New (Optional) Configuration Option!

Back in October 2014, when we had our CultureSpots launch event at Drexel University’s Pearlstein Gallery, there were some photographers in the audience who pointed out an aspect of CultureSpots’ mobile Web application design that they wanted us to reconsider.

They explained that our design decision to overlay text on top of COVER images (for both the SPOT screen and TOUR screen) could be problematic for some people — especially photographers — who can be very particular about the way their images are displayed, no matter the context, location, constraints, etc., and that having anything overlaid on top of their images could be an unacceptable deal-breaker.

Since then, we’ve been on a sort of “high alert” for this to become a problem.  And it never really has, though admittedly, not many professional photographers are using CultureSpots (yet?).  It has come up in conversation a few times, where some of our clients asked if they could remove the “Name” text from their “Cover Images”, but never did this become a recurring, urgent issue, or a reason for anyone to not use our system. These “Names” are created by our clients, usually very brief, and overlay only the most bottom part of the image, not the entire image – often only a quarter or a fifth of the bottom of it, if that. (See sample images below).


BUT, recently, we received an interesting request from a business partner that was different, and inspired us to reverse course on this particular design decision.  They wanted to use their Cover Images for text, and only text.  It was not for photos/imagery.  Instead they were going to create mini poster images that would only contain text, and only the occasional symbol, chart or graph.  Now it really DID become an issue that we were overlaying the Spot’s and/or Tour’s “Name” text on top of its associated “Cover Image” because it would be in the way, and potentially make the “Cover Image” text unreadable or at least very aesthetically unpleasing for our business partner, and their users, all of whom are strategically important for some of our new business initiatives.

So with an update we just made to the CultureSpots system, we can now change a single setting and hide the “Name” text from all your “Cover Images” !  For now, this is a setting that only we control , and you’ll have to contact us and let us know if you’re interested in having us do this for your CultureSpots environment.  It‘s a single mouse-click for us to turn it on and/or off, and it takes effect immediately, so it’s no trouble for us at all, and we’re happy to do it.  Just realize that it is “global” in nature, meaning that the “Name” text will be hidden from all your Spot and Tour detail pages, as well as your main landing page where your organization’s name would normally be. 

This might be GREAT NEWS for some of you, and overall, this new option further enhances the “visual identification” of spots and the real objects/places that are associated to them.

With CultureSpots, your visitors have 4 easy ways to easily find the right audio spot for an object in your Museum or Gallery:

  • AUDIO ID NUMBER: Your object’s label on the wall specifies an AUDIO ID number, that you visitors can quickly type into CultureSpots to go directly to the right audio spot.
  • QR CODES: Your object’s label on the wall contains a QR code that you visitors can scan with their phone to go to the right audio spot.
  • PRETTY URL: Your object’s label on the wall (or a brochure) gives your visitors a super short “URL” that they can type into their phone’s browser to go to the right audio spot.
  • Visual navigation and identification: This is where today’s enhancement announcement comes to play. No labels, no signs needed. Allow your visitors to easily and intuitively navigate CultureSpots, by visually identifying the audio spot they’re looking for.  With large images and NO TEXT in the way.

This is what we mean:


Obviously, we aren’t going to make any changes to your account settings without your expressly telling us to do so.  Meaning, nothing changes if you do nothing — everything stays the same as it is now.  But again, if you’d like us to do this for you, just let us know and we will do so immediately.

Do you have any ideas, suggestions for improvement, or other feature requests?  We’d LOVE to hear them!

Let us know if we can help with anything, and thanks again for being a part of the CultureSpots family!

Thank you for your continued support.

Enjoy your journey!

Cliff Stevens

Founder, President/CEO of CultureSpots

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