Testing in Connecting Cultures where the team was more embedded in and among the works of art.

Seeking a Home on the Range

As summer draws to a close, so does our testing for the location of our ASK team. You may remember the results from our earlier testing in…

Read More
Our actual download rate doesn't mean much especially given the app only works to have a conversation in the building. Instead, the "use rate" is a key metric. The one thing the download rate stats does show us is the pattern of downloads runs in direct parallel with our open hours. Mondays and Tuesdays are the valleys in this chart and that's also when we are closed to the public.

Measuring Success

We all struggle with how to measure success. We’re thinking a lot about this right now as we begin to put the pieces together from…

Read More
Visitor Liaisons are identified by cycling caps, which so far has worked pretty well. We my find as the lobby gets busier, they may need to wear t-shirts or something even more visible in addition. From left to right: Emily, Kadeem, and Steve.

A Personal Invitation to ASK

Knowing what we know about our visitors, we figured pretty early on that we would need to offer face time with staff as part of…

Read More
We might have gone a little overboard in our palm card layout testing. We didn't end up needing to test all of these as sometimes testing one ruled out several.

Messaging is Harder

Perhaps its the nature of an agile project, or just this agile project, but at each stage of ASK Brooklyn Museum we find ourselves facing…

Read More
Visitors loved the benches in the pavilion setup, but they felt disjointed from the ASK team.

Building is easy, but launching is hard.

If you think about it, building a project is fairly straightforward. It’s a one way street of sorts; a controlled process with steps involved, tests we can run, and timelines…

Read More
Screen Shot 2015-07-01 at 2.58.49 PM

The Pedagogy of a Text Message: First Response

In my last post, I discussed our “opening response” and slight tweaks to make that a better experience.  Our “first response” (the first message the…

Read More
Prompt was changed to elicit more deliberate action on the part of the user, a prompt that would require to the user to not just immediately engage with the app, but also immediately engage with the art in the Museum in a thoughtful manner.

The Pedagogy of a Text Message: Opening Prompt

What is the pedagogy of a text message conversation?  Can you actually have a pedagogy of texting? If so, what does it look like? How…

Read More
Screen Shot 2015-06-24 at 10.41.44 AM

ASKing About Art with Museum 2.0

Sara and I couldn’t be happier to have ASK featured on Museum 2.0, so instead of blogging our own progress this week we’ll point you…

Read More
Nitrous makes cars go faster. Servers not so much.

Performance Optimization, Not Premature Optimization

At the Brooklyn Museum, we like to take inspiration from many things. After recently watching “Mad Max: Fury Road,” we realized to make our servers…

Read More
The app store icon that we couldn't use.

Managing Expectations

We’ve talked a lot about how user expectations helped shape our implementation. There are times when it’s incredibly valuable to listen to your users, but there…

Read More
Large messaging at our entrance identifies where you are. We are using the existing canopy for the additional signage, seen here in a prototype.

Graphics Tie It All Together

When we first began thinking about the lobby reconfiguration, the need for flexible and moveable was paramount and all of our discussions with the design…

Read More
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…

Read More
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”…

Read More
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…

Read More
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…

Read More
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…

Read More
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…

Read More
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…

Read More
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….

Read More
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…

Read More
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…

Read More
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…

Read More
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…

Read More
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…

Read More
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…

Read More
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…

Read More
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…

Read More
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…

Read More
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…

Read More
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…

Read More
11
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…

Read More
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…

Read More
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…

Read More
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…

Read More
1
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…

Read More
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…

Read More
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…

Read More
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…

Read More
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…

Read More
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…

Read More
6
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…

Read More
2
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…

Read More
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…

Read More
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…

Read More
3
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…

Read More
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…

Read More
2
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….

Read More
1
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…

Read More
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…

Read More
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…

Read More