Beyond the Label


Beyond the Label is a joint collaboration between The Courtauld Institute of Art and the University of Sheffield's Department of Sociological Studies and Humanities Research Institute.

The project explored how digital technology can be used to improve people's understanding of art within the context of a gallery or museum space. It employed a user-centered design approach, including focus groups and interviews involving audience samples, in order to ascertain:

  1. Does the use of digital technology within galleries and museums add any genuine value to the visitor experience beyond novelty?
  2. If digital technology adds value to the experience, what are the best ways of achieving this in design terms?

Beyond the Label is the result of this research and design process. It is a system which enables The Courtauld's curators to convey high-quality background information to users about The Gallery's artworks.

The system is optimised for use on desktop PCs and mobile devices. The mobile version includes the facility to go directly to relevant information by scanning QR codes that are located alongside the works of art in The Courtauld Gallery.

Project Team

  • Dr Bridgette Wessels (Project Leader; Department of Sociological Studies)
  • Ryan Bloor (Humanities Research Institute)
  • Henrietta Hine (The Courtauld Institute of Art)
  • Dr Michael Meredith (Humanities Research Institute)
  • Belinda Moore (Moore Blackett)
  • Michael Pidd (Humanities Research Institute)
  • Hannah Talbot (The Courtauld Institute of Art)
  • Joff Whitten (The Courtauld Institute of Art)


  • User needs and participatory design by the Department of Sociological Studies, University of Sheffield
  • Content development and gallery deployment by The Courtauld Institute of Art
  • Visual design by Moore Blackett Ltd
  • Technical build by HRI Digitial at The Humanities Research Institute, University of Sheffield


  • The University of Sheffield HEIF-4 Knowledge Transfer Scheme
  • The Museum, Libraries & Archives Council (MLA Council, DCMS)

Contact Us


Related Links

The Courtauld Institute of Art
HRI Digital at The Humanities Research Institute, University of Sheffield
Moore Blackett Limited