An interactive user experience that looks at how art galleries affirm their relationships with visitors by allowing them to explore exhibitions deeper.
“To design a digital, tangible and spatial experience for a museum or gallery that builds upon the collection that the institution offers. It should improve the visitor experience, fulfil educational goals of the institution, and help the institution to engage with new audiences or affirm their relationship with existing ones.”
Move & Explore aims to give visitors the opportunity to engage in a more participatory gallery experience and transform preconceived notions of a museum as a stifling place to a place they will want to return with friends. We took existing exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art and created an environment where social interactions could be enhanced, and visitors could learn and create together.
To uncover the experiences of people that have visited the MCA once or twice before but have not returned.
Our target group were be those aged 20-30 years old. We want to determine what brings people to go to particular places in the first place and explore their emotions and experiences they had when they were there.
The questions we will focus on asking are:
1. Why do people go on outings?
2. Who do people go on outings with?
3. What makes people go back/not go back to the places they visit?
4. What creates a memorable experience?
We began our research by selecting participants from our target group and applying context-mapping methods to gain insight into their experiences. We chose a diverse group of participants including, students, professionals, parents, couples and singles.
We gave them sensitizing booklets to complete prior to engaging in a generative session. The booklets contained open-ended questions, places to write and draw, and stickers to help users communicate their experiences. We did not want them to know our research was on museums because it is important for their answers to be as intuitive as possible, so we based it around the places people go and the people that they go with.
In the generative sessions, the first technique we used was collage making. Participants were given a blank page and a number of images and text to display on paper. It allowed them to talk in a broad sense about their positive and negative experiences when going out. It was useful in eliciting emotional responses and reviving old memories enabling us to obtain more useful data and answer our main research questions. The second techniques was cognitive mapping. We focused on a day in the participants life they went on an outing and had them reflect deeper into their experiences.
Another part of our research was exploring the MCA itself. We shadowed people travelling through
the gallery. We observed the places they spent more or less time in and took note of the
physical space the gallery exhibited.
This helped us to intially get an idea of the space and how it is used by the people in it.
After transcribing our generative sessions, we made statement cards to find the main themes. Pulling out main quotes from the transcript allowed us to directly focus on real experiences and more acurately find out about peoples’ experiences.
Once we determined common themes, we made an visualisation that represented our findings and succintly presented them in one place. There was so much to take away from this research.
Participants expressed that their likelihood to go out to places is dependant on the people they are with and how much they connect and share their experiences with them. Our research has shown us that being involved in something immersive is better for creating shared experiences and in turn, increases the likelihood of enjoyment.
People’s involvement in their physical environment has an impact on their gallery experience. Our research reveals, people are more likely to visit again when there are other activities and opportunities for interaction, apart from the main attraction.
People’s enjoyment of an outing can be attributed to their sense of accomplishment. Our research has show that people enjoy having an effect on their environment and giving back to the community. By giving visitors the opportunity to contribute, we can encourage them to return. This sense of accomplishment is also obtainable through learning. Based on our research, people were less interested in art they did not understand.
Taking what we’ve learned from our research, the next part of our project was generating concepts. I had the opportunity to pitch my ideas to several industry people and recieve feedback about my concepts.
One of the things that helped us decide on a final concept was a decision matrix. This helped immensly in deciding what we would be base our final concept on.
This led us to deciding on the ‘Move & Explore’ wall. By creating a user journey map we could visualise how our interactive artwork would work from the perspective of the user.
User's immediate participation is required for the motion tracking technology to activate. Introduces and interactive and exciting way of learning by revealing information on areas cleared by the user.
Interactive digital touch screen that covers a large are of the gallery's space.
Visitors will be back to share the new interactive experience with their friends and to socialise through art.
Includes a large area of the gallery's space, hence inviting for larger groups of people to participate and share the experience with each other.