Imperial War Museum Image of Social Interpretation Blog title

Design and test, rinse and repeat

Hot on the heals of Claire’s post about being agile and putting the visitor / user first, we wanted to share how the design of the kiosk interface is going – and the process we’ve gone though so far.

In essence, we’ve followed a pretty traditional design/development cycle: sketch, wireframe, pixel-design, refined design. BUT, at every phase we’ve tested, tested and tested again. With the results directly feeding into the next phase of design. This has been rapid, sometimes fraught, and often insightful. And here’re a load of images, showing exactly what each phase actually looked like.


Made in a kitchen, fuelled by coffee, tested with visitors.

These were the first wireframes. They’re paper-based and created very rapidly to illustrate how we thought the content/interaction should all fit together. Literally as soon as they were ready, Claire deployed her Artful Dodger skills, nabbed them, then tested them with visitors in-gallery.

Then we refined the design…

Digital wireframe

These solidified out thinking, and adapted the experience based on the feedback that Claire collected. Looking more professional, these were also put to the Project Board for comment and sign-off.

First Designs




These were the first time we saw what SI screens might actually look like. As soon as Christian (our designer) had done them, Claire was off again doing her thing.

This time, the feedback was very focussed on what wasn’t working – what visitors didn’t notice, how the read certain parts of the design, and misunderstandings that arose from the implementation . This led to…

Second Designs




These were in direct response to visitor feedback. Claire found that users weren’t clocking elements that are interactive, and were often overlooking the comments section as it appeared ‘greyed out’. So screens were re-weighted, emphasis added, colours made more contrasting, and interactive elements made more uniform.

Next Steps

In an ideal world, we’d be testing these again before fully implementing them. But we simply don’t have time. A Family in Wartime opens in 6 weeks and we’re already developing. So we’ll be making changes as we code (which is really the beauty of agile, and again after we launch in response to more of Claire’s work on the floor, watching real people, use real interfaces, in a real setting. It’s exciting, and also quite scary.

In the next few days, Christian will be up on the blog telling us how he’s found this design process. So watch this space.

Be Sociable, Share!
Submit comment