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Museums and the Web

An annual conference exploring the social, cultural, design, technological, economic, and organizational issues of culture, science and heritage on-line.

Launching the MFA Multimedia Guide: Lessons Learned


For the opening of the Museum's new Art of the Americas wing, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston embarked upon a sweeping new program to transform the traditional audio guide into a new iPod Touch-based multimedia guide. This ambitious endeavor was fraught with challenges as diverse as managing content production at a new scale and determining how to reliably charge 750 devices at a time. 

In this session, MFA New Media team members will share lessons learned from our large-scale project, including points such as: 

  • Strategy - determining the best direction for our visitors and institution
  • Planning and evaluation - prototype testing of content and the device
  • Offerings - features and tours (adult, kids, foreign language, special exhibition, and audio described guides)
  • Content production - moving production in house while still leveraging experts
  • CMS - selecting and enhancing the guide content management solution
  • Updating content - crafting a solution for making content updates manageable
  • Security - protecting the investment
  • Equipment - cases, headphones, lanyards, chargers and more
  • Operations - managing workflow, training, and rental and return
  • Future growth - where we'll be heading next

The MFA uses TAP as the CMS, with a modified/customized TAP app as the user interface. We use the Nous case and a homegrown charging solution. 


Paper - in formal session


jenabah's picture
Jenna Fleming, Manager of New Media, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston - Jenna manages interactive projects both online and in the galleries, from video installations to web-based collection browsing. Prior to coming to the MFA, Jenna led many high-profile web and digital asset management projects for...
Phil Getchell's picture
Phil manages the growth and development of the MFA's internal and external Web sites, and projects related to New Media.
jkochis's picture
I love everything.

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