fredag 13 februari 2015

Improvements for Nordiska muséet

I spoke to Robert Ziherl today about possible ideas and improvements concerning the digital development of Nordiska museet.  Much of our discussion revolved around some kind of a guide system for the museum. As of today, the museum lends out small devices to the visitors. The user simply connects a pair of headphones to the device and then points it to specific checkpoints throughout the museum whereas the checkpoints corresponding audio track is played.

According to Ziherl, the main concern of the museum is to establish a good and dependable guide system, as the one mentioned above (although a new device is under development at the moment). Some kind of a guide system is essential when visiting a museum whether it is based on an audio-device, a map or an interactive application for the smart phone.

Another problem that needs an improvement concerns the visitors interests at the museum. What do the visitors find interesting? What objects at the museum gets the most attention?
There is a need for some improvement to the data gathering at the museum. As of today, the only way the museum receives feedback from its visitors is by having them fill in formulas. However, there is a slight problem here since not all visitors use these formulas, and thus the museum suffers from a lack of accurate feedback. A solution to this problem can be found by observing an old technique; by establishing some system that keeps track of the way the visitors move. Where do they move? How long do they stay at certain areas in the museum? One solution that Ziherl mentioned was by having surveillance-cameras set up around the inside of the museum. By using existing software the motions of these visitors can be tracked (see example image below), and the footage can be processed and used for improving the museum. Seeing how visitors move within a museum is considered highly valuable data. This is also a cheap solution, essential for long-time improvements.

Example of how the tracking of museum 
visitor's movement may look like.

There is also an increasing need of digitalizing the content within the museum. The museum has over one million exhibited objects, and much more books as well as archived paper-files. New, modern solutions must be found, as it is difficult to access this content when necessary. However, incorporating the museums with digital software is a challenge which takes much time.

A quick summary of the interview; the subject that needs the most attention and improvements is the guide systems. These guide systems are constantly upgraded and switched,  though not always to better models and versions.
There is also a need of a solution for the data gathering. How to best find out what the visitors find most interesting at the museum? One solution is to add cameras that track the visitors movement around the museum.

Best regards and many thanks to Robert Ziherl for helping us with the project!