Delivering remote art workshops to mental health patients

Hospital Rooms is a charitable organisation that organises projects to bring beauty and creativity into mental health wards. They connect internationally acclaimed artists like Giles Deacon, Mark Titchner, and Sara Berman with mental health units throughout the country, to create wonderful site-specific works, like these…

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Mark Titchner, Please Believe, TV Room, Bluebell Lodge, Central & North West London NHS Foundation Trust, Hospital Rooms

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Coronavirus grab bag!

Stuck for ideas to get the most for your museum out of digital in this pandemic? Here’s some ideas…


Storiiies is a free tool that makes it incredibly easy to create journeys around artworks, photographs, etc.

It’s hosted. It’s free. It’s simple (even I can do it — no tech skills required). It’s embeddable into your website. It’s nice!

Story using Storiiies made by the British Library

Find out more and make your own at

Facebook live (from home!)

The Kimbell Art Museum have started Facebook Live videos — one In Conversation with the director Eric Lee, the other Story Time complete with sock puppets! …

Iterative interaction design and prototype development

We’re working with the Hammer Museum to build a video archive that enables the museum to manage their digital video assets — notably the outstanding programs held at the museum, and artist profiles — and present them online in a useful, interesting way to the public.

This post describes the collaborative, iterative process of designing the public-facing video archive (so far).

UX design principles for the Hammer video archive:

  • Showcase the breadth of content and topics in the video archive
  • Must be more than just a content repository
  • Seamless, fluid experience
  • Above all, deliver the Hammer’s mission

The Hammer Museum at UCLA believes in the promise of art and ideas to illuminate our lives and build a more just world. …

Enhancing our daily catchup

We have an all-company standup meeting every morning. I’ve written before about how we’ve iterated it to make it more effective and keep it interesting. We’ve just taken another step, and I wanted to share it with you.

I spent a hackday using GarageBand, a little keyboard and my laptop microphone to create a unique short song for all Cogappers, made an album called Cogapp Standup (complete with artwork) and then submitted it to Spotify.

Now the songs are live, we have a playlist called Today at Cogapp, and each morning we update it with the songs of people that are here today. …

Techniques learnt from working across the globe

I’m just back from a week in China as part of ‘Time, Culture and Identity, a digital exchange workshop’, a research project hosted by the Science Museum UK with support from the Institute of Natural Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The idea was to connect digital specialists from China and the UK and to explore how feasible it is for us to collaborate on projects. …

Top tips on managing your workload

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Your time is valuable. Make the most of it with these tips, learnt from many years of trying to be more efficient.

1. Become a prioritisation badass

It’s common to feel overwhelmed with the amount you have to do. A useful technique to take control of this situation is to prioritise.

One way to do this is to draw up a prioritisation matrix, mapping your to-do list against how urgent and important each item is.

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In this example, it’s immediately clear I need to do the call prep first, then the report for Alex.

I might manage to get to e-mailing Dave, but…

2. Accept it won’t all get done

You can’t get everything done. You just can’t. …

The Cogapp Podcast — transcribed for accessibility and findability

We recorded a podcast about becoming a developer which you can listen to here

or read a transcript below (edited for clarity)…

Hello, and welcome to the first Cogapp podcast. I‘m Jodie a producer at Cogapp.

Kevin, Hello, I’m a developer here.

Hi, I’m Vicki. I‘m also a developer.

Hello. I’m Gavin and I’m the Production Director.

Hello, I’m James and I’m a developer.

So we are just gonna have a little chat about how these guys got into being developers. Vicki, do you want to kick off?

Sure. I went to university straight out of sixth-form college to do philosophy, and I dropped out after a year and a half: it wasn’t really the right course for me and I didn’t do very well. …

Why we run this daily meeting, and how it’s evolved

Every morning we have an all-company standup meeting. We started about three years ago, and been iterating it ever since.

This post describes what we do at the moment (which is the best iteration so far) and why, then goes on to describe things we’ve changed or adapted. And if you read to the end, you’ll get access to our special standup playlist 🎶

Our current best standup

Each morning at 9.45 on the dot, someone (usually me) plays the standup song to call the meeting to order.

Everyone has a board with their picture on. These are all turned back-to-front at the start of the standup. …

Download, print, and stick on your meeting room wall

A little while ago I wrote a short paper on how to make meetings as productive as possible, which we stuck on the walls of our meeting rooms.

Then I shared the paper here on Medium with a downloadable and editable version of the paper so you could adapt it to your own organisation, and stick it on your own walls.

Then our Diversity Working Group suggested we distil the key ideas from the paper into a poster, which is done and — as with the original paper — you can download a copy for your own wall.

Gavin doing a thumbs up in front of the Meeting Guidance poster on the wall of a Cogapp meeting room
Gavin doing a thumbs up in front of the Meeting Guidance poster on the wall of a Cogapp meeting room
The poster on a Cogapp meeting room wall #MeetingGuidanceSelfie

We’ve stuck two copies of this up in all our meeting spaces so they are visible from wherever you are sitting. Since adding the posters I’ve seen them referred to multiple times — e.g. someone will say “don’t forget to be nice” and point at the poster — and for me personally, it has served as a useful reminder to make space for colleagues to contribute. …

What IIIF is; who’s using it; and why you should consider it (with examples)

This is the highlights of a talk I gave at #MATech2019.

There is a buzz around IIIF within the museum community, but it’s not always clear what IIIF is or why museums should be interested.

Reasons for your museum to consider IIIF:

  • It’s free
  • It’s open
  • It will save you time, money and stress
  • It will help you deliver more useful, interesting and worthwhile digital products

This post explains:

  • What is IIIF (the truly non-technical version)?
  • Why is IIIF game-changing for museums?
  • Who is using IIIF?
  • What can I do with IIIF?

What is IIIF (the truly non-technical version)?

When I was a teacher we worked on the following…


Gavin Mallory

Production Director @Cogapp, writing things I care about.

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