Vision Document

Project Description

This project proposes that an app be built that is free to download and allows easy access to the audio tour as well as links the museum patron to the main social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.  This platform will house all of the 15 audio tour stops in one application. Instead of using a web browser, which may or may not support mp3 playback in the browser (if not, the mp3 would disrupt the user's experience of the Vasa Museum by causing the user's smartphone to change application focus to the smartphone's default mp3 player), the application provides streaming access to the mp3 files (since there are a total of 150 MP3s and transcripts of each.

This is essentially a reorganization of audioguide tour-taking tasks; principally the task of retrieving content. The application repackages existing content served by the institution over the web. Someone has tried this before, but the app was not formally associated with the museum and does not function well. The point is to enhance the audience's experience of the museum by streamlining the way a subset of visitors (audioguide-inclined visitors) consume content and by adding the element of sharing content, beneficial for the institution in attracting potential patrons' attention online and also enjoyable (even a requisite part of the experience) for users in its own right. The point is not to attract new users, or to serve content to users who are not physically present at the museum, nor is it to serve as a general museum information application (e.g., what exhibitions are showing, where are the bathrooms, where is parking, or what items are sold at the museum store). This app is specifically designed for the audio tour available within the museum. 

Desired Outcomes

The outcome of this project will be a user-friendly application that places the museum audio tour in one convenient location which grants easy access to Vasa history and information for museum patrons.


The main partner of this project will be the Vasa Museum. All of the content is already housed and owned by the museum and will be pulled directly from their repositories.


Similar to the how the website is currently setup, this app and the information and audio files therein are available to anyone, but is more specifically targeting Android and Apple smartphone and tablet-using museum visitors who understand one of the ten supported languages in an attempt to create a more enhanced and enriched experience. A sense of community might be fostered by (instead of the rather tall order of integrating posting, commenting features custom to this organization) drawing from existing SNS and populating guidepost-specific application pages with tweets, Instagram photos, Facebook posts, whatever, that previous visitors have (authorized to be) shared.

Functionality & Technology

The app will be available for iPhone and for Android smartphones and tablets and should be downloaded from either the Vasa Museum website or from app stores. Like the museum website, access to the audio tour stops can be granted from everywhere, but is mainly designed to be used with smartphones or tablets within the museum. Once the app has been downloaded, users will choose the language they prefer. After which, a home page will appear, consisting a link titled "Audio Tour Stops"(or something similar), where a list of the 15 audio stops will be housed. Selecting one of these stops allows the user to listen to that specific audio file and also to interact with social media such as checking-in or posting photos/statuses on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Alternatively, users may choose to access the audio files via scanning QR codes within the museum itself, presumably printed on plaques(?) at the designated stops. The link to the QR code scanner will be placed on the home page of the app below the link labeled "Audio Tour Stops". Scanning the code would then automatically start playing the audio file for that stop.

Data, Information, & Content

  • Museum data: map JPG, optimized for enlargement, for showing guideposts that have already been visited, etc.
  • User data: Language. Everything else managed entirely by SNS (not required since users might not wish to share, might not be on SNS, etc.)
  • Guidepost data: JPG file (local), Title, Location in museum, QR code or NFC token, Relation to other guideposts (in the intended sequence/path of the tour), MP3 file (hyperlink), Transcript
  • QR code scanner