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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.

You’ve Gone Mobile, Now What?


This paper and presentation uses the experiences and research underway at both an art museum and a science museum to build on last year’s presentation, Getting On (Not Under) the Mobile 2.0 Bus. Following the launches of several mobile initiatives at The Museum of Modern Art, including an iPhone/Android app, an exhibition-specific iPad app, a mobile version of their website,, and a pending activity app, the museum has begun to ask themselves a series of questions about the use and future expansion of their overall mobile program. In the meantime, the Museum of Science, Boston, has been exploring various mobile experiences and related business models, including treks for visitors on the SCVNGR game platform, a mobile interpretive application for the permanent Museum Then & Now exhibit, collaborations with local companies to produce near location-based mobile applications, and research and development in experience-enhancing mobile applications, such as augmented reality implementations. As the applications of mobile technologies are broad, the Museum of Science is likewise beginning to assess the success of recent mobile endeavors and assess the best strategy for future mobile development and implementations.

Rather than being a case study of what’s already been done, however, this paper and subsequent presentation will focus more on the present and future. How are the existing mobile applications and sites being used? What are the considerations for building an app that serves both in-house and off-site audiences? How do we assess ROI for both mission and margin? How do we create sustainable solutions for mobile experiences? How do we build mobile experiences specific to different museum environments and modes of visitor participation? And finally, what does looking beyond museums reveal about where the industry is going in terms of features, audience, and revenue?


Paper - in formal session


ABurnette's picture
Allegra Burnette is the Creative Director of Digital Media at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, overseeing the design and production for the museum's website,, as well as mobile devices, interpretive kiosks and digital displays. Online projects include two complete site redesigns,...
mcheck's picture
Director of Information and Interactive Technologies at Museum of Science, formerly Associate Director at The National Center for the History of Electronic Games, Information Technology Manager at American Journal of Play, Director of Technology at Strong National Museum of Play, Director of...