I am a member and admirer of The Phillips Collection in Washington DC. So much so that I worked there for six years as a docent, gallery assistant and bookstore staff in the 1980s. As a third generation Washington native and the daughter of an artist, I made frequent visits to the collection during my childhood and teen years. When I see the Paul Klee paintings in the collection, I feel like I’m visiting old friends. Do you feel that way about any paintings or music that you admire?
When the iPhone App was released, I downloaded it the first week it was out and unfortunately after experiencing a slow opening screen and after being prompted for an additional large download of content, it has been sitting on my iPhone without being opened.
That is until this week, when a friend of mine contacted me and recommended meeting up at the Phillips. We met yesterday and had a great experience.
I thought it might be fun to use the iPhone app during my visit and see if it enhanced the experience of being in the galleries.
Below are my thoughts both positive and negative about my experience with the App.
- Feels like a first cut of App.
- Slow Opening Screen
- The look and feel is elegant and consistent with other Phillips Collection material.
- In the “Explore the Collection” the paintings with the exception of “The Luncheon of the Boating Party” listed in the “Top Picks” were also listed as “Currently not on view.”
Search Tool under ” Explore the Collection” Section
- When I did a search on Paul Klee, it returned Paul Klee Paintings as well as additional painters with Paul in their name. I’m not a search expert but I believe that is fixable.
APP VERSUS MOBILE OPTIMIZED WEBSITE:
After hearing about the decisions that went into the GobiernoUSA mobile site, I wondered if a mobile optimized website would have been an alternative to an App. Much of the content in the Phillips App is currently on the website so it might have been a cleaner as an initial foray into mobile content.
The Phillips Collection has many paintings and activities that are Appworthy but not enough of that content is in the current version of the The Phillips Collection app. One idea that I keep having is that instead of a “Top Picks” sections why not design something similar to Apps that Colonial Williamsburg has done. They have a “Word of the Day” app and now a “Photo of the Day” app. The Phillips Collection has the content to do a”Painting of the Day” or an “Artist of the Day” app as well as a mobile optimized website.
Just this week, I heard Pete Erickson of Disruptathon say, “Innovation is Iterative”. I look forward to the next innovative iteration of The Phillips Collection mobile presence.
Thank you for your attention. Have a good week!