Archive for March, 2012

Report on our first live event with Mobile Ticketing for LSO Pulse

March 23, 2012 Leave a comment

As part of the LSO Pulse app project, we had our first evening of mobile ticketing with our target audience of students.

Having developed and built the mobile app and mobile site to facilitate the tickets and benefits of the Pulse program, this event was selected to pilot the complete circle of ticket purchase through to ticket redemption.

As a headline number, 100% of the tickets sold to students for this event were correctly identified, claimed and handed out on the night, with the details broken down below.

The overall process went very well, with only minor glitches and queries that would be expected at the introduction of any such complex technology into the ticketing process.

Ticket Sales

A maximum of 100 tickets were allocated at student discount prices for this first event. It was decided by the team to only allow mobile app or mobile site ordering for this event, to test the validity of the proposition.

Tickets sold were 64, bought by 26 individuals for themselves and their friends (part of the Pulse program is to encourage group purchase), meaning an average number of tickets pp. of 2.4.

The largest order was made on the Mobile Site for 8 tickets in 1 transaction (maximum allowed is 9).

Here the distribution of Mobile Channels used to buy the tickets:


The Mobile Site caters for Blackberry and similar smartphones where no dedicated app exists. From KODIME‘s experience, this distribution is logical, iPhone users are the biggest group of active smartphone owners, and also like to download and use apps more than any other mobile platform.

Conversion App Download to Purchase

Of around 90 downloads of the app in the two weeks after release up to March 14th, we generated 18 transactions, which is a high conversion rate of 20%. We would expect to see no more than 2% based on the experience other mobile commerce projects.

On the Night

We set up at the venue at 5.30, and trained the LSO student coordinators Tomoyo and Callum over half an hour on how to use the scanner and web app (see below).

Tickets were scanned and redeemed between 6.00pm-7.30pm, with the last handed out at 7.35pm – after the concert had begun!

QR Code Scanning

The QR Code scanning with the manually operated barcode scanner worked flawlessly. There was the occasional issue of needing to focus the scanner in the right distance to the QR Code, but otherwise the decoding worked with all screens of different sizes as well as the paper printouts presented (see below).  

Web Application

In order to read and process the tickets, checking for validity and seat information via the QR Code, we had built a LSO Pulse “web app”, a website with interactive features. This worked well on the night, however we noted some user interface issues (web browser related) which we plan to improve for the next event.

Social Sharing

We do not have tracking of all the social share options (email excluded), but 3 shares of “I have bought my ticket via the LSO Pulse app” were made to facebook and Twitter. This is out of the 18 app users, so not bad. Again need more data/events here to evaluate.

After the Event

The App provides for automated Push Notification to ticket buyers to complete a Survey the day after the Event. Our test handsets successfully received this notification and records show it went out to all applicable users. We do not have control over their settings; iPhone users increasingly disable these alerts. Of the 26 handsets pushed, only 1 started and completed the survey so far. Surveys generate additional reward points for users, and we plan to use a text message to re-prompt the users to complete their survey. Will need to monitor this over the next few events. One other reality is that users are generally reluctant to complete multi-screen data entry on the small screen, unless there is compelling reason (such as having to provide address or credit card data for an order).


We are very pleased with the results so far – we only released the app two weeks before the event, and outside of a few queries had no issues with the reasonably complex chain of mobile marketing, transaction, ticket delivery and redemption on the site.

The next events (starting from April 12th onwards) will be used to

– optimise existing process and systems based on outcome from first event
– test additional layers, example ticket PRINTING and entry management
– gain more data from users for deeper analysis

Watch this space!


Social Interpretation: Mobilising staff

March 20, 2012 Leave a comment

Men of a Territorial Army Anti-Aircraft Battery training on a 3 inch anti-aircraft gun, aircraft height finder and predictor in their drill hall.

I was really very interested to read this post on the success of going mobile in museums lying in the hands of Visitor Services departments.  The usual museum visitor neither knows nor cares about the machinations and politications of getting a project like Social Interpretation off the ground. They don’t much care about budgets, stakeholders, design sign-offs, advisory committees, and mobile phone icon debates. Or any of that stuff. They care, or they remember, their experience in the museum – of which mobile is going to become a more and more common part.

For the SI project, we have chatted, involved and erm, groomed, the IWM Visitor Services department from the start. As the people who will ultimately advocate our products on the museum floor it feels only right that we listen to what the Visitor Service Assistants (VSA’s) have to say and in return let them know as much about what we are doing as is possible and practical and useful.

