Imperial War Museum Image of Social Interpretation Blog title

Taking #socialinterp on the road

Floor projection at IWM North

So, we took Social Interpretation (SI) on the road yesterday. Up to Imperial War Museum North (IWMN). We are installing 4 SI kiosks against big objects and 9 QR Codes against smaller objects – one of which is a trunk in a vitrine a good 2 metres off the floor. This meant choosing the placing of the codes took a good bit of pointing and gesturing.

The north kiosks have become comment kiosks. In the south we had to make them digital labels and comment kiosks. Visitors often missed the distinction altogether. So, as well as appearing on much bigger touch screens at IWMN, a static comment screen is presented. Whether visitors choose to comment or not, still remains to be seen. The comment kiosks still present visitors with a provocative, evocative ‘prompt’ question to answer.

James McSharry, Exhibitions Manager at IWM North measures up for QR Codes

The QR Codes will be a good bit bigger in IWMN and will stand-alone. In south they are very small and hidden amongst long pieces of label text. We are also adding reference to the object name and directions to the object, if like the trunk up the wall, it is difficult to put the code near to the object. Again we’ll see if this enhanced presentation of SI engenders more engagement.

If nothing else, we are giving SI a much fairer chance of succeeding at IWMN. The next actual launch is the SI web pages, collecting and commenting-enabled. Looking neat and smart and coming soon to an IWM website near you.

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