The voice of art

The voice of art

The voice of art

IBM & Pinacoteca Museum


72% of Brazilians have never been to museums nor art institutes because they find them inaccessible. For the launch of Watson in Brazil, IBM collaborated with Ogilvy to create “The Voice of Art”, an interactive guide that lets people have conversations with artworks housed at the Pinacoteca de São Paulo Museum. Through an exclusive app, Pinacoteca’s visitors could talk to seven art pieces of the collection, asking them whatever they wanted, the way they wanted; the response was given by Watson through its Brazilian voice in real time.


Role: user experience manager
Company: Ogilvy & Mather agency
Client: IBM
Project: The Voice of Art
Year: 2017

The strategy was to put all Watson’s cognitive power into a mobile app made available to visitors to the Pinacoteca Museum. This application uses several Watson APIs to recognize visitors’ questions, identify the intent of those questions, and deliver specific answers. In addition, we incorporate a system in the museum building that recognizes the presence of the visitor in front of the works and begins the interaction with the application in their hands. It is a new tool that allows the visitor to have a completely new experience and turns the museum into a place of technological experimentation.

In this project, we designed the whole application usage experience: from the app itself to the mapping of messages to guide users while at the museum.

We used the double diamond to go through all the design thinking steps in order to create an efficient digital product for the public.


we thoroughly investigate the public of the museum aged 7 to 70, we learned how people walked around the museum and interacted with the works, in addition to their digital behavior.

Ideation and prototype

This phase was divided into two fronts, one to design the digital user experience and another to design the user experience in the physical location.

In the app’s prototype, we designed the user experience interacting with the works of art, so that the app could be intuitive and easy to talk to and to explore.

In the route experience on the physical location we mapped out the points where it was fundamental to fire off messages so that the public could find the works cognitively.


After 2 months of user testing at the museum we improved the prototype, we found that the app should have as few elements as possible since the user expected to talk to the artworks in a natural way. We included a question button since many elderly users were confused at the time the work stopped talking to them.

In the message map, we placed the beacons that triggered the location messages in the door and in the staircases of places where there were works and also in front of the works. We reduced the number of stimuli because the users got confused by the many location indication.
The app was highly rated by museum users getting 4 stars on a scale from 1 to 5.


340% increase on the number of Pinacoteca’s visitors week to week. Due to its huge success, the project was extended for two extra months. 

Earned media valued at US$ 3.3 million; more than 50 local and international PR stories, including a 4-minute segment on Brazil’s leading TV news program; highest organic reach (+1M) and engagement rate (37% – our average is 3%) on the history of IBM Brazil’s Facebook page; +6M views on YouTube and Facebook to date, being +280K organic views

But more than that, it has already delivered business results: 4 new client opportunities for IBM, including another big museum, proving that the results were positive in different spheres.


Cannes Lions Silver – cyber
Cannes Lions Bronze – Mobile
D&AD – Graphite Pencil
LIA Awards Bronze
One Show Gold


User experience design team: Fernando Souza, Flávia Goulart, Cadu Pereira
Creative Director: Marcio Fritzen, Guiga Giacomo
Copywriter: Leandro Neves
Art Director: Frederico Gasparian
Account Supervisor: Chad Cathers

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