The users and visitors are those that want to gain access to these collections for various purposes—education, research, tourism, or general interest. There remains a perception among everyone, and particularly the youth, that museums are not relevant in today’s society, and they are not interesting or fun places to visit. The pre-conception of a museum being filled with old people and “dusty old shelves” is often borne out as a reality when visitors actually visit.
We must make our institutions more vibrant and exciting, and must tell stories in new and innovative ways. The technologies to create modern exhibition spaces, and to engage the visitors, are available even on a restricted budget. The first step is to create the vision of where you want to be, and to see the museum as an inclusive space for everyone. This vision should not be constrained by the lack of facilities or costs, but should be a mental representation of how your institution will become world-class.
ETHER Experience will help you move towards a new experience for your users and visitors. We view the experience of the user and visitor as being both physical and digital, and it is the combination of these which defines the modern institution. This incorporates a forum for the sharing of information within the community on matters of common interest. These include shared vocabularies, online registers of stolen items and disposals, an online community forum, as well as inter-institution collaboration on loans. This is not only for your existing users, but is also used to help to expand your user-base to include a vast array of new users who have previously not had easy access to your collections.
- Web sites: making and using modern web sites (and how to create your own), to tell the world who you are and to provide access to your digital content
- The Virtual Tour Guide: using mobile devices to enhance the user experience during physical visits by providing additional information and enabling interaction in various ways.
- Virtual exhibitions: providing web-based exhibitions to provide access to collections. Creating purely virtual exhibitions using objects and archival materials which are not part of existing exhibitions – this provides access to a wide range of objects which are not on display
- Digital brochures for exhibitions: as a teaser for the on-site exhibition
- Memories of past exhibitions: digital renditions of past (temporary) exhibitions so that these can live on in digital space long after the physical exhibition is dismantled
- Measuring the User Experience: visitor comments and feedback via mobile phone/tablets, to help improve services
- Physical exhibition design: creating new and innovative physical exhibitions. We provide this through our network of expert associates.
- Online collections: Providing digital access to your collections, through best practice in data inventory (through ETHER Base) and digitisation (through ETHER Digital).
- Collections search and access: advanced semantic search engine which gives you access to your digital content and is linked up to your institution’s web site.