Smartphone guide technology in cultural spaces: measuring visitor experience with an iPhone multimedia guide in Shakespeare’s church

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Smartphone technologies are now used to deploy audio and multimedia guides in cultural spaces, including historic churches. It is important to measure what effect the use of such technologies has on visitor experience of the cultural space and the usability and user experience of the guide. An “in the wild” study was conducted to investigate visitor experience in a historic church, with two versions of a multimedia iPhone Guide and with a traditional paper guide. The Church Experience Scale (CES) and the Multimedia Guide Scale (MMGS) were used to measure the experience of 59 visitors to Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon, known as Shakespeare’s church. A total of 40 visitors used an iPhone guide, 21 a free choice version and 19 a guided tour version, and 19 visitors used a paper guide. Results showed that participants with a smartphone guide had a significantly more positive visitor experience and spent significantly longer on their visit to the church. There was a significant correlation between length of visit and the Enjoyment, Intellectual Stimulation, and Curiosity factor of the CES, but further work is needed to understand the direction of causality in this relationship. The usability and user experience of the multimedia guide conditions did not differ from each other, but the results of the MMGS showed that both guides could be improved in terms of general usability and quality of interaction. Challenges of conducting a study “in the wild” of a smartphone app in a cultural space are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
JournalInternational Journal of Human-Computer Interaction
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2017

Bibliographical note

© 2017 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details.


  • multimedia guides, visitor experience, user experience, Church Experience Scale (CES), Multimedia Guide Scale (MMGS)

Cite this