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What’s new with the BM’s multimedia guide?

In Uncategorized on February 8, 2010 at 3:51 pm

I spent a few months last summer writing content for the British Museum‘s new multimedia guide, which was launched in December 2009. I’m really pleased with how it turned out and so, it seems, is the BM.

What’s different about this guide is that it’s been produced in-house, by the BM itself – usually, museums outsource the creative writing, production, hardware, data uploading and even staffing to an outside company. But the BM has done this all – with some outside help here and there. And full credit to them to getting it done on time.

It means that not only have they saved a small fortune in outsourcing costs, since the guide was launched they have been able to tweak elements of the design and alter content as and when they please.

There’s two bits of news about the guide for now. Firstly, there’s a usability study going on at the moment, to see how user-friendly the guides are. Interestingly, the usability review is being conducted by the same person who worked on the review for Dulwich OnView – it’s a small world, eh?

And secondly, the BM’s multimedia guide is going to be a case study at a Museums Association conference, taking place on 14 July 2010 at the Royal College of Surgeons. All in hand: working with hand held devices will look at the latest developments in hand held technology and provide case studies for museums thinking of altering how they deliver hand held content to their visitors.

Matthew Cock, the BM’s Head of Web is hoping to share some of the results from the current evaluation at the conference. He recently said, “our new multimedia guides are going to make a big difference to the visitor experience at the British Museum and make the collection even more accessible.”

Here’s hoping that’s the case. We’ll see what they come up with.

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