On May 9, 2013, nearly 15 students across University of Minnesota majors presented a prototype for an iPad app for the Weisman Art Museum on the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities campus.
The app opens with a video highlighting the museum and its unique features. "Thousands of people walk by the Weisman every day, but not many of those people go inside," said Alex Lauer. "The video is an opportunity for them to learn about the museum."
The app navigation highlights artwork, architecture and events, as well as WAM's story and an opportunity to learn within the museum. "The Learn section allows people to learn about opportunities within the museum and to collaborate," said theater student Rebecca Wilson.
The students presented the app prototype in-front of Weisman staff. "It really is truly remarkable," said WAM director Lyndel King. "You students have inspired us. I'm so impressed."
On top of highlighting museum exhibits and events, the app features original content, including a highlight of artists in Minnesota telling the user what the Weisman means to them. "The highlight of artists is so exciting! I love it," said one Weisman staff member.
"The students added so much original content," said another Weisman staff member. "It was good to see fresh and exciting content."
The app experience has proved to be a great learning opportunity for the students and something they'll carry into the future. "To get something really tangible for my portfolio has been great," said SJMC strategic communication student Laura Schmidt. "I've gotten internships by showing this app in interviews."
"It was great to work on a real project with real deadlines and a real client," said SJMC journalism major Noel Clark. "It was nice to step into something a little scary and take risks."
The students created a user manual for the app prototype, which has now been passed off to the Weisman Art Museum for coding and creation.
The class was led by Camille LeFevre, who will teach another app creation class in 2013-2014 for the Goldstein Museum of Design on the University of Minnesota's St. Paul campus.
Learn more about the app and its features: