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VIRGINIA MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS

GUIDEBOOK A


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VIRGINIA MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS

GUIDEBOOK


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Introduction

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Overview

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Task Map

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Walk Through


INTRODUCTION

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is a highly valued cultural landmark for the Richmond, VA area. Operated by the Commonwealth of Virginia and supported by private funds, the VMFA makes world class art accessible for free to families, students and art-goers. Despite the VMFA being a state-run museum, the art collection should not be underestimated. The VMFA exhibits work from Andy Warhol to Frank Lloyd Wright, Pablo Picasso to Jackson Pollock and many other pieces from both world-renowned artists and hidden talent.

In Spring 2010, the VMFA completed renovations, reopening to the public a bigger building and even more artwork. Although the VMFA has a new sleek look and has added more work for public viewing, there are a few problems in the museum that is hindering visitors from a better VMFA experience: 1) Insufficient navigation & wayfinding. 2) Lack of information about the artwork and the artist. 3) Lack of guidance based on the consideration of individual time and interest of visitors to guide them through the abundance of artwork. What’s The Solution?

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The VMFA Guidebook App.

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OVERVIEW

DESCRIPTION

HIGHLIGHTS

TARGET AUDIENCE

The VMFA Guidebook App was develeoped to solve the wayfinding and detailed information problems that exist within the museum. The app gives detailed and easy to follow directions for patrons that have trouble understanding the already existing physical map or the minimal wayfinding. The second component of the app is to increase knowledge of artwork and better inform visitors of all the resources readily available at the museum but are not easily accessible to the public.

∙ Utilizes the touch capabilities of the iOS devices to enhance visitor experience

The VMFA Guidebook App was developed to be used by a wide range of visitors. The application focuses on students, frequent VMFA visitors, newcomers and families. Certain features of this app allows the user to tailor their experience at the VMFA based on their interests or age group.

∙ Compacts all artwork and information into an easy-to-use touch screen, handheld device ∙ Allows access to easy-to-follow maps with the support of GPS navigation ∙ Visitors can choose from pre-planned tours based on interests or age group

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FEATURES

FIND

VENTURE

MAP

The Find feature of the app allows a simple and attainable means for visitors to view the VFMA’s artwork information database to further expand their own knowledge of individual pieces. It includes many features that range from highlighting the fine details of artwork to suggestions towards further pieces within the same gallery, time period, etc.

Venture is a personal guide that combines the FIND and Map features of the App to create a user experience unlike anything the museum has had before. The visitor can select from numerous preplanned tours based on their topic of interest. There is even an education section for teachers and students to easily select tours for their area of study based on age group . The tours are easy to follow with simple navigation and pop-up notifications when one has arrived at the piece. After arrival, an on-screen view of the piece appears with an easy to understand tool bar to access further information.

The Map feature is designed for all users with WiFibased GPS and color coded galleries that match the physical location. The user will always know where they are in the museum with a clearly visible icon that moves with them. Directions are clearly displayed with a full route planned to follow. The MAP will even reroute itself if the patron decides to go off the track and explore on their own.

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TASK MAP

This task map indicates all the possible routes that can be taken through the app in order for a VMFA visitor to fully enjoy all the offerings of the museum. It also demonstrates the interconnectivity of the three features of the app and how simple it is to toggle between them.

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Splash Screen

Directory

Tours

Gallery Tours

Time Period/ Movement

Regional Tours

African American Ancient American Ancient Art Deco & Art Nouveau East Asian English Silver European Fabergé South Asian Mid to Late 20th Century 21st Century

Ancient Medieval Renassiance Baroque/Rococo Art Deco & Art Nouveau 18th Century 19th Century 20th Century 21st Century

African Americas Asian European

Specialty Tours Director’s Choice Visitor’s Favorites Critically Acclaimed Audio Tour Education

Search Option Available

Thumbnail View

Digit Code Artists Title

List View

Search Option Available

Museum Map

Digit Code Artists Title

Color Coded Galleries

Where Am I?

