Towards the wild: evaluating museum installations in semi-realistic situations

Eva Hornecker, Emma Nicol

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

In this paper we discuss our experiences of conducting user evaluations of technological installations for the new Robert Burns Birthplace museum and the challenges associating with doing this. We believed it to be important to avoid a sterile lab situation, and to be able to observe the social dynamics that evolve around museum installations. As we were unable to conduct studies in the museum itself we devised ways of taking them out of the lab by basing them in a more museum-like or semi-realistic setting. We took efforts to recreate the installation setup when this was likely to influence interaction patterns and could reveal usability issues. Moreover, we invited young families and adult groups to take part in the evaluation sessions to investigate how they would interact with these as a group. We explain our motivations and the tradeoffs involved. We focus on discussing the effects that the semi-realistic setting may have had on the user feedback obtained, reflect on the differing user behaviours that might emerge in the genuine museum setting and make recommendations for future studies.
LanguageEnglish
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2011
EventRe-Thinking Technology in Museums 2011 - Limerick, Ireland
Duration: 26 May 201127 May 2011

Conference

ConferenceRe-Thinking Technology in Museums 2011
CountryIreland
CityLimerick
Period26/05/1127/05/11

Fingerprint

Museums
Feedback

Keywords

  • museum design
  • technology
  • museum installations

Cite this

Hornecker, E., & Nicol, E. (2011). Towards the wild: evaluating museum installations in semi-realistic situations. Paper presented at Re-Thinking Technology in Museums 2011, Limerick, Ireland.
Hornecker, Eva ; Nicol, Emma. / Towards the wild : evaluating museum installations in semi-realistic situations. Paper presented at Re-Thinking Technology in Museums 2011, Limerick, Ireland.12 p.
@conference{99f7835a776f4e7790a87c1a730a61c9,
title = "Towards the wild: evaluating museum installations in semi-realistic situations",
abstract = "In this paper we discuss our experiences of conducting user evaluations of technological installations for the new Robert Burns Birthplace museum and the challenges associating with doing this. We believed it to be important to avoid a sterile lab situation, and to be able to observe the social dynamics that evolve around museum installations. As we were unable to conduct studies in the museum itself we devised ways of taking them out of the lab by basing them in a more museum-like or semi-realistic setting. We took efforts to recreate the installation setup when this was likely to influence interaction patterns and could reveal usability issues. Moreover, we invited young families and adult groups to take part in the evaluation sessions to investigate how they would interact with these as a group. We explain our motivations and the tradeoffs involved. We focus on discussing the effects that the semi-realistic setting may have had on the user feedback obtained, reflect on the differing user behaviours that might emerge in the genuine museum setting and make recommendations for future studies.",
keywords = "museum design, technology, museum installations",
author = "Eva Hornecker and Emma Nicol",
year = "2011",
language = "English",
note = "Re-Thinking Technology in Museums 2011 ; Conference date: 26-05-2011 Through 27-05-2011",

}

Hornecker, E & Nicol, E 2011, 'Towards the wild: evaluating museum installations in semi-realistic situations' Paper presented at Re-Thinking Technology in Museums 2011, Limerick, Ireland, 26/05/11 - 27/05/11, .

Towards the wild : evaluating museum installations in semi-realistic situations. / Hornecker, Eva; Nicol, Emma.

2011. Paper presented at Re-Thinking Technology in Museums 2011, Limerick, Ireland.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

TY - CONF

T1 - Towards the wild

T2 - evaluating museum installations in semi-realistic situations

AU - Hornecker, Eva

AU - Nicol, Emma

PY - 2011

Y1 - 2011

N2 - In this paper we discuss our experiences of conducting user evaluations of technological installations for the new Robert Burns Birthplace museum and the challenges associating with doing this. We believed it to be important to avoid a sterile lab situation, and to be able to observe the social dynamics that evolve around museum installations. As we were unable to conduct studies in the museum itself we devised ways of taking them out of the lab by basing them in a more museum-like or semi-realistic setting. We took efforts to recreate the installation setup when this was likely to influence interaction patterns and could reveal usability issues. Moreover, we invited young families and adult groups to take part in the evaluation sessions to investigate how they would interact with these as a group. We explain our motivations and the tradeoffs involved. We focus on discussing the effects that the semi-realistic setting may have had on the user feedback obtained, reflect on the differing user behaviours that might emerge in the genuine museum setting and make recommendations for future studies.

AB - In this paper we discuss our experiences of conducting user evaluations of technological installations for the new Robert Burns Birthplace museum and the challenges associating with doing this. We believed it to be important to avoid a sterile lab situation, and to be able to observe the social dynamics that evolve around museum installations. As we were unable to conduct studies in the museum itself we devised ways of taking them out of the lab by basing them in a more museum-like or semi-realistic setting. We took efforts to recreate the installation setup when this was likely to influence interaction patterns and could reveal usability issues. Moreover, we invited young families and adult groups to take part in the evaluation sessions to investigate how they would interact with these as a group. We explain our motivations and the tradeoffs involved. We focus on discussing the effects that the semi-realistic setting may have had on the user feedback obtained, reflect on the differing user behaviours that might emerge in the genuine museum setting and make recommendations for future studies.

KW - museum design

KW - technology

KW - museum installations

UR - http://www.ehornecker.de/Papers/HorneckerNicolFinal.pdf

M3 - Paper

ER -

Hornecker E, Nicol E. Towards the wild: evaluating museum installations in semi-realistic situations. 2011. Paper presented at Re-Thinking Technology in Museums 2011, Limerick, Ireland.