We have some training sessions for IWM’s VSA staff coming up, just prior to the first Social Interpretation roll out of comment kiosks and QR codes in the A Family in Wartime exhibition from 5 April. The training plan is to let the VSA’s loose on the kiosks and codes themselves – to play, comment, ask us questions. We need to let them know as much as possible for them to be able to tell visitors what they, in turn, can do.

The biggie is how to deal with post-moderated commenting. What if an offensive comment ‘sits’ there for all to see? How to explain that the power is in the visitors’ hands to deal with that comment? And that the comments are the visitors and not the museums’ voice? The VSA’s should also be in a position to help any interested but technologically awkward visitors to use the kiosks to comment. Or how to scan a QR code and what content they might get in return. We are printing postcards to tell visitors about the free Wi-Fi and how to scan QR codes. VSA’s will hopefully hand them out and help people interact with the strange bar-cody things.

And finally VSA’s should know how to put inquiring visitors the way of the disclaimers and T&C’s on the kiosks, that might answer their questions about what is going on with comments and what could happen to theirs, should they choose to take part.

The VSA staff are the front line, public face of the Social Interpretation project and success does indeed lie heavily on them knowing whereof we speak. They’ll also have to field, first hand, questions about what all this socially stuff means. So we’ll keep our ear to the ground and check back with the VSA’s to see how they find it all. Good or bad. Annoying, liberating, frustrating or just a no-brainer of a great idea, and why didn’t museums do it sooner? Fingers (and phone lines) crossed it is the latter.

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Culture Cloud – Part 7 Designing The Cloud

March 18, 2012 Leave a comment

We decided that for CULTURE CLOUD we needed to have a registration process of some kind. The initial thoughts on this were that we could simply have an email address that people post their work to and it gets processed to the art finder site manually.

We thought that this was a bad idea as the user and the admin experience would not be a nice one and would not the project a feel of quality or professionalism.  Artfinder were unable to produce a website for us as they are not site builders. I have had many years of professional coding experience after living with a web designer for 5 years who taught me CSS and HTML5 and a bit of PHP. I spoke with Skinder and offered to create the custom registration site freelance for NAE.

Over the years experience helped me visualise and design how the site would look in my head. It’s always hard to translate an idea from your head to other people who are not so web experienced. I knew we would need 3 elements, graphics, management systems and information; lots of information. I myself not being a graphic designer thought that the way to achieve a modern and branded look was to get a designer with the marketing team to come up with some concepts for the CULTURE CLOUD branding. Initially it was a logo that we wanted. We wanted to take an alternative look at the Cloud, we looked at other clouds like Soundcloud/iCloud/cloudapp


We needed to create a digital look that was different to all of the other cloud ideas. They all seemed to be slight variations to the shape. With the help from our Friend Koo Bhangra at RARE COMPANY we decided to go through the options.

Koo and the CULTURE CLOUD team decided that a few variations on the cloud theme might help us get a clearer picture. Koo thought we could do one in a similar style to the NAE logo like a simple line with a C inside a C to create the logo. We also decided to see if the cloud could be created using different shapes such as circles.

Koo then came up with this outline design and the cloud being made from what looked like icy futuristic sharp shapes. It looks like a cloud from a strange planet or one that could be found floating in the skies of cyberspace. Realising the importance of the logo looking striking we decided that having one tone of colour might seem similar to other web logos.

Injecting some colour into the logo really helped and Koo came up with five bold colour choices. The logo started to take on the feel of something very modern and even in a similar style to lots of Olympics advertising recently. We decided on the orange highlight on the image (I liked the green personally but it might have turned out looking like a lemonade advert).

Typography has always been important. This has not changed with the invention of the internet so getting the correct font and modern feel for the logo and site text was very important. A very popular text font at the moment is Tahoma (facebooks current font) and I decided to use that on a lot of the normal text. Then we had to choose title and heading text; after Koo showed us another five options for fonts we picked Gotham Rounded (option D).


by Ravi James Abbott Project Assistant

Categories: New Art Exchange

Tonight’s The Night

March 15, 2012 3 comments

Thanks to Neil Young for that headline! I’ll be humming this when we are putting the second part of our solution to the reality test tonight, at London’s Barbican where the LSO will be performing the wonderful Brahms Symphony No 2.

Having seen lots of our students target audience download the app, visit the mobile site and purchase tickets successfully (and still more buying via mobile as I write this), this evening will be all about redemption.

