Learn more about the development behind the IMA App

Islamic Museum of Australia – App - Enhance your museum experience

The Islamic Museum of Australia (App) was designed specifically with the user experience in mind; it is an interactive experience aimed at satisfying the tech savvy visitor whilst also providing essential data for the intended growth and sustainability of the museum. Principle consultant of Osmium, the company behind the IMA App, Ashraf Naim, states “the app is not intended to replace or mimic the museum experience; it is designed to connect the existing new media user experiences whilst enhancing the museum visit; both through its immediate function with visitor interactivity and usage as well as the sustainability element as garnered through the feedback loop and iBeacon technology, with the provision of data and community input that will further direct and improve the museum as a community cultural institution.”

Ashraf further describes the function of the App through the recognition of the museum as a spatial experience “One cannot really replicate the experience of being present, and that is not the purpose of the App, it is no trying to replace the museum experience; for example, the scale or sense of power that an artwork which is two or three metres in height is an experience that cannot be fully realised via even the biggest and best screen. And it is definitely not intending to replace the materiality and beauty of objects or artefacts in their presence, or even the personal experience and interaction with other visitors or staff.” And although the App provides access to a trove of additional information in relation to the displays, galleries and the museum itself, keeping in line with the museum’s philosophy in reflection of the IMA App brief as described by Ashraf, “the App is not aiming to nail down or define the experience of the visitor or even claiming to be the definitive source of knowledge”. Along with that is the aim of the “visitor leaving the museum with more questions so as to awaken the sense of curiosity and discovery”, the IMA App encourages further exploration through links and social networking.

The IMA App is a tool that allows interactivity and growth of the museum through precise user experience data and also allows the community member to help shape the content and delivery of the museum through their feedback and usage. “This is the true power and vital experience of the IMA App, the meeting of technology and community in the museum setting to progress the cultural development of a community.”  The IMA App has a number of applications and goals.

Islamic Museum of Australia App

To enhance the museum visitor experience

The limitations in the recommended wording on museum information panels are addressed by providing more information, images and links at each of the displays. This allows that visitor to engage in as much, or as little, information that they would like on any particular subject or topic.

Through the ability of the visitor to provide feedback or commentary – the visitor can provide instantaneous feedback either anonymously or via their email (if they require a personal response). The provision of the feedback options enables opportunities for community members to participate in the contribution of content and the direction that may go in.

The visitor has the option to connect with other people via social media through the App while they are onsite at the museum.

The audio and font size variation available in the App allows the museum visitor to engage in the content in a personalized manner.

Virtual tour guide – although the App cannot replace the experience of a tour guide it does allow visitors the advantage of accessing additional information at their own pace.

The App can make suggestions to users: e.g. Where to go next?

The App can also act as a marketing tool: The visitor may be reminded to visit the gift shop or have a coffee @ MME

Welcome a user with a custom welcome message and say goodbye when they leave which will make the tour more personalised.

Identify the user if they have visited in the past and then perform custom actions, may be a custom welcome like:  “Hey, it’s been two weeks from last visit right? Welcome back. Check out our new…”

Useful with current and coming up events: To offer event ticket sales when visitors are at the museum. Use this to give last minute deals to the visitors inside the premises. eg “Why don’t you stay for our Artist Salon Event tonight?”

The App enables a platform from which the collections and specialized content of museums, locally, nationally and internationally can be accessed for the visitor whilst encouraging cross promotion, support and connection between museums.

The provision of connections between museums allows knowledge sharing through easy access and community links.

To allow virtual visits to the IMA – for those who are not geographically located to visit the museum – the IMA App provides an interactive experience online.

To serve the museum in maintaining and improving the visitor experience with the iBeacon

Through anonymous iBeacon tracking technology the IMA will be informed of which galleries are visited and the amount of time visitors remain at each display. This information can be used to improve user experience in the Museum later eg adjust the air conditioning in the gallery that has increased visitor density.

The iBeacon allows the IMA to collect information related to temperature and light exposure.

The iBeacon Improves virtual tour experience by triggering location based custom content and actions.

The IMA App Design strategy

The IMA App has been carefully and thoughtfully designed in line with the established IMA brand. This seamless cross over between the IMA’s social media and website with the App allows the visitor confidence in the IMA as well as the convenience of recognition and ease of navigation; the visitor can enjoy the transition from one museum experience to the other.

The IMA App has been custom designed for the museum and to suit the needs of the museum visitor.