I. Summary of results
1. List of issues
Significant design issues are highlighted in green and prefixed with *. (conditions for "significant": issue has a considerable effect on experience and addressing it likely requires substantial additions/changes to the design)
- Frequently, users weren't sure if their they successfully sent their My Collection to themselves. Specifically, there was no feedback after submitting one's email for My Collection.
2. List of keeps/build-upons users explicitly liked
- Artifact images. Many liked that you could see a digital version of the physical artifact. Many liked it because you could see it closer on the digital version, and sometimes a side of it you couldn't in the physical space. Some noted that it'd be nice to zoom in or get a larger image.
- Digital tombstone label. Even though it was a partial redundancy with the physical label, some users liked having it on the mobile device, especially when there was additional information.
- Lists of artifacts.
- Extended description. This was a bit contentious. Some users really liked the extended descriptions, which provided more than what was on the label and explained what obscure objects were. Others thought it was too much to read, and weren't interested in reading it, but might be interested in listening to it narrated.
- Video clips. Especially when it wasn't a static image with audio track.
- Related artifacts. Users liked that there are extras.
- Comments. Some users found some of the comments humorous.
- My Collection. Especially the fact that they could send it to their email address, thus avoiding the need to bring a camera around with them in the museum to remember interesting objects. However, one user was strongly opposed to My Collection (or any feature that involved a post-visit experience).
3. List of additional features users explicitly wanted
- Image zooming. Users wanted to zoom into the details of an image, especially when they couldn't get close enough to an object physically.
- Map of the museum/exhibit. Especially to locate objects that are on the device, or to tap on parts of the floor and get the objects that are located there.
- Artifact search. Typing in part of the name/description of an artifact, and getting a list of relevant artifacts. This was especially desired when in front of an artifact that didn't have an object code (or when they didn't detect the object code label).
- At the beginning of the session, a tutorial/guide on how to use the application/what to use it for.
- List of digital "nuggets". A number of users wanted a full list (on the device) of all things digital that they could look at for the exhibition on the device, whether it be audio, video, images, extra information, stories, etc.
- A way of narrowing down lists of artifacts. For instance, if user knows that the artifact they're looking for is a painting, some way of narrowing the list down to paintings.
- More narrative behind an artifact. Instead of more technical information.
- Something more visual, less textual. Some users noted being anxious to see something more visual/exciting, and less textual.
- Note that says whether you're allowed to touch/interact with specific artifacts. Some artifacts/interactives are meant to be touched, many others are not.
- Removal of one-media, two-tap redundancy. All/most artifacts only had one piece of media--it would've been better to play it after one tap instead of requiring two taps (one to expand the panel, the other to actually play).
- Location-aware browsing. P: "When you walk around, maybe it can show on the screen what the possibilities are, an image of what you can see from your position, instead of thinking, 'Where's the object code? Is there an object code?', and instead of saying, 'Well I saw number 8 and 10, but where were the others?'"
- Showing nearby objects on the device.
- A link to the McCord website.
- A way of communicating directly to museum staff. E.g., to leave a comment, report a problem, express interest in donating an object, etc.
- Jumping directly to the device's analogue of a physical section of the museum. Instead of having to scroll through/fish around the options.
- Presenting of artifacts through a taxonomic structure.
- Recommendations feature.
- In-museum experience, not out-of-museum experience. One user was strongly opposed to the 'Collect' feature because of its out-of-museum experience use, and suggested replacing it with more in-museum experience.
- Interactive games.
- More contextual information. E.g., what artists inspired other artists.
- Have the textual content read out. As opposed to reading it on the screen.
- Make it like a human tour guide.
- More "bonus" content. That is, content that's not available without the device.
- Before-and-after images of artifacts. E.g., before-and-after restoration.
- Different views of artifacts. Especially hidden views (e.g., inside pockets, underneath, etc.).
- Captioned video. Especially since volume wasn't loud enough on the device.
4. List of miscellaneous notes/observations
When a user makes a link between digital and physical, that bond corroborates that the user is on the right track. From the raw notes: Made a link between a section on the catalogue and the physical space because P saw an object in the space that she saw on the device just before / P: "Now that I know where I am, feeling a little less lost" \[only needed a single object to feel that comfort\]
- While watching a video, users tended to spend roughly equal amount of time looking at the video and at the actual object.
II. Detailed user testing notes and results
You can download a PDF version of the results, which is better formatted.