374082_edited.png
A_close_up_of_the_ACMI_Lens_in_act.2e16d

Onboarding of new device; research into optimal target audience.

ACMI (Australian Centre for the Moving Image) had closed its doors in 2019 to prepare for its relaunch in 2021. A feature of the new museum space is The Lens, a device allowing visitors to 'Explore, collect and discover' their experiences in the space and return to rediscover them while at home. Our brief from ACMI's CXO was to design a memorable onboarding experience, from initial awareness through to first collection.

This was a very interesting project that involved a quick, mid-project pivot. The challenge was a simple interaction design brief, but quickly changed direction. We held a kick-off meeting with stakeholders where we discovered that they were at present uncertain as to who they are as a brand, where they sat in the competitive landscape, and who their users were. We quickly discovered that this was a more complex challenge and providing them with an alternative solution, involving targeting the best audience to meet their business goals, could provide a better outcome for the client AND the users. We sent our reverse brief to the client and began our journey.

ACMI Business Goals:

  • To be cultural leaders

  • To be leaders in the industry

  • To be known as a knowledge brand

  • To optimise partnerships

  • To gain repeat users

Research methodology:

For this project we decided on 4 different methods of research in order to discover ACMI's optimal target user, and also recommend solutions in order to accommodate their needs and create the best on-boarding system for their use of The Lens:

  1. Secondary Research

  2. User Interviews

  3. Contextual Observations

  4. Guerrilla Interviews

Secondary Research

Market Research

The number of 'families' attending these spaces are much greater than other audiences. When diving deeper into this and looking at young people, children between 5-8 attend more than those older than them. This gives us an idea of who to consider when conducting our primary research.

*Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2019

STATS1.jpg
STATS2.jpg

Competitor Analysis

The main insight gained from the competitor analysis was that, although ACMI offered similar services in terms of exhibitions and experiences to other museums in Melbourne, they did not have the focus on education that their competitors did. This immediately sticks out as something to be addressed, considering the business goals of being leaders and a knowledge brand.

MM_GS_POS.png

OFFERINGS:

  • Permanent and touring exhibition.

  • Autism friendly museum.

  • Educational programs for students and teachers.

EDUCATION:

  • Provides an interactive outreach program.

  • Talks and lectures to the public.

national-gallery-of-victoria-ngv-logo.pn

OFFERINGS:

  • International and local artwork.

  • Free and paid exhibits.

  • Special events that occur within the space.

 

EDUCATION:

  • Provides programs and educational events for young kids, teens and the general public.

unnamed_edited.png

OFFERINGS:

  • Both viewing only and interactive exhibits.

  • Conservation talks and lectures.

  • Animal interaction experiences, feedings and talks.

EDUCATION:

  • National curriculum aligned guided tours for schools.

  • School holiday programs.

Future Threats & Opportunities

We decided that to give the best competitive advantage we would need to look at what is happening right now beyond our borders. Here we see galleries and museum spaces adopting interactive and educational activities that are changing the way that visitors connect with the spaces:

  • AI in art galleries.

  • AR and VR exhibitions.

  • Using digital art to stimulate & educate.

*Cleveland Museum of Art, Studio Play Interactive Exhibition

Why do people attend museums?

People who visit museums value learning and seek opportunities to learn in different ways. According to National Museums Australia, research has consistently found that positive early family visits to museums have significant impact on later visitor habits. Children enjoy museums as places where they can fantasise, explore and learn in ways that are more engaging than they experience in school.

On-boarding of new device; research into optimal target audience.

ACMI (Australian Centre for the Moving Image) had closed its doors in 2019 to prepare for its relaunch in 2021. A feature of the new museum space is The Lens, a device allowing visitors to 'Explore, collect and discover' their experiences in the space and return to rediscover them while at home. Our brief from ACMI's CXO was to design a memorable onboarding experience, from initial awareness through to first collection.

This was a very interesting project that involved a quick, mid-project pivot. The challenge was a simple interaction design brief, but quickly changed direction. We held a kick-off meeting with stakeholders where we discovered that they were at present uncertain as to who they are as a brand, where they sat in the competitive landscape, and who their users were. We quickly discovered that this was a more complex challenge and providing them with an alternative solution, involving targeting the best audience to meet their business goals, could provide a better outcome for the client AND the users. We sent our reverse brief to the client and began our journey.

