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August 26, 2009

Pre-walkthrough notes

- With the mural mobile interactive, docents and visitors were having the same kinds of usability difficulties in using the PDA (Nokia N800)

Kiosk wireframes: Main screen

- Exhibits are what are in the museum only for 3-4 months
- Galleries (relatively permanent spaces) are not considered exhibits
- Main screen should feature the gallery and collections
- Marketing dollars are pushed towards promoting special exhibitions, but once you're in the museum doors, we should balance it out
- More focus needed on the permanent collection; bring the permanent collection into focus
- At any given time, there are 2-4 special exhibitions live at the museum
- Approximate division of space: 145,000 sq. ft for the main space, 20,000 sq. ft for the special exhibitions
- In terms of kiosk tours, would be nice to have seasonal/temporary tours, such as "Today's feature tour", or "May is Dutch month", or "Special Halloween tour"

Kiosk wireframes: Exhibition/tour selection screen

- How should we describe the exhibition/tour?
  - Images are critical
  - Words might capture the big idea, and not just the title/name of the exhibition
  - A collage of image and words
  - Keywords
  - Time duration of tour
- We might consider having a pop-up with extra detail

Kiosk wireframes: Exhibition detail screen

- We need to stay away from blobs of text; no paragraphs of text
- You may be signing up for one of three things: gallery, temporary exhibition, or cross-sectional tour
- Make it clear what you're signing up for
- Give an indication of how long the tour would take before dragging it into the selection reel
- There's no need to indicate age appropriateness of tours

Kiosk wireframes: Tour package summary screen

- An interface with many tours and many objects layered on top of the map is going to be difficult for people to read (too visually complex)
- Too many pins on the map is intimidating
- Objects are going to be intermingled
- Could we introduce paths (i.e., lines on a map) to indicate where to go?
- Many of the tours will be on more than one floor--pathing will need to take stairs, elevators, etc. into consideration
- Having multiple tours on one interface/map: is this really a good thing?--is it too confusing?

On the nature of tours

- Tours are often structured--a sequence of stops
- Not all tours are structured: content in the mini-brochure tours doesn't build on each other--each stop is independent of each other
- Will visitors actually take multiple tours at the same time? A bit doubtful
  - Maybe instead of allowing many tours, we can impose a limit
  - i.e., allow just up to three tours stacked (or maybe an estimated tour time limit)
- Artifacts aren't necessarily the only stops in a tour
  - Blocks, galleries, sections
- Interpretive texts change for the object, based on the tour
  - i.e., if the same object showed up on multiple tours, the text might be different for each tour, even though it's the same object
- Idea for another type of tour: "staff picks"--selection of artifacts, no interpretives, just the tombstone text, and possibly a high-level tour blurb of why the staff chose those artifacts
- Feedback from tours (created through different means, by different people) could help sculpt the shape of future tours (and other things)

Other stuff

- Shouldn't have too many things (objects?) on the interface to go through
- Visitors shouldn't be spending too much time at the kiosk
- Would it make sense to have multiple map printouts?--overview map + detail maps

Three types of doohickeys on map

- Object (artifact, painting, etc.)
- Blob (cluster of objects, section, gallery, exhibition)
- Path (a line)

Other ideas to possibly incorporate

- Sidebar in the brochure printout that includes a bit of extra information about the museum (e.g., "This week at the DIA", "What's happening at the DIA today")
- Incorporate events, workshops, lectures, etc. into the tour itinerary

Kiosk wireframes: Customized tours

- Could we have a different interface instead of choosing from a grid of object thumbnails?
  - Geographic interface, timeline (brackets of time, circus, etc.)?
- Their collections doesn't use "Subjects" facet
- Using metadata at the level we have it in the customized tours wireframe is going to create problems, specifically, searching by keyword
- Instead of searching by keyword, maybe we should have something more menu-driven
- Browsing is going to be a better interaction in this case
- Could we search through galleries, along with objects?
- Could we search by bigger ideas, and types of experiences?
- If we list objects, we shouldn't have too many; narrow the selection--don't allow visitors to have to choose from 100+
- Perhaps we could use a question-based experience customization, instead of searching by keywords (e.g., like those psychology/personality tests, choosing from two pictures)

August 27, 2009

Events on printout

- What else is going on in the museum, what's scheduled, where's it happening?

