences. “One of the major issues that museums and heritage sites have faced over the years is a lack of visitor diversity,” says Ward. “Museums exist in order to safeguard history for the entire community, which

Accessible to All Georgia Krantz was closely involved in the development of the accessibility features for the Guggenheim’s app. “I got involved at a time when a lot of museums were – and still are – working on making sure that their digital stuff is accessible,” she says. The focus is currently on visitors who are blind or deaf, though Krantz says museums are likely to build on their current on-site programming with technological solutions in order to address other disabilities and conditions, such as autism spectrum disorder. Even with these more wellestablished accessibility features, though, it’s still important for

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museums to make sure they are approaching them correctly. While many apps might rely on iOS’s builtin text-to-voice functionality to make them accessible to blind users, Krantz says customising the entire app for voice-over – though costly – leads to much better results. And it’s not just the technology that needs to be addressed: “Staff training is vital,” says Krantz. “We made sure that our staff on the floor were able to explain to visitors that these features were there, and talk them through a few steps in order to turn it on. You can have all the technology you want, but if you don’t have the staff talking about it properly then it’s pretty useless.”

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02/09/2016 11:47

Mobile Marketing September 2016  

The September 2016 print edition of Mobile Marketing

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