Alec Ward, Issue 118/07, p14, 01.07.2018
Enhance an experience - don't be it
I had the pleasure of chairing the Museums Association’s Museum Tech 2018 conference in June.

There were lots of great points, thoughts and takeaways from the day’s inspiring talks, but I would like to focus on just two of my many highlights.

Robin Christopherson, the head of digital inclusion at AbilityNet, covered accessibility. His talk was inspiring for several reasons, but it was the way in which he communicated how an inclusive design approach to creating digital experiences can increase access for everyone that struck a chord with me.

Sara Huws, the digital content officer at Amgueddfa Cymru (National Museum Wales), and Allie John, the producer at marketing agency Yellobrick, introduced the wonderful Traces app, from St Fagans National Museum of History. Unlike a traditional audio or app guide, Traces is a unique mix of storytelling and game. During their talk, a quote from John caught my attention: “Technology should enhance and enrich the experience, not be the experience.” That’s exactly what the team has achieved with Traces.

There were lots of other takeaways, from creating safe spaces for audiences to try new experiences to ensuring that digital projects are targeted and specific to organisational objectives. For a full rundown, check out #MATech2018 on Twitter or my article on Medium.

Alec Ward is a museum development officer, digital and communications, London