ACMI Business Goals:

  • To be cultural leaders

  • To be leaders in the industry

  • To be known as a knowledge brand

  • To optimise partnerships

  • To gain repeat users

Research methodology:

In order to gain as much knowledge as possible for this project we decided on 5 different methods of research. The insights gained helped us discover ACMI's optimal target user, and also recommend solutions in order to accommodate their needs and create the best on-boarding system for their use of The Lens:

  1. Secondary Research

  2. Contextual Observations

  3. Guerrilla Interviews

  4. Surveys

  5. User Interviews

Secondary Research

Market Research

The number of 'families' attending these spaces are much greater than other audiences. When diving deeper into this and looking at young people, children between 5-8 attend more than those older than them. This gives us an idea of who to consider when conducting our primary research.

*Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2019

STATS1.jpg
STATS2.jpg

Competitor Analysis

The main insight gained from the competitor analysis was that, although ACMI offered similar services in terms of exhibitions and experiences to other museums in Melbourne, they did not have the focus on education that their competitors did. This immediately sticks out as something to be addressed, considering the business goals of being leaders and a knowledge brand.

MM_GS_POS.png

OFFERINGS:

  • Permanent and touring exhibition.

  • Autism friendly museum.

  • Educational programs for students and teachers.

EDUCATION:

  • Provides an interactive outreach program.

  • Talks and lectures to the public.

national-gallery-of-victoria-ngv-logo.pn

OFFERINGS:

  • International and local artwork.

  • Free and paid exhibits.

  • Special events that occur within the space.

 

EDUCATION:

  • Provides programs and educational events for young kids, teens and the general public.

unnamed_edited.png

OFFERINGS:

  • Both viewing only and interactive exhibits.

  • Conservation talks and lectures.

  • Animal interaction experiences, feedings and talks.

EDUCATION:

  • National curriculum aligned guided tours for schools.

  • School holiday programs.

Future Threats & Opportunities

We decided that to give the best competitive advantage we would need to look at what is happening right now beyond our borders. Here we see galleries and museum spaces adopting interactive and educational activities that are changing the way that visitors connect with the spaces:

  • AI in art galleries.

  • AR and VR exhibitions.

  • Using digital art to stimulate & educate.

*Cleveland Museum of Art, Studio Play Interactive Exhibition

On-boarding The Lens

While researching The Lens we found a number of objects with a similar function already in use at museums around the world. Here are three that we looked into: The MONA 'O', The Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian 'Pen', and closer to home the Melbourne Museum Road to Zero 'Swipe Card'.

sabin-pen-banner-e1457482967222.png

'The Pen'

Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum

  • Tap and save objects for virtual collection.

  • Visitors become the designer. They can collect inspiration then create the design digitally.

  • Extend the museum experience.

Primary Research

Contextual Observations

As ACMI was already closed down for the rebuild, we conducted contextual observations at the NGV and Melbourne Museum in order to observe and understand visitors behaviours, emotions and how they interact with these spaces. It was a two day long observation over one week day and one weekend day..

MM_GS_POS.png
  • More likely to enter and walk directly to the ticket desk if other people are already there.

  • On the week day, people are more relaxed than on the weekend.

  • Spent significant time in the gift shop.

  • Far more individual adults and school groups on week days.

  • Week day felt less crowded however as school groups move as one, not as spread out as weekend visitors.

national-gallery-of-victoria-ngv-logo.pn
  • Visitors happy to take the time for orientation.

  • Enter with a sense of excitement and curiosity.

  • Are most attracted to interactive displays.

  • Look very closely at each display in the first gallery space, then skimming and moving randomly through subsequent spaces.

  • School groups during the week day.

Guerrilla Interviews

After observing how visitors to galleries and museums behaved naturally, we were eager to know: Who are these people? What do people know about ACMI? What feelings do they have about ACMI? So we conducted guerrilla interviews at Federation Square for 3 reasons:

  • ACMI is located at Federation Square.

  • As per stats, Federation Square attracted 2.8 million visitors, accounting for 10% of all visitors to Victoria.

  • Federation Square is Melbourne's most popular public space.

We spoke to 19 people around Federation Square. Of these 19:

8/19

Have NOT been to ACMI

5/19

Have been to ACMI once

6/19

Have been to ACMI more than once

16/19

Are locals

3/19

Are tourists

12/19

Have an idea of what ACMI does

7/19

Have no idea what ACMI does

Surveys

Now that we had some overview of who these people were and what they knew about ACMI, we needed to find out gallery and museum goers behaviours and motivations. We sent out a survey to various social platforms with a focus on art, culture and education. We received 82 responses from all across the world.

