Met Audio Guide

 

The Met Audio Guide is one of the longest-running, largest and most complex audio guide programs in a cultural institution internationally. It provides hundreds of hours of content from curators, conservators, and experts to create a personal, self-guided experience. It includes tours in 10 languages, more than 2400 audio "stops" and videos about works of art in the permanent collection, as well as six to eight new exhibition tours a year. Almost 250,000 visitors use the audio guide every year.

The Audio Guide is a core product of the Museum meant to support visitors’ experience by offering convenient access to interpretive media in a manner that is simple, engaging and intuitive.

The Audio Guide is available on a free web app for your smartphone and on a rental player at the Museum.

BACKGROUND

The audio guide program began in the 1960s with special exhibition tours on tape-based devices. A director's tour in multiple languages and permanent collection were introduced in 1999 using CD-ROM players. Solid state mp3 players were introduced in 2006 and iPod devices in 2011. 

Besides the addition of new content, the audio guide delivered a relatively traditional experience comparable to those provided by other museums. The program was managed by the Education Department until 2011 when Digital Media assumed product ownership.

WHAT WE DID

A custom iOS app was designed and developed using in-house staff resources and an external vendor. This entailed extensive project planning, stakeholder meetings, user testing, user experience design, software development, and logistics. The Audio Guide app was deployed on 1,600 iPod touches at The Met Fifth Avenue and The Cloisters, and at The Met Breuer in 2016.


PROJECT
Designed and developed for The Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2013.

FORMAT AND PRESENTATION
Custom iOS app running on iPod touch (5th gen).

PRODUCTION CREDITS
Creative director: Paco Link
Producer: Rachel Rothbaum
External consultant: Loic Tallon
Content producer: Staci Ho
Design and production: Kevin Park and Natasha Mileshina
Technical leads: Colin Kennedy and Ryan Donahue
Design and development: GuideOne