Leading Museums, Museum Leaders

Visitor research?

Victoria Stapley-Brown, Visitor research? There’s an app for that, The Art Newspaper, 31 March 2016


Android version of ASK, a text-message application.

Museums are using mobile technology to engage directly with their audiences and in future may use this data to boost their bottom lines too

Forget snail mail and pen-and-paper questionnaires—new technology is giving museums feedback from visitors in real time. This month, the Brooklyn Museum in New York will debut the Android version of ASK, a text-message application that enables visitors to chat live to museum staff about objects on show (with a typical response time of 45 seconds).

Shelley Bernstein, the museum’s vice-director of digital engagement and technology, says that curators are using these conversations to rethink displays and object labels. Meanwhile, the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York has gauged visitor interest in specific objects with a handheld gadget called the Pen.

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