Brooklyn Museum: ASK Brooklyn Museum

Sara Devine

Director, Digital Engagement, Brooklyn Museum

Brooklyn Museum

Brooklyn Museum 200 Eastern Parkway Brooklyn, NY 11238-6052 United States

2016 MUSE Awards / Mobile Applications Gold


Innovation From Iteration



ASK Brooklyn Museum was developed over the course of a year, through an iterative process of testing pilot ideas directly with visitors. The project team learned that visitors want to talk about art with real people in a dynamic, personalized way. To provide this, they developed a five-star rated mobile application for iOS and Android that enables visitors to ask questions and chat about art with experts in real time when they are at the Museum.

/Visitors are connected with a specially trained team who has developed a unique engagement model through texting, using visitors' questions as springboards for longer conversations. They provide personal recommendations based on interests and offer connections to nearby objects to encourage exploration. They emphasize close looking, directing eyes off the screens of the mobile device and onto the artworks. The result is a quantifiably deep engagement. Chat sessions average 14 messages, with visitors asking questions in two or more galleries. The power users, which represent 18% of the total, ask questions in six or more galleries and conversations can last the entire course of a three hour visit.

ASK uses Estimote beacons to identify the works of art visitors are standing near, which is sent to the team so they can better assist the public. The data from the project - in the form of questions and answers tagged to object identification - is shared across departments and online so that it can inform decisions related to all aspects of the visitor experience, in particular interpretation.


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