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Engaging the visitor: Relevance, participation and motivation in hypermedia design


TitleEngaging the visitor: Relevance, participation and motivation in hypermedia design
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication1993
AuthorsCooper, J.
Secondary TitleMuseums and Interactive Multimedia: Selected papers from the second International Conference on Hypermedia and Interactivity in Museums
Keywordsdesign, experience, ICHIM93, visitor engagement
Abstract

It is commonly believed that the type of multimedia experience best suited to a novice museum visitor is a structured, linear presentation in the form of a broad overview, whereas an experienced or scholarly visitor is best served by a non-linear system that allows exploration of deeper, more specific issues and topics. This is supposed to protect the novice visitor from "cognitive (over)load. However this pairing of experience level and type of presentation is based on three flawed assumptions. The first is that visiting a museum is about the getting of knowledge (i.e. the cognitive domain)'. The second is that linear systems (or presentations) are best suited to affective experiences, whereas non-linear systems are best suited to cognitive processes. The third is that every visitor, from novice to scholar, knows at least how to "look" at an unfamiliar object or image. This paper counters these assumptions and argues that the most important outcome for a museum to achieve is a personal engagement between an exhibit or exhibits and the novice visitor. Unless this occurs, the visitor will at best never progress to any higher levels of understanding or at worst never return!

URLhttp://www.archimuse.com/publishing/ichim93/cooper.pdf