15 May 2017, Patrick Towell
iBeholder is an online platform that enables non-ticketed arts, culture, heritage and entertainment venues and events to capture data about their audiences.
It has been developed by g39 in Cardiff, with the support of NESTA’s Digital Innovation Fund for the Arts in Wales – and with our collaboration on business modelling, design and technology.
To date, we have taken iBeholder through idea development, prototyping and live testing in collaboration with three Welsh arts venues/organisations: g39 itself, Oriel Wrecsam and Artes Mundi.
Prototyping has focused on user-centric design and user testing, using an early-stage working prototype built in Wordpress. This has enabled detailed work to be undertaken around: user journeys; question design; segmentation approaches; data capture; user engagement; integration of the platform into the gallery experience (before, after or during?); creation and deployment of contextual content; interaction design; reporting and dashboarding; data analysis; and the design of associated communications, such as follow-on emails.
There have been, to date, three iterations of the iBeholder prototype, utilised in three sets of user testing. Each time insights and learnings from the previous test have been incorporated into the subsequent iteration of the tool.
In support of the prototyping we have pursued a parallel process of market scoping, business modeling and operational planning, culminating in the production of a full specification for the next stage – market-ready – product.
Available technology options and related products already on the market have been thoroughly researched to both assess the competitive landscape and to identify potential technologies and partners for the build of the full product.
“Until now museums and galleries have had only a limited understanding of their visitors – they need to build better audience relationships than they could achieve with a door counter alone. I’m very excited that iBeholder not only offers a plausible solution to that challenge, but also that it’s informed by current discourse in other sectors that are using digital in innovative ways.” Chris Brown, g39
With g39, we are creating the strategic road map and operational plan for the next phase of the project: building the first version of the full product; an initial market launch within Wales; wider user-testing; and subsequent product iteration, branding and creation of essential marketing elements.
We are now actively looking for arts organisations (venues, commissioners, touring companies, ticketed and non-ticketed) to participate in this next phase – and for funding bodies, professional bodies and strategic partners who can support it.
“Arts organisations and their funders have in recent years been emphasising the value of data – including data about audiences and insight into their experiences – as critical to reaching and engaging audiences. iBeholder fills a gap in the market that extends knowledge of audiences beyond those who have bought tickets, enabling more organisations to address their needs – and ultimately be more resilient.” Patrick Towell, GMV