Telling a richer story with mobile apps at Australian National Maritime Museum

On a sunny weekend with bright, blue skies, the Classic & Wooden Boat Festival, managed by Australian National Maritime Museum, returned to Sydney after nearly four years on 15 to 17 April — the first in a series of three biennial festivals. Celebrating the beauty and diversity of Australia’s heritage vessels, the Classic & Wooden Boat Festival features numerous boats surrounding the museum, as well as in the adjacent Wharf 7 building.

The Australian National Maritime Museum app was designed to give attendees the freedom to explore freely, with open self-guided tours packed with unique additional media, as well as offering Schedules to integrate a customisable program planner.

Physical labels can often be limiting — and costly to update — but are still important alongside digital implementations and strategies, as supporting media. The vessels in the Classic & Wooden Boat Festival have a rich history and story, which the app helped to tell. Not only could visitors see the physical boat up close, but they could access additional images and videos such as original boat sketches, schematics, notable historical captures and detail shots.

Every single precinct we work with always provides valuable, key learnings and Australian National Maritime Museum was no exception. It was fantastic to see that even with very minimal marketing, a number of visitors still sought out to download the quietly released app (released on both iOS and Android). It’s a great case study where we learnt that stripping away numerous features to keep the app simple and clear can make all the difference. It also shows that digital strategies don’t have to replace existing ones — instead, they can enhance, support or even complement your existing strategies.

It’s an ongoing process, and we are constantly integrating learnings, but we look forward to seeing how Australian National Maritime Museum decides to transform and scale the app into something that encompasses the other amazing vessels and exhibitions onsite.

Watch our Australian National Maritime Museum case study video:

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