Formative Evaluation: Go Mobile

July 29th, 2014 | EVALUATION

The Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) contracted Randi Korn & Associates, Inc. (RK&A) to evaluate Go Mobile, a mobile website designed to help visitors deepen their Museum experience through audio, video, and links to related works. The main objective of this study was to explore the quality of visitors’ experiences with Go Mobile to inform future development of Go Mobile. How did we approach this study? The BMA recruited 26 volunteer participants primarily through the BMA’s Facebook page. Participants were asked to spend one hour at the Museum: 30 minutes using Go Mobile in the BMA’s Contemporary Wing and approximately 30 minutes talking with an RK&A evaluator about their experience. RK&A evaluators cued participants to use certain Go Mobile features so to evaluate the mobile site’s navigational options. About one-half were cued to use the Galleries section which grouped content by gallery room. The remaining one-half were cued to use the Connections section which grouped content thematically. What did we learn? Participants enjoyed their Go Mobile experience as it made them more comfortable with the works and encouraged them to engage with the art in specific ways (e.g., looking closely at brushstrokes, viewing works from different angles, and even sitting on one work). In particular, participants liked listening to audio that featured the artist as these clips provided the most direct insights. Many participants said their Go Mobile experiences deepened their overall understanding of works of art and inspired new insight into the art or the artist. When using Go Mobile, most participants acclimated to the mobile website quickly, though some struggled to orient themselves in the gallery space (e.g., were unaware that the galleries had designated numbers that corresponded to Go Mobile, unable to easily locate works of art described on Go Mobile within the galleries). In its current state, participants indicated they were most comfortable using the Galleries section of Go Mobile, as it presented information about a single work of art and was organized by gallery space versus the Connections section, which was organized by thematic groupings and required visitors to bounce between gallery spaces to view the works. What are the implications of the findings? Go Mobile has great potential for enriching visitors’ experiences in the galleries. The current strategies employed in Go Mobile help visitors become comfortable looking at works art and gain deeper appreciation and understanding of works of art. As the staff at the BMA continue development, they should further consider how to orient visitors to Go Mobile since orientation was a challenge for all visitors, regardless of the section they were cued to use. Also consider how the Connections section can be presented or integrated into the Galleries section to further enhance visitors’ experiences. While visitors liked the information in the Connections section, they did not know how to use the section while in the Galleries.



Team Members

Baltimore Museum of Art, Contributor
Randi Korn, Evaluator, Randi Korn & Associates, Inc.


Audience: Evaluators | General Public | Museum | ISE Professionals
Discipline: Art | music | theater | Education and learning science
Resource Type: Evaluation Reports | Formative
Environment Type: Media and Technology | Museum and Science Center Programs | Public Programs | Websites | Mobile Apps | Online Media