Digitizing the museum experience

Ateneum (images: Finnish National Gallery / Iisa Smeds)
Using the Ateneum audio guide

The Ateneum, Finland's best-known art museum and one of the three Finnish National Gallery museums wanted to elevate its visitor experience with a modern, digital solution.

Teaming up with Wunderdog, Ateneum sought to change the way visitors interact with art, using their mobile devices as audio guides. Embracing the power of technology, the collaboration aimed to create a seamless, accessible, and memorable museum experience.

Diving into the project with the problem and end-user first

The central focus of the revamped Ateneum Museum was the museum experience itself. The goal was to provide visitors with a multi-sensory encounter with the exhibitions. Together, Wunderdog and Ateneum embarked on a journey to explore new ways of experiencing artwork. 

The objective was to develop a solution that would enable Ateneum to offer more information about the artwork and facilitate diverse perspectives on the art, enriching the experience of individual museum-goers. The result is a simple, yet memorable customer experience.

Initially, we aimed for an MVP that would meet our requirements, considering the limited budget. What we got, was definitely more than that -a truly user-centric, ready, and successful solution, going beyond a Minimum Viable Product.

Anna Laamanen, Digital Producer, Finnish National Gallery

An accessible audio guide on your mobile device

With a strong focus on the end user, Wunderdog and Ateneum began by building an understanding of the priorities and essential features of the solution. The project started with a thorough Discovery phase to determine customer needs and expectations. User involvement was vital to every project stage, ensuring an intuitive customer experience.

Next, we worked to identify a solution that provided the essential features mapped in the Discovery phase, also fitting the desired budget and timeline. To provide a cutting-edge digital experience to Ateneum visitors, Wunderdog crafted the Ateneum Guide, a Progressive Web Application (PWA) that provides visitors with an accessible and mobile-optimized info package about each art piece.

From a usability perspective, a customer’s own device is always the most familiar and easiest to use. Using QR codes located next to the exhibits, visitors can effortlessly access and control the guide via their own mobile devices. The solution adheres to international Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) A and AA conformance levels, ensuring inclusivity for all visitors.

What we truly appreciated about working with Wunderdog was their dedication to understanding the customer's needs and finding meaningful solutions to problems, not just doing what they are asked to do. This is not always evident with all development partners.

Anna Laamanen, Digital Producer, Finnish National Gallery

The art of user-centric problem solving

Wunderdog's approach revolves around clearly identifying the problem before exploring solutions. The work starts by aligning on joint priorities and thinking about the best ways to achieve these joint goals. With a focus on usability, simplicity, and comprehensibility, we ensure an intuitive user experience.

In the Ateneum case, this joint scoping, user-centric planning, and extensive user testing ensured the quality of work while keeping close tabs on the budget. The end result is seen by Ateneum as an important addition to deepening the museum's customer experience,  effectively serving the recognized need.

At its best, working with an external partner feels like we are part of the same team, being able to exchange ideas with a low threshold. This is what it’s been like with Wunderdog.

Suvi Rusanen, Head of Marketing, Ateneum Art Museum

During the first month, the new audio guide was tested by 2000 museum visitors. Have you already visited the reopened Ateneum Museum and explored the future of art engagement with the Ateneum Audio Guide?