In 2011, we successfully applied to act as research partners on two projects under NESTA and Arts Council England’s joint Digital R&D Programme. The programme was designed to bring together arts organisations, technology companies and researchers to test innovative applications of digital technologies in the arts and cultural sector.

The first project involved partnering with the Charles Dickens Museum, the Exhibition Road Cultural Group, and the service design company Seren to develop an app platform for delivering themed cultural trails in London. The app was conceived to coincide with the anniversary of Charles Dickens’ birth. MTM conducted a combination of desk research and consumer testing to support the development of the app.

For the second project, we worked with the Imperial War Museum, UCL and Salford University to explore the potential for mediating the museum experience through digital technologies. With the help of its partners, IWM designed and developed electronic interfaces that enabled museum visitors to share their own interpretations of the objects they saw. We contributed consumer research with museum visitors to explore the drivers and barriers to interacting with the interfaces, and the way that these ‘social’ interpretations affected their visiting experience.