Audio guide app design: spring 2017
In our visit to the Bargello, we were overwhelmed by the amount of history there was to experience within such a small space and a small period of time for us. We took it upon ourselves to think of the intervention as something that would complement the experience of Bargello visitors, regardless of age or familiarity with the institution and its collection. As a result of our mixed group of creators & researchers, the app we’ve developed is our attempt to bridge the gap between historical research and digital intervention, creating an elevated audio-guide that gives the user more control over what their experience of the art and history. Opening two route options, Unlocking the Bargello offers the self-curated option which allows the user to pick from the narratives to create their own tour, and then a Scavenger Hunt option that is tailored to children but definitely not exclusive to them.
An upgrade from the average audio-guide, this product focuses on creating contextualized curatorial narratives that the user can create a self-guided experience that’s both academically enriching and allows them to engage with the artifacts and spaces. Giving the user the opportunity to build their own experience, the app offers two routes: a self-created tour which lets the visitor roam through the museum at their own pace or a game of Scavenger Hunt which gives clever clues for children to learn while having fun.
Goals and Objectives
Through creating an audio-guide app, our goal was to fulfill the traditional demand of an audio-guide whilst eliminating the need for on site equipment and maintenance. Convenience and user-centric experience are the main tenants of the product, offering an easy to utilize interface that allows them to anticipate the amount of time they will be spending in the museum and what kind of information they can learn.
On an institutional level, this project also anticipates the necessity of creating an archive of digitized objects and artifacts that allows the museum and the wealth of information it has to eventually be accessible online. This offers a level of visibility for the museum but also an important way to give the Bargello the space it deserves in the Florentine and art history.
Accessing the Audiences
The audience becomes the most vital part of the project as the app can be created, but must also be used. Our main target audiences is tourists and tour groups, the routes offered are created to ensure an experience suitable for different ages, interests and even languages. The interface is designed to be easy to utilize for older age groups which may not be familiar with apps, to younger people.
Creating Narratives: Research & Process
Built on academic research, the narratives included in the app are a foundation to the inception of the interface and the creation of the self-curated user experience. While we have included narratives in the demo, for example: The Famous Ones, Queer Florence and Prison & Torture, to proceed with creating the app further research into these topics and others would be a necessary part of the development. Ideally, the project will include a collaboration with a specialist in Florentine history & art to help create a truly enriching experience of the museum and its context within history, making knowledge that would be trapped in the pages of phDs accessible to museum visitors on a daily basis.