Selecting from photographs (for customized tours)

- The "Family Fitting Room" service had individuals look at a couple dozen photographs, to help stir up ideas/inclinations of what to look at
- Maybe we could replicate that experience--instead of looking at the entire collection, display a small selection of things that you can look at in the museum
- Selection should be a variety of disparate images
- Once one is selected, perhaps the system could suggest others objects
- Make sure that the initial selection is very limited (e.g., couple dozen pictures)
- Some limited interpretation would be nice

Other ways of customizing the tour

- Start the customization experience by asking questions
- Get a customized tour based specifically on the visitor's interest, but how to really get at that? Are they interested in Van Gogh, impressionism, colours, time periods, etc.?
- Customize the tour based on why they choose a particular image
  - E.g., if they choose a Van Gogh painting, ask if they chose it because it was a Van Gogh, or because they liked the colours, or the style, or the subject of the piece, etc., and provide more objects based on the visitor's response (if we do this, we'll want to bring a thumbnail down into the basket, and without leaving the grid of images, get suggests for others similar to that object)

Other notes

- There are three main facets to objects:
  - Constituent name (last name of artist)
  - Culture name
  - Category
(- Maybe we can allow browsing by different themes, subjects, artists; all with thumbnails to select a variety from)
- Keep the experience at the kiosk short

August 28, 2009

"A sketch"

- Tours should be a sketch, where the visitors fill in the blanks during their meanderings/exploration
- Sketch = provided by kiosk
- Fill in the blank = visitors walking through the museum space and enjoying other works
- Studies show that visitors have control over their experience, and that they'll use it
  - We don't need to encourage it--we just have to prevent putting up barriers
- Tour as a sequence/set of objects is the framework/sketch of the experience at the museum

"Levels of choice"

- Less free choice: mini-brochure tours offer some interpretation for each object that ties around a specific team
- Medium free choice: customized tours that offer a selection of things; and/or keywords and/or series of keywords, selected by the museum, that ties groups of objects together
  - E.g., if you like this, you'll also like
  - Offers just a selection of the collection, not the entire collection on display
- Full free choice: able to access all objects in the database on the map, on the mobile device, with the functionality of our mobile design

Customized experience

- Let's have, say, 20 images up on the main screen
- Let's also have, say, 500 images in the "background", all networked together
- Selecting one of the image thumbnails might give a bigger, full-screen view of it (appeal to the visual attraction)
- Ask "Do you like this?" -> Ask "What do you like about it?" -> Visitor answers "I like 'this' about it" -> Offer objects from the "background" linked by that relationship
- Offer other paths, such as:
  - "Other visitors who selected this also selected..."
  - "Visitors who put this into their basket also had these items in their basket..."
- Limit the number of objects they can have in their basket (to, say, 10-15)
- Should we allow a way for undeterred browsing through all the 500 objects? Or should we limit this?

Limit the time

- Limit the kiosk experience to 3 minutes!
- If we had web and mobile analogues of the kiosk design, they could have extended experiences on those

Other ideas

- A short, game-like experience: "Do you like this image, or this image? This image, or this image?", and then create a customized experience based on preference implications (a la psychology/personality tests)
- What about the problem of people wanting to come in and see a Van Gogh? How would we cover situations like that?
  - Cover some of the more popular possibilities (e.g., "Greatest hits" tour) in the pre-fabricated tours
- Have "See/join a directed tour by a docent" as an option on the home screen (i.e., pre-authored tour, customized tour, physical tour by docent)

DIA mini-brochure process

Had a number of themes in mind -> Looked at entire collection, sifted through the objects -> Fit those objects on the map, looked at best paths, what crossed multiple collections and galleries, and fit visually with the theme -> Consulted with curator on appropriateness

Goal for end of first year prototype

- Limited selection of objects for customized tours
- Use existing content from brochures for pre-authored tours

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1 Comment

  1. Just some thoughts about the In-museum kiosk / Next Steps.

    It's great feedback the DIA's given us about the unfeasibility of doing keyword searches (both internally and externally) - doing something menu driven seems to be a good direction to go. It's most likely that people aren't looking for a specific artwork but are rather more interested in the experience of exploring - that ability to discover new things they've never seen or might have seen somewhere and come across it in their exploration.

    I had a thought and I just want to throw it out there to spawn further discussion...
    I've somewhat addressed it before in the ontology, but I think it's useful to think of a visitor's museum experience as something that is driven by his/her/their motivation to go in the first place. I think if we understand this better we can then help facilitate the designs of the kiosk/mobile interfaces to cater to this reason for being there.

    Some thoughts based on my recent visit to SFMOMA:

    People go because:

    I think further research needs to be made here and perhaps it's as simple as going to some of the local museums and observe what happens in the front entrance. As the DIA suggests, possible interviews with the patrons may be a necessary first step before proceeding with the wireframes.

    I welcome any thoughts!