Museums and the Web

An annual conference exploring the social, cultural, design, technological, economic, and organizational issues of culture, science and heritage on-line.

You are hereICHIM / Multimedia Design Research for the Museum Education Consortium's Museum Visitors Prototype

Multimedia Design Research for the Museum Education Consortium's Museum Visitors Prototype

TitleMultimedia Design Research for the Museum Education Consortium's Museum Visitors Prototype
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication1991
AuthorsWilson, K.
Secondary TitleHypermedia & Interactivity in Museums, Proceedings of an International Conference
PublisherArchives & Museum Informatics
Place PublishedPittsburgh, PA
Keywordshypermedia, ICHIM91, interactivity in education, learning, Museum Educational Consortium, Palenque

The design and development of interactlve multimedia applications is a complex and challenging process which is sti ll evolving as the hardware, software, creative talent, production services, publishers, and target markets all evolve at the same time. Compared with other media, such as print, film, radio, or TV, interactive multimedia, as a medium that combines many media and makes use of them interactively, is still relatively new, at best fifteen years old. The design and development process is far from standardized, although effective design formats and templates have begun to emerge in certain sectors, such as for corporate and military training materials and for children's videogames. Technical advances continue at such a rapid rate that even experienced designers have been kept on a steep learning curve for over a decade. Many design issues of how best to use interactive multimedia, why, when, for whom, and where are still being explored. The project described in this paper is an example of a research and development effort that has attempted to address some of these questions in the context of museum education. From 1988 to 1991 the Museum Education Consortium, comprised of the Directors of Education of seven major art museums, contracted a team of consultants, coordinated through the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, to design and produce an interactive multimedia prototype for museum visitors. The design research effort involved the acquisition of a database of images of paintings and documentary text, film, sound, and motion video materials, the creation of a discovery-based lnteractive prototype for musuem visitors, experimentation with high resolution digital imaging and high definition television filming, and formative testing with museum vlsitors using the lnteractive prototype, which provided Invaluable feedback about the effectiveness and appeal of the lnteractive design.