1024px-Male_black_symbol.svg.png

30/82

Male

(36.6%)

download_edited.png

49/82

Female

(59.8%)

1200px-Nonbinary_Gender_Symbol.svg.png

3/82

Nonbinary

(3.6%)

  • 18-69 years old.

  • 59.8% Female, 36.6% Male 3.6% Nonbinary.

  • Main occupations: students and designers.

  • 85.4% don't have a membership because it's expensive and they don't go often enough to justify paying for one

  • People go to these places looking for inspiration, interests, exhibits, learning, arts and interaction.

  • Most of the time they will attend with someone else.

  • People will only ever want to learn more about the exhibits if it really interests them.

Screen-Shot-2019-11-13-at-1.24_edited.pn
Screen-Shot-2019-11-13-at-1.24_edited.pn

Interviews

Now that we had some raw data on potential visitors in general, we were able to move onto our first round of interviews. Using best practice, open-ended, non-leading questions, we gathered information of behaviours, motivations and beliefs of visitors. What we were aiming to find from this was threefold:

11_edited.png
22_edited.png
33_edited.png

Affinity Map

We conducted 9 long-form interviews which, when combined with the survey results and contextual enquiries, provided us with enough information to create a very useful affinity map to gain significant insights into their motivations, behaviours and pain points. Interviewees were chosen based on the survey results.

AffinityMap_edited.png

Results

Why do people attend museums?

Upon synthesis of the data, we discovered that the main reason people attend museums is if there is an exhibition of specific interest to them. The next main reason was if they were travelling, which would cause them to be more likely to be involved in a cultural activity. The other reason we found was that people enjoy the experience of just being... In the space.

People who visit museums value learning and seek opportunities to learn in different ways. Secondary research has consistently found that positive early family visits to museums have significant impact on later visitor habits. Children enjoy museums as places where they can fantasise, explore and learn in ways that are more engaging than they experience in school.

What do visitors enjoy while there?

Most of the interviewees and survey respondents told us that they just enjoy being in a gallery or museum space in the moment. Most said that they don't feel the need to research any more after they leave the experience unless they were particularly moved or inspired. If they want more information, they are mostly happy to just pull out their phone to find out

What do people think of ACMI?

Of the people that we spoke to throughout the interviews and surveys, there was only one who truly understood who ACMI is and what they have to offer. Most knew that it had 'something to do with film', some thought of it as a place to watch movies like any other cinema, and others believe it to just be an exhibition space that is made available for touring exhibitions. This demonstrated to us that ACMI is need of some sort of outreach program to educate the public (or at least their target audience) on their purpose and offerings.

Ideation

Impact/Effort Chart

This exercise was undertaken to show which group is the best target audience for ACMI based on the effort needed to achieve the highest impact. Here you can see that children are again a standout at highest impact and lowest effort:

Screen-Shot-2019-11-13-at-11_edited.png

Major Competitor, Melbourne Museum

As an example, we looked into one of ACMI's direct competitors who have done the research and truly know their target user: Melbourne Museum. They recently spent $5.8m on a 2000 square metre immersive learning and play center just for children. They also dedicate over 1/4 of their website to children, families and teachers. In fact, they are the topic of a research paper released as a resource for museum staff on the benefits of engaging families and children in the museum experience: here

Screen-Shot-2019-11-13-at-11.39.56-am (1
Screen-Shot-2019-11-13-at-11.39.56-am (1

User Testing

While researching the target audience, we decided now would be a good time to test The Lens with users. We wanted to find two things from these tests: How do users interact with The Lens when given no instructions? And what is the fastest way to communicate instructions to them, in a universal way?

 

To do this we set up a mini interactive exhibition. Users were given the scenario that they are entering a new exhibition of digital media. They are to go inside and try to take some of the information or experience away with them.

The on-boarding station was set up in the doorway with a few 'lenses' scattered around, signs saying ‘Pick Me Up’ next to them, ‘Use Me’ on the object itself, and ‘Tap Here’ at the tap point

Screen-Shot-2019-11-13-at-11.43.41-am.pn

Observations

Here is a quick clip of the first moments of testing with some of the users. 

