Indianapolis Museum of Art iPad Apps
Project Role: Design Lead
Visitors to the Indianapolis Museum of Art expressed that they often left exhibitions and hoped for greater context of the works on display. Given this insight, my team and I proposed an iPad design system for the open source mobile tour platform, TAP. Designing a scalable and open source app for
in-gallery exploration of artworks answered both visitor and curatorial needs for the IMA and museum sector at large.
From neo-impressionist portraiture to rare concept cars, the IMA iPad apps have been designed, implemented and refined for nine IMA exhibitions and counting.
Based on exhibition timelines and our limited ongoing budget, I proposed the app be built as a design system that could be re-skinned to match the exhibition design for our ongoing exhibition schedule. The app was designed with sections for timeline, themes, interviews and events and programs. Each section would include a landing page and interior page with deeper information. This architecture was the best fit for the range of upcoming exhibitions, including, artworks from a singular artist and artworks from a central theme or era.
Our first build of the app was for the Ai Weiwei: According to What exhibition. The app outlined the key events in Ai’s life and the main themes around which the show was centered. In addition, visitors had access to interviews with Ai and a listing of exhibition-related Events & Programs.
Before going live with the app, we began user testing with visitors and I quickly learned to add in-app informational text and visual cues to indicate deeper information and interactivity for our diverse group of users.
I worked closely with our exhibition design team to seamlessly translate the design direction of the physical space for exhibitions into digital designs; including using the title treatment, typography and color palette seen throughout each exhibition. Additionally, I leaned heavily on the artist's aesthetic for visual inspiration. Pictured here, you may see how I used similar typography, color and pop-art style for our Robert Indiana iPad app.
After our first implementation of the app, we quickly learned from qualitative and quantitative data to refine our approach for following exhibitions.
Users were not exploring the video content section. We heard from visitors that they felt strange watching a video with audio in the middle of a quiet gallery space. We adjusted by creating two apps for exhibitions moving forward; one app was bench mounted in the space for reading text, viewing images, zooming in and exploring objects and watching videos without sound. The second app separated out video content with audio and were installed with headphones and seating. Finally, I redesigned the video section of the app to reduce user friction and increase viewership.
Events & Programs
The Events & Programs section had very little viewership. Because visitors were already onsite visiting the exhibition, users expressed that they weren't interested in this content. In an effort to display only the most pertinent information, we removed this section.