Movable furniture in the form of power benches and hubs can help further direct traffic. Circles show areas of gathering spaces.

Clearer Choices for Better Flow

Shelley and I like to cast a wide net when looking for inspiration and ideas, often looking outside the museum sector from the customer experience…

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KAWS (Brian Donnelly, American, b. 1974). ALONG THE WAY, 2013. Wood, 216 x 176 x 120 in. (548.6 x 447 x 304.8 cm) overall. Brooklyn Museum; Gift in honor of Arnold Lehman, TL2015.27a‒b. (Photo: Adam Reich, courtesy of Mary Boone Gallery, New York)

Solving Three Clicks to the Art

As you’ve been reading, ASK Brooklyn Museum isn’t just about an app—it’s an initiative that seeks to re-envision our visitor experience from top to bottom. That “top”…

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For now, we're going to release a single purpose ASK app and tie the pre-visit information into a later release after our website migration.

Scaling Back

In every project there’s always a moment where the timeline starts to shrink. You start to look at your launch date and the to do list (ours is…

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The ASK team has relocated to "42nd Street" to help acclimate them to working in a busy space before their lobby move in June.

Location, Location, Location

Last month we had the pleasure of introducing the six members of our audience engagement team, the specialists who will be engaging with visitors via…

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A series of furniture designed by Situ that we could use in a modular and reconfigurable fashion. The design of the components helps differentiate function.

Agile by Design

As I introduced in a previous post, SITU Studio was brought on board to design a mobile, flexible, and temporary set of furniture components that…

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Genevive Bell speaking at Webstock 2015.

We’re Only Human

When you’ve got any tool that is designed to answer questions the danger is that people think it’s an automated system; with ASK we need to…

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Most messaging clients use the three dots to indicate activity on the other side.

Fighting the Three Dots of User Expectation

In my previous post, I talked a lot about agile development and where we failed it. Agile has also thrown us some serious curves in…

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We took our best guess in architecting the dashboard, but that wasn't always the right one.

Learning from Agile Fails

As we march toward our June launch for ASK, it’s a good moment to look back at some of the issues we’ve faced along the way….

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The ASK team getting a tour of Judith Scott—Bound and Unbound from Catherine Morris, Sackler Family Curator for the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art.

Connecting with Curators

Our ASK team has a number of exciting challenges ahead of them. How do you communicate information about art in an informed and engaging way…

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Using the app to ask questions during a team training session.

A Day in Training

I know that everyone on the team agrees—spending time learning about the collection is a privilege, an honor, and a lot of fun. Training started…

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Nancy Rosoff, Andrew W. Mellon Curator of the Arts of the Americas, works with the team to take a closer look at our Life-Death Figure.

Amassing Encyclopedic Knowledge

ASK is a tool that allows any museum visitor using the Museum’s app to have the opportunity to be in direct and immediate contact with…

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IMG_9399_edit

Meet the Audience Engagement Team

I am happy to announce that we’ve identified and hired six individuals who are knowledgeable, experienced at connecting people with art, and excited to take…

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Home screen of the upcoming Brooklyn Museum App. Geofencing displays different information based on your proximity to our building.

Inside Out

The most passionate debates in our office have centered around how we are using geofencing in our upcoming app to present different information to users dependent upon…

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Asking our visitors to jump through hoops before they can start. In this version, a visitor cannot get to ASK without first giving us both, their name and email, bits they often glaze over or avoid.

Iterating on the ASK Mobile Experience

The ASK mobile app has gone through many design iterations and has continually evolved in a quest to to offer an exceptional user experience. In…

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Exit interviews during formalized testing have taken place in our cafe with free coffee vouchers. We've found this incredibly effective because coffee during the exit interview sets a tone of informality, allows testers to linger longer, and helps give us time if people are waiting their turn.

Lessons Learned Running User Testing

We have an incredible opportunity in front of us; the folks who will be using our ASK app are coming through the door every day, so we…

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A wiki will supplement the dashboard to help answer visitor questions. A clean, intuitive platform was needed that we can later fully integrate into the ASK dashboard.

Working out the Wiki

The most basic goal of the ASK app is to connect visitors to works of art in the museum. Although the conduit for this connection…

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A tester during our last testing session. Engagement through the app encourages closer looking.

