This app concept was the output of my masters thesis at the University of Westminster where I explored and compared the differences between web-application and native iOS app from both a development and user experience standpoint.


Research and context

At the time of the project in 2010, Wifi was not commonly available in public places. Throughout the research and during consultation with museum staff it was discovered that the majority of visitors to the museum are from abroad with the average return visitor rate of 1.6%. However, with the increased demand for multimedia application, virtual guides – and the fact that the devices which most people carry around with them are more sophisticated than museum digital guides themselves – it was interesting to explore the use of mobile devices in the context of a museum environment:

  • Getting to the museum
  • What to do upon arrival
  • Additional object information
  • Multimedia guides for exhibitions
  • Video content about the object and its original location
  • Museum facilities, shops and cafés

As part of my research I explored the benefits of designing a mobile web application (an app which mimics a native app however lives within a browser) and a native iOS application and concluded that for environments like the British Museum it would be advisable to provide native apps which can be downloaded prior to visiting the museum. Mobile web application require active data connections which for the foreign visitors may result in high roaming charges.


The process included defining the type of application according to Apple's human interface guidelines in order to develop the user experience and visual language. During this process the design and content was analysed in order to set requirements for a mobile application.

I iterated from sketches and wireframes to a high fidelity functional prototype which was built in X-Code in Objective-C.


This application was evaluated according the Nielsen's Heuristics.