Investigating Experience of Mobile Application in Museum : The Case Study of the Nationalmuseum (Stockholm, Sweden)
Sammanfattning: In the context of New Museology and the breakthrough of smartphones, many museums tend to develop museum-related mobile applications to support the museum visit and facilitate the overall visitor experience. This qualitative case study explores how the context of museum visit frames the experience of usage of smartphone applications, and thus identifies the factors that influence the visitor’s experience of using museum-related smartphone applications. The mobile application of Nationalmuseum in Stockholm is selected as the bounded case for this study. Applying the four contexts for the museum visit as the theoretical framework, this study aims to answer the research questions about how the personal context, the sociocultural context, the physical context, and the digital context affect the visitor’s experience of using the application, and what factors can be identified in this process. As it is a case study with a qualitative perspective, the data is collected through multiple sources, including the interview data and the observation field notes as the primary sources, and some statistical data and visitor feedback survey offered by the museum as the secondary sources. But most of the analysis is based on the one-on-one interviews with twelve visitors. Using the four contexts for the museum visit as the framework, the study conducts the analysis of the data in accordance with the distinct aspects of the four contexts, and thus identifies the factors that affect the visitor’s experience of using the museum application in relation to the four contexts. The findings of this study indicate that the visitor’s experience of using the application is complicated, which can be affected by multiple factors in relation to the four contexts for the museum visit. The personal context and the sociocultural context are proved to be closely related to the visitor’s initial motivation for using museum-related applications. Meanwhile, it can be observed that the physical and the digital contexts affect how visitors perceive the content offered by museum-related mobile applications. Besides, previous research on visitor type of application users is examined by using the findings of this study and thus proved to lack comprehensive considerations. By further discussing how the four contexts interact with each other and influence the visitor, the study tries to further comprehend the visitor’s experience in the process of using museum-related mobile applications. The outcomes of this study bring some insights into the visitor experience of using museum-related mobile applications, and thus contribute some empirical evidence to future research in this field. The four contexts for the museum visit are proved to be applicable for exploring this topic from the perspective of the visitors, and thus can be regarded as a lens for understanding the visitor experience of usage of museum applications. Based on the outcomes of the study, the author makes some recommendations about the future development of the Nationalmuseum application.
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