The Science Museum Group’s mission is to “engage people in a dialogue about the history, present and future of human ingenuity”. Increasingly, achieving this mission is dependent on making digital a dimension of everything the Group does.
The Science Museum Group will focus its 2015–17 digital activity in the areas that provide greatest impact for audiences, where we must be world leading and where effects are cumulative.
Improve audience experience through a user-centered and holistic approach to the visitor journey, and develop a strategic approach to interpretation to make best use of digital media to bring the displays to life.
Increase use of audience data, initiate a Digital Lab to deliver groundbreaking and innovative digital experiences, and build organisation-wide capability.
Provide digital access to the collection through investment in infrastructure and user interface; adopt open content licenses; and invite audiences to contribute to this work;
Tell the stories of how the modern world was shaped by the areas covered by the collection through narrative-based content; and engage audiences with contemporary science, engineering, media, transport, medicine and media through a dynamic, multi-channel approach;
Build sustainable and scalable technical infrastructure to deliver these ambitions and lay the foundations for ambitious future initiatives.
Context: audiences in the digital age
Digital is transforming audiences and affords museums new ways to fulfill their mission:
- Audiences’ interaction with museums now always has a digital component. Museums can gain value by creating high-quality digital experiences and using audience data to improve experience and communications.
- Audiences have access to unparalleled volumes of information. The museum can create value by being an authoritative source of digital information.
- Audiences seek to understand the museums’ subject areas. Museums can create value by structuring and interpreting the collections through digital narratives.
- Through digital tools, audiences are participating in the creation of media. Museums can create value by providing resources for audiences to use to their own ends.
- The collections encompass areas where there is considerable audience expertise. Museums can gain value by inviting audiences to share this expertise in support of the museum’s mission.
For many, the digital visit is their primary touch point with the museums. The museums that address digital audiences first and furthest will establish themselves as the global go-to destination for their subject areas.
The following principles will guide our approach to digital: