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The Museum Explorer: User Experience Enhancement In A Museum

Date

2015-02-18

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Degree Level

Masters

Abstract

A learner in an informal learning environment, such as a museum, encounters various challenges. After initial assessment, a set of methods were proposed that may enhance a learner’s experience in a museum using computer aided technologies. The most important insight was the need to support the museum visitor in three phases of activity: prior to the visit, during the visit, and after the visit. We hypothesized that software tools that could help connect these three phases would be helpful and valuable supports for the visitor. To test and evaluate our hypothesis, a system called “The Museum Explorer” was built and instantiated using the collection in the Museum of Antiquities located at the University of Saskatchewan. An evaluation of the Museum Explorer was conducted. Results show that the Museum Explorer was largely successful in achieving our goals. The Museum Explorer is an integrated solution for visitors in museums across the pre-visit, visit, and post-visit phases. The Museum Explorer was designed to provide a means to connect and transfer user experience across the major phases of a museum visit. For each phase of a visitor’s experience, a set of tools was built that provides intelligent and interactive communication features. To assist visitors selecting artefacts to visit, a recommender system allows users to select a set of constraints. To better manage interactivity, features and functions were offered based on context. A study was conducted with volunteer museum visitors. Results from the study show that the Museum Explorer is a useful support. Analysis of the usage data captured by the Museum Explorer has revealed some interesting facts about users’ preferences in the domain that can be used by future researchers.

Description

Keywords

museum, user experience enhancement, informal learning, recommender system, context aware system

Citation

Degree

Master of Science (M.Sc.)

Department

Computer Science

Program

Computer Science

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