The first fully integrated digital system customised to visitor and museum needs.

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Experience Guide — Luigi Rovati Museum Foundation, piano nobile — Photo by Delfino Sisto Legnani — DSL Studio — Art by Silvia Gherra — ©Dotdotdot

In this article we explain why it is crucial for a cultural institution to approach digital as a structural element to be designed and integrated alongside the physical space and visitor experience.

Culture and technology are closely intertwined with social behaviour, and as tools and attitudes change, the cultural product must evolve, adapt and renew itself by delivering services in physical and digital space.

This provides a visitor experience capable of building an ongoing relationship between museum and public and enables the cultural institution to keep up with the times, optimising costs and resources, and better organising the strategy through digitised management.

A well-designed digital strategy enriches the on-site experience, and involves the visitor before and after the visit, creating experience continuity. The digital design of a contemporary building must be conceived in close relationship with the architectural design, helping to define cultural services and functions that are beyond the building’s physical limits.

Digital is the cross-cutting element that connects and makes the building permeable and in constant dialogue with the city — extending beyond it and making the architecture part of a whole. The cultural building becomes a structure of dialogue and relationship, transforming and evolving based on its visitor relationship. The physical space lives and grows because of visitor data and their relationship with the cultural institution.

“Experience Guide” is the answer to the challenges that the digital world faces today in the cultural sector. It is a unique integrated technological system that has never been fully developed for the cultural world. It brings together relevant content, tools and information in a single digital platform. The user experience is custom-built based on visitor and museum staff needs. Services and information collected throughout the visit experience (pre, during and post) are analysed and studied to improve the cultural product.

Experience Guide —Luigi Rovati Museum Foundation, piano ipogeo — Photo by Delfino Sisto Legnani — DSL Studio — ©Dotdotdot

Tailor-made for the Museo d’arte di Fondazione Luigi Rovati, “Experience Guide” embodies Dotdotdot’s vision of what should be the new paradigm of digitised visiting and management in line with emerging languages and technological potential. The Luigi Rovati Foundation wanted to create a museum with a strong innovative component, reconciling public and museum project needs.

The result is a physical product and an integrated, scalable and customisable system of services, based on customer needs, designed for the cultural sector, capable of evolving due to the flexibility and scalability of the technological infrastructure, ecosystem of provided services, and the underlying digital strategy.

“Experience Guide” uses a location-based Indoor Positioning hardware system and infrastructure (i.e., capable of detecting the presence of people in the space). It was designed by the Dotdotdot team and patented for its highly innovative component — a versatile and intuitive software platform integrated with the museum’s website, and a mobile app designed to accompany visitors throughout the visit with ad hoc, engaging and customised audio content.

Experience Guide —Luigi Rovati Museum Foundation, piano ipogeo — Photo by Delfino Sisto Legnani — DSL Studio — ©Dotdotdot

An innovative and customised visitor experience

“Experience Guide” accompanies visitors inside the exhibition space and throughout the experience including the ticketing service, suggestion of customised audio-visual narrative paths, and an automatically generated visit report.

The focus of the visitor experience at the Museo d’arte di Fondazione Luigi Rovati is a smart mobile app based on the principle of Bring Your Own Device, i.e., using your smartphone as a customised guide. It allows access to the museum without having to queue or collect the ticket by using the Indoor Positioning system that manages everything easily and securely. It accompanies the visitor through the space with audio and allows in-depth content to be released automatically by tracking the visitor’s position in real-time, thus reducing direct interaction with the device.

“Experience Guide” is the answer for those seeking a fluid, tailored and innovative visit experience. The system responds to different needs based on input provided by the system before, during and after the visit. This includes the time spent looking at content and digital interactions with the institution from the website, registration, ticket purchase, visit planning stages, and the use of other services.

RFID tags —Luigi Rovati Museum Foundation — Photo by Delfino Sisto Legnani — DSL Studio — ©Dotdotdot

After the visit, the app will be used as a preferred channel of contact between the user and institution. The visitor receives an automatically generated report of their visit and customised notifications to make future purchases or sign up for additional events and services provided by the Foundation, thus establishing a unique and direct relationship with the Museum.

Technological infrastructure, digital management and strategy for Museum staff

“Experience Guide” was designed by Dotdotdot based on a solid knowledge of the visitor movements within museums and an in-depth study of the service ecosystem offered by an innovative cultural institution.

Digital architecture together with the strategic vision of an innovative cultural institution must be future proof. This must integrate future or existing digital services to cope with the technological development that revolutionises the way we interface with multimedia spaces and content.

Experience Guide —Luigi Rovati Museum Foundation — Art by Silvia Gherra — ©Dotdotdot

“Experience Guide” allows the museum staff to modulate and manage multiple services simply and intuitively and integrate new services based on the latest needs.

The integrated infrastructure better structures the Museum’s Digital Governance, offering an advanced tool for the analysis of visits and visitor flows, capable of integrating with digital services including ticketing and sales, CRM and CCMS systems, or partnerships with curatorial realities for the creation of specific content.

The technological infrastructure designed by Dotdotdot integrates accessibility features for people with disabilities or health issues.

Defining visitor experience and museum governance objectives and guidelines underlying future innovative museum design, is the result of a human-centred approach, which develops solutions by putting people and their needs at the centre of the process.

With this methodology, Dotdotdot combines its 18-year-old research in the museum sector and the design of digital installations, with the Foundation’s vision and the features of the Mario Cucinella Architects’ architectural project.

Alessandro Masserdotti — CTO, Head of research and co-founder of Dotdotdot

Experience Guide —Luigi Rovati Museum Foundation — Art by Silvia Gherra — ©Dotdotdot

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We are a multidisciplinary interaction design studio founded in Milan in 2004, in which experimentation is at the core of innovation.