I attended the ‘Natural History Museum’ In London to conduct some market research and see what kind of interactive exhibitions that where on display, and test the functionality and usability of these interactive exhibitions and to gain some inspiration from the design and presentation of the exhibitions. I took video’s of the exhibitions that will be displayed in this post.
Spread across the Natural History museum in each section there was an interactive exhibition for each individual subject, one of the exhibitions that caught my interest overall was located in the “Darwin Centre”.
Darwin Centre – Interactive Exhibitions
Number – 1
The ineractive exhibition in this part of the museum allowed the user to dissect living creatures virtually, and allows the user to select exactly which creature they want to dissect. Along the bottom of the interactive exhibition there is a sliding bar, that allows the user to strip back the creature from its skin right down to its skeleton, and then allows the user to manipulate the body of the creature around the screen, letting the user look from all angles at the insides of this creature.
It also allows you to select a specific part of the creature, and once selected comes up with a brief description of the body part you have selected.
Here is the video:
The usability of this exhibition was extremely smooth and fluid like, allowing the user to manipulate the focus point of the exhibition around the screen, and allowing you to also zoom in and out of the creature.
These actions using the touch screen reminds me of the ‘I remember’ page, because that uses similar functionality with finger actions. This interactive exhibition has inspired and given me ideas for the functionality of my interactive exhibition.
One thing I noticed was the amount of people wanting to use this exhibition, instead of looking around at surrounding information about this subject, people where more fascinated with the exhibition than anything else.
Number – 2
Another interactive exhibition within the Darwin centre, was an exhibition that showcased art work based upon evolution and life. One of the main things I loved about this exhibtion was how the content is displayed, with countless pieces of artwork that once one is selected allows you to zoom in and out and look at the detail in the pieces.
Along the right hand side of the exhibition is a container with descriptive information about the artist and what the artwork is based on, with a button that brings up more information about the piece and goes into greater detail.
Here is the video:
One of the main things I loved about this exhibition was the presentation of the content, and where each individual section of the content is placed on the screen, this has given me great insight into how to display some of the content on my exhibition.
Ecology Centre – Interactive Exhibition
The interactive exhibition in this section of the the natural history museum, combined the interactive with an interface and the use of a slide that you can physically grab, to slide through the exhibition. This exhibition was based on the subject of humans and the consumption of fruits and plants and the effect it has on the human body.
When you grab the slider and slide it across on the screen above the slider, images apear dependent on the position of the slider, and bellow the image is a brief description of the subject within the photograph.
Here is the video:
One of the main things I liked about this exhibition is the mixture of old interactivity in museum exhibitions, and the new. Allowing the physical action on the slider, felt quite satisfying to use and seeing everything popping up on the screen as you proceeded with this action.
This is something I will consider in relation to the usability of my exhibition, there is something quite satisfying about the functionality of this exhibition, and is something I will keep in mind when it comes to decided on the functionality for my interactive exhibition.