 

Initially people walked in curiously around the table before picking up a object. Everybody picked up the object, however here is where the confusion set in.

 

Two users threw it back onto the table straight away, most picked them up and played with them while walking around and even tapped the touch points with their fingers.

 

Only three of the thirteen people we tested with figured out how to use the object to tap on the stations with the prompts.

Screen-Shot-2019-11-13-at-11.43_edited.j

'A slot that you swipe/insert would be make sense for it's shape'

'As a tapping tool, it is not intuitive'

'This isn't user friendly, it's huge, it doesn't fit in my pocket'

Most of the users that we tested agreed that they liked the concept. And questioning after the testing revealed that the instructions made sense, however the point at which they struggled was the cognitive dissonance experienced when confronted when associating the object with a tapping feature. Standard design convention dictates that an object in the shape of The Lens is more likely to be inserted into a slot, rather than tapped, like a swipe card or a pen.

  • Users tested: 13 over 9 tests

  • No of users able to figure out how to use the object: 3 (23%)

  • No users respondinng positively to object: 10 (77%)

Following standard design conventions is important in user experience, as it helps users to understand what actions they need to take. As we discovered through testing, users expect common interactive elements to look and work a certain way.

Total Data Gathered

Main Findings Summary

  • Indepth Interviews: 21

  • Survey Respondents: 82

  • Guerilla Interviews: 19

  • Users Tested: 13

  • Behaviour: Interests, touring, Exhibitions

  • Needs: Interest, Enjoyment, Learning

  • Pain Points: Interests, Time Constraints, Financial Constraints

Notice that the word INTEREST runs across all sections of the summary. This is because 'if you design for everyone, you design for noone'

... we identified very quickly that we couldn't target everyone. At least not yet, not until we clearly understand the makeup of each of our audiences and how they can be reached.

In order for ACMI to target the obvious group, The Museum Goer, we would need to understand the people that make up this user group. Each with their own subjective interests and behaviours. According to our Impact/Effort Chart, this is high effort.

So who should we be designing for? If we are to follow the results of the Impact/Effort chart, the group who we could make the highest impact on, with the lowest effort is Children.

.

Screen-Shot-2019-11-13-at-1.06_edited.pn

Pros

  • Very impressionable, curious.

  • Enjoy experiencing new things.

Cons

  • Short attention spans.

  • Very young, do not have their own money to spend.

Why Children?

Firstly, the aim here is to achieve ACMI's goal of gaining repeat users. Our interviews revealed that children are obsessed with anything interesting that they are exposed to. Whatever the child experiences, they will go on to tell their parents and friends. Therefore, if children enjoy ACMI, ACMI will now be on the list of family activities.

Secondly, the experience may foster a life-long love of digital media. Children, when grown up may not only come back for the excitement they had as a child but will also know to go to ACMI to access resources for study. And they may even go on to entering the media industry as a young adult. This also achieves ACMI's goal of being known as a leader and a knowledge brand.

Excited Student

  • Engagement with digital delivery of material enhances and consolidates learning.

  • Access to technology provides young people with essential skills for future roles in adulthood.

  • ACMI is in the perfect position to reach and connect with this digital native generation.

Screen-Shot-2019-11-13-at-1.14.45-pm.png

Personas

Excited Student

About

  • Primary school student, attends school locally.

  • Curious and inquisitive at this age.

  • Motivated to experience new things and meet new people.

Motivations

  • Enjoys being with friends.

  • Being out of the classroom.

  • Experiencing new things.

  • Moving around and interacting with things.

Core Needs

  • Explore and develop their creativity.

  • Learn life-skills and encounter real world experiences.

  • Learning from industry professionals that they would otherwise be exposed to.

Pain Points

  • Loses concentration easily.

  • Gets bored when having to sit and listen.

  • Short attention span.

Passionate Teacher

About

Motivations

Pain Points

Core Needs

  • Has been teaching at local primary school for a couple of years.

  • Constantly trying to think of new activities for their class to create a fulfilling learning experience.

  • To make learning fun and interactive.

  • Make subjects as simple and easy to understand as possible.

  • Getting students attention and respect.

  • Effective programs to help pain lessons.

  • Extending the learning experience after excursions/incursions end.

  • Support to have confidence in teaching.

  • Needs to teach self digital and multimedia.

  • Lack of time to find quality and relevant resources.

  • Little external resources available on educational programs and excursions.

