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See detailFrom #MuseumAtHome to #AtHomeAtTheMuseum: Digital Museums and Dialogical Engagement beyond the COVID-19 Pandemic
Morse, Christopher UL; Landau, Blandine UL; Lallemand, Carine UL et al

in Journal on Computing and Cultural Heritage (2022), 15(2),

The novel coronavirus spurred a keen interest in digital technologies for museums as both cultural professionals and the public took notice of their uses and limitations throughout the confinement period ... [more ▼]

The novel coronavirus spurred a keen interest in digital technologies for museums as both cultural professionals and the public took notice of their uses and limitations throughout the confinement period. In this study, we investigated the use of digital technologies by museums during a period when in-person interaction was not possible. The aim of the study was to better understand the impact of the confinement period on the use of museum technologies in order to identify implications for future museum experience design. We compared museums across four countries – France, Japan, Luxembourg, and the United States – by conducting an international survey in three languages on the use of digital technologies during the early phase of the pandemic. Additionally, we analyzed the Facebook activity of museums in each country and conducted a series of interviews with digital museology professionals in academia and the private sector. We found that despite a flurry of online activities, especially during the early phase of the pandemic, museums confronted a number of internal and external challenges that were often incongruent with their ability to offer new forms of digital engagement. In general, digital solutions served only as a temporary substitute for the museum experience rather than as an opportunity to usher in a new digital paradigm for cultural mediation, and many cultural professionals cited a lack of digital training as a limiting factor in robust ICT implementation. We also argue that the most successful digital engagement came from those activities that promoted a sense of community or an invitation for self-expression by visitors. We conclude with a framework that describes a ‘virtuous circle of museum participation’, aiming to support public engagement with museums through the development of content that builds on the interconnectedness of on-site and online interactivity. [less ▲]

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See detailCasual Leisure in Rich-Prospect: Advancing Visual Information Behavior for Digital Museum Collections
Morse, Christopher UL; Niess, Jasmin; Lallemand, Carine UL et al

in Journal on Computing and Cultural Heritage (2021), 14(3),

As digital cultural collections become increasingly sophisticated in their scope and functionality, there is a need to build an in-depth understanding concerning the information behaviors of users in this ... [more ▼]

As digital cultural collections become increasingly sophisticated in their scope and functionality, there is a need to build an in-depth understanding concerning the information behaviors of users in this new domain. Research has demonstrated that many digital museum visitors are engaged in casual leisure during exploration of a collection, suggesting that they do not have an inherent information goal but rather seek new experiences or learning opportunities based on personal curiosity and moments of discovery. Consequently, understanding how to translate casual leisure contexts into meaningful interaction design may play a critical role in designing engaging digital collections. Our study reports on the user experience of a largely unexplored user interface design framework called rich-prospect, which was originally developed to enhance browsing and discovery for complex visual collections. We performed a mixed-method, within-subjects study (N=30) that simulated a casual leisure approach to information browsing and retrieval across three different rich-prospect interfaces for digital cultural heritage. Our results show that rich-prospect scores well in the hedonic facets of its user experience, whereas pragmatic aspects have room for improvement. Additionally, through our qualitative analysis of participant feedback, we derived salient themes relating to the exploratory browsing experience. We conclude with a series of design implications to better connect interactive elements with casual leisure contexts for digital cultural collections. © 2021 Owner/Author. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Enthusiast, the Interested, the Sceptic, and the Cynic: Understanding User Experience and Perceived Value in Location-Based Cultural Heritage Games Through Qualitative and Sentiment Analysis
Jones, Catherine UL; Theodosis, Efstathios UL; Lykourentzou, Ioanna

in Journal on Computing and Cultural Heritage (2019), 12(1),

We discuss the user study of a mobile cultural heritage game, designed to stimulate reflection about a city’s history. Aided by location-aware technology, the game fosters the serendipitous discovery of ... [more ▼]

We discuss the user study of a mobile cultural heritage game, designed to stimulate reflection about a city’s history. Aided by location-aware technology, the game fosters the serendipitous discovery of Points-Of-Interest, historical images and stories, whilst players wander the city. This exploration differs from the typical pre-calculated path recommendations used by other location-based applications. It triggers reflection about the city’s past that is as unique as its visitors. Ours is one of the first studies to attempt an understanding of the effects of serendipitous urban discovery and historic reflection-triggering technologies on user experience. We combined field trials with controlled experiments, analysing perceptions of the experience and value using responses expressed in open-ended questionnaire items. Using thematic coding and sentiment analysis, we observed types of emotional responses, indicating four potential profiles of their likelihood towards future technology adoption. Enthusiastic and Interested users appreciated the freedom of movement choice that created an autonomous experience that fostered a sense of personal accomplishment. The interface interactions of the game, designed to stimulate reflection, supported a feeling of connectedness to others. In contrast, Cynical and Sceptical users were less tolerant of perceived technological issues, and required more perfection in functionality and design. These users are less likely to be the early adopters of serendipitous location-based apps. The game was developed as part of a large cultural informatics project, but unlike typical evaluations, we conducted this study midway through the project and not at its end. This approach (1) gave the team the possibility to take stock, pause and reflect and (2) provided insight on future design improvements for increasing the perceived value of serendipitous urban discovery applications. Our results contribute towards a grounded understanding of user experience, and help progress the development of cultural heritage applications that incorporate elements of reflection and/or place-based exploration into their functionalities. [less ▲]

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