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Digimuseo.fi is a case example in agile projects and a testament to tackle a challenge that affects us all.
Closed doors and spaces were one of the many phenomenons of the corona spring of 2020. Museums were also affected as they had to close down as well. This meant canceling many school trips, shutting risk groups inside their homes, and leaving the elderly without a chance to go, well, anywhere really. This is how digimuseo.fi was born.
Yhteinen perintö Yy saw this as a challenge and as an opportunity. There was a huge need to open a digital door to our cultural legacy, but the time needed to create those doors didn’t really exist -nor the budget to get them done. Everything needed to happen instantly, in an agile and cost-efficient way.
The time it took from the first phone call to Buena (now Miltton) to the finished Digimuseo.fi was approximately 2 and a half weeks. In this time, a service concept, visual identity, fully functional website, and a webshop were created. This meant that we had to have the courage to cut corners while building a solution that took the future needs and scalability into account – this ruled out one-off solutions. We wanted to emphasize the user experience and create a” minimum lovable product.” The result was an open door to virtual museums.
We achieved what we wanted: a digital museum where anyone can visit and where you can enjoy a guided tour purchased at the webshop. Daycare groups can explore museums, and anyone can dive into Helinä Rautavaara’s unbelievable story; no one has to miss out on culture even if the doors to museums were closed. The value of this objective drove the project team forward at both sides of the table.
The answer is simple: in a very agile fashion. By listening to the client’s vision and things left unsaid and putting proper emphasis on both of them. The project was managed with agile working meetings each morning. In 15 minutes, you can go through the situation, the challenges, create solutions, and make the wheels turn. On top of this, the client had the ability to clearly communicate their needs and wishes and explain what the new digital museum should look and feel like. For example, the visual identity was nearly a slamdunk, hitting the target almost at the first try.
All possible digital tools were used with incredible efficiency. A solution basically done by three people was based on a way of working that enabled it all: nothing was done in vain. The line between the designer and the developer was always open – just like they would’ve sat next to each other at an office. No unnecessary phases were drawn – instead, everything was taken straight into the browser, and solutions were being made as the digital museum was being built. Communication enabled miracles: as the client was solving questions and providing us with content, the concept designer coordinating the project could see the real-time status of language versions and input translations to the pages that were being created. The whole project was an unbelievable show of everyone working towards a common goal and enjoying it.
One of the key functionalities to achieve our goal was sharing the virtual museum experience. You obviously had to be able to visit the museum by yourself, but also with someone or with a group of people. Yhteinen perintö wanted to offer a chance to visit the exhibition with a tour guide virtually. This meant a shared experience in an isolated reality which brought something extraordinary to the table: after all, has anyone of us ever gotten a whole museum just for ourselves? This was now possible, with a friend and a tour guide.
Before, there was no Digimuseo; now there is. Every museum can join the home of virtual museum tours. Some of these museums include the presidential residence, with Suomen Joutsen about to join, and many more still in talks at home and abroad.