Visiting an art museum can be illuminating, emotional, and educational. It can also be totally overwhelming, especially somewhere like Atlanta’s High Museum of Art, which houses more than 15,000 works.
To give you some direction, Julia Forbes (the High Museum’s Shannon Landing Amos Head of Museum Interpretation and Digital Engagement) and Ivey Rucket (Manager of Web and New Media) brainstormed and built Heartmatch, a Tinder-inspired app that personalizes a museum itinerary for you based on artworks you swipe right on, Smithsonian.com reports.
No need to download this app—just head to Heartmatch.org on your device and tap “Get Started” under the title slide’s headline “Ready to Fall in Love?” You’ll be shown a series of works from the High’s collection and asked to swipe right for each one you like, and swipe left for each one you don’t particularly care to see (you can also hit the heart and X buttons below each artwork to indicate like or dislike). After several swipes, the app will deliver you a map of the museum with your artwork matches clearly marked. The top of the map shows the museum’s three wings with how many matches you chose in each wing. Below, the map breaks down each wing with the specific galleries where you can view your matches. You can email the map to yourself, or you can choose to keep swiping for the opportunity to add more works to your existing map. And since the app includes 100 works, you can keep swiping until you have a pretty extensive personal visitor’s guide.
Another similarity between Heartmatch and an actual dating app is that Heartmatch will only add artworks to your tour that you’ve already swiped right on, just like Tinder won’t match you with a person you haven’t already said you like.
Forbes and Rucket told the American Alliance of Museums that they had three specific goals in mind while creating the app: to show their on-site visitors their collection’s diversity, to direct them to artworks they liked so they could experience them in person, and to collect data on their tastes.
Collecting data on visitors' tastes will help the museum know which popular works to highlight in their marketing efforts, but it won’t leave the under-liked pieces left in the dust. Instead, the High will feature them in their educational programming, to “turn ‘swipe lefts’ into ‘swipe rights.’”