Who are we looking for in an Audience Engagement Team?

I’ve just joined the Bloomberg Connects project as the Audience Engagement Lead. I will be heading the team that will be answering inquiries from visitors…

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Monica Marino, left, and Marina K, right, running the dashboard during a recent user testing session. Our Chief Curator, Kevin Stayton, helps answer questions.

Finding the Right People to ASK

On the surface, it might seem that our Bloomberg Connects project is all about tech. After all, this particular Bloomberg Philanthropies initiative is specifically for…

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Seated Buddha Shakyamuni, 965-1025. Gilt bronze, 8 1/2 x 7 1/4 x 4 3/4 in. (21.6 x 18.4 x 12.1 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Asian Art Council in memory of Mahmood T. Diba; Mary Smith Dorward Fund, 1999.42. Creative Commons-BY Image: overall, 1999.42_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph

Aspiring To Code Nirvana Through Tests

1 + 1 = 2? Obvious right? How about (2 + 2 x 4)^2? That’s a little more complicated but not so bad either. Over…

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Jennie scans the beacon using the Estimote app so we can assign major/minor values. I'm there with the paper map and Pritika is manning her beacon tool. All this to install a few beacons in Connecting Cultures.

The Realities of Installing iBeacon to Scale

Location aware technology as part of Bloomberg Connects is pretty vital.  We use it to tell the staff answering questions which gallery a visitor is standing…

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Prototype of our dashboard web application.

Benefitting from Code Prototypes

The dashboard—the web application our audience engagement team will use to answer incoming questions—is a complex application with many parts and before we hit the…

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Our current lobby has its challenges.

SITU Studio (re)Envisions our Lobby as Part of Bloomberg Connects

We are excited to announce that the Brooklyn based design firm, SITU Studio, will be working with us to create a new, more friendly and…

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Pikachu, I choose you!

Preparing for a Post-Password Future with Pokemon Cards

Every year a gathering of hackers and information security professionals convene in Washington, DC to discuss how awful and broken the state of computer security…

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Our stock of iPod Touch devices ready to go for user testing.

Challenges using the iPod Touch for a Mobile Testing Environment

In previous blog posts we’ve discussed the results of our initial user testing. In this blog post we’ll talk about the process and challenges of getting…

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Avoiding the mess of legacy and spaghetti code by leveraging frameworks in developing our dashboard—the web application our audience engagement team will use to answer incoming questions.

Fighting Code Chaos with the Right Framework

From the outset we knew that the dashboard—the web application our audience engagement team will use to answer incoming questions—was going to be a huge…

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A very high overview describing the relationship between our API and our mobile and dashboard applications.

One API to Rule Them All

In the web development world, RESTish APIs (Application Programming Interface) have slowly become the de facto standard by which different computing systems are used to…

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Sticky Notes

Agile Baby Steps

By and large, most software in the world is made to a spec enshrined into immutability, then interpreted differently by various parts of the teams…

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Our web team on the ASK dashboard while one of our test participants testing the app observes "Trade Sign (Boy Riding Bicycle)"

User Testing ASK with our Members

Earlier this week I covered how we have been testing the ASK app internally. Today I am going to talk about how we user tested…

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James, our back-end web developer role-playing as visitor and testing the ASK mobile app.

Preparing for User Testing

I was very excited by the prospect of user testing in the field when I started working on the Bloomberg Connects project. As a web…

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Answered questions appear on a second screen near the iPad where questions are asked. This one is installed on a column in our Connecting Cultures exhibition.

Configuring the All-in-One Windows 8 PC into a Gallery Kiosk

In getting our ASK iPad pilot into full swing for Bloomberg Connects we needed to nail down how we were going to present the answers…

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Observation showed us that visitors often use the kiosks in social groups.

Metrics Tell (Part of) the Story

As Shelley mentioned in her previous post, we’ve tweaked our comment kiosks over the past year or so, shifting them to an ask functionality only…

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In our latest pilot, the same ipads have a re-branded start screen to match our ASK program for Bloomberg Connects.

Piloting the Complexities of Migrating iPad Kiosks into ASK

Brian and Jennie have been talking about our forthcoming mobile application, which is one of the public facing components of our Bloomberg Connects project, but…

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Selecting ASK from the mobile home screen gives the user two views depending on where they are standing. Outside the museum, they see a call-to-action to come in and use ASK, which will be activated based on their geolocation. Once inside the museum, the feature is active and ready to use.

