Keeping fans connected to the Rijksmuseum

  • Digital Experiences
  • Innovation by Design
Never made such a big impact with such a small budget. With this simple concept we got headlines worldwide.
Jan Willem Sieburgh, former) director Rijksmuseum

Way before the smartphone era, we created the Rijkswidget for the Rijksmuseum: the Dutch museum of National History. Every day, the Rijkswidget drops a Dutch masterpiece on your screen. In a total of 800 pieces: paintings, glass- and silverware, ceramics, costumes and objects from Dutch history.

For those who don’t know: widgets were predecessors of smartphone apps offering a calculator, weather info or stock prices on your desktop computer. The Rijkswidget did just one thing: showing one piece of art from the collection a day. Flip the work to read more about the maker and the work. Eventually, there were versions of the widget for MacOs, Windows, iOS and Android.

Museum contact on a daily basis

You would never visit a museum website daily, but you do check the weather daily (when you are Dutch). And at that moment, when you were searching for the weather forecast, the art will come to you. And because you are in daily contact, your connection with the museum grows. As is your knowledge of the collection.

We made the trip to Amsterdam a few years ago, but now the art comes to us!
A user review

Small experiment, big impact

The Rijkswidget had a temporary and experimental character. The use of widgets declined with the rise of smartphones, and so did the Rijkswidget. Internationally, the project got great reviews and attention and was seen as an example of the experimental mindset of the Rijksmuseum. The project got mentioned in several international newspapers and won the renowned ADCN Silver Lamp.

Credits and collaboration

Concept: Jan Willem Sieburgh
Design, UX, development: GRRR
PR / marketing: Skip Intro