Service Design Thinking for Museums: Technology in Contexts

Ariana French, American Museum of Natural History, USA

Published paper: Service design thinking for museums: Technology in contexts

For all of us involved in the delivery of digital products designed to support museum initiatives, service design presents a provocative framework for designing, planning, and executing the next generation of digital products for museum visitors.

In our increasingly personalized, distributed computing, and technology-dependent world, our museum visitors bring into every context more and more expectations about digital experiences. To meet these expectations, technologies in (and about) museums must deliver seamless, holistically designed experiences that appeal to the visitor before, during, and after the museum visit. The hallmarks of service design—user-centric services mapped to organizational mission and cross-department planning—are uniquely suited to deliver on this challenge. (Elements of this approach to digital project planning are already a part of digital strategy at many museums, but may not be named explicitly as “service design.”) To illustrate how service design concepts can help deliver a more engaging experience in digital museum products, this paper will explore the following themes:

– How adoption of service and customer experience design practices can help build better project processes, transform organizational habits, and ultimately deliver better interactive experiences to our museum visitors
– Strategic planning and digital projects at the American Museum of Natural History that apply service design principles
– Additional case studies of applied service design concepts
– Implications of placing our museum visitors at the heart of our digital project planning
– Challenges, shortcomings, and future of service design

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