The Design Spin Cycle

When I started as Web Designer for the museum in January, I assumed I had been hired for a website redesign. Rookie mistake. As you’ve…

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estimote beacons

Positioning Visitors with iBeacons

When Apple released iOS7 in 2013 one of the new features introduced was iBeacon. This technology would now enable Apple devices to pick up broadcasting…

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Our start screen begins with an onboarding processes designed to be conversational.

Simply ASK

In previous Bloomberg Connects blog posts we’ve described the iterative process of determining how we can engage the visitor, enhancing their museum experience. The ASK app (our…

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The data we gather at each step informs the next one. Simple, right? [

Going Responsive with Agile Planning

“Three Simple Truths” from The Agile Samurai by Jonathan Rasmussen: 1. It is impossible to gather all the requirements at the beginning of a project….

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Google Analytics (along with zip code metrics) showed the majority of participation in Click! and Split Second was coming from local sources.

Local Matters

If you’ve been reading the blog lately you know we’ve been taking stock of our digital efforts and making considerable changes. I’ve been discussing what’s not…

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In order to test quickly, we used off the self hardware in the form of iPod Touches, iPads, and iMessage.

Leveraging Technology for Connection

As Sara mentioned in her previous posts, we’ve been careful in this project to let visitor need pave the way toward an idea. It was…

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Staff were stationed throughout the permanent collection to determine what type of guidance visitors were seeking.

Piloting a Future Visitor Experience

A series of internal meetings got us set on the path for this project, but we wanted to test it with our visitors. To do…

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Meetings with staff from across departments helped gather ideas that would later be tested with visitors.

Taking Assumptions with a Grain of Salt

As Shelley introduced in her last post, we have the very ambitious goal of overhauling our visitor experience through an initiative funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies…

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Everyone streaming through our doors has unique needs. How can we serve them better?

Visitor Powered Technology to Create a Responsive Museum

We are incredibly excited that Bloomberg Philanthropies has funded a three-year initiative as part of Bloomberg Connects and it gives us the opportunity to significantly improve…

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Teaching next-gen art making for the next generation of artists

Since we first made use of our 3D printer, we’ve grown the number of things we’ve used it for, ranging from creating a participatory experience…

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Hiroko Okada (Japanese, born 1970). Future Plan #2, 2003. Chromogenic photograph, 54 13/16 x 35 1/8 in. (139.2 x 89.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the artist and Robert A. Levinson Fund, 2008.25. © Hiroko Okada

Clear Choices in Tagging

Remember my post on Social Change? We’ve been evaluating our digital projects with a careful eye toward what’s working and what isn’t.  At this juncture,…

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The nicest error page we hope you never see.

Cloud Watching

A few years ago we moved away from hosting our website infrastructure from its dusty basement to the Cloud. This brought a certain peace of…

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Material at The Commons on Flickr has been moved to Wikimedia and seeded into appropriate articles, such as the Paris Exposition of 1900.

Social Change

There comes a moment in every trajectory where one has to change course.  As part of a social media strategic plan, we are changing gears…

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Robert Nardi photographing Senwosret III

How about a nice game of 3D printed chess?

Earlier this year, we started exploring how 3D printing could enhance the visitor experience and began by introducing it on that month’s sensory tour. In…

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Brooklyn Castle

For the past few years, we’ve been really fortunate to have a relationship with POV, the award-winning documentary series on PBS. They do really thought-provoking…

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The Dinner Party (Heritage Floor; detail)

Writing Women Back Into History

As I embarked on The Dinner Party Wikipedia project, my first step was to conduct a thorough assessment of the presence of these 1,038 women…

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Saul Bolton in front of the Brooklyn Museum.

Welcome Saul at the Brooklyn Museum

I am just delighted to announce the wonderful news that this fall, Brooklyn’s acclaimed Michelin star restaurant, Saul, will move from its current location in…

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The Dinner Party

Ending the ongoing cycle of omission

The conversation about sexism on Wikipedia is longstanding. In 2011, The New York Times Room for Debate took up the question of why there are…

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