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A mobile app

November 29, 2011

Smartphones have become very popular nowadays. According to a survey, smartphones have contributed to the worldwide growth of the mobile phone market which has increased by 17.9% in the fourth quarter of 2010. From this, it plays a significant role in our society in the future. This trend also reflects the future of the museum which can take advantage of new internet-enabled “smart phones” in their programming. So the museum can design a mobile application to attract people’s attention.

iPhone app Yours, Vincent“Yours, Vincent” is the Van Gogh museum’s first iPhone application. People can download for free at the iTunes App Store or the official website. The application includes a lot of Van Gogh’s masterpieces and works from the Van Gogh Museum collection, video interviews with the museum’s letters experts. Users can touch the screen to get a closer look at his early sketches and listen to readings of the letters. It means users not only get more information about his paintings but also can watch his style’s development. Also, the museum keeps regularly updated on new picture galleries that showcase his art. So people are encouraged to visit the real exhibition after using the app. On the other hand, the app can help museum to attract a widely variety of audiences via the free downloading. For example, it is available in two languages such as English and Dutch. However, the interactivity of the app is quite weak.

As a user, I have a suggestion to improve its interactivity. For example, a QR code scanner can be added to the app. The users can get the audio or text tour from scanning the QR code which behind the works. And the app can set up discussion board for people sharing their visiting experiences and giving feedbacks to museum for improvement. So a free Wifi service is required and must available to use inside the museum. It is convenient for people using the function of QR code and get information on the one hand. On the other hand, it helps the museum tighter integration with social networking sites since people would post photos and status via Facebook, Twitter and so on.

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