XIII. Future Developments

Gallery 2.0: What next for Gallery One?

For those on the project-management side of things, ‘launch’ only signifies the start of the next phase of the project, and one that is likely to be much more tumultuous in terms of wrestling with more unknowns:

  • Will all the assumptions made ultimately prove to be correct?
  • Will the information gleamed from focused user testing accurately reflect the behavior of the multitudes?
  • Are all the operational and training efforts adequate now that thousands of visitors are coming in?

Museum-Wide Digital Strategy

A cross-departmental team—led by the Chief Information Officer and composed of the Interim Chief Curator, Director of Research, Director of Education and Interpretation, Director of Library and Archives, Director of Exhibitions and Director of Collections Management—is working to craft a digital plan to further CMA’s long-term vision of artistic excellence, scholarship and community engagement by embracing the use of innovative and holistic digital activities and promoting the development of digital skills across the institution in order to activate the collection, connect art and audiences in new ways, disseminate scholarship and provide ease of access to research resources. The development of digital activity and skills will enable CMA to work smarter and maximize revenue across the institution. The team has targeted May 2014 for completion of this plan.

Gallery One: Proving Ground for Museum-wide Digital Strategy

In the summer of 2010, the museum encountered the perfect storm of events that would lead to the restart of a Gallery One concept: the rapid advance and convergence of mobile technologies, the expressed need for CMA to advance a clear digital strategy, and the looming deadline of December 2012 that coincided with the public opening of the highly-anticipated museum expansion.

CMA’s executive team determined that our likelihood of success in executing our emerging digital plans would rely on three essential elements:

  • Recognize our core competencies and keep these in house (project management & infrastructure, big data strategy).
  • Focus on the art and the experience (educate, entertain and engage).
  • Borrow best practices and collaborate with the best practitioners (UX, design, app development).

In assessing the Gallery One project and continually improving the current experience in year one, the project team constantly revisits these core concepts to ensure everything is still in-line with the executive team’s directives.

The development and implementation of a comprehensive digital media strategy—including all foundational technology for art information, interpretive content/secondary assets, research resources, and relationship management—was instrumental to the success of Gallery One and ArtLens were the first beneficiaries of the museum’s digital strategy, and their technology and information management implementation has been recognized by IT professionals as innovative, intelligent, and in-line with tech industry best practices. With visitors and request for information from all around the world, CMA staff had to find time in their schedules to document and answer questions about Gallery One as though it were a case study. In honor of CMA’s centennial in June 2016, Gallery One’s artworks will be completely replaced and new interactives will be designed to interpret the artworks. A cross-departmental team has just been tasked with creating a plan for the concept and deployment of Gallery One – 2.0, which will celebrate the future of the Museum on its 100th birthday.

Specifically, this will include a redesign of the Beacon to include more dynamic information collected throughout the entire museum and act as a live dashboard for all of CMA. The dashboard will show where visitors are and have been, what tours they’re taking and creating, what films they’re watching and content they’re accessing, what events and talks they’re attending. These real time and cumulative metrics will provide a nuanced glimpse of the Museum’s activities and visitor interests.

Future endeavors include:

  • Developing more useful analytics.
  • Make ArtLens for special exhibitions to possibly replace the audio guide and create a back-end to work with other museums.
  • CMA’s team has just begun talks about locative media and voice recognition.  The museum will continue to devise digital strategy and “big data,” to examine the way individuals are tracked across all touch points and personalize not just their visit, but the full array of interactions (cf. “Omni-channel” approach).
  • Evaluating the “internet of things” approach and the ubiquity of sensors + mobile devices as more important for the time being (thus locative tech). Mobile use is all about “use in context” and thus, this approach would support the specialized content for nearby artworks.

Current trends the project team and IMTS staff are watching include:

  • Visitor Creativity: Creating a specialized, separate application that focuses on the specific paradigm of visitor created tours. This would allow for a more detailed and comprehensive approach to encourage visitor creativity and comprehension of the collection.
  • Wayfinding: Re-evaluating how wayfinding is visualized from a UX perspective.  Considering the inherent technological challenges for RTLS implementation, alternative designs will be considered and explored.

Trends and forecasting

Current trends the project team and IMTS staff are watching include:

  • Visitor Creativity: Creating a specialized, separate application that focuses on the specific paradigm of visitor created tours. This would allow for a more detailed and comprehensive approach to encourage visitor creativity and comprehension of the collection.
  • Wayfinding: Re-evaluating how wayfinding is visualized from a UX perspective.  Considering the inherent technological challenges for RTLS implementation, alternative designs will be considered and explored.