Interpretative exhibition designers, Mather & Co invited us to support them in their strategic development of interpretation for the York Minster Revealed project.
York Minster Revealed is an HLF funded project combining conservation, training in craft skills and improved access and interpretation for visitors. In the early planning phase mobile had been identified as a potential tool in the interpretation and education programmes. The project team was, however, aware that we are in the midst of unprecedented changes in the way audiences own and use mobile devices. They wanted to understand whether these changes offered any opportunities to provide interpretation more cost effectively and to ensure they were able to take an informed decision on their approach.
The team wanted to consider the best way for their organisation to provide mobile interpretation over the next five years and asked FG+W to advise the client team on a number of questions
• What are the opportunities to transition to user-owned devices and can York Minster rely on them to deliver its mission?
• How are other heritage sites handling this challenge?
• How the service be structured and designed in order to take advantage of any opportunities without impacting on quality
FG+W was able to support the project team by providing practical insights into the potential opportunities and challenges. We set out some of the key factors for consideration – for example, changes in smartphone ownership and use in relation to their audiences, technological and operational issues – and demonstrated how they would impact their plans.
We carried out a benchmarking study to identify current best practice and enable the project team to measure their plans against the heritage sector. Finally, drawing on our hands-on experience of delivering mobile interpretation projects, we were able to advise on emerging business models and new approaches to service design that will enable the Minster to recognize costs savings whilst future proofing any service they may introduce.
FG+W provided us with an expert insight into the future of mobile interpretation which allowed us to consider its role at York Minster and to advise its Dean & Chapter with confidence that was based on sound research and knowledge.
Mather & Co, Exhibition Designers