In this excellent article about App Design, Mar Dixon lists 5 things that can make a cultural tour app stand out. I love point 2: Make sure your content is better than good. It's the basis upon which Antenna operates on a daily basis.
Content is the lifeblood of an audio or multimedia tour - but let's not call it content for a second. We want to create experiences that are unique and memorable, but also informative, comprehensive and where appropriate, fun. We want to take you on a journey. Immerse you in a tangible, visceral, vibrant world. We want to move you.
Content, then, is better called: story.
At Antenna we think of our apps as storytelling experiences. Nothing sticks in the mind like a good story. Nothing shapes, impacts and influences like a good story. From pirate tales in swarthy taverns to Viking sagas, stories take many shapes and forms but one thing remains the same: they are part of human DNA. They define who we are, as we grow up as children, as we go through adulthood, as we 'go gently into that good night'.
All we do when we create a tour is look for a good stroy. We draw on every possible resource to thoroughly explore and define what the visitor to a cultural institution is seeing, what the artist is intending, and what said institution wants to communicate. Drawing on everything from curator interviews to extensive archival resources, we put everything together to create that story which shapes, impacts and influences.
2. Make sure your content is better than good Everyone can do a Google search for Soho, or ‘interesting stories Soho’, but not everyone can easily find an audio recording of Janet Street Porter or George Melly talking about their Soho days. To make a tour worthy of someone’s time, it’s important to have content that is as unique, interesting and inspirational as it can be. In the case of Soho stories, use of interviews with famous locals, live recordings from music venues in the area, and the ‘inside track’ on what went on behind closed doors were all features that received positive feedback from interviewees.