Museum Culture Awards IDCA

GOLD – JourneyMaker by the Art Institute of Chicago – USA

Case Study



JourneyMaker is a multi-touch screens and computers app. An innovative family-led experience, JourneyMaker prompts visitors to choose a thematic path through the museum and to personalize the tour by choosing artwork stops. The software plots the best path between these artworks and prints out a wayfinding tool full of fun activities.



We began with the premise of wayfinding, which presented a platform for storytelling, interactive build-your-own elements, and educational activities in response to art. We developed a variety of stories that appealed across demographics. We created 200,000 potential journeys.




Our biggest challenge was developing an algorithm that creates an “art path” through the museum.



We successfully developed 6 tools: (1) a drupal based, open source CMS which allows the museum to upload content, themes, and artwork, while integrating tombstone information and credits, (2) the interactive software for visitor engagement, (3) a home desktop version (4) an algorithm to lead visitors through the museum, (5) a printed map, (6) wayfinding icons for all the different wings.




In the first 2 months, 3,589 guides were printed. Analytics recorded a 96% conversion rate from start to printing.