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Evaluating museum apps

Developing an app takes a lot of time and effort. It has to have an effective design, be simple to use, and most importantly provide relevant, timely and engaging content for the user. Yet, despite all the work we put into planning, developing and launching our museum apps, we are never sure how they will be accepted by our visitors. More often than not, the expectations we have of our apps collide with the actual reality of their use.

In this session we will discuss key issues in the design and evaluation of museum apps. Who uses them, where and how, and with which device? How engaging is the content for the visitors? Can a museum app simultaneously inform and entertain? How do we collect and evaluate data to evaluate our apps? What can we learn for future improvements to app design, user experience and museum requirements?

More about this session: The speakers will present their experiences, best practice examples and lessons learned from a range of perspectives including commissioning, delivering and evaluating apps and the visitor expereinces they create. Participants will be invited to share and discuss their experiences and insights on this increasingly important topic. Together, with a bit of luck, we might even find the formula for a killer museum app.


Eamonn O'Neill photo
Head of Department
Department of Computer Science, University of Bath
United Kingdom

Session speakers

Annette Lein
Head of Online Media
Annette will present the Deutsches Museum App launched in February 2018. It aim is to provide visitor services for first time visitors, international visitors and families, as well as additional information on selected exhibits. Despite two pre-launch user tests, there is still a lot of uncertainty around how visitors will use or not use the app. Annette will share her insights, expectations and experiences from first planning to implementation of the app.
Exhibit-interdisciplinary & curate/Director
Yihsuan and her team are in the midst of developing a museum app to support tinkering activities involving visitors to the National Taiwan Science Education Centre. She will share experiences and findings from the design and implementation of the app and plans for its use and future developments.
Andre Seirafi, Fluxguide CEO and Co-Founder
Co-Founder, CEO
André is creative director at Fluxguide, a Vienna based company, which develops new possibilities for museum interpretation and visitor services worldwide. He will present best practices on how to maintain an app once it is launched and what you can get out of an analysis tool. He will also share some valuable "do's and don’ts" of planning an app.
Learning Researcher
Natural History Museum
United Kingdom
Jack Gelsthorpe is Learning Researcher at the Natural History Museum, London. He is part of the NHM's audience research and evaluation team and has conducted evaluations to inform the development of the NHM's visitor app and encountered many key issues and tensions, particularly regarding expectations vs reality and wants vs needs.