Rest rooms

Show Current Location

Show Closest Rest rooms

Grades K–5 College

Specific Gallery Directory

Basic Information Screen

Grades 6–12 Artist Title Year Country of Origin

Detail Shots Technique Color Use Subject

Tour

Map

Full Screen View of Art

Composition

Example of Tour Process:

Main Menu

More Information

More Like This

Where Is This?

Search Option Available Digit Code Artists Title

Thumbnail View

List View

Search Option Available Digit Code Artists Title

Line

Navigate to First Piece

List View

Full Screen View

Information

Next

Select Current Artwork to Full Screen View

Previous

Display Map to Next Piece

07 Michael Criste // Rachel Kim // Cesley Musngi


WALK THROUGH

VMFA Wifi

12:04 PM

Upon entering the App, the user is taken to the home screen which lays out the main features of the app:

VMFA Wifi

12:04 PM

VENTURE

∙Venture ∙Map ∙Find ∙About

Select Option

Select Option

VIRGINIA MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS

VIRGINIA MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS

GUIDEBOOK

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GUIDEBOOK

go

When the user taps the desired feature, a highlighted ‘Go’ Button will appear. The ‘Go’ button acts as a safety-net for the user to confirm which feature they wish to enter.


VENTURE

VMFA Wifi

After the user enters the Venture feature of the app, they will be propmpted to select a category for their desired tour type: ∙Gallery, tours based on existing galleries in the VMFA ∙Time Period/Movement, multigallery tours that encompasses specific periods in art

12:04 PM

Select Category

VMFA Wifi

12:04 PM

Select Category

Gallery

Gallery

Time Period/Movement

Time Period/Movement

Regions

Regions

Specialty

Specialty

For this example, the user will select the Specialty category.

∙Regions, Tours that are designed to educate about particular areas of the world ∙Specialty, an assorted collection of tours based on varied interests

VENTURE

VENTURE

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WALK THROUGH

VMFA Wifi

Once the user selects which category of tours they would like to choose from, they are then given their specific tour choices in that category. In our example the user selects the Director’s Choice tour.

12:04 PM

VMFA Wifi

Select Category Audio Tour

12:04 PM

Director’s Choice

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Critically Acclaimed Director’s Choice Visitor’s Favorites Education

VENTURE

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Navigate towards Canoe Sofa

At the beginning of the tour a map appears with the current location of the user, he location of the first piece and its title with the shortest route highlighted.


VMFA Wifi

While the user is traveling towards the piece the representational icon moves with them. This is imprtant if the user makes a wrong turn or purposefully navigates off the track for whatever reason. They will always be able navigate back to the predetermined route.

12:04 PM

VMFA Wifi

Director’s Choice

1

12:04 PM

Director’s Choice

1

You have arrived at

Canoe Sofa

When the user arrives at the artwork, a pop-up button appears, disabling any other actions on the screen and informing the user of their arrival. Interactivity of the button is indicated, showing the user to tap the button to view the piece’s information.

Click to View Image and Info

Navigate towards Canoe Sofa

Navigate towards Canoe Sofa

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WALK THROUGH

VMFA Wifi

An image of the piece appears, in this case Elieen Gray’s Canoe Sofa, as well as a pull-up menu tab. This pull-up menu is designed to be less obstrusive than the normal iOS styled controls.

12:04 PM

Canoe Sofa

VMFA Wifi

12:04 PM

Canoe Sofa

Tap and dragging the tab upwards reveals the menu while tap and dragging the tab downwards reveals it. This specific menu tab displays the Previous and Next buttons, the Thumbnail and List views of the items on the tour, and the Information icon. ∙Previous and Next refer to the tour, for example when the user is ready to move to the next piece ∙List and Thumbnail views are a way for the user to customize the order. By clicking either one of these options, the user can skip to the pieces they are more inclined to view ∙Information reveals the basic information regarding the piece

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VMFA Wifi

When the Information icon is tapped, a small, transparent box appears with the Artist’s Name, when it was created, and what it is made with. Also, the Information icon changes to the More Information icon. If the user feels inclined to do so, the user can tap More Information in order to learn more interesting facts about the piece.

