Tours are the lifeblood of the Cuseum Visitor App. They provide context and help educate and entertain your visitors. This is a quick guide on creating a Tour Flow, as well as a some best practices and an example tour to help you succeed!
1. Initial Planning
Our tour system has been designed to encourage flexibility in storytelling styles and content types, but there are still a few best practices to help ensure you get the most out of our platform.
First let's talk about the different parts of a Cuseum Tour.
Tour Preview Page
TYPES OF MODELS
An object should be viewed as a physical item; it can be a painting, sculpture, tool, or even a fountain. The idea is that the object has a set of attributes and information that is uniquely relevant to the object. This ensures an object will be clear to the visitor if you include it in multiple tours . This is also where you store information such as provenance or history.
Have different content for an object for different stops?
We recommend not using the Object model if you wish to serve different information about an object for different tours. We recommend using the Multiple Points of Interest model instead.
Custom Page Model
A custom page is what we consider the kitchen sink model to help support anything that doesn't fit within the other models. It is an embedded webpage which provides maximum flexibility including the capability to embed YouTube videos, Instagram posts. They can also be linked to objects and tour stops so you can include auxiliary information such as important contextual information. Think of it as a Wikipedia page.
The stop model is the backbone of your tour. These are the physical locations a user will stop at when navigating through the linear tour. This can be a specific gallery, room, corner, or even piece. Please keep in mind: once a stop is created, it cannot be moved into another tour, only dragged-and-dropped within the tour it was created in.
They can also include Objects in the form of 'Points of Interest'. A good example of this is using a room as a stop that includes two paintings. You can store each painting as an object. As the visitor approaches the room they will see the stop, listen to the story about why the room is important and then have the ability (but not the obligation) to look at each painting separately. They can quickly jump back into the stop level and move on to the next area.
You can use object content to create a Stop.
If you have an object that you wish to make into a stop, you can select the "Single Point of Interest" option from the Stop Page.
The directions model is structured to help you guide your visitor to the next stop. This can be a mixture of text and imagery, and is incredibly helpful when guiding a visitor to a new room, floor, building, or area.
We recommend keeping the directions as short as possible and using multiple direction models consecutively. They will load one after another and be present on the stop page to view at any time.
Tour Preview Page
This section gives your visitor a small preview of the tour. It will be the first thing a visitor sees and is intended to entice a visitor to initiate your tour.
It typically will include background information, tour length, starting location, and anything else that will help the visitor select the tour that is most appropriate for them.
2. Tour Heirarchy
Below is a simple flow chart illustrating how a tour is structured:
Here we have included three stops, one set of directions, three points of interest, and two custom pages. It's a good idea to layout how you wish to structure your tour before starting. One great way to do this is using the flow chart tool Draw.io.
Step 3: Adding Stops
Now that we have our Tour Hierarchy it is time to start creating our stops. First navigate to the tour flow section on the left navigation menu.
Now you will see the tour creation page. Let's add our first tour.
You will now be prompted to add the basic details of your tour. These details can be changed at anytime.
Title will be visible next to the tour. We recommend keeping it short.
Duration is the tour's estimated completion time (optional but recommended)
Location is the location of the starting point of the tour (recommended for large buildings)
Your image will be a preview image of the tour. This typically will be of the first object or a thematic picture.
Start Date/End Date will enable you to create a tour that doesn't appear in the app until a specific date and will be removed automatically when the the tour concludes (optional)
Featured will display the tour on the front page of your app (recommended)
Visible (off by default) will display or hide your tour from the app. We recommend creating your tour before making this visible.
Tour Description is for you to provide a brief explanation of the type of tour that the user will be taking. This is also a great place to thank your donors and contributors.
Now let's save our tour.
You will now see the following menu appear.
Let's add our first stop.
After clicking 'add stop' you will be prompted with a few choices.
Title is the only required field and will be displayed to the visitor. You can choose to number these or just title it with a label. Let's start with "Curators Welcome".
Location is optional is meant to tell the visitor where the stop is located.
Stop Type will decide if you wish for an individual object to become a stop or if you wish to add your own custom content to the stop. You can always attach objects to the stop as well. We will be adding new content so we will select "With its own description, may have multiple Points of Interest attached" (a Point of Interest is the same thing as an Object).
Points of Interest is where you will add one or many objects to your stop. Select as many as you like from the list to be associated with this stop. They will be viewed by the visitor as a point of interest. For example, a gallery with multiple objects might include one stop for the gallery and then a list of the objects visible there with content. This allows the visitor to wander at their leisure.
Now click 'save' and we will begin editing our content. This will be very familiar to you if you have already created your objects as it is the same content editor. You can add text/media/image modules. We recommend starting with an image and any media you might have followed by a textual description.
Audio should be 30 seconds to 2 minutes
Video should be 1 minute or less
Images should be in landscape format if possible
Large blocks of text should be divided into smaller sections
Once you have saved your object you will see your stop in the side panel.
Let's add some directions to the next stop so our visitors know to use the left staircase.
Title will not be visible to the visitor this time. It will just be used so that we can keep track of what these directions are meant for. Let's use "Up the stairs"
The description should be short and easy to understand. "Please walk towards the stairs to the left side of the hallway"
You can include a picture of the designated area you wish your visitor to move to. This can be extremely useful as most visitors prefer images to text directions.
Now we can add the rest of our stops and content and begin testing!
Step 4: Testing
Now that we have created our tour it's a good time to test our content to ensure it is easy to understand and that your directions are clear and concise. We recommend inviting 3-5 people who have never used the tour before (preferably with little knowledge of the exhibit).
Have them start from stop 1 and see if they can navigate the space.
Watch the testers as they wander. Are they stopping where you wanted them to?
Time how long it takes to complete the tour. Is your initial estimate accurate?
Step 5: Release
Now that you have tested your tour it is time to release it. If you haven't already, navigate to the tour editor and select Visible in the details and click "save".
Congratulations! Your tour is now available in your app for your visitors to see!
Step 6: Edits
To edit your tour, navigate to Content > Tours, and click on the Pencil icon
Want an extra pair of eyes to help you out as you create/test your content?
We are only a message away. You can email us at [email protected], or via our CMS widget. We are always happy to take a look at what you are working on and help you with any part of the content curation process!