The QRator project running at UCL’s Grant Museum of Zoology is a collaborative project between the UCL Centre for Digital Humanities (UCLDH), UCL Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA), and UCL Museums and Collections, to develop new kinds of content, co-curated by the public, museum curators, and academic researchers, to enhance museum interpretation, community engagement and establish new connections to museum content.Read More
I get that digital is often last in line in exhibition planning. Not quite an afterthought but used to flying by the seat of its pants in terms of scheduling. There are good reasons for this. Content comes late, graphic look and feel comes late, budget for digital is sometimes a bit, well, squeezed. I’m thinking of online as well as gallery digital here.
But when you are looking to make friends of the exhibition visitor in terms of social interaction, it helps to integrate the experience. What got me thinking about this more than I usually do, was a (luckily silent) chunter I had last week when visiting the Grayson Perry exhibition at the British Museum. It’s a great exhibition. And the BM is doing some lovely digital stuff in their temporary exhibitions at the moment. Not so seamlessly integrated you miss it. But delivering content enhanced by technology, rather than consumed by it.Read More
This guest post is from Alex Willett, Exhibitions Manager at IWM.
A Family in Wartime is the next major exhibition opening at Imperial War Museums London in April 2012, and as such the perfect project in which to integrate and test the social interpretation strand through the design development. The exhibition will focus on the Second World War home front in the UK, and specifically one family – the Allpress family – who lived at 36 Priory Grove, London.Read More
As well as having a bit of a bust up about ‘how user centred, this user centred project is’ in a meeting last week, we also had a bit of mental fisty cuffs about the use of QR codes. Are the useful? Are they just a transient technology? Are they even a technology? How do they help visitor experience? Where do they lead the visitor once they have scanned it? And ultimately who actually scans QR codes? Is it just us? We havent really reached any conclusion on this, other than lets stick a giant QR code on IWM and see what people do. I like this idea. Whether or not it will actually happen is another thing.
So I thought I’d link to a few blog posts that have already dealt with the QR question:Read More
In the most recent Project Board and Content meetings, we got into a really interesting debate (bear with me).
To enable Social Interpretation, we’re going to install 11 fixed-kiosks in IWM London, four in IWM North, and 50 QR codes between the two museums. At its heart, the debate turned on which objects we’re going to enable direct Social Interpretation against – and specifically how we choose them.
In the Red corner:
The ‘Classic’ Museum View, and for the sake of this, me.
In the Blue corner:
The User-Centred-Design Jedi’s view, and for the sake of this, Claire.
As part of the Social Interpretation project at Imperial War Museums we want to know about your previous experience of digital technology in museums. The good the bad and the ugly!
We are asking anybody who is interested in or has used digital technology in museum spaces before to take part in one of our focus groups so that we can better understand the positive and negatives of using digital applications in gallery spaces, whether that be on your own mobile, or an kiosk, or an tablet, or a touch table. The list is endless. The results of this work should provide us with further insight into user experiences and will help us to develop user requirements for future Social Interpretation applications which are under development and help to find appropriate methodologies to detect and evaluate their impact.
The focus group will be at Imperial War Museum Lambeth on:
- 5th December at 11am, 1pm and 3pm
- 9th December at 3pm
- 13th December 10.30am and 11.30 am
It will take roughly 30minutes. If you are interested in attending one of the focus groups, please contact Claire Ross email@example.com
Many thanks — we really do appreciate your time.
One of the key aims of the Social Interpretation project is to create a system using social media models which encourages people to respond to IWM’s themes and collections through several forms of digital interaction and participation both in the gallery, via mobile and online. But in order to do this, we need to know what potential users, require, expect and actually want to use. This is where UCL Centre for Digital Humanities (UCLDH) comes in.
UCLDH will be focusing on front-end, formative and summative evaluation as well as user-insight using user centred design methods. User-centered design (UCD) focuses on users through the planning, design and development of a product or system. It puts users at the centre, ideally where users should always be. Right from the beginning of the project we have explicitly and actively included users in the development process of the project. We will be looking closely at the needs and activities of potential users so that they can inform the process of designing a new Social Interpretation system and three interfaces.Read More