New iPhone-, Smartphone-Friendly Version Leads The Way in Museum World
As part of a comprehensive effort to harness new media, the Wexner Center has launched a mobile version of its web site, wexarts.org. This newly designed, slimmed-down view of the web site has been specially tailored and optimized for viewing on iPhones (or iPod touches) and other internet-enabled smartphones, with a layout befitting the screen size of mobile smartphones—much smaller than desktop screens—that allows users to quickly and easily get to the information they want. In addition to the calendar of events, detailed information about upcoming events, and visitor information, also “linked up” on this slimmed-down version of the full web site are mobile views of the Wexner Center’s blog; podcasts and other rich media content; and mobile versions of the Wex’s presence on such sites as Twitter, Facebook, and Flickr.
Users of iPhone or iPod touches can access the site at /iphone, or go straight to wexarts.org (their iPhones will automatically redirect to the mobile view). A mobile site for other smartphones, including BlackBerrys, is available at http://wexarts.org.org/mobile.
A short video movie demonstrating the web site and a blog post by Alex Ford—a student employee at the Wexner Center and a senior in Visual Communication Design at Ohio State (who created the mobile view with guidance from Chris Jones, the Wexner Center’s director of design, and Jerry Dannemiller, director of marketing & communications)—can be found at /wexblog/?p=2435.
While mobile web sites or iPhone applications are increasingly prevalent in the corporate world, very few museums or arts organizations have pursued their development. Because of that fact, the Wexner Center is making available, as a resource for peer institutions or other interested parties, some methods and tips for designing, coding, and implementing such a site (accessible via the blog post noted above).
Notes Wexner Center Director Sherri Geldin, “We’re fortunate at the Wex to find ourselves in the midst of 50,000 college students who are ever at the forefront of new media applications. So it’s no surprise that one of our student employees devised a mobile presentation of our web site that will keep the Wex at the head of the mobile communications curve.”
This initiative is just one of many innovative e-initiatives at the Wexner Center, recent and not so, including live streaming of select lectures and artist talks (coming up, the conversation between artist Luc Tuymans and art scholar T.J. Clark on November 10 will be streamed live), several Twitter feeds (@wexarts, @wexarts_pr, @tuymanstour), three Facebook groups (Wexner Center, Wexner Center Film/Video, and Wexner Center Store), a 3D view of the Wexner Center on Google Earth (one of the few Columbus landmarks with such a view on the site), and a rich array of videos, podcasts, “mixtapes,” and blog posts on /wexblog and throughout http://wexarts.org.