Give a museum experience to someone you love

With the Gift Experience web app you use your smartphone to create a digital gift. It’s like a playlist or a mixtape, except with objects from a museum.

What is the experience like?

Some people create playful treasure hunts with a game-like mission to find all the objects, while others spent a great deal of time and care choosing a single object.

See how the app was used at Brighton Museum and UoN Museum of Archaeology.

How to implement it?

The Gift Experience can be implemented quickly and is aimed at museums with tight budgets and limited staff time. The source code is open source and free to use.

Learn more in this information pack from Blast Theory.

Why this app?

Many visitors already use social media. The Gift Experience invites a much more personal and enlightened engagement: Visitors explore the museum exhibitions carefully, searching for objects that have personal meaning for them and the recipient of the gift.

The design is based on well-backed research on gifting and intimate experiences.

Have Blast Theory created the future of museums?” asks Kevin Bacon, Digital Manager at Brighton Museum & Art Gallery. He explains the museum’s rationale for experimenting with the app:

“Technologies can be effective ways of providing more content to visitors, but they often rub against the grain of the social experience, resulting in a low uptake. On the surface, Gift does much the same: the visitor uses their mobile phone to create and share content in a solitary way. But because it is so rooted in the practice of creating and sending gifts, it can enhance the social experience of the museum. A gift could be sent to a friend in another gallery, who is then encouraged to seek out the shared exhibit. It can even be shared with someone outside of the museum, so that they can enjoy their gift at home, and possibly visit the museum themselves in the future. (…) By turning an ephemeral message into a gift, Blast Theory’s Gift app taps into the long-established practice of museum visitors acquiring souvenirs of their experience.”

The beauty of the Gift Experience is that it gives you a new pathway through the museum, one that takes you off the beaten track onto a pathway of your own.
Digital Manager, Brighton Museum & Art Gallery (UK)

I thought that’s exactly what my mum would like, and so reading information about it made it feel more close to me or to my mum. So I connected my mum with this item and I think that helps remembering information better.
Visitor, Brighton Museum & Art Gallery (UK)

It definitely made me look at different things I’ve never seen in here before, and I’ve been in here loads of times.
Visitor, Brighton Museum & Art Gallery (UK)

No download. No app store. No login.

The Gift Experience is designed to be as seamless as possible: once visitors navigate to thegift.app in their phone’s browser, they can start exploring and creating gifts straight away.  The app is already live at Brighton Museum in the UK, and you can deploy it yourself by accessing the code repository.

If you are interested in finding out more, please send us an email.

How will the tool be supported?

We are committed to maintaining this tool and providing it for free until the end of 2021. You may also install the service on your own servers.

Learn more about the experience and how to deploy it in your museum in this information pack from Blast Theory.

How do you get visitors to access the app?

As it is a web app they simply need to load this web address: thegift.app.

Here are some further suggestions.

Try the Gift Experience