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2 minutes to read Posted on Wednesday November 6, 2019

Updated on Monday November 6, 2023

portrait of Nicholas Jarrett

Nicholas Jarrett

Senior Marketing Manager , Europeana Foundation

The GIFT Box: Helping museums make richer digital experiences for their visitors

The team behind the GIFT project are proud to launch the GIFT Box, a set of free, open-source tools and ways of working to help museums offer richer digital experiences for their visitors. The GIFT Box provides resources to help you design, plan and implement enhanced visitor experiences, and this post takes a look at some of the creative ways it can be used.

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GIFT app test at Royal Pavilion and Museums, Brighton
Charlie Johnson

What’s in the GIFT Box?

Design and planning tools

If you want to create a digital visitor experience, the GIFT Box design and planning tools can help you generate, strengthen and test your ideas. They have been developed with and for museums as a way to help prioritise ideation in early phases of design work. 

VisitorBox Ideation Cards is a printable card game that helps you and your colleagues generate ideas for digital experiences. The ASAP Map encourages you to develop shared understanding about your ideas, while the Experiment Planner helps you plan ways to test your idea and map out a clear plan to implement it.

Digital tools

These open-source tools have been designed in partnership with leading museums to give you inspiration to create more personal experiences with your collection, combining the digital and physical.

The Gift App allows your visitors to use their smartphone to create a digital gift for someone they care about. Artcodes are customisable and scannable markers that let you blend your physical exhibition with digital content. With Never Let Me Go, two visitors get to co-create and co-curate each others’ encounter with your collection. Using image recognition, One Minute offers visitors a short story that encourages them to reflect on and engage with your content. Gift Wrapper is an app that visitors can download to make a museum gift more personal by adding a link to digital content such as music, photos or videos. Finally, ScannerBox enables you to create interactive 3D models of objects in your collection or contributed by visitors.

Ways of working

Working with 10 prominent museums from Europe and the US, the GIFT team have developed a number of practical recommendations to help you with experience design and organisational change.

How can you use the GIFT Box?

Are you a cultural heritage professional interested in offering experiences that combine the digital and physical? Are you an academic or student who would like to see practical examples of how the latest research can inform developments in the cultural heritage sector? Or do you work in the creative industries and are looking for inspiration on how to handle design processes and develop innovative experience design? If so, the GIFT Box provides: 

  • Easy to use design and planning tools that help museums make richer visitor experiences. 

  • Ready-made open-source digital tools that have been developed and tested in museums.

  • Practical recommendations on how to deal with digital design and change from 10 international museums.

Find out more about GIFT

You can read more about the project, download the tools or get in touch at

You can read more about the project from some of the individuals involved in our GIFT project series published on Europeana Pro this summer.

If you are a ticket holder for Europeana 2019 or based in Portugal you can attend GIFT @ Europeana 2019.

If you don’t have a ticket for Europeana 2019, or can’t get to Lisbon we will be livestreaming the GIFT plenary sessions on Wednesday 27 November. You can sign up to be the first to hear about the livestreaming here.

The GIFT project is a European Union Horizon 2020 funded project with partners from IT University of Copenhagen, The University of Nottingham, Uppsala University, Blast Theory, NextGame, Culture24 and Europeana Foundation.