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Serendipity in the Museum Experience

Watch Catherine's Talk

Catherine DevineChief Digital Officer, American Museum of Natural History

TitleSerendipity in the Museum Experience


Read/View Time11 min

American Museum of Natural History's groundbreaking Explorer app has evolved to leverage location to support a serendipitous experience, in addition to providing wayfinding.

Explorer, the American Museum of Natural History’s groundbreaking interior way-finding app, launched originally in 2010. The app initially focused on visitors selecting exhibits they wanted to see and navigating directly to them (think T-Rex or Blue Whale.) This was innovative, in and of itself, within a large, complex interior space.

"One of the great delights of visiting Museums is in discovering new things, things that you didn’t expect to find. Things that give you new perspectives, that delight you, inspire you, excite you, things that challenge you intellectually, things that you want to tell others about. It’s what we refer to as the serendipity of the Museum experience."

As you scroll in the Explorer app, you see the items in descending order of closeness.

As you scroll in the Explorer app, you see the items in descending order of closeness.

In this talk, Catherine discusses how AMNH’s thinking evolved to use location not just for directions to selected exhibits, but also to support discovery. Click the play button above to watch the talk.


Catherine Devine

Chief Digital Officer

American Museum of Natural History

As Chief Digital Officer at the American Museum of Natural History, Catherine is responsible for the digital strategy and digital transformation of the Museum experience, both onsite and online.

She has overseen the Museum’s website relaunch, enterprise CMS, Ticketing and CRM implementations and the evolution of the Museum’s Explorer app. Catherine has more than 25 years’ experience in the digital and technology sectors.

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