Wherever and whenever it happens, being in the right place, at the right time is always a satisfying moment. Take that into the interpretation & storytelling world, add the 'right content' into the mix and you've created an incredible visitor experience.
The right content, in the right place, at the right time is something we should always aim for when designing a handheld guide experience. If a visitor is to fully engage with a site they need it to be an incredibly satisfying onsite experience, and a major part of that is ensuring that it's as easy as possible for people to access the relevant content. A frustrating experience is one where the visitor is having to flick through a paper guide to find the content, or thumbing through the tracks on an MP3 player to match it to the item or exhibition they're currently viewing. A satisfying experience is one where the handheld device automatically delivers the visitor the content, leaving the individual to enjoy the sights and sounds of a site without having to take a time out and fiddle with a book or audio player.
Location triggered content - whether indoors or outdoors - is an amazing experience. The content coming to the visitor rather than the visitor having to search for the content means that even those who are technology shy can still fully engage with a site and share the same experience as that enjoyed by a visitor who likes to interact with technology. Our award winning Culloden Battlefield guide is a great example of the power of location triggering. At Culloden, a key National Trust for Scotland property, visitors simply place the guide around their neck and head out onto the moor. As they walk along the pathways the device uses GPS to trigger each piece of location specific content - exactly where it needs to be played, each and every time. This seamless delivery of content allows the visitor to enjoy the scenery and connect with the unique environment in a way they would never be able to do if they were having to hunt down marker posts and insert numbers into a device. In fact, an added benefit of using location triggered content is that markers and interpretive panels can be kept to a minimum, leaving a site clutter-free.
Location triggering is just one means of enabling an incredible experience through content delivery. However it's a technique which isn't appropriate for all sites. At those sites where the visitor is required to drive the content through input selection, simply by making the most of software intelligence and carefully planning the user interface it is still possible to minimise the interruptions caused by searching for content and deliver a heightened visitor experience.