So now that we’ve met the Museum Goer, The Excited Student and Passionate Teacher, the question now is who should we be focusing on as the primary persona? We already know that we shouldn’t be designing for everyone, so let’s put the Museum Goer aside.

 

Based on our Impact/Effort chart, we know that our opportunity target are children. Great! So we’re targeting children? Our question is, how do we reach the children? That would be through their teachers. So by reaching the teacher, we will reach the student.

 

What we have discovered here is that teachers are our target users and children have now become our special user.

'I went to the museum and told so many people about the fun I had'

- Noah (age 11)

'He dragged me back there that weekend. We went again 2 months later'

- Esther (Noah's mum)

Possible Reach

Since our primary persona is the primary school teacher and the target audience are primary students, we decided to take a look at how many schools are out there.

These statistics are based on the whole of Victoria but it gives an idea of the amount of primary students there are out there.

Further statistics show that there are 140,000 more primary students than there are secondary.

There are 147 schools within 10km of ACMI. Why not start with those?

Screen-Shot-2019-11-13-at-1.20_edited.pn
Screen-Shot-2019-11-13-at-1.20_edited.pn

Journey Mapping

End to end process from the beginning of organising an excursion to the end where teachers and students consolidate on what students have learnt.

Screen-Shot-2019-11-13-at-1.23.59-pm.png

What are the teachers saying?

After we concluded who would be the target audience for our solution, we did a new round of interviews with teachers. As part of the Victorian Curriculum, they are expected to teach their students media arts and digital technologies. These teachers have been provided with little to no support or prior knowledge on how to appropriately teach these topics. As much as they were passionate about implementing new learning activities for their students, due to limited time and resources, it was easier for them to just use whatever lessons had been successful in the past. The teacher that we interviewed said that they find their students are the most engaged in learning with interactive and immersive activities.

'We don't know how to teach digital or multimedia'

'If I'm being totally honest, we just use what has been done before at my school'

'The kids enjoy interactive and hands on lessons

'We don't have the time to research, there isn't a website where we can go to for multimedia  excursion/incursion ideas'

Problem Statement

Teachers need a way to receive educational resources from ACMI, so that they can provide an effective and engaging learning experience for primary school students.

Recommendations

Incursions: This will both raise awareness of the educational brand of ACMI and begin the students interest in the subject of multimedia. It can also be used as an opportunity to get students used to using The Lens in preparation for future excursions to ACMI. Staff can bring The Lens into the schools during the incursion and the on-boarding process can begin for the kids at this point.

Outreach Programs: Teach the teachers how to teach these subjects. Add a section to the ACMI site specifically for teachers with resources and lesson plans. Align the lessons with the Victorian Curriculum, or even reach out to the board and get involved with organising what is included in the curriculum. This will solidify ACMI's goal of being known as a leader and a knowledge brand.

For Students

Incursions are an opportunity where the on-boarding process can begin for the students. The Lenses can be sent out as part of an outreach package to the schools. Something that resonates with children is creating their 'own' artwork on the objects. Its an interactive and hands-on experience that creates a memory, and turns The Lens into a personal object that they will want to use and keep.

Screen-Shot-2019-11-13-at-1.41.57-pm.png

We tested the idea of on-boarding prior to attending ACMI by allowing small a group of primary school aged children to create their own artwork from The Lens. They had a had very positive, and excited response. Only one of the group of four did not want to participate.

This is their artwork.

Hypothesis

We believe that by reaching out to teachers with programs and resources, we will enable them to provide an engaging learning experience to their primary school students.

We will know this to be true when 20% of all local primary schools take part in the program within a year of the relaunch.

Next Steps

  • Validate the use of The Lens with the target groups.

  • ACMI to hire outreach representatives in order to connect with schools and teachers.

  • Create programs that run in line with the Victorian Curriculum.

  • On the new website, create a platform for teachers & students to learn and discover content.

Once the metric of 20% participating schools has been satisfied, we can then move on to targeting other user groups. There is a huge potential here to scale target users.

Update

After the extended closing of ACMI, first for the rebuild and then for the COVID lockdown, they have recently had a very successful relaunch. The new gallery spaces and their focus on emerging technology, specifically, are very exciting to us.​

It is also exciting to see something that we had worked on so long ago has come to life, this is the launch of The Lens.

And the addition of the Teachers and Schools page on the new website, that includes resources for lessons.