12:04 PM

Canoe Sofa

VMFA Wifi

12:04 PM

Canoe Sofa

Demenisions: 28 3/8 x 106 5/16 x 29 9/16 Gift of Sydney & Frances Lewis

Gray, Eileen 20th century, 1919-20 Furniture, Lacquered wood, silver leaf, upholstery

Imagine a stylish woman lying on this sofa, surrounded by pillows and a casually draped throw. A wisp of smoke curls slowly from the cigarette in her hand. This image actually appeared in an advertisement for perfume. The model was the fashion designer Suzanne Talbot, who hired the Irish designer Eileen Gray to decorate her entire

More Infomation reveals distincit details about the piece itself, the artist, and/or its influence in art history.

Once the user has read the desired amount of information about the specific piece, the user can select the Next icon to view the route on the Map towards the following art piece on the tour.

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WALK THROUGH

An essential aspect of the VMFA Guidebook app is acess to a simplified version of the current museum’s hard-to-decipher map. Working with the iPhone’s GPS capabilities, a visitor who selects the Map option can see their position in the VMFA in real time. The museum’s already established galleries are color-coded in simple solid sections for less visual clutter. Also, unlike the current VMFA maps, restrooms are also indicated on the map.

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VMFA Wifi

12:04 PM

Second Floor

VMFA Wifi

12:04 PM

Second Floor

The user is able to zoom in and out of the map by pinching open and close, respectively, anywhere on the screen.


MAP

VMFA Wifi

Located at the bottom edge of the Map is a pull-up tab for the user to toggle between the maps for each museum floor.

12:04 PM

Second Floor

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WALK THROUGH

VMFA Wifi

The Find feature of the VMFA Guidebook App is a means for visitors to view a directory of all the current art pieces currently on exhibit in the museum and to learn more about them.

VMFA Wifi

12:04 PM

12:04 PM

List Search

Thumbnail Search Search

Search A A-tshol Head a3 blackface #59

When Find is selected, the user is brought to a search bar with a thumbnail view of the museum’s art piece directory by default. Based on the personal preference, the visitor can toggle between thumnail and list view. Also, there is a drop down menu available to arrange the art pieces by in the directory by art piece title, artist or ID number.

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Abundance of Nature Abstact Painting 594-1 B Bactrian Camel Between The Clock and The Bed Bowl Bracelet

FIND

Bridalveil Fall Bristol, VA 1996

FIND

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


FIND

VMFA Wifi

Once the visitor selects an art piece from the directory, they are taken to a full screen view of the piece. A pull-tab menu is located at the bottom edge of the screen to navigate to different aspects of the piece based on Details, More Information or Suggestions.

12:04 PM

Gull Scape

VMFA Wifi

12:04 PM

Details is information that focuses on aesthetic attributes of the piece such as Technique, Color Use, Composition, Line and Subject.

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WALK THROUGH

VMFA Wifi

More Info is a more detailed description of the art piece and its artist. This information is not found on the plaques that exist next to the art pieces in the museum.

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12:04 PM

More Information

Rather than attempt to reproduce his subjects, his work tackled the way mass media portrays them. Lichtenstein would never take himself too seriously however: "I think my work is different from comic strips- but I wouldn't call it transformation; I don't think that whatever is meant by it is important to art". When his work was first released, many art critics of the time challenged its originality. More often than not they were making no attempt to be positive.

VMFA Wifi

12:04 PM

Suggestions

Suggestions recommends art pieces similar to the art piece currently being viewed based on varying features such as style, artist, time, etc. When pulled up, Suggestions list is compiled by the title of the recommended art pieces. The visitor can select a piece from the list and will be taken to its corresponding More Info page.


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CONCLUSION

The current drawbacks to the VMFA’s visitors interaction with the museum itself fueled the development of the VMFA Guidebook. With its easy-to-follow interface, decipherable map and icons and effortless accessibility to an abundance of information, the VMFA Guidebook is a supplemental addition to the overall museum experience. The app’s features cater to a wide range of visitors despite one’s age and/or technological understanding. The VMFA Guidebook app opens up the museum to be more enjoyable and informational for guests.

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Developed & Designed by: Michael Criste ¡ Cesley Musngi ∙ Rachel Kim


VMFA Guidebook