Katarina Orlandini
User Experience for Social Good
Made with

MOUT

Online community of museum visitors with opinion

Abut the project 

For some time I wanted to start a tech project with a positive impact in culture. I applied the project for WISE Program (Women Innovators in Social Enterprise), organised by the ESADE University. During the program, the project got much more defined, I found a partner and we started to develop the concept further.


We did a lot of research, product definition, MVP test, a series of business models, budgeting, branding, accelerators, fundraising... We enjoyed a lot and learned a lot, but the project never got to see the light..at least not for now.

My role: Founder
Project duration: Jan 2015 - Jul 2016


Process

User journey excersise with a museum visitor
User journey excersise with a museum visitor

Initial hypothesis and research

MOUT was created from a need to get art closer to it's final users. We started with a series of hypothesis, but while doing the interviews with local artists, illustrators and frequent museum visitors it became clear we had to iterate our idea.

Some learnings:

  • Local artists are not interested in having yet another community
  • Museum visitors find museums intimidating
  • They would like to be able to give their opinion about the museum contents, to be more involved
  • They want more information, stories, anecdotes
  • They want an interactive experience
  • They are uncomfortable because they feel they don't know enough
  • Having to download an App for each museum you visit is annoying

During the process we used techniques like 1-on-1 in depth interviews, card sorting, user journey, fast sketching, co-creation session (10 participants), survey (more than 60 participants), etc.

"I’ve visited once and I have no reason to return."

A quote from a museum visitor we interviewed

Expert interviews and setting objectives

After the first discoveries we had a more clear idea about what museum visitors needed. We wanted to hear the other side so we went to speak with museum professionals. We interviewed 7 of them, including experts from MNAC, DHUB and Fundació Vila Casas.

Main discoveries:

  • Museum visits are decreasing, and the audiences that remain are older
  • Museums know very little about their visitors
  • One of their main objetives is to give visibility to the collection
  • The innovation level is quite low, mostly because of the lack of budget
  • Visitors come only once and usually do not participate in museum activities

We felt museums are occupying strategic positions on the streets of our cities and they are not engaging with it, they are not giving enough in return. Institutions that take care of the arts are usually conservative and not changing their approach toward how art is being consumed. We understood museums are being product-centered instead of user-centered, everything turns around the collections, not the visitor.

We wanted to take the art outside of museums' walls, make it everyones, free to use, discuss, share and remix. Create an environment where visitors can contribute their own ideas, co-produce content and make a social experience from it. We wanted to make the visitor feel empowered

MOUT

Concept development

As we detected this gap between museums and visitors, our vision about what MOUT should represent got more defined. On one side museums were desperate to engage with their audiences  and on the other side we had a one-time visitor feeling completely uninvolved in the whole experience.

MOUT was envisioned as a mobile App that allows everyone to be a curator. You can enjoy collections created by users without leaving your home, or during your museum visit. You can start creating collections by simply taking a photo of an artwork in a museum or taking one from our database of digitalised artworks.

The possibilities of smart, fun and unusual collections are infinite. Some examples we came up during the process: Gluten Free Art, Women with dogs on paintings, Breastfeeding in Art, Graffiti Art on the city streets...


Business model
Business model proposal was based on offering data reports to museums about users' behaviours inside and outside museums. It seemed like a smart way to monetise the business and to help museums understand their users' needs better.

Splash screen
Splash screen

Concept Preview

We designed a series of screens in order to test the concept. We used a fresh visual style, with an eye-catching logo and colors to express the disruptive shift we wanted MOUT to represent.

Some features we wanted to develop: 

  • Create your own collection by taking a photo 
    or using one from the database
  • Follow collections, people and museums
  • Watch collections from your home
  • Follow alternative routes while in the museum
  • Geolocated art works (App notifies you if you're
    close to a collection you follow)
  • Information about museums in real time
  • Alternative routes created by the museums
  • Discover similar art works
  • Plan group museum visits with other people
  • Comment the artworks and save you favorite ones

Closure

We had a community of around 300 people who were interested in using the product once it's out. We participated in various Accelerators programs, entered some, got expert support and finish as finalists, but at the end didn't get the chance to launch the product. We came to a point where we needed funding in order to keep going and after 1 year and a half we decided it's time to move on. If you're interested in investing in MOUT please do get in touch. :)