All posts by Shelley Bernstein

Shelley Bernstein

Shelley Bernstein is the former Vice Director of Digital Engagement & Technology at the Brooklyn Museum where she spearheaded digital projects with public participation at their center. In the most recent example—ASK Brooklyn Museum—visitors ask questions using their mobile devices and experts answer in real time. She organized three award-winning projects—Click! A Crowd-Curated Exhibition, Split Second: Indian Paintings, GO: a community-curated open studio project—which enabled the public to participate in the exhibition process.

Shelley was named one of the 40 Under 40 in Crain's New York Business and her work on the Museum's digital strategy has been featured in the New York Times.

In 2016, Shelley joined the staff at the Barnes Foundation as the Deputy Director of Digital Initiatives and Chief Experience Officer.

ASK snippets can now be seen on object pages like in this example of our Spacelander Bicycle.

ASK Snippets Integrated Into BKM Website

A number of things happen after a visitor has a chat with our ASK team. At the end of each day, the ASK team takes the…

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It was during the Bloomberg testing session when we could see a number of users all having the same problems that issue became really clear.

Selectively Flying Blind After Android User Testing

ASK Brooklyn Museum for Android is now available on Google Play. We had one early quandary, but this was a fairly straightforward development process. That is, until we…

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Going with the Google ID to recognize users across devices may be problematic for ASK engagement.

How Important is Anonymity When Asking a Question?

As reported earlier, the Android version of our ASK app is due to launch in April. For the most part, the app will look and…

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Mobile side debugger tool developed by HFC to show beacons being ranged and which beacon would be sent with a message if a user were to hit send.

Code Release: Going from iOS to Android Solving iBeacon Issues Along the Way

Our Android release is coming in April. I’m often asked about our strategy to expand into Android when 74% of our users are on iOS…

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Using a selfie stick to update Estimote beacon firmware in the galleries.

Getting Visibility on the iBeacon Problem

It’s been just over a year since I wrote about the realities of installing ibeacon to scale. Our ASK app, funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies, has been active…

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Sean Herman presents about the team's ASK BKM solution during Cornell Tech's studio sprint #3.

Asking with a New Set of Eyes

I’m sure it will come as no surprise to anyone that getting out of your own head every once in a while can have great benefits. We’ve…

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Data review meeting between the ASK team and our curators in European art.

Sleuthing Clues about the Future from Visitor Interaction

Things have been pretty quiet over here for a while—have you noticed?  We had been blogging our progress on ASK weekly and in my last post…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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In Conversation iPad Kiosk

Moving Toward a Conversation

If you’ve ever heard me speak at conferences you know that one of our most successful technology projects is also one of our simplest—the comment…

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Join us at #table17

The Brooklyn Artists Ball is coming up next week and it’s an event that we are super excited about; this year’s ball celebrates Brooklyn and…

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Double Pegasus

3D Printing for Accessibility

In the last year, we’ve seen a lot happening in the museum space with 3D printing.  The Smithsonian is working on what looks like a enormous project,…

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Yeon Ji Yoo

Join us in Celebrating GO

It’s hard to believe we are here after dozens of artist and voter meetups throughout the summer; an exhilarating open studio weekend that resulted in…

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Open Studio Weekend Visitation Statistics

As the nomination phase of GO continues this week, now is a good time to review the weekend and share some statistics about weekend visitation…

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Getting Beyond the Like Button

The open studio weekend is just 16 days away and as we get closer, it’s worth taking a look at some of the participatory design choices we’ve…

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Red Hook Houses and GO Open Studios

Partnering with NYCHA for GO

GO is a project that’s rooted in community, but “community” is one of those words that can have a lot of different meanings. As Sharon…

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ArtPrize in 2010

Learning from ArtPrize

As we continue to move forward throughout the summer, it seems fitting to talk about the inspiration behind GO.  I’ve already mentioned that the Brooklyn…

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Map showing the 1861 registered artists registered to open their doors for GO.

1861 Artists Will Open Their Studio Doors Sept 8-9

When Sharon and I first started discussing the project that would become GO, one of our sources of inspiration was a map that the Brooklyn…

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Why Artist Registration for GO Continues to Surprise Me

As Sharon mentioned in her post yesterday, we continue to get a lot of questions and wanted to answer a few of them prior to…

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Team GO

Going Local with a Distributed Network

You’ve probably heard that if Brooklyn were its own city, we’d be the fourth largest in the United States. With a land mass of 73…

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GO: a community-curated open studio project

Let’s GO

Over the years many people have asked me if we’d do Click! again and my general response has been to say that we wouldn’t do a…

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Sunset from the Brooklyn Museum roof.

A Sunset for 1stfans

It’s been roughly three and half years since Will Cary and I started the 1stfans Membership program at the Museum; come July, the program will…

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WikiLink

WikiLink (QR Redux)

You may remember my blog post a while back, QR in the New Year?  In it, I talked about our QR code testing and reported…

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Brooklyn Museum in Google Art Project

Google Art Project Deux

Starting today, you can find the Brooklyn Museum in Google Art Project. I’m here in Paris at the launch for the second phase where more…

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QR Signage

QR in the New Year?