Our standalone and custom built mobile ticketing solution consists of the following components: 

– the ticket owner’s mobile phone, either loaded with the LSO Pulse iPhone / Android App, or a smartphone with Mobile Internet access

– the mobile ticket, which consists of a number of visible and hidden data fields, and a corresponding QR Code, stored on each mobile device

– a handheld barcode scanner, which is connected via cable to the below notebook

– a notebook computer, which has been stripped to the bare bones to do only one thing, which is to run the Chrome web browser to access the web app below

– the LSO Pulse Ticketing web application, which is browser based and is driven from our KOMOBILITY platform (runs in the “cloud”)

The student coordinator will use this setup to scan all mobile tickets, to check whether a ticket is valid (purchased, not redeemed yet, for this event), and upon success, select the ticket on the web application to have been “collected”. For this phase 1, the coordinator will then hand a paper ticket to the student matching the pre-sold seat information.


In future events, we plan to drop the last “paper” element in this process, however this being a trial and involving a large concert and organisation (Barbican), we want to be safe rather than sorry!

The web application allows for alternative lookup methods, should the scanning of the mobile ticket fail, for example lookup by mobile number, name, and PIN code – obviously just scanning it is much more sexy (and faster), so one of our KPIs tonight will be the % of sold tickets successfully scanned at first attempt.

We have a number of fallbacks in place, including iPads with 3G connectivity should WiFi fail, several mobile handsets iPhone and Android to check for usability queries, and last but not least a list of all tickets, students and seats allocated on paper – if all goes well, that list will not be touched.

As for mobile ticket sales to date, here some stats as to what we have seen to date, and what we therefore expect to see with the students tonight:

  • Biggest single transaction was for 8 tickets
  • 70% of purchases made by App
  • 30% by Mobile Site
  • iOS 70%, Android 30% of app downloads
  • Average tickets per user = 2.5
  • App users have bought 2.7 average, Mob Site 2 per average
  • So far 7.7% of ticket buyers have that fact shared via Facebook

We hope to have it almost all worked out and are excited about seeing the original concept complete its first circle. We’ll document it all and whether good, bad or ugly, will post a detailed update here in a few days.



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Happenstance: Residents Announced

We had a great take up for the residency call, with over 70 great applicants. After a busy Sandpit Day at NESTA in February (involving tiny robots, penguins and ping pong balls), we’re pleased to announce the six residents who will be taking up there posts in April.


At Site Gallery: Leila Johnston and James Jefferies 

At Lighthouse: James Bridle and Natalia Buckley 

At Spike Island: Kevin Walker and Linda Sandvik 

They’re a very exciting group of people, who while be blogging and sharing their experiences of working with Site Gallery, Lighthouse and Spike Island over the next few months over on the Happenstance website

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Dickens takes a step forward

March 7, 2012 Leave a comment

It’s been a while but we’re back with a brief update on where we’re at with all things digi-Dickens. It’s been an interesting and intensive few weeks as we’ve set about:

* developing actual content
* designing the look and feel of the app (including the characters ‘guiding’ users on their journeys)

With our technology partners Seren producing some exciting graphics and clean interfaces, we’re now ready for research partner MTM to beta-test the app with two consumer focus groups. This will be happening early next week.

Julia Ziemer – who’s leading on content generation at the Dickens Museum – has been plotting content, generating images and text. We hope to have two of the seven character-led trails completed ahead of launch on 22 April, with the others being rolled out over the course of the following months. This allows us to  both generate and check editorial content, track usage and keep the marketing momentum rolling.

Paul Cutts

Chief executive – Exhibition Road Cultural Group

Categories: Uncategorized

March 1, 2012 Leave a comment

We’ve been a bit quiet this year so far, but fear not – it’s all been for a good reason, namely to get our app finalised and released! It’s been an intense, but throughout positive journey, with some hard pushing especially during the last few weeks to make our tight deadlines.

So the first part of what we set out to do is delivered, and live in iTunes and Android Market, as well as on the Mobile Web. The LSO team will be properly launching the new app and offer with a campaign to its student audience over the next few weeks, and we have the first live event featuring mobile tickets on March 15th. Still figuring out the ticket scanning software, but we’ll get there I hope!

Have a look at the summary presentation, and of course download and check out the app from iTunes and Marketplace, search ‘LSO Pulse’. Any feedback, ideas, suggestions etc welcome, please email us on

Greetings Nico

LSO Pulse Home Screen