Fresh & New(er)

discussion of issues around digital media and museums by Seb Chan

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A little mobile data

June 20th, 2010 by Seb Chan

I’m a last minute addition to an AIMIA forum on Tuesday morning looking at the Digital Customer Experience. The forum is focussing primarily on mobile.

In prepping the slides looking at in-museum and out-museum mobile experiences, I’ve dug up a little data that you may be intrigued by. If anything it reflects the type of online visitor we are attracting.

– 2% of Sydney-based traffic to the Powerhouse site is on a mobile device

– Sydney mobile users spend half the time on our site to their desktop/laptop counterparts

– surprisingly, when compared to other Sydney users they are 30% less likely to arrive via search

– but when they do search they are far more likely to search for specific travel-related information like “powerhouse museum parking” and “powerhouse museum opening times”

– 85% of mobile traffic is from iPhones and, shockingly, there are more iPad visitors than Android and Blackberry!

– as far as telcos go, 37.4% come from Optus, 19.2% from Vodafone, and 12.3% from Telstra

As you may know, we’ve had a mobile-friendly site up for quite a while now. There’s a vanilla version as well as marginally nicer iPhone version. Both have stripped down architectures, reflecting the kind of interaction we’d expect from a mobile user (quick, task-oriented, information-focussed, visit-focussed).

Fortunately the usage data supports the stripped back interface, but it also is showing a willingness for mobile users to delve deeper into the non-mobile-optimised parts of our website too. 18% of Sydney mobile visitors venture into the rich content of The 80s Are Back section (it is also one of the primary exhibitions we have had on since December), 14% into the depths of the exhibition detail pages and 11% into additional detailed visit information. The high proportion of iPhone users means that the experience is not greatly degraded as a result of reaching unoptimised content.

Collection records – driven by our earlier QR and now, shortened URL experiments – represent about 4.1% of Sydney mobile views. Obviously for these to work beyond a core of aware-users they need significant in-gallery promotion and staff encouragement.

I’ll have more to say on Tuesday.

Tags: 3 Comments

  • Thnx for this Seb. Two questions:

    1. How many numbers do 2% represent (if you dont want to reveal that’s fine)?

    2. Does the PHM have an overall mobile strategy and/or are you in experimental stage?

    Oh, and a third – I was at a presentation the other day that suggested iPhone users, altho smaller in number, tend to be more engaged users. From your observations above this seems to be true?

    Thanks!

    • Seb Chan

      Hi Lynda.

      We’re definitely seeing a strong iPhone representation, and compared to other mobile users, they are more engaged (but differently engaged to those on desktops/laptops). We’re in a chicken and egg phase – visitors to museums might have these devices but they don’t yet know what to demand museums provide for them on them. There’s also a key difference between the in-museum market and outside-the-museum market, as well as the obvious App vs Mobile Web divide (which will get smaller over the next 3 years).

      There’s obviously an outside-the-museum opportunity in a cluttered App space for “identify my X”-style museum apps based on collection or research data – the key issues being suitable promotion and ongoing App support and development. No doubt we’ll see stacks of them pop up in the next few months but their success will rely on figuring out promotion and support. There’ll also be a lot of testing the waters around pricing.

  • Thanks. We’re looking into mobile at the moment also. Your mobile site is great and the search function really easy to use.

    I think the app market is a really interesting one to watch too, esp with the iPad and iPhone 4 coming.