Date of Award

5-2011

Embargo Period

3-28-2012

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Design (MDes)

Department

Design

Advisor(s)

Mark Baskinger

Abstract

Museums are vast resources, but much of their information is inaccessible to visitors. Typical labels for artifacts provide few details, making it difficult for non-expert visitors to learn about an artifact, and to find its relevance to other artifacts or to themselves. Although museums have developed interpretive aids such as brochures and audio guides, these are limited and do not offer visitors the possibility to explore artifacts both broadly and deeply as they go through an exhibition. Visitors often have questions that go unanswered or pass through an exhibition without being engaged. As visitors all have their own personal interests and preferences, it would be difficult to offer a usable version of any current interpretive aid that includes all of the information, stories, and related content that each visitor would like. Personal mobile devices provide a platform for interactivity and access to an unlimited amount of information, presentation of rich media, and flexibility for customized experiences both inside the museum and beyond.

To bridge the gap between museum collection information and visitor engagement, I propose a framework for increasing engagement through resonant, rich, and interactive experiences mediated by a personal mobile guide, and present a case study and functional prototype mobile guide for the Hall of Architecture at the Carnegie Museum of Art.

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