How a multimedia guide changes the visitors behavior inside a museum: eXplora Muse, a real case study.

Exhibitor Briefing
Matteo Bisanti, Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Italia, Matteo Bisanti, Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Italia, elisa coluccia, Graffiti 2000, Italy

eXplora museum is an iPad application providing an interactive tour of the museum, exploiting the iBeacon technology. It’s now employed by the Science Museum of Trento, the Muse.
Composed by a front-end, a back-end and a set of beacons placed at each point of interest of the Muse, it has been developed in one year’s work, with 2 major releases and 3 front-end usability tests.
In this study we analyze the visitors' behavior during their use of the multimedia guide, through visual observation and clustering data collected from the application. The data are compared with those collected in the first phase through a different user experience: the tour of the museum without the multimedia guide. These data were also useful to understand the communicative strength of the exhibition halls.
We run 25 observations in 24 different stations, for a total amount of 600 visitors observed in the months of July and August 2014. All these observations were made unbeknown to the visitors.
To build a comparison we observed: 625 visitors without the multimedia guide during August 2013 at the early opening of the museum, and other 300 observations in 2014, for a total amount of 1525 observations. In addition, during the quantitative analysis with tracking, 50 visitors without guide were observed in 2013 and other 50 with the guide in 2014.
 The formative evaluation rises up how the use of the interactive guide strengthened visitors’ idea that Muse is a site devoted to interactivity, technology and experimentation.
Data seem to suggest that beyond few isolated problems of usage, mainly due to the novelty of the use of such technology, the instrument is perceived as positive and as a device that improves the museum’s experience. The attractive power and the visiting time of each thematic area seem also increased if compared with the data collected in 2013.

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