A while back, I reported that we were in the process of a trial period with QR codes.  We’ve just taken a look at the…

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Kiosks in Split Second

In the Gallery vs. Online: How a Split Second Can Differ

One of the questions people always ask me is how web differs from what happens in the building and that’s a difficult thing to get…

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Youth and Beauty iPad Kiosks

Proving a Point with Google Images

When most of us think about the roaring twenties, we envision scenes of flappers cutting loose on the dance floor, bustling cities filling with new…

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Lee Mingwei

Give a Flower, Share Your Experience

As Eugenie noted in her post, The Moving Garden is installed in our Rubin Pavilion and the artist invites the visitor to take a flower…

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QR Codes on TSA Signs

QR Code Conundrum

I’ve long been a critic of QR Codes.  When I look around, I see low adoption rates, technical hurdles for end users and some really…

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iPad Kiosk Use

The Avatar and the iPad: Lessons Learned

As Jenny mentioned in her previous post, we had an interactive running on a series of iPads in Vishnu: Hinduism’s Blue Skinned Savior and now that…

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Should I Stay or Should I Go?

An interesting post popped up at ReadWriteWeb yesterday that evaluates our social media efforts across platforms—the author questions if we are spread too thin and…

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Google Analytics - Split Second - New York Participants

Come visit your data in Split Second

Watching Split Second: Indian Paintings get installed into the gallery this week has been a real thrill for me. I believe it is vital that…

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Historypin

Help us pin Brooklyn to the map!

If you know and love Brooklyn we need your help to get 300+ images from our collection pinned to Historypin’s map before their launch on…

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Instagr.am

35 Animal Mummies meet Twitter and Instagr.am

If you read Lisa’s post on the animal mummy field trip to the Animal Medical Center and got as excited as we did, follow us…

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TechCrunch Disrupt

Come hack with us at TechCrunch Disrupt!

It’s been two years since we released our collections database API and since that time we’ve seen a variety of use from iPhone and iPad…

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Split Second Thank You

The online evaluation phase of Split Second: Indian Paintings came to a close yesterday evening and now it’s time to say thanks to everyone who gave us…

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Moonrise Poem

Poetry Comes to our Collection Online

Did you know that April is National Poetry Month?  To celebrate, the Department of Cultural Affairs and the Mayor’s office is hosting Poem In Your…

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Next up, what you see is what you get.

This post continues the discussion about the tool we developed for Split Second.  Once you get past stressing and (possibly) scrolling in the timed trial, the…

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Stressing and Scrolling in a Blink

One of the things we wanted to do with Split Second is talk about the tool that we developed for the online activity.  Much like…

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What do you see in a split-second?

Today, we are launching Split Second: Indian Paintings and it’s something I’ve been excited about for quite a while. Split Second is an opportunity to…

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Subversion Ma

Wikipop iPads and Visitor Metrics

Now that Seductive Subversion has closed, it’s time to look at the Wikipop project and report on what we’ve seen in the galleries over the…

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App Store Confusion Necessitates API Changes

The museum is well represented in the Apple App Store with not one, but two applications. The first was released in May 2009 by Adam…

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1stfans: Shifting Focus and Moving to Meetup.com

As originally conceived, 1stfans was designed to engage both near and faraway supporters, but having run the program for almost two years, we’ve been seeing…

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Welcome to WikiPop, 25 Articles in English (on iPads in the Gallery)

Seductive Subversion opens today and the show takes a look at the impact of women artists on the traditionally male-dominated field of Pop art.  The…

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A Response to Rothstein’s “From Picassos to Sarcophagi, Guided Along by Phone Apps”

Many of you may have seen Edward Rothstein’s assessment of mobile technology in museums, but if you haven’t it is certainly worth a read and…

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Where in the Wikiverse is the Brooklyn Museum?

Today, we are releasing a new feature in the labs area of the collection online that reports on our recent project to cross-post no known…

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Brooklyn Museum Mobile Web on iPhone and Droid

Today we are releasing apps for both iPhone and Droid that, simply, wrap our mobile website.  If we have a mobile website, you may be…

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Shout(Out) Brooklyn! A Visitor-Curated Target First Saturday

Last month, our Adult Programs team came to me asking how we could help create a visitor-curated Target First Saturday.  It was one of those…

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Rethinking Twitter with ConnectTweet

For as long as we’ve had the Brooklyn Museum Twitter account, I’ve been the sole voice behind it, but today we are trying something new. …

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Remix American High Style with Polyvore!

I’ll admit that I get inspiration from somewhat odd places and three weeks ago, inspiration struck as I was reading the New Yorker and came…

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Cross-posting the Collection to Wikimedia Commons and the Internet Archive

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:  it’s simply not enough to publish assets on our own website—we cannot expect people to come…

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Mobile Meetup at Target First Saturday

As I mentioned last week, we’re hosting an informal meetup to celebrate the launch of the mobile website and Gallery Tag!  If you are coming…

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Gallery Tag!

As I mentioned yesterday, the creation of a mobile website allows us to grow, so today we are taking advantage of that by introducing a…

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Mobile Web

Today we are releasing a mobile version of our website and are happily following in the footsteps of our colleagues at the Powerhouse Museum and…

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BklynMuse: failing fast, retooling faster = version 2

This year, I had the privilege of speaking at Webstock and one of the things I learned from listening to the other speakers was the…

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Collection Online: Opening the Floodgates

Today, we are going from 12,598 records to more than 94,000 in our collection online and this increase represents a substantial change in the way…

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Brooklyn Museum Collection Labs

Today, we are taking a page from Google and releasing a labs environment for our collection online.  Having the collection online for 18 months has…

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Live Tweeting Mummy Wrapping and Conservator Q&A Tuesday!

If you were following us on Twitter last June, you probably remember us live tweeting as a group of mummies